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Trying to deal with anxiety and loss after relationship break up

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This topic contains 1,325 replies, has 38 voices, and was last updated by  Shelbyville 1 week, 3 days ago.

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  • #299495

    Michelle
    Participant

    Hey Shelby,

    Most important things first – huge hugs on their way to you. You know you don’t have to apologise, you are not a downer or bringing anyone down – you are simply sharing your pain, your sadness with us. And that’s ok, we’re here to listen, here for you. ( Though damn it, my funny story was supposed to make you laugh not cry…… ;-0 )

    Next most important thing – you will be fine, you will get through this. It’s no use trying to talk yourself out of feeling sad or saying your pain isn’t “bad” enough compared to others. Your pain is real, it needs to be felt. Ignoring it or distracting yourself from it makes it stronger. Recognising it, saying something like “yes, I am feeling incredibly sad and lonely right now but it will pass eventually” helps you remember all feelings are temporary – both good and bad.

    If I can recommend something – try reading your last few posts again some time, when you are in a better place again.  Honestly, you can see it’s all your fear about the future talking, that unhelpful voice ( I think it was Martha? ) telling you your worst fear, that you will end up alone and that this is all there is to life, and you should damn well be grateful for it, how dare you want more.  But I tell you something – Martha is not a smart person, she’s scared. Scared you might actually do something to go after what you want, what you deserve, what you need for the real you to feel alive.

    Nothing is ever gone – it is never too late. I was reading about a guy who started back-packing at 69 today, 20 years later still going strong and loving it. Honestly, your life is out there – just waiting for you to reach out and grab it. All the really good stuff is hard won. I know you can and will do it, whatever it ends up being.

    But right now, just look after yourself eh. Mop those eyes, blow your nose ( I really hope you don’t look as much of a mess as when I cry, proper blotchy, red nose, impossible to hide stuff… ) and go get a real cuddle from your Dad. As k him how he does it, you may be surprised at what he has to offer.

    Take care.

    #299505

    Kkasxo
    Participant

    Evening ladies,

    Firstly, Michelle on a reality show?! Well ain’t that some really juicy gossip! I’m finding myself thinking ehhhh I know someone famous! Hehe!

    I suppose I understand why it may be a put off watching other reality shows knowing what the ins and outs look like behind the scenes. I think I get it a little more now.

    Shelby my love, I’m so sorry to hear that you are feeling sad today. I feel a little like that too, and maybe that’s okay?

    Thank you for your kind words, I think on a good day I realise just how far I’ve come too however it is all definitely still a process and I feel it’ll be that way for a long long time for me, perhaps even for you too! I spoke a little about learning, figuring things out and getting to know myself again in my last post, well maybe we never really stop learning and doing those things? The thing about the idea of a journey is that it has a destination. Well maybe in reality the journey doesn’t actually ever end, maybe life is one big journey and we just have to enjoy the good times and ride through the bad times.

    It is going to sound so ironic (I know it did to me when people around me advised me to do it) but you really need to feel your feelings. Acknowledge them, ask yourself questions, why am I feeling like this? Does it feel heavy? If so, where in my body can I feel this heaviness? Is there anything I can do to change this feeling right now? Before you know it it’ll pass. It may come back again but the better you get at sitting with them the easier it’ll get. I think that was the major lesson I had learnt in the last few months because I became incredible at running away from heavy emotions and queen of distraction.

    You mention feeling like it’s too late for you. But too late for what? I understand that feeling completely because for someone like me who absolutely despises any sort of time wasting whatsoever, the feeling of I’m behind or it’s too late is so heavy! Let’s explore this. What is it too late for? What is it that you would like to achieve in the next 5 years? What do YOU think would bring you pure bliss and happiness in this life?

