Trying to deal with anxiety and loss after relationship break up

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    <p style=”text-align: left;”>Thanks Michelle.</p>
    It hurts no less this time afraid. Not sure what to do, back into survival mode I guess.



    Yeah, it’ll hurt just the same, I know. And it’s harder when you can’t share with those around as you hadn’t said you’d got back together.

    So, my 2p worth. Be proud you tried against all your fears and if at all possible, cling to the feeling at least the decision is made, no more agonising about will it/won’t it work. Be sad, be mad, feel it all, shout/scream at the walls if it helps 🙂   And then just focus on looking after yourself, eat/drink/exercise well, you know the drill, sadly.

    There is a better future for you, I know it.




    Thank you. I don’t regret it. I’m heartbroken again yes, bu I still don’t regret it. I did what I felt was right for me at the time.

    I wish I could be mad, but it’s just not there. He tried. He physically & mentally could not do it. So I can’t make someone who say..can’t sing a note, sing beautifully, just because I want them to, even though their vocal chords simply won’t let them. I fell in love with someone who can’t sing. It’s unfortunate, but I suppose it’s nobody’S fault.

    So no screaming or yelling this time, just sadness. A low heart and some crying. I may be in denial stage right now, I don’t know.

    You really hit a chord in my chest with your last line Michelle. I don’t know how you can know/believe that, but it made me cry. I guess maybe I’ve never believed it x




    Yep, you can’t change a person into what you want them to be, no matter how hard you wish or demand it.  This was always going to be about you eventually either accepting him as he is or giving up on your vision of how it could/should be, accepting the reality of what is, not what you want it to be.

    I know you’ve never believed you can have a good future. In some ways I still think you don’t feel you deserve it. But you do and you will. How do I know/believe that?  Because I can tell you are kind, smart, funny, honest – and trying to be the best you can. You just need to look after yourself more. So I know you will survive this, one day at a time. We’ll be here for you.



    Hi all,

    Really sorry for going awol again! I won’t bore you with the ins and outs of the past few weeks as I have just read back on the posts and Oh Shelby!…

    I’m so sorry to hear this. Michelle is right. You are a brave and courageous woman for going ahead and giving it that one last chance. For following your heart despite past experiences etc. You went against the odds and followed what seemed right for you and if that isn’t bravery, then I don’t know what is.

    I honestly believe you have so many amazing times ahead of you, although it may not feel like it right now. You are a beautiful soul and feel like an incredible friend to me after only a few months of our communication, I can only imagine how much of a wonderful addition you must be to your dear family and friends!

    You are a strong, kind hearted, educated, funny, quirky woman, any man would be lucky to have you.

    As always I am here for the highs and the lows. Anything you need at all. I will keep checking back to hear back from you.

    Sending you loads of hugs! Xx



    <p style=”text-align: left;”>Hi all,</p>
    Im back to my therapist today after a little break, so I’ll see how that goes.

    The past few days have been bearable, but I’m trying to think was it like this previously too. I feel there may be an element of numbness or denial at play here first.

    I haven’t had too much anxiety until last night and today. I spoke to that guy I used to date a long time ago, as we were actually getting on great as friends now, and he updated me on a new relationship he has entered and I don’t know if that made me worse. I dunno, just feeling like I’m the only one left behind.

    Its hard to know what to do next. If I’m honest, I don’t actually know if I want to go to Oz. That was a desire I once had but I wonder was the ‘idea’ of it more appealing that actually doing it. I definitely want to travel, I’m just not sure Oz is the one…..

    Work is crazy at the moment so I’m trying to keep that going along with my course. I’m meeting friends for dinner and drinks later and I’m dreading it. Myself and my 23year old girl mate had booked a hotel in the city so I could have a drink and not worry about driving home. But honestly, all I want after my course tonight is to head to my own bed.

    Kkasxo, so lovely to hear from you. I’ve been missing you! How’s the house decorating going?



    Hey both,

    Good to hear from you Kkasxo, hoping all goes well with the move – not too far off now I guess?

    Shelby, glad you are getting through the days ok. Yeah, it can be hard when everybody else is pairing up and settling down, especially when it’s the ones you thought would be single with you for a while yet. It used to make me feel even lonelier at times if going out with happily-couple friends. But comparing yourself to others is a one-way street to disaster on anything, everyone has their own path, there is no such thing as where you should be, what you should have done by now etc, despite family/society pressure to say otherwise.  It just takes confidence to be able to ignore those opinions, especially when yours has just been badly knocked again, that’s all.

    And if you want any travel advice – I’m your gal 🙂   What does your gut say about what you would like out of trip? How long do you want to go for? I wouldn’t worry too much about knowing what you want next, whilst your life is upside-down again for a while you will be all over the place with go/don’t go I think.  Or you could end up with the “s*d it, I’ll just go try” when you get tired of thinking about it all too much..

