Trying to deal with anxiety and loss after relationship break up

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    Morning Shelby,

    You have been getting yourself into a right proper wallowing eh 😉  You know we aren’t going to give up on you as we believe in you, even when you don’t believe in yourself – so sorry, you’ll have to put up with us a bit longer yet….

    Like any habit, it just takes an irritating amount of time for our dumb ole brains to catch up that things have changed, especially when we didn’t want them to. So yeah, everything feels just “wrong” for a while and yeah, you just have to sit with it if you want to come out the other side.  But you do have to remember it’s just another temporary feeling. Some people do get stuck for a long, long, time – unwilling to let the past go, clinging on to a reality that doesn’t and didn’t exist.

    And honestly, why are you torturing yourself with that dating site…..I had exactly that after my split, all the guys I met were just not a patch on ‘him’.  The people I know who’ve found their partners through dating sites were all excited about doing it – there is literally no point in even trying yet until it seems like an interesting possibility to you, not a “I must do this else I’ll be left on the proverbial shelf of life”.

    If it makes you smile – I thought exactly the same and I was what, 24, 25 at the time. But I was convinced my life was over, I’d had all the “good stuff”, better just put my head down and get on with a non life. I mean, how crazy is that!! Especially now, knowing it was just plain rubbish and life just got better and better – eventually.  But at the time, absolutely convinced I may well as well devote my life to helping others as nothing good was out there for me. Not helped by the tiny village I grew up in and my family history, where if you weren’t married with three kids by then, you were way behind, even if you were a rocket scientist and had visited every country or whatever!

    Reality is what it is. There is actually one difference to this split from your previous splits you know – it’s the first time you’ve talked at all about accepting it’s over. Before you have always been convinced you will get back together, just a matter of time until you caved into contacting him. But whatever he did/said to finish it this time, your posts are just different to before. Which means something has changed, you have progressed even though it doesn’t feel like it and so the outcome will be different this time.

    I know you’ve had a lot of loss in your life and that’s tough.  And I know it’s tough to give up on what was your imagined future – but that’s all it was, imagined. Same as the bleak one you are imagining now. Nobody knows what’s in store for us,  so you may as well try and imagine a great future!

    It is likewise going to be an amazing sunshine weekend here – so let’s all make the most of it, best we can. Kkasxo, have an awesome party, get you eh! Shelby, just get outside best you can with your back and soak it up with a glass of wine and a good book – feeling sad is normal and a necessary part – but not so much the thinking and worrying about what may or may not be. Easier said than done I know!

    Take care both.




    Thanks so much. I went for a walk this morning and tried to tell myself these feelings are temporary, like I have done to many friends who have found themselves at their wits end sometimes. I realise how hard it is. You feel like a bit of an idiot. I was saying, ok Shelby, you’re sad and hurt but it’s temporary and will change and I felt like I knew I was lying a didn’t really believe it.

    I met my cousin/friend for lunch for her birthday today and that distracted me a little. I think I’ll go visit my nephews later and bake cupcakes with them. I’m just no good on my own. The emotions overwhelm me and I feel the worst of the worst and do see a point to my life at all. I would LOVE to be content on my own, but it’s something that’s not coming easy….or at all actually.

    It’s funny you mention that about the dating site, I deleted it last night and already feel a bit better. it wasn’t making me feel good, just more sad and pessimistic. And creeped out if I’m completely honest! I truly believe that I might not be as upset and worried if it were not for my age. It was only in a  relationship with him that I discovered I wanted children and now I’m left with this knowledge and no prospect of it happening at nearly 37. It’s frustrating, if only I could have realised a lot of things in my early 20s.

    You’re right Michelle, something was different this time. Previously I felt it was ambiguous. He wanted me but not everything else and it was all so complicated for him bla bla bla. I wanted to support him to achieve a happy life with me. This time, he does not want to be with me. He prefers to be alone. That makes him happier apparently. If he continued to be with me he feared he might end up ‘resenting me’. ME!!!! I’m sorry, but desperate and hurt and sad and lonely as I am…..I’m not going make a complete mug of myself going to try again with a guy who simply does not want to be with me. It’s so hurtful, but there it is.

    The past few weeks I’m realising were probably denial. Because the hurt and anger are filtering in a lot more more. That’s the process I suppose. While it’s been tough having a lot of time to think this week, being off work, I have to say I’m not missing my workplace one single bit. I like not working there. Having said that I’m getting holiday pay, it’s a different experience when you’re not working with a company because you’re unemployed with no wage coming in!


