Trying to deal with anxiety and loss after relationship break up

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    Good morning ladies,

    Michelle – thank you so much for your kind words. I know exactly what you mean by helping others helps you in a sense, I think I kind of threw myself into that a little recently as a form of distraction with one of my friends currently going through some up and downs with her partner and another friends father passed away in a tragic accident a few days ago. So I am point of call for those people now. Although in my case it isn’t particularly helping me right now, nothing seems to be. And to add to that point as I know both yourself & Shelby have mentioned this to me before, I am seriously considering medication at this point. It is exactly what it is there for right? I don’t understand my thought process sometimes. Shelby, in my eyes you are a strong, brave and incredible woman and why the hell would you not help to ease some pain with medication?! It doesn’t make you any weaker, if anything the decision makes you stronger! I see that! So why can I not apply that to my own self? In any case, it is a serious consideration of mine at this point because I am struggling severely with PTSD, depression and anxiety. Ultimately I can have a few good days of distraction and then I always end up back in this sad sad place – it’s been 9 months and nothing has shifted.. I’ve discussed this with my therapist who too seems the idea is not a bad one and I will book a GP appointment to discuss my options in the next week or so.

    I do think my other issue is the idea of me bothering people. I mean, I do it with you girls here, I’ve been quiet because I just feel like I’ve got nothing constructive to say to be able to help you instead I feel my words will just bring you down. And it is the same with the majority of those in my life. My family for one have absolutely no clue that I’ve been down in the gutter for so long and that I am indeed struggling because I am oh so good at putting on a brave face so not to worry them! I may need to consider opening up to a family member at this rate, perhaps then I wouldn’t feel like I am at it alone? Who knows eh!



    Can i just say that NOTHING you ever write on here will bring me down. Even if you are having a terrible terrible week, you’re not on here to just help others feel better, you’re hoping to get some help from others too and that’s what we are here for. I have days where I have nothing to contribute and feel meh and only want a rant…..and that’s okay. Having emotions is okay…it’s allowed! Throughout my life there were a lot of things going in my family and I often bottled up my feelings to that I could take care of others, or at the very least not cause them any extra stress. Therapy has helped me realise, this was not ideal. Emotions are meant to be expressed.

    I do know that anxiety and depression really don’t improve a huge amount if you feel you are battling them alone. They thrive on the feeling of loneliness and solitude. So I think it’s time to bring your family into the mix. Each person in life has to figure out a way of dealing with things and it’s not your responsibility to keep worrisome thoughts from them. I know you love them, but they love you too and that’s what family is for. I hated dumping on my pregnant sister last autumn and having to have her by my side for weeks on end, she has a toddler too and had enough on her plate, but ya know what….I couldn’t do it on my own. I had no choice, I needed her and she was there for me and when she needed a break, my other sister was there for me and when she needed a break, my best friend was there for me. Humankind is about our relationships to others. Don’t try and fight it alone, it takes strength to ask for help, you are NOT a burden. You’re a wonderful lady who is struggling a bit and needs a hand. It won’t be forever. So reach out.

    And remember, you can rant here all day long if you like. Sometimes just knowing you’re not alone is a solace in itself. That goes for me too…because at the end of the day, we all have to take our own actions, regardless of what advice we receive, so a forum like this can just be for thinking out loud and that’s perfectly ok.



    Thank you as always for your kind words, never fail to amaze me.

    You are right, you are absolutely right when you say that is what family and friends are for. I KNOW this. It is the first piece of advice I would give to anyone facing a difficult situation, just reach out to someone, you are loved, people WANT to be there for you because they care for you. I just don’t understand why I struggle so much with applying that to my own self.. I genuinely wanted to go through the struggle on my own and for many many months I have but I have reached a standstill now and the reality is that progress right now is just not happening so perhaps those around me should know of my struggle – particularly because since my last spiral I haven’t been able to pick myself up.

    I’m trying to read a lot into PTSD to try and better understand myself as I can’t figure my own self out in any of this. So far, it is only calming the thoughts that I am going crazy by proving that this is a very real thing, it happens to people and that you do need help to get through it. With that in mind, I think I may speak with my sister when she comes to visit in two weeks time. I’ll assure her it is nothing to worry about but perhaps it’ll give her a better understanding as to some of my behaviours/coping mechanisms which may come across as something ‘out of character’ for me.