    Hope you enjoyed your night out/away – sometimes when I least felt like gong out was when it was exactly the right thing to do!


    Corinne Coe

    From what you mentioned it does seem as though you did everything you could that you had control of to make the relationship work. One thing you might need to explore is whether he is suffering from low self esteem and if this was what was getting in the way of him being more open, taking on responsibility and committing to the relationship and taking the next necessary serious step forward. He may know that his behaviour is affecting the relationship and that he needs to change in order for it to work but he may not know that it might be coming from low self esteem. Typical symptoms of low self esteem include; avoidance, staying within his comfort zone, fear of rejection fear of failure and of making mistakes, holding himself back, sensitivity to criticism or being corrected, difficulties socialising comfortably, inability to cope with change, not taking on new opportunities and relying on others to name a few. It might be worth your while to encourage him to seek professional help to specifically explore whether low self esteem is what might be standing in the way of your relationship working out because it sounds like you both love eachother but that his personal issues are standing in the way of it working. Low Self esteem issues is one of the most common problem s In relationships. It is something that can be fixed through therapy however it will depend on how keen he is to address it for the sake of the relationship and you. What you seem to be struggling with is his avoidance in committing and responsibility in the relationship. Avoidance is a common unhealthy coping mechanism used to cope with feelings of insecurity and life responsibilities. Someone who suffers from low self esteem will experience a lot of anxiety whenever they are expected to step out of their comfort zone. They won’t want to share this because they might feel embarrassed by it.

    Hope this has been helpful.

    Corinne Coe



    Hi all,

    Im zombie tired. A major crisis at work meant I’ve been working straight through the night the past few days and nights. Eventually got home at 6am today and slept until this evening.

    Early start for me again tomorrow but at least it’ll be back to routine. Adrenaline kept me going since the split with my ex and the distraction of a busy busy life right now. However today, with it finally slowing down & me being exhausted, anxiety and sadness are creeping back in.

    Corinne, thanks for the advice. Sounds about right. But I can’t think about him anymore. I’ve spent 4.5 years trying to figure him out, trying to see his perspective and empathise, trying to help him grow, I did all you suggested during those years. It didn’t work, he was too scared, didn’t want to, didn’t feel I was worth it, I don’t know. But I can’t keep hoping, because that is what has destroyed me I think.

    I have to try and live the life I’m left with, sad and depressing as it might be. It’s what I’ve been dealt, so maybe I don’t get the happy ever after, I just gotta accept this is my life now and try to forgot about what I could have had.

    Ill give a better update when I get some more sleep. Thanks all x



    Hey Shelby,

    Good to hear from you, was wondering how you’d been doing. Work sounds like it has been a total mare! You must be exhausted, really hope you got some decent sleep last night at least.

    I think you are doing fine for where you are at, better than last time around tbh.  Accepting it and him for what it is, that’s a big step. It’s really encouraging, if that doesn’t sound too odd, to hear you say you won’t waste any more time hoping because I’d agree entirely, that was what was slowly killing you, hanging on to something that didn’t exist in reality. So yeah, you’re going to feel cr@p for a while yet but I wouldn’t be surprised if a small part of at some point isn’t just a little relieved at no longer going through all the ups/downs of hope, there’s a certain peace of just dealing with certainty, even when it’s not what you wanted.

    And anyway, you know I don’t believe the rest of your life will be sad and depressing but I also know that just seems too far off to think about just yet. Take care of yourself best you can eh, stay in touch.

    PS If wondering, just back from cycling 25 miles in rain – yeah England, when can I go back to the sun……?!? Off to Wales on Friday, how bad can it be…….


    Prairie light

    If you are still on this forum, I am interested to know how you are doing now?  I’m hoping you have made progress and are coping better.




    Hi Ruth,

    Ive has a rollercoaster few months so it’s hard to know what progress, if any, I’m making. Perhaps if I had stayed broken up with my ex last Sept, it would be more linear and maybe we could figure out the progress but at the moment, I don’t know where I am…

    Am I back to Square one- has square one yet to come, am I on square 6 and further along that I realise? Absolutely no clue.

    Michelle, I had replied to your post earlier but it seems my network was down and it didn’t send. Basically I was just saying that I don’t know how I am. A bit like Kkasxo, I have to kind of block it out for now cos it’s the only thing that seems to be keeping me going and able to function.

    There is a memorial for my mum this weekend and I’ve been booked to do makeup – eek- after finishing my course. So nervous. But I have to start somewhere!

    As for travel, it’s not a great week to think about it as I’m exhausted and the thought of even travelling to the shop seems too much. I feel a little lost if I’m honest. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do now. x




    Hi Shelby.