    Given you experience previously which mirrors some of my experience, what would your recommend as my next step? As I mentioned before, I’m adrift, I don’t know where to go or what to do!

    As for Kkasxo…..could you believe 6 months ago you would be throwing a house warming party with your boyf?!! Madness, but I’m so happy for you and I hope you have the BEST time this weekend!

    Has the weather improved where you are Michelle?



    New user here; and here because I cannot turn to anyone else. My ex was my best friend. He was everything to me and… as stupid as it sounds, I don’t want to admit to friends and family that he broke my heart for the simple fact that I hope he changes his mind, and should that happen I don’t want them to think bad of him or see him differently.


    He he broke up with me because he says that he’s unhappy with his life. That he couldn’t stand seeing me happy and him taking out his frustrations on me. To be honest, I have been his punching bag. I let him take out all of his negative feelings on me, and I did it with a smile, just because I loved him. And in the end, he still decided life would be easier without me, because then he wouldn’t have to worry about hurting me. Did he ever love me? Was it all a lie simply because I was good to him, gave him a place to live, and literally took care of everything for him? After two years he’s decided that I no longer fit into his plans. I haven’t spoken to him in two days and it’s been the worst two days of my life. I missed work, I never miss work, and I’ve been a disaster. I can’t eat, I can’t sleep, and I keep wondering if he met someone knew and just didn’t have the courage to tell me. He said he loved me, even called me his future wife, but now this. He’s abandoned me. He told me that I’d be okay, I’d be happier without him. And that if I think him leaving me would be easy for him, then I would be wrong. But he did it. He left, and I’m here. Alone, feeling worthless, and completely broken. I feel like giving up; but I read somewhere that when you’re down and out to look at your feet. Look at your feet to remind yourself that you’re still standing. I did that, but it’s still torture. I’m broken, and feel like nothing will ever help me. My happiness is gone, I’m so hurt.



    Hi Natalie,

    Im so sorry. All I can say is that I know exactly how you feel. I know exactly what that pain is like. Your heart is broken. I can imagine what those two days have been like for you.

    Bust you lasted two days, horrific as they may have been….can you last two more? Can you survive until Sunday?

    If you have any strength left in you, though I know you’re in pieces, could you manage in those two days to also refrain from communication?

    You’re not alone in your feelings. I and others on here truly empathise and understand what you’re going through. Reach out whenever you need.



    Morning Shelby,

    Well, look at it this way – at least with him telling you that, you have finally found the point where enough’s enough and your self-respect has kicked in, alive and breathing still! Absolutely right too.

    Ha, yeah, you do feel stupid doing it right and it does feel totally false the whole talking to yourself and saying it’ll pass but you know what, keep with it and like any habit, it starts to feel more right than the old behavior. I’m very glad to hear you have deleted the dating website, not the right time/place at all and I can imagine all too easily how creepy it could be! It would be funny if it wasn’t quite so sad, if you know what I mean.

    Hmm, what would I recommend. How about I just describe what worked for me and you see what feels right for you?  If I look back, there were three main things that got me through.

    First, getting the right balance between time alone and time being distracted. Since I’d become very isolated from friends/family I put a lot ( and I mean a lot! ) of effort into rebuilding old and making new friends,  making sure I had something to do, somewhere to go be with people regularly. It was hard both as a natural introvert and as the opposite of what I wanted to do, which was curl up and cry in bed. But like you, if left alone for too long, I’d get stuck in a downward spiral and not able to get out of it by myself.  Gradually I was able to be by myself for longer and longer without getting sucked down and able to kick myself out of it. But not at the start for sure.  I know people say sit with it, but I think you have to be pragmatic and work out a balance else you just get stuck if you’re not ready for it.

    Second, was really starting to take care of myself again, something else I’d let go badly. So eating better and the big one for me, exercising – something I’d never really done before!  It ended up being the best way of learning to be ok by myself, as the physical activity distracted my brain enough ( plus the panting and gasping for breath! 😉 ) . Not only was it a great stress reliever, as I got fitter, I felt much better about myself again, could see men noticing me in a different way again. Now I know it shouldn’t matter and it was really all about confidence, not looks but at that point, it was another boost I really needed to my severely kicked self-esteem, helping deal with the rejection.