    For someone who has always lead a pretty good, calm life with no major life events or mental health problems I think the realisation and acceptance of the difficulty of the situation has been hard. At first I thought I was dealing with trauma, then heartbreak, then trauma and heartbreak, then depression, then anxiety and all these things are actually just an addition to my already raging PTSD. You always try to convince yourself that it isn’t as bad as it really is and give yourself a kick up the bum to just get on with things, maybe because of shame? Maybe because you think you should be further along in your journey? I don’t really know… I don’t quite know how this has become my life but nonetheless this is it right now and I have no other choice but to accept it.

    In my lonely and distant world (clearly by choice as I withhold this from my loved ones) this forum has been an absolute God send right from the start and I am ever so grateful.



    I do believe you are having an emotional crisis. That’s what therapist called it when I exclaimed that I must be having a nervous breakdown. It’s not something that you can’t get out of eventually. Unfortunately, in the meantime, it might be a tough hard road to get there. But I promise, and I’m not saying this flippantly, I promise you can come through this, because I’ve seen enough people around me suffer some of the worst periods life can throw at them and come out the other side.

    For some medication helped, for others exercise helped, for others again therapy and a supportive family helped. It may have taken a good year out of their life to come to terms with it but they look back now and say, ‘Gosh I can’t even believe I was ever in that place…it’s like a distant memory now’. So hang in there.

    You’re doing everything right, therapy can take time to unravel and figure out. It takes time to dig deep and unspiral a spiral. But push yourself, push yourself to get some fresh air, to have a nice bath, push yourself when you feel like dying (which is okay too) but Michelle recently pointed out to me, something which I knew, that dwelling in our sadness can really get a hold of us and it’s hard to free ourselves from its grip.

    If I were there with you now I’d give you a big squeezy hug and say ‘I know you’re sad and hurt. But it’s okay. And one day…this too shall pass.’ x


    Kkasxo – like Shelby says – can’t add much better than that!!  We’re all here voluntarily and we’re all happen to listen as you need to vent and to try and help with our different perspectives and experiences where & when we can. It takes strength to ask for help, not weakness, although it can often feel the other way around in your head.  But it’s strength that is making you say “I don’t want to be like this forever, I want to change, I want to get better”.  It’s buried deep, but it’s there. Same as you can see it in Shelby and others, that’s what in you. It just needs some help so be brave enough to seek it out. Honestly, the more you pretend in life, the harder it is to feel like it’s your life – it just adds distance between you and others, I know!  It’s frankly amazing you’ve been able to help others at all at this point – so take that strength and use it on yourself….

    And yep, dwelling in sadness only increases it’s power and makes it harder to escape it’s grip. There is always something to be grateful for, be it as tiny as being happy to be in a warm house on a cold day. How’re we doing on that list Shelby… 😉


    Grounded, glad to hear you took the post as intended, aware it wasn’t gentle.  I’m curious – in what way do you know this guy values you? From what I could tell from your posts all the time you were together he was interested in other women too?  Regardless, no, the loss of someone you have closely connected to is never ever easy.  It’s good news you are good by yourself, that’s a big step. I would try to look as realistically as you can as to what this relationship truly gave you. It is ok and helpful to be able to say – it was a good relationship for this but it didn’t work for that. I.e. you can still appreciate the good of what you had whilst acknowledging why it is not right for you for the future without change. My point to Shelby is true for you too – the more you continue to focus on the relationship the more you are hurting yourself.



    The list is not coming yet I’m afraid. It’s like I keep putting things off, until I have the time, or until it becomes clearer. Which is nonsense I know.

    I just can’t find my compass. I feel I’m living a life I don’t particularly want right now and as a result couldn’t be bothered making the best of it. Also, I’m not kidding, that eye twitch that started four weeks ago is driving me to distraction! I went to the optician and they couldn’t she any more light on the problem so I don’t know where to turn now. It’s a bit like a dripping tap on your forehead, it gets in on you!

    Also, I’m getting a little worn out dreaming of my ex every single night. How can I control my unconscious? It’s not possible so it’s unfair that both my waking and sleeping hours are given to thoughts of him. However, I am doing my best when I consciously think of it, to say ‘not now’ during the day, when I notice my mind running away with me.

    Starting my new make-up course part-time next week, so I’m a little nervous! I hope your packing is going well!


    <p style=”text-align: left;”>Hi all,</p>
    I’m just feeling very blue today. I keep feeling in my tummy or my heart of wherever that this is wrong, this situation I’m now in is wrong. I’m trying to catch that feeling and change it, but I’m not very successful. I’m unhappy. Really sad and unhappy and it’s hard to understand or believe that my life in the future can amount to any more than it is now.