    Technology eh, how helpful – nothing like having to retype something you have already done…especially when tired and busy.

    Anyway, good to hear from you as ever. I hope your Mum’s memorial went ok, that’s got to be tough to get through still.

    But fantastic news on your first booking – that’s great! Yeah, scary but first steps and all that. Just imagine where it could take you 2 years from now! Good on you.

    I know you didn’t mean it to be funny but did have to smile at the idea of travelling to the shop being too far, know what you mean there.  Yeah, I always thought a break-up was two kind of losses, one of the actual person/relationship and the other being the future you had imagined in your head, knowingly or not.

    The second loss is the one that caused all the confusion for me, as in ‘well, if I’m not doing that then what am going to be doing’.  It takes time to refigure out who you are without the relationship & it’s planned future/way forwards.  The best thing I found was to not focus on imagining a future as I would start to panic with the not knowing and change from what I had expected. Instead I would literally focus on only doing things that made me feel better/good. So for me it was getting fit again, rebuilding friendships I’d dropped and trying to make new friends at the job I had just started – which was great timing when feeling like cr@p! As I felt better about myself, the rest started to drop into place – just don’t rush it and don’t feel the pressure to be dating again just because you think you should be “at that stage by now”.  There’s no scoreboard in life, only you.



    Morning all,

    Well things are today…finally settling down. It’s been a hectic few weeks. But of course, now I am starting to hurt more. I admit I have no idea how to live my life. I don’t feel happy or fulfilled. I miss my ex in some ways, and not in other ways. I had no notion of thinking about him after we split for good a few weeks ago, I said he’s long gone and I did everything I could. Now the raw neediness tears at the edges of my heart again. I still have the urge….I won’t contact him, I just won’t. The last break was too much and I’m way more mad this time. He said he fears HE would resent ME down the road and that has completely gotten my back up. That one sentence has closed the door entirely for me. But I still miss being with him.

    I’m not sure what my purpose in life is. I’m going through a bit of an existential crisis I guess. I feel like I’m a good friend – as much as I can be –  and a good sister, daughter and aunt. Is that what my life is meant to be? Am I meant to be here for them and try and make their lives better? I just can’t see anything that will fulfill me right now. Plus I get overwhelmed thinking about what’s meant to happen next.

    Life is hard, really hard in my opinion. Many many times I wish I could go back to my 20s when I was blissfully ignorant and way less self aware. Things were much easier to deal with and I felt content, even if it wasn’t real contentment. It felt like it at the time.

    My course is finished now so I have exams next week. So I guess I’ll keep studying this week and try and figure things out as I go. I feel really sad, not just about the relationship…although mostly….but sad in general. I’m sad and down. I hope life gets better soon. x



    Dear Stella:

    We had a short exchange only once, and that was on October 12 of last year. On that day, before you signed your post with this name, Stella, you wrote to me: “as I mentioned before, I had a stable, caring upbringing as far as I can remember!”. Then I wrote to you, on that day, “Insight into the origin of your anxiety.. is a necessary part of healing.. a necessary beginning”.

    On that same day, Oct 12, this was typed and submitted by you, Stella. It was the one and only time that you ended a post with Stella or mentioned your name otherwise. I am assuming it is your real name. (You did write later that Shelby is a nickname).

    That one post is this: “I can think of one tiny small incident that may have scared me a little, but I never told my parents, I didn’t want to make a big deal of it and I wasn’t that young, maybe 10-12. If it’s something from younger than that, how would I ever remember it to heal it? Thanks, Stella”.

    In the most recent post by Shelby, yesterday, she wrote: “a good sister, daughter and aunt. Is that what my life is meant to be? Am I meant to be here for them and try and make their lives better?”

    Well, Stella, I noticed long ago that living for your family, being what you referred to as a care taker, a role that you chose or it chose you (your words) is that life experience you referred to repeatedly as “Meh”, surviving, not thriving, keep going just so to.. keep going.

    This man in your life, that this thread is about, that was part of Stella’s life, not Shelby. He has been Stella’s desire, Stella’s passion. It was not part of the Meh, it was not part of the family care taker role, he was something of her own. Shelby is … sort of a side show for her family, there to make their lives better. But this man, he was Stella’s chance of being in the center stage of her own life.

    Shelby is not very honest with herself or with others, but Stella, oh, she is honest and she is passionate, problem is she is locked in there. It’s been months since I have been thinking of Stella as this locked in child and I have been appreciating her desire for this man as her most authentic desire, almost as strong as authentic as her desire for life itself.

    I have no questions for you, Stella because I don’t think Shelby will let you answer me. She will probably think I am a … dangerous online presence that will damage you.

    I am smiling at the moment, thinking of Stella. She is so very precious. She deserves more than a Meh life. I hope she gets to experience the kind of life she desires so intensely.




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