    Third – and this one was the hardest I think – I was absolutely determined to remain “open to life”, it became my daily mantra ( even though I didn’t actually know what a mantra was! ) I’ll try to explain it better….  The easiest thing for me would have been to hide from the world, to keep myself safe from ever going through anything like this again. To not try anything new, not make new friends, find a place to live, sort out my new job. The temptation was huge to run from it all, too much to cope with, better to stay with my parents and hide, accept my lot.  But instead, I just slowly tackled each one – and only one! Small steps but consistently forwards, saying yes to things I wanted in my life and no to things that didn’t help.

    So instead of worrying about if/when/how you’ll meet anybody to have a family with, focus on much shorter, achievable goals. Things you can actually do something about. How about starting with your job – you know you don’t like it and there are many ways to change that, including quitting but many others too.

    Hope it helps – seriously, I know you feel the pressure is on because of the kids thing – but try to let that go, there are many many ways you can have a family, if that ends up still being what you want – I found it changed a lot once I let go of family/society expectations. No point in having regrets about not having realised sooner either, you couldn’t have known any sooner, it was only when you were in that relationship that you felt it. Look at it as that’s why you had to go through that experience to figure it out, that’s all.



    And hi Natalie, welcome.

    Yeah, if you read our back stories way back on here, we’ve all gone through the same thing and it hurts like hell, worse than anything you think you can cope with. Literally every day I’d wake up and for a few mins would think it was all ok and then I’d remember and it’d come crashing back down on me.

    The first thing is to tell other people what’s going on so they can be there for you. I know you don’t want to do this because you want him to remain “good” in their eyes if you get back together – and also because if you tell people it’s part of accepting it is real, something you are going to have to deal with. You need the support of everyone who loves you right now, reach out to them, even if you just describe it as a bad row/time apart for now.

    Take care, it’s a tough, horrible time, look after yourself.



    Thanks Michelle,

    Your three points were clear and concise and to the point and very useful. I managed to read the first two in a very curious and logical way and took them on board, tweaking them to apply to my own feelings/personality etc.

    When I read the third point, the flipping waterworks started again! I’m a ball of emotions these days! In fairness, i know my hormones have contributed to the weepiness this week but it’s the memories that choking me at the moment. Memories are seeping back in like someone who had temporary memory loss and bit by bit memories start filtering back in and instead of being a medical marvel and wonderful return to a healthy mind, my memories are serving as slowly torturous knives that either pierce my heart or my stomach at any given moment.

    I’m doing my best to breathe and feel the pain like all the advice suggests, so as to release it, but honestly there are a LOT of moments like that, I can’t give in to them all the time or I really won’t get out of bed.

    I’ve started on the exercise, I’m trying to do a 4km walk each day…also to help with the chronic pain too. At least once a week I am going to aqua aerobics and now I’m considering gentle yoga and mindfulness on Thursday evenings.

    I was so sad yesterday I drove to me sisters house and spent the evening with her family which was lovely and a complete distraction and she was glad of the help because she had had a worse for wear night at  staff party the evening before!

    Today I wanted to hop in my car and visit them again or perhaps try my other sister, but I forced myself to stay home. Cleaned the house and sat outside and read a magazine and made dinner etc and just did bits and pieces. Tomorrow morning I’m having a spa treatment with one of my best friends and tomorrow night a few friends from work are going to a gig where a friend of ours is playing, so I’m trying to do things. Also, I’m trying to lose weight to feel better about myself, my sister is doing it with me….but honestly….could I have PICKED a worse weekend to avoid chocolate with hormones and cramps and a severe overwhelming need for chocolate! But I’ll persevere.

    To be honest I’d love to say self respect kicked in after what he said and that’s now why it’s different this time and i can’t go back. But really what it is is that I feel he would think nothing of me for returning. HE would possibly pity me, or it would be extremely, unattractive to him to try and woo him back, therefore that’s why I don’t do it. I still have him on the pedestal in some ways and feel I’m the one losing out, so therefore I would appear weak returning again and that’s attractive to no-one.

    My problem now is that I can’t shy away from myself, I can’t shy away from the world and just stay at home because now I know too much. That may have satisfied me before, but not now. But I’m stuck in limbo because I realise staying put and doing nothing is not making me happy but I can’t see anything in the future that would make me happy either. So…rock….hard place! I can’t figure out how…or if it’s possible….to feel happy. x




    Ha, oh well – what is it they say, 2 out of 3 ain’t bad?!