    I know this is depressing thought, but I’ve tried the positive affirmations to change my point of view and it’s not proving effective. Also, I don’t think I’m feeling the full extent of the pain these days as I find the odd reminder gives me a punch in the gut and I quickly change the thought or move on quickly. But I don’t know how to get in touch with the deep pain.

    Im sorry to be such a Debbie Downer today, but I’m just tired of feeling so sad and hurt.


    Morning Shelby

    I was thinking about you and your last couple of posts and a few things came to mind you might want to consider.

    All the help, advise, tools, tips etc won’t do a thing for you unless you actually want to get better – and I’m not convinced you actually do. I think you might actually be scared to. Getting better means accepting and wanting to change yourself. It’s why it takes strength and courage to work through it, to be different. I know you don’t want to hurt or be sad anymore but I think you are scared and unwilling to let go of the romantised hope this guy is going to change and suddenly want to sweep you off your feet and save you from having to figure your own life and happiness out. It’s why you are plateaued and why you don’t feel like you are in the right place – because you aren’t. Unfortunately, the right place is somewhere you are still scared to go. Tackle those fears and you will be free. Surely the worst outcome is staying where you are???



    You make some interesting points. Sometimes, all this stuff goes a bit over my head, but I try to understand as best I can. I feel my happiness was tied to the life I thought I would have with my ex –  not healthy I know, it it is what it is. So is it a subconscious thing then that I don’t want to get better? How do I control this? I’m afraid of being alone I guess and I’m also afraid of feeling like this forever, that I will never get over that relationship!

    Sorry for the barrage of questions, I’m just trying to understand as best I can, but of course I appreciate all your input. It’s kind of you to take the time to consider my situation.


    Shelby & Michelle,

    Interesting point about ‘dwelling in sadness only increases its power and makes it harder to escape it’s grip’ – I feel that quite deeply and it is actually something I’ve been thinking about recently. I have been sad for so long now it almost feels like this is just who I am now. Maybe I don’t actually know how to be happy and joyful anymore? Maybe because this has been going on for what feels like forever maybe this is just me now? It’s a scary thought but a real one for me at this point.

    I really do hope that I can come out of this on the other end, just like all those brave people who have experiences the worst of the worst and are now in a better place in their life. Realistically though, I can’t quite imagine that happening. In the simplest of words I am not happy in my life. I cannot recall not once memory, moment in which I felt even a remote amount of happiness or bliss. You know sometimes you remember a nice day, a nice walk, a laugh with a friend, a funny photo I don’t know, anything no matter how small, I do not have that. Actually, I don’t have anything at all from the last few months.. it feels like they have been wiped out from my life and brain. The best way to describe it is being in complete auto-pilot mode.

    Shelby –  seems like you’ve been in your thoughts and feelings again recently. It is difficult because yes you have experienced an existential death to an extent, just like myself the life as you knew it has been taken away from you with no explanation, it just was. I think the most important thing for you right now is to accept. Being in the unknown ‘what if’ situation is where you will not move on for obvious reasons. I think there is still a part of you that believes in the what if, that perhaps this is only temporary, that he will wake up sooner rather than later but you’re thinking into the future, missing the here and now. Almost like you are waiting for him, waiting for something that may never happen, especially that he has not given you any indication that that is even a possibility at some point. Be harsh if you need to, be kind if you think that works better. When me and my ex split, for a long time I tried everything in my power to get him to show any sign of uncertainty to fuel my hope of a potential future relationship. When that didn’t work I literally had to almost slap myself back to reality and accept that he simply does not want me and there is nothing I can do about it – it is out of my control. At that point I was no longer left with any options, the only option was literally to accept and go forward without him because I had no other choice. Once I was at that stage it made it easier on me to focus on trying to do things again to occupy my time and hopefully with time make me happy again. Obviously in my case it did not work because just as I began to let go he crawled back in (as**ole hehe) BUT that acceptance moment is what changed the game for me. I was still sad, still hurting but I knew there was no other way out so I could either cry for him forever, eventually watch him move on, think about him daily or accept that he does not care for me in the same way, does not want a future with me and continue to live my life.

    I think maybe as you sit in this unknown period of your life, perhaps it would be handy to do a grand gesture to get some closure. Have you maybe thought about writing him a letter? Even if you don’t send it although I think a letter like that should be sent for your own peace of mind. Just a letter explaining that you have been struggling with accepting that he will no longer be a part of your life, that it has hurt you deeply but that you appreciate and understand that this is just it and therefore you would now like to give your own self reprieve and do your best to move on with your life. With that in mind, this is your goodbye to him and you would appreciate it if he did not reach out to you from this point on (because at the moment he still has the option to which again leaves you in uncertainty because you can have 6 great weeks without him but the moment he reaches out you’ll be back to square one). I think maybe something like that would work for me, could it work for you?