    Lots of virtual hugs as always! Xxx

    #299585

    Michelle
    Participant

    Morning both,

    Shelby, hope you got through the night ok and woke up feeling just a little better after a good wallow.  Amazing timing – this story was in my Inbox this morning, thought it might make you smile a little..

    https://humanparts.medium.com/me-alone-in-the-world-and-not-terrified-625db4c47544

    Kkasxo, don’t get too excited, whilst I did get fan mail for a while ( a very very odd experience I tell ya ) it’s long done now. One of my slightly madder things I have said yes to for sure.  But just like you say, I learnt stuff on there that I’ve used since – everything is part of us, the good and the bad and I agree, it’s a never-ending journey, hence why so important to make the most of the ride.  It is also wonderful to hear the difference in you, you know. You have come a long way.

    #299613

    Shelbyville
    Participant

    Hi ladies,

    Thanks for the support, for someone who feels extremely lonely lately, it means so much. You guys truly make me feel better and not as scared.

    Kkasxo, do you get tired of the journey sometimes? I confess I do. It’s all well and good on this voyage of constant self discovery but honestly some days I say to my therapist….I’m exhausted! Can’t I just sit back and be happy?! He laughs and says ‘ah the burden of self-awareness’ and says Im still much better off now that being blissfully ignorant! We shall see!

    I’m not ready to go out and try and find someone new to form a lasting relationship with and discover if I want children with them. But I’m 37 this year and aware that if I want to achieve that in my life, it has to be attempted within a fairly short time frame and that makes me sad and panicky. Im not ready.

    Michelle,

    You are so very kind. I enjoy each contribution from you. I don’t really understand fully this whole scared voice thing that really does convince me of certain feelings. Is it not real as such? Because I do feel that there is some credence in what it says….even though pessimistic and negative, I can’t actually say ok…it is impossible for you not to meet someone and live blissfully Shelby. While Martha is negative, it’s also a bona fide possibility too. And that element appeals to my personality which seeks to see matters from many perspectives, even if not the most positive.

    I know I’m hurting more this week, I feel it. I think I was a bit skeptical of getting off rather lightly this time compared to the previous two times, but I figured I was in a different head space. But definitely the reminders are more prominent this week and to be honest, I had not considered the scene of the latest breakup since it occurred 4 weeks ago, but now that scene is starting to filter into my head. It’s weird. Perhaps I was in denial.

    I did facetime my sister whilst I was upset and she was so caring and helpful. I explained that I didn’t know why I was upset to be honest, and she said she often feels the same and it’s usually after a significantly busy period when things start to slow down again and she has to adjust to change or a slower pace of life again. It was comforting to have someone explain things a little more rationally.

    Honestly Michelle, I don’t know what I want. I thought I knew, but now I know nothing. Im going to save my money and not go away next week and put it in the pot for bigger travel in September, so I’ll try and keep that goal in my head. I might drive somewhere a few hours away and stay in a guesthouse in a nice area for a little break in the meantime. I’d love to be like you…and Kkasxo…ye seem to be far more secure than I could ever be.

    Also, the reality tv thing did make me smile! Wow, I can’t imagine every putting myself out there like that! How brave! I can imagine so much reality tv is constructed these days though! I think Love Island is just mindless nonsense that allows me to ‘switch off’ my own brain/thoughts for an hour!

    Oh….an old friend, the last one in a particular group of friends from college apart from myself not yet married, announced he’s engaged. So only little old me left single. Im so happy for him because he’s a sweetheart, but i think it made me feel more alone. I wish I could close my eyes and wake up ten years ago and do things differently haha!

    #299763

    Michelle
    Participant

    Morning Shelby,

    So I just spent 1/2hr writing an explanation of the whole ‘voices’ thing how I see it but you know what, it’s way too complicated for here. Mark Manson’s blog does a pretty good job on it, as when you get the time but basically it boils down for me into we have two ‘voices’, one positive and one negative, that help us choose between ‘helpful and ‘unhelpful’ ways forward/things to do. I’ve purposely not used good/bad because nothing by itself is good/bad – it’s different for everyone.  Helpful things are best described as what will get you closer to achieving whatever goals/hopes/dreams/values you have for your life, unhelpful things take you further away from them. So yeah, both voices are valid, but it’s important to know which one you want in the driving seat at the end of the day.

    And ha, I can hear Kkasxo now – saying, me, secure?! Like me, it’s not secure as such – it’s more you give up worrying about the future so much, about things you can’t control.  It really is like another skill to learn and the more I’ve done things outside my comfort zone, the better I am at it.  You become stronger and seen as more secure simply because you know you will be able to handle what life throws at you, even when it’s bad.  Trust me, I went home from the TV show the first weekend in floods of tears, absolutely sure I couldn’t go back, I was so out of place, so uncomfortable, so unhappy. But one of my dreams was to do as well as I could on it, to learn from it and so whilst my fear voice screamed at me to stay home, I went back. It got better, I coped better and by the end was doing live TV interviews, the lot.  Still not something I’d seek out to do but I know I can if I have to and that gives me strength to tackle other scary things. It just grows like that.  So I’ll see you on the next Love Island then 😉

    Anyways, back to you. I’m glad to hear your sister helped – yes, a period of calm after running around so much is always a come down. And yeah, I can totally understand how it makes you feel more lonely when your last college mate pairs up, hard not to be jealous whilst happy for them at the same time, right.

    Absolutely no need to panic about the time-frame for a relationship and kids, though I get why. A friend of mine on hitting 40 and single actually froze some of her eggs, just so she still had choices ahead and took some of the pressure off the ‘must find someone now’ thing.  Plus I get you want the biological experience but there’s all kinds of ways to be a mother these days with so many kids needing adoption/fostering. You don’t even have to be with a partner though again, I get that’s not how you want to do it. Just remember there’s all kinds of ways to have a happy life, not just the Disney version, and don’t let that fear panic you into something you aren’t ready for or something less than ideal.

    Enjoy your day best you can – hope you get somewhere nice on your drive, got to be gorgeous up around you ( rain excepted ) I reckon.

    #299765

    Kkasxo
    Participant

    Morning ladies,

    Haha Michelle you know me too well! Secure? Definitely not. But I think where I literally hit rock bottom only a few short months ago, I’m now trying to constantly remind myself that what will be will be. It is an extremely difficult concept to grasp because my innate nature tries to fight it at all costs and almost ‘organise’ or break down how I can be take control of this uncertain destiny. It is a challenge but ultimately we simply cannot control everything.

    I think for me it is a conscious decision to keep going forward. Despite the devastation of my entire life the last year, despite suffering so much with PTSD and depression, despite loosing myself, despite all of my struggles. As my therapist says, that’s all done now, you’re not there anymore, you’re here and you’re loved and you’re safe and you WILL be okay. Now don’t get me wrong, the trauma still haunts me, it is still extremely difficult to face it head on when i’d rather forget, it still leaves me in terror and shakes and tears and regret and guilt and everything else under the sun. But I just have to keep reminding myself that all it is is a very sad part of my life. Keep working on myself and becoming the woman that I want to be. The woman who will assure that I’ll never find myself in a similar circumstance again, and if God forbid I do, I will be in a better place in my life to make the right choices FOR ME and me only, ones that sit right in my heart.

    It really is a continuous conscious choice to keep going. So to answer your question Shelby, yes it is absolutely exhausting! But it is worth it. I am so grateful now that I am no longer down in the gutter surrounded by crazy thoughts of not being able to go on… I am so glad there is some light now, even if it is just a tiny glimmer but it’s not completely dark and for that I am thankful!

    The few days away somewhere quiet definitely sound good! I think it would be a good opportunity to really sit with yourself and dwell deeper into what it is you want, what you’re feeling, what you are and are not ready for at this point in your life. I know there is much advice out there claiming that the best way to get over love is to find new love. For me personally, that wasn’t something I was interested in at all and it doesn’t sound like it is something that you are ready for right now either. I think this time for you should be about this exhausting, as you say, but worth it journey to self discovery.

    You have to take the time to check in with yourself at all times about everything going on with your life. I distanced myself from everyone and secluded myself in my own little world (aside from tiny Buddha) for months of my life. And maybe that was what I needed? When I finally felt somewhat ready within myself to start meeting up with friends again etc I made a promise to check in with myself. How does meeting this person make me feel? Can I meet with them for short/long periods of time without feeling emotionally exhausted after? Am I happy around this person? And with that I kind of determined who my happy to go to people are, that allowed me to finally rebuild some kind of a support network.

    Promise your own self that you will listen to yourself first and foremost. That you will care for YOU at all times.

    Hugs as always xxx

    #299995

    Shelbyville
    Participant

    Hi Kkasxo,

     

    Do you remember a little while back, you didn’t feel the will or motivation to go on. Was there a catalyst that pulled you out of that or what made things change for you? You have a really good attitude now, I admire you. So clever and focused.

    I hope when your family moves away, it won’t be too hard for you and you can continue on improving your life in the way you want to. Some days I think I’m accepting, other days I wonder has my subconscious completely pushed it away into the recesses of my mind so I don’t have to deal with it.

    It’s hard to remain optimistic. I feel a lot of things have cost me time in the past and now this ‘burden of self-awareness’ has me worried about not making the right moves, or doing the right thing. I question and double question everything and of course the end result is to not have to make any decision at all. I’m all too aware of that too.

    Im mad now a little too. Super mad sometimes, mad in a way that if I ever crossed paths with him again I want to be in a much better place and look my best too, and say sod you!!! But I’ve lost my confidence and I feel I have been comfort eating for months!! I find checking in with myself incredibly hard, I have no clue what’s my gut/soul or what is my fear or what is my hope. Argh, it’s a head wreck!

    Michelle,

    I think the fact that I have been really in a lot of chronic pain for the past 6-8 weeks has not helped my frame of mind. I always get scared when my back gets bad. I mean…proper scared. One of the most frightening experiences I’ve ever had was my first emergency surgery and I think I live in fear of every going back that level of trauma. Plus it contributes to my comfort eating, which doesn’t help my self esteem and so the vicious cycle goes….

    As it gets closer to my envisaged date for leaving work (end of summer) I almost feel is a far-fetched dream….as if I would ever go through with something like that in reality. I have been threatening to leave my job for about 6 years!!!! Also I’m a bit afraid of how I’d manage not having work to go to each day, when I can’t even stand one Saturday on my own with nothing to do.

    Oh and a wedding invitation arrived in the post –  a school friend who I had heard was only having a ‘small family wedding’ is now inviting all friends…eek….that’s in August. She is one of a group of 9 of us girls who have been friends since we were young, I adore them, they are lovely lovely people – but ALL partnered up…and the few neighbours she has also invited are apparently all eager to find out if Shelby is married off yet or single, like i was for all of the other weddings of the group over the years!

    It’s not a big deal, I’m chuffed she asked me to the wedding, but it will be my friends, their partners and me! Joy.

    I would love sometimes to close my eyes and be a bird and fly up to the sky with no fear and no responsibilities!

    I hope the week is going well for ye, I’m here researching travel, but my eyes are going boggeley so I might go read a book before bed. x

     

    #300091

    Michelle
    Participant

    Morning!

    Ah Kkasxo, how far you have come….wonderful to hear it. Absolutely, by giving up trying to control the future bizarrely we free ourselves from so much unhelpful worrying/anxiety. Things are still scary, sad, awesome,wonderful and we cope and enjoy as they come. Just doing our best, choosing what feels right in our hearts, what fits with our values and our aims of who we want to be. Sometimes it’ll work how we want, sometimes not. But we always know we couldn’t have done it any differently, all part of us.

    Shelby m’dear. You know what, I’m actually glad to hear you are a little mad at him. I think I wrote about my similar experience ( few pages back now…! ) after my split when that was exactly my mind-set, “I’ll show you what you are missing”! It became a goal I could really focus on, all be it for all the wrong reasons. I lost almost 2 stone and suddenly got a lot more attention from men, a great confidence booster , if a little weird. All entirely wrong reasons and not a long-term help but it did enough to kick me out of the hole I was in at that point to be able to think about what I really wanted. So I entirely get where you are coming from there.

    Emergency surgery sounds scary for sure, totally understand why you are forever worried about it happening again, tough fear to have to live with – do they have any idea what triggered it at all?  I suppose it’s not a great answer but the obvious one is that so long as you are doing everything you know of that helps prevent the pain, then you have done all you can. You will cope if it happens, you have before. And so the worrying doesn’t do anything to help prevent it, if anything the opposite – it’s amazing how much stress impacts on the body without knowing.

    Ah yes, the joy of invites to cosy couple events, especially weddings. People who can’t imagine there’s anything more important to find out about you than are you settled down and married. Never failed to amaze me that, doesn’t happen to men so much for sure. Honestly, it’ll be a bit grim but ok. Take a good friend if you want, hire a stunning +1 for fun, talk about Oz like it’s going to happen. Kidding ( mostly… ) but you know what, it only feels bad because it’s what you are worried about and you don’t need the extra social pressure on you. People are well-meaning but yeah, not helpful. Smile and ignore, best you can. Make it your target to lose the weight for, a positive thing to turn up even more stunning than usual.

    Ha, yeah – I spent a lot of time yesterday researching and starting to think about our next trip back over Asia after Christmas – so many amazing places to go see…defn boggle eyes by the time I put the laptop away!  Don’t worry about if you will or won’t quit work yet, just keep investigating, seeing what excites you, thinking about what you could do if you wanted to. Where were you looking at, out of blatant travel curiosity??

    #300319

    Victoria
    Participant

    Hello Everyone,

    I apologise for my absence, I took some time to dive into every opportunity life gave me and now its solidly three months since I broke up officially with my ex that I had been on and off with for a while. I wish I could say I am so much happier and in a better place but I am sure that I have used everything as a distraction and now things have calmed down I am in a position where I am in my own head and company again all the feelings have come back.

    I have now come to the conclusion, although I should add it is a theory and not confirmed by a doctor, that I may have been suffering from PTSD so now I feel like I broke someone’s heart on false grounds. I have also found myself entangled in a relationship with a man who is giving me everything I wanted from my past relationship, which should be filling me with excitement and joy, but instead I feel guilty and overwhelmed by his intensity, yet ironically if he wasn’t being intense then I would be complaining he doesn’t tell me his feelings.

    The thing with my ex is he loved me and my mind turned him into the enemy, now I am in a better less anxious and paranoid place, in reflection I can see how much he cared for me.

    I don’t want to mess this new guy around but neither of us can deny that we don’t have strong feelings for each other. But some days he will tell me this amazing stuff and I just think it’s rubbish or my response is just numb.

    I know I’ve done everything rather fast but I find it difficult to do feelings slow, I am simultaneously missing my ex but also angry at him but I am increasingly running out of things to be angry at him for because we both contributed to the downfall of our relationship.

    Currently I feel like I drove my ex to want attention from others because intimacy stopped. So I just think what is the point of starting a new relationship with someone else if I’m going to drive them away? Also now I am in a better place I think I could work things out with my ex, but at the same time too much has been said and happened.

    I am rather unwell this weekend so I apologise if that was a ramble.

    My last questions are:

    1.) How does one accept love from someone without feat?

    2.) How do I figure out what I actually want when one moment I want a committed relationship and next I don’t want to be around anyone.

    One last major point that may be of interest is that I view love as control. If someone tells me they love me I go into fight mode because I am waiting for them to try and change me.

    I will read a few pages back to try and catch up. Again, I apologise for my absence.

     

    – V

    #300541

    Michelle
    Participant

    Hey all,

    How’s everyone doing? Shelby, did you get away – I think this is your week off right?? Hope you are doing ok anyway, enjoying it best you can. Kkasxo, still settling in and getting ready for the family leaving?  All good here – seriously getting tempted to leave the UK again for some better weather but a decent weekend helped, found an awesome new brewery taproom just a 20 min cycle away…..oh dear….can see many sunny afternoons being spent there if we’re lucky!

    V, I’ll apologies in advance in that I don’t remember much of the detail of your past relationship apart from it was very up/down, very volatile and didn’t seem to bring you a lot of joy. Sounds like you could do with some head space for yourself for a while, let alone jumping into another relationship before ready. Your thinking on love as control is going to make it pretty much impossible for you to let anyone love you until then. Is the control thing something you got from how your parents loved you, as in if you were ‘good’ and did what they wanted, they would love you.  Or does it come from you wanting to control others if you love them, so you assume others will be the same to you.

    Like everything, half the battle is figuring out what’s at the base of it all before you can heal it and move on with a much better chance of a great relationship.

    #300555

    Shelbyville
    Participant

    Hi there,

    yes it’s my week off. I spent the weekend in the big city where my brother in law is from. My sister & him wanted to attend a family birthday party & asked if I wanted to travel over to babysit the kids in my brother in law’s home house and my sis and I could go shopping the next day. So that’s what I did!

    The babies were soooo good and I was happy to be useful and it put their parents minds at ease that I was looking after them. Also, I did it because…….surprise surprise…..can’t really sit with myself, with nothing to do.

    Im definitely sad now and hurting. I guess it was inevitable but I thought I might skip this this time round. I find myself thinking a lot more about my ex than I had been in previous weeks.

    I signed up to a dating app for a nosey, but it feels like you’re shopping for cereal and makes my tummy unsettled and just not excited or happy.

    How am I going to hand in my notice and travel? Am I mad? Will I be petrified?!!!

    Victoria,

    welcome back. Are you seeing a therapist? I really think it might help as I feel there is a lot going on in your head and heart that might need a bit of clarity. x

    #300629

    Shelbyville
    Participant

    Morning all,

    Its a little off topic, but then again who knows?! Everything could be connected! But I’m really finding the chronic pain difficult of late.

    I woke up this morning barely able to move and it’s scaring me because I fear I might be left like this. Basically if I get a bad bout it usually lasts 10-14 days and a dose of anti-inflammatories and pain killers gets me back on track.

    Its been about two months now with no improvement and it’s worrying me. I’m trying to walk each day and even went to aqua aerobics last night but it’s not helping.

    Anyway sorry for the side thread! Ye are not orthopaedic experts so don’t feel the need to reply. I’m just having a rant cos I’m a bit scared.

    I guess it’s a difficult time emotionally this past while so struggling with physical pain each day too makes everything harder. It also colours my world view, which I try not to let happen, but it really can get in on you!

    #300641

    Michelle
    Participant

    Morning Shelby,

    Nothing like active baby-sitting to distract you!!  For my 2p worth, I think it’s healthiest to get a balance of the sitting around and the actively distracting yourself. You need both I think, it’s not like you can supercharge through “getting better” just because you sit around and think about it a lot!  Likewise just ignoring it all the time means you just jump into something else without being ready. So dealing with it in bite-size chunks, that seems best way to me.  Enough to progress and deal with it, not too much so you sink down and can’t get out of the pit.  In fact, I used to make damn sure I had something to do at least one night out of the weekend, come hell or high water or whatever!