    Glad some of it helped and sounds like you are on a good road forwards, now just the irritating waiting for time to do it’s thing…honestly, just splitting up the time alone and exercise was a big thing, let’s see how it goes ( now have one small square and put the chocolate back in the box…! )

    Don’t worry about the pedastal thing. I had mine on there for a fair while after the split, took a long time to be able to see him truly and not just my memorised, happy version.  And I don’t mean that I suddenly saw him as a bad person which made it all easy/simple to move on, just that I was able to see the good and the bad, I stopped idolising him. Also accepted the truth that he didn’t want me which hurt like hell. And yeah, for a long time ( say 3 – 6 months ) if he’d come back wanting me again I’d likely have given it a go, though now I shudder at the idea!!

    It’s another place I’ve seen a lot of friends get stuck at but the pedastal thing does go when it’s ready – I know it doesn’t feel like it but all those memories and feelings piling through, it’s a good thing, means you feel ready to start processing them.  Just do it, bit at a time and then give yourself a break, there is after all a natural limit to chocolate’s powers 😉

    Rock/hard place, I get it. It is damn annoying isn’t it once you are aware enough so that you can’t bury your head and ignore it, like so many others can do!  You’ll figure it out and you will be happy, just can’t force it.  A really good way of figuring out what makes you happy is to do the opposite, take things out of your life that make you unhappy.

    Gig sounds great, I love live music. Was at one of my favourite brewery tap rooms yesterday, straw bales, bands, cheap beer, sunshine – heaven! Their daughter has just come back from 3 months travelling on her own round Asia so was fun to chat over the places we’d both been to, totally made me want to start booking my flights! Off for a night out in the city today which should be likewise fun, always have a good time wandering round. Be back late on Monday, catch up then.

    PS – How hungover do we think Kkasxo is post party…..?! Hope it went well!



    Hi ladies,

    Hangover is absolutely an understatement! I thought I died a little on Sunday morning but all in all the party was actually really nice. I loved seeing all my friends, considering it’s been such a long time since I had everyone around me!

    Shelby, it breaks my heart reading your last few posts. It breaks my heart because I feel like you may be feeling a little how I felt just a few short months ago. Granted, probably not on the verge of suicide etc but just generally down and unable to see the light. I promise you that WILL pass. I remember at one point you promised me it would, and it has. Now it’s my turn to promise you the same. I’m not going to sit here and rant on about getting out there or distracting yourself or having new hobbies etc because I know from personal experience that sometimes you just need to let it be. Yes it’s not ideal to sit at home, isolated and wallowing in self pity BUT sometimes that is simply the way it is. I was isolated from everyone for a loooooong long time and some may say it was by choice, to me it felt like I had no other choice because human interaction was just too exhausting for me. I think right now being kind to yourself is the best thing that you can do. Whatever it may be. Remember at one point not that long ago my happiest moments were going out to Tesco and forking our £6 just so I can enjoy a nice coffee in the morning? That’s exactly what I mean. Anything, any tiny little thing that can bring you even just a moment of happiness in the day. Sometimes you literally just have to get by and let this moment pass without trying to overwhelm yourself with what you think you should be doing/feeling.

    Also, feels so weird when you girls say boyfriend. It really doesn’t feel that way. Things are 100% still extremely different between us and frankly I don’t think they’ll ever be the same. With that in mind, will we actually last/work? Doubt it. Sometimes I ponder on the idea of ‘the damage has been done’. Nonetheless it is what it is for the time being and what will be will be. I’ve come such a long way in this journey that I’m just so focused on me, my well being, my boundaries, my health and happiness that I can’t even find the energy to focus on anything else.

    As I always say, one day this will all make sense.

    I hope you both have got to enjoy the beautiful sunshine the recent days!

    I’ll check in again tomorrow xxxx



    Morning both,

    Nicely done Kkasxo – so glad it all went well, even if you did suffer the day after 😉   It is just so good as well to hear you talking about your healthy boundaries and seeing things clearly for what they are, without worrying (too much! ) about what you think/hope they should be – it’s like a lightbulb has gone on in you, it’s clicked and you are glowing. So happy to hear it and however it works out or not with Mr A, I know you are going to be ok either way.

    Shelby – guessing you are back at work – hope it wasn’t too hectic right from the off. How’d the gig go? Did you manage to get through the rest of the week any better?

    Both – hasn’t it been great to have some sun here finally, had really been starting to get itchy travelling feet again!