    Hello All,

    I hope everyone is doing okay today. I read the latest conversations and would like to add my input in case it helps- and conversly this thread is helpful in a way as it shows everyone is human and goes through similar things, as heartbreak can feel very lonely.

    I think the points that Kkasko and Michelle rasied were good, about basically accepting where you are and not relying on someone else for a life you want, but that is really hard, although its the path, as we as humans and society sort of buy into that idea that finding that one person who gets you is vital to happiness and it cant just be a friend of the same sex, it has to be “the one” guy with all the sexual chemistry etc. So I think its only natural to want and need to an extent that closeness and that bond, and it is frustrating and can feel hopeless if you HAVE felt that way and that situation is now in the past. It is one thing factually and rationally wanting to move on and do affirmations and envisage a new, brilliant life, but I think the heart and emotions are powerful and cling onto that feeling and that hope long after it has gone. It is so so so painful to confront the facts, as for me, it felt like being stabbed in the heart every time I would remember the facts and then I would feel hopeless and spiral downwards or worse feel numb and utterly hopeless. These feelings lasted a long while so I think it takes as long as it takes and wanting to be over someone is a really good atart in the right direction, but it doesnt make it true.


    What helped me was kind of what Michelle said earlier on, I sort of accepted I would NEVER get over him and so would always feel that sense of loss and those feelings if i saw him, and so if i accepted that and also accepted he didnt want me in his life, then I had to attend to my own life. That being so I made small positive steps into a direction thaf looked like forwards at the time. This could be like having a hot bath and a chill evening to be kind to myself or joining a volunteering type club or journalling. What I find vard about this is that some days i just dont feel positive at all – despite some days taking medication- so on those days it is easy to thi k “i am making no progress” and “i will always feel like this” and retreat back into bed, when actually on better days there is slow and steady forward movement. It is a process and not fun at all, but it takes as long as it takes. How I try and judge my life now is that when I go to sleep have I done at least one thing that is meaningful to me? I also try my best to stick to a routine eg eat healthy, run, etc and treat that as what I HAVE to do, as 1) if I do it, i have a little self esteem boost eg see I can beat my mind and 2) I have a bit more energy. Days like today when I am feeling meh! I dont see the point at all, but it is kind of ignoring that thought and doing it anyway  – even if it is just getting my trainers ib and running 100m it is still a “win”.


    Also, a sign i knew i had to get my life together was that i really admired the fact he DID have his life together and a clear plan. I wanted that alot so that was part of what i found attractive eg by looking at WHY in particular you liked him (aside from the feelings you have together) that can help tailor your next steps.

    Today I was walking outside with the sun on my face and I really really appreciated that momentary bit of warmth and contentment. I think its about squeezing the joy about the little tiny things. Happiness is a big goal and not one I have attained, but because I have had some serious lows, I really do appreciate rthe small good moments. My moods seem to change so much daily so one way of remembering those small good things is writing them down on days where your mind is calmer and not churning so much. Some days I find i seem to have more resilience and distance from the facts and it all seems more manageable so that could be cause of celebration! Another way would be to meditate – made easier on those days your mind naturally feels calmer. It is nice to have a temporary break from your thoughts.

    However, I think recovery is hard and feels like one step forward, one back and some days just suck. Eg I asked to use the bathroom in a shop, the shop assisstant said bo and tears sprung to my eyes.. and i left the shop asap. That was a bad day, but on another day, that wouldnt of been an issue at all.

    If you read, books could help like HSP by Judith Phd or for me, exercise and cooking comfort food also works well as a distraction.

    II can appreciate how you feel as it can feel like the colour and joy has been sucked out of life and there is no end, but there are small chinks of goodness every day. One last thing would be that it is tempting (as i did) to think “i am broken” why isnt he or just feel like such a mess of emotions and thoughts that I would feel like I am faking all the time at work as i try to go about my day, but actually i think everyone is a bundle of feelings and emotions, and it is just an emotionally triggering and hard time. There are no shoulds at all. It is what it is and it takes as long as it does. Therapy can be so helpful ib making you see WHY it is hard. For example for me, i fell for someone hard and instantly trusted him because he subconsciously reminded me of an old childhood male friend who i was so close with until one day he decided not to be friends. I was heartbroken and he was fine.. so she suggested me finding it hard to move on is rlated to that past relationship as a child and the fact that I wasnt seen at home at all and just criticised so when someone comes along who is non judging and open, it is no wonder it takes time to move on as you are kind of nourning two things- the current trauma ans tbe past one. It also made me feel angry eg life isnt fair and if I HAD been seen and validated as a child it may have led to different events happening as an adult. Sorry to go off piste- my point is, it may be painful based on past experiences, adding to a cumulative effect, not just the loss of this one person.