    It’s curious how the pain has got worse in your sad stage – nope, I’m defn not an orthopaedic anything but there’s some interesting research into how stress and physical pain are related, so maybe the bouts will be less severe as time does it’s thing. But I totally get if you are felling physically cr@p it’s way harder not to do the whole “why me” thing.  Hang in there, I know it’s scary – it’ll pass like the other times, it will.

    To be honest, I think a dating app would terrify me anytime, let alone when I’m in no shape of mind for anything like that. But ha, cereal shopping, like it – hmm, do I want healthy bran, good for me but dull or perhaps some childish but oh so tasty Frosties or should I go for a nice solid bowl of porridge….decisions, decisions…. seriously though, zero need to do anything you don’t feel ready for, both job/travel and relationship wise. Look at both of them as options you are investigating, when it gets scary – stop! Pick it back up when you are curious again. Try out some of the more inspiring style female travel blogs, they tend to be less about what you ‘should’ be doing, more about people doing something they love.

    Hang in there and feel free to rant away. It’s storms down here again so I’ll be stuck inside decorating today and eating a pile of bread ( went on a workshop at the weekend – awesome great fun but have about 10 loaves of bread to get through! Happy neighbours and birds….! )

    #300829

    Kkasxo
    Participant

    Hi ladies,

    Shelby – Have you been to see the dr regarding the chronic pains? Michelle does have a very good point. Our physical health is very closely linked to our mental health – scientifically proven! Being under a lot of stress or experiencing anxiety/depression can have a big impact on your health and your body will eventually respond. I can speak from experience.. I am still battling with my cystic acne (which appeared out of nowhere a few months following trauma) and my irregular cycles (which changed following trauma and had been 28 days on the dot for the last 16 years!). I remember saying to myself many times throughout the darkest times that I feel as though my body will give up on me soon enough, because I genuinely felt like my body is shutting down. I know its easier said than done, but it may be worth giving yourself a little break every now and then, even if it is just to run yourself a bath with your favourite bubble bath or reading a nice book!

    You also asked, ‘Do you remember a little while back, you didn’t feel the will or motivation to go on. Was there a catalyst that pulled you out of that or what made things change for you? You have a really good attitude now, I admire you. So clever and focused.’ There wasn’t a catalyst as such at all. I cannot actually recall a specific time in which I said to myself enough is enough and it actually worked.. I was in an extremely dark place for a long long time and actually it was my therapist who made a good point (in our last ever session last week 🙁 ) that despite being absolutely down in the gutter with no more will or energy to live, sounding like I had given up, I always attend to our sessions and spoke to her about all these new things that I keep trying to do to get better. Whether it was communicating with you ladies, going to the gym, researching and reading into mental health and psychology or simply hanging out more with family and friends, she said that in itself is strength like no other. And I never really looked at it that way at all, I always used to say as you ladies will probably recall that I’m trying everything and nothing is helping and so I am just doomed for a life full of misery. I was tired, exhausted really with absolutely no way forward. I think it really just was this underlying perseverance to get better that has brought me to where I am today.

    Now don’t get me wrong, I am no way near ‘normality’ so to speak. I think all in all things now are going to be different than they have been my entire life because I am still getting to know this new person that I have become. I still have intensely bad days, triggers and heaps of emotional ups and downs BUT I can recognise these things now and it makes it that little bit easier to deal with them there and then.. rather than ignoring them, using any and every distraction to get away from them and eventually spiralling out of control..

    Which brings me to this point, @victoria, welcome back! It is nice to hear from you again. As a fellow PTSD sufferer, the first thing that helped me is really learning about the condition and understanding it. For a long long time (before I even knew of PTSD) I legitimately thought I was just going crazy, that the trauma I had experienced had caused my mental to shatter and I would forever be broken as a result. Learning about the condition and coming across a forum, http://www.myptsd.com , and reading posts from other sufferers was like an eureka moment for me, ‘I’m not alone, I’m not isolated, and I’m really not crazy! This is normal! All of these behaviours are my brain’s way of protecting me!’ In the end (this took a long time) I accepted that I have to be thankful to my clever little mind for coming up with all these ways to protect me, my well being and my safety.. Us human beings are so damn complicated and complex but when push comes to shove we react in very similar ways, I would really recommend for you to have a little read on there and explore this concept some more!

    Michelle, nice to hear from you as always! I’m still settling in, work is sooooooooo busy at the moment but at least it keeps my days flowing! I am looking forward to the heatwave this weekend, 31 degrees in London on Saturday, say what?! We are having a housewarming party on the day too so I am really looking forward to seeing all my friends. In a sense I almost can’t believe I’m actually looking forward to it, as you may remember I had been very isolated for the last year so getting out and ACTUALLY enjoying it is all woah for me right now! Nonetheless, I’m going with it!

    #301115

    Shelbyville
    Participant

    Hi ladies,

    I’m struggling a little at the moment. Not in an end of the world sense, I can still function, but something is not right.

    I’m not happy, I’m unhappy I think, or rather I feel. Some days I feel like little old me is to small to hold everything thats going on in my head and my heart, it’s like I broke off more than I can chew. For weeks, I thought i was dealing quite well with the final breakup. I figured that since I’d been through it before and tried literally everything I could possibly think of, I was just more at ease. Well how wrong was I? I’m extremely upset. I think about it all day long every day and I do try and distract myself and catch my thoughts before they implode, but i find my mind forever wonders about him and thinks about him and focuses on what I have lost.

    I haven’t been to my therapist in a couple of weeks, because I’m trying to save money, but also I’ve been saying for a while that I feel I have plateaued. I don’t really want to start with someone new as I feel my current therapist is excellent and I massively appreciate his insight, but i don’t think anyone can sit me down and explain exactly WHY I am not getting over this.

    I didn’t get over it two years ago, I didn’t get over it last September and I’m not getting over it now. It’s super sunny and warm here this week and I’m off work and it hurts so bad because on days like this, I would live for, because we would love making the most of the weather together.

    Also I signed up to the dating app on the premise that….ok Shelby….what do you realise you want in your life? I want to be in a happy relationship and have a future with someone. So how do you plan to go about that? Sign up to a dating app. I’ve always raised my eyebrows when people complain of being lonely but literally do zero to help themselves get out of that situation. So I went ahead and joined the app. It has made me SO much worse. The weirdos who have been in contact have only succeeded in highlighting who unique and special my ex was. He was a complete and utter tool in how he acted when push came to shove but he ruined me in terms of expecting chivalry and kindness and gentleman-like before from men on a  daily basis.

    And tick tick tock…the clock never stops ticking and i just want time to slow down, because I can’t keep up. I can’t. There’s not enough time and i’m overwhelmed. (and crying again!!)

    Everything i thought i was going to have is gone. The life I thought I’d now be living doesn’t exist and never transpired. What’s left, in my view, is like the phrase – the best of a bad lot. It’s a tragic feeling when you feel the happiest days of your life are behind you.

    I would truly and honestly be in a much worse frame of mind if I did not have you guys. You are my tether from the lonely sad isolation I feel. My friends and family think I’m doing great and to all appearances, I am. I headed west for a couple of days to the sea (I have always had a special draw to the sea) and the weather was stunning, but I was lonely. I no longer get the content feeling I used to get when I travelled alone.

    I just feel adrift now, no real purpose and anything I come up with seems like a way to run away, avoid, fill a void…I don’t know. Nothing feels….right. I will NEVER contact my ex again, that man is in the dust. I have known that since our final split and yet I have been so tempted this week (I won’t don’t worry). I just never will, but the need to still be a part of his life still runs through my veins and I hate it. Why won’t it just go away and leave me in peace?

    I miss everyone this week, I miss my mum and my stepmum, I miss my old life before my ex, I miss my ex. I miss my teens, I miss my twenties. Ok girls, feel free to give up on me now, cause even I now think I’m a lost cause! x

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