    Hi Michelle,

    Aww thank you as always for your kind words! Yes it does definitely feel like a light bulb has gone, I mean don’t get me wrong I don’t doubt that when/if the time comes for us to part ways it’ll still be a painful experience BUT one I feel I am definitely better prepared for. With all the goings on of the last year, hitting rock bottom, extensive therapy and research and all the self work that I continue doing I just know I’ll be okay either way. I have lived through the toughest time of my life so far, I have survived despite not necessarily wanting to for a long time and with that alone I know I can and will get through anything that life throws at me. (Reminder to myself to re-read this exact post when sh*t hits the fan hehe!)

    The sun has been lovely! Definitely right there with you with the itchy travelling feet for sure. I don’t know if I’ll be able to afford a holiday this year but I’m spending a lot of my evenings nowadays looking at beautiful locations and just fantasising about my next getaway. I’m hoping to  try and squeeze something in towards the end of the year, even if it is cheap and cheerful!

    You got any new and exciting travel plans coming up?

    Shelby, looking forward to hearing from you as always x



    Hi ladies,

    Yes I’m back at work and the routine is definitely stabilising my mood. On the other hand it worries me that I can’t seem to function well when I have any time off. I’m still sad, but I went to see my therapist on Monday. It helped I think. If for no other reason but it being someone I could vent to. I cried…..a lot. I nearly had a panic attack in the session when he informed me that he had been in intensive care last week after surgery and in fact I was the only client he was seeing on Monday! My empathy is getting out of control. I can’t just care deeply about everyone I meet, my heart will bleed out onto the floor! He laughed and said he appreciated my concern as it’s one of the reasons the world is a better place to have me, but I don’t feel like that.

    I must be where you were Kkasxo. I feel no light at the end of the tunnel and feel my life is kinda done now. No real point to it much anymore, except to be there for my family because it would hurt them too much if I was gone. But the golden opportunity part of my life has passed and I can’t seem to shift that frame of mind at the moment.

    I can’t stand the hurt, it’s so excrutiating. The memories are just little stabs, I just wish I could remove that part of my memory as if it never happened!

    The nice weather used to make me so happy but this past while it seems it is there to taunt me, I wish I was doing something with my special someone. Anyway, the gig was good and Im glad I went, I enjoyed it and my friend really appreciated us going. I have a hen party this weekend- dread – but I’m not drinking, so I can at least drive there and drive home when I feel like it.

    Kkasxo, I’m so glad your party went well and that things are looking bright for you, whatever the future might hold. You’re looking after yourself and that can only mean good things!

    Michelle, I hope you had fun in the city and are planning some more wonderful and exciting trips. I have no clue what my travels plans are, if any. I suppose I really should start knuckling down! x



    Morning both,

    Bang on Kkasxo, absolutely – mark that post for later. That’s exactly how I eventually looked at it all, as if I can survive what I thought at the time was the worst thing that could happen in my life, I can get through whatever else life throws at me, even though it’ll be painful still. To me, that’s why expecting all the meditation/self-help etc to be a constant life of bliss is so mis-guided for so many – it’s way more about the sense of calm you get inside, trusting yourself to be ok, enough – not looking to external things or people to either validate you or make you feel better. To me anyway.

    Shelby m’dear – a sober hen night – now that is my nightmare! Kudos to you for going to it, especially as I imagine being surrounded by happy people celebrating upcoming wedding is pretty much your nightmare right now, so yeah. show your face and then scarper!  Good to hear you enjoyed the gig – the power of music never to be underrated. Don’t worry, being by yourself and getting used to being ok and actually looking forwards to it is just something else that takes practice. It must be harder for you since you have very few people who know you are recently split again – I spent most of the first month or two ranting at anyone who would listen – so carry on ranting here when you need it!

    If it helps – I was sent some return flight deals to Oz for £420 the other day, so prices are looking good for flights in general. So good, I’m already researching our next trip….both the big one in Jan/Mar and perhaps sneaking something in before South Africa in Sept, we shall see what the budget allows. It’s amazing how much cheaper travel is to organise yourself though and since I love doing it – win/win for me!

    I also found this blog which had some good pages on Vietnam/Thailand for me – but I thought of you when reading it and guess what – found this page which I thought might help inspire you a little…..




    P.S Hope you both had/have a great weekend……..just started raining again here……hmm…..did I mention bargain flights to sunny places…..hope you got a chance to check out Kate’s blog above, she really does have some inspiring reads…

    One thing I thought I would share as it hit me hard yesterday. Was away visiting my in-laws and we went with them round to some more elderly relations for the evening out ( yeah, rock’n’roll stuff in your forties on a Friday night but hey, I love them so all good 🙂 ) . Was