    I really hope you are both doing okay. We are always here at Tiny bhudda x





    I completely get what you mean about being on autopilot. I live an unhappy life now too and it’s all I know right now. Do you think you could be in the depression phase of a grief cycle at the moment and you just don’t have the motivation? Are you working or going to the gym – anything to try and shake the funk? I know it’s hard though, my sweatpants and baggy jumper are my  best friends at the moment!

    You won’t be like this forever, I just don’t get that feel from you, even though I know this is contrary to what you think. It may take some time – a good duration of time perhaps- but you’ll come through eventually. You’ll look back one day and be proud of yourself for what you’ve overcome. But of course, it takes therapy, work, sometimes medication, exercise and most importantly the love and support of those around you.

    I agree with you, I’m probably definitely holding out hope. It’s like we will ‘eventually’ get back together as ludacris as that might sound. Ya see the last time, there was absolutely zero contact when we split for months and yet he still missed me and wanted to be with me. He’s just not readable in the obvious way. I’m sure if he wanted to contact me, he would. But part of me says, oh well, it’s just not his way, but maybe he wants to.

    I don’t know, I’ve been thinking a lot about what Michelle said, am I refusing to move on? Am I just not accepting and if so, how do I do that?

    Its all very confusing to me.

    How has today been??


    Hello Again!


    Just had a few more thoughts whilst out walking. When I have felt my lowest I actively searched online for things to make me feel better and came across two free things to do:

  – a anonymous gift company set up in Brighton. This is my first month doing it. You basically get given someone in the UK to buy or make a gift for based on what they like and someone does the same for you. This wont make me happy per sea but it is nice to get creative to give a good gift to someone else and imagine them opening it.

    2) Henpals-letter writing to people in care homes who have been given hens to look after  i dont know anything about hens or art but I wrote something!


    Another two good book suggestions could be:

    1) the dark night of the soul by Thomas Moore – I re read this alot. Just having someone like the author of the book who has veen through what you are feeling is helpful.

    2) fictional book called “Eleanor Oliphant is completly fine”.. a really uplifting and moving book, that could be a good distraction.

    When I realised I had to move on I had kind of lost myself in sadness and myself as a person. I somehow didnt do alot of the “growing up” as a teenager so I didnt really know who I was at all. It felt and still does, like groping around blind in the dark. It is also easy to compare to others at a similar age (I am 28) and to think they have it all together etc or are “further on” in life etc, but zI think everyone is groping around in the dark or has done at some point or will do in the future again. For me I tried to follow my little voice every time-just as you did with going swimming Shelby, when it would of been so easy to stay in bed. It is like that good wolf and bad wolf story about two wolves inside fighting and it is the one you feed that wins out. For me that led me to do ALOT of sifferent classes, go on a solo trip, volunteer, etc but also small things like learn how to make bread, buy some new face cream etc. The little things can make you a little happy too. Xx


    Hey all – sorry for radio silence, a bit of a trek to get over here…..but it’s so worth it, it’s gorgeous and so warm and sunny!!

    Anyway – enough about me – more important things to talk about here…

    Kkasxo – I’m so impressed. Writing him a letter like that is a perfect idea, my view. It really doesn’t matter what he makes of it, like you say – this is about you, accepting and determining reality. I did something similar funnily enough and it helped me too. You and NextSteps ( who btw, you sound like you are going great, loads of good ideas there ) are both spot on – truly accepting it is the only thing that frees you to move on to starting to rebuild your life. And honestly, it gives you so much strength for facing other fears later on when you know you’ve made it through the worst thing you could imagine at the time.


    Shelby – anybody who says ”probably definitely” is just a yes who knows she shouldn’t be. The real question is why would you accept him back – is this really the pattern you want for the rest of your life? Do you not think you deserve more? We all think you do but it’s your life, your choice.  I’m glad you’ve been thinking about it at least – accepting it means literally rose glasses off, reality check and decide for yourself that you are worth enough to face your fear of the unknown.


    All – it really does get better with time when you want it to – infact, it just gets amazing when you go on to live life with your new found strength.


    Take care all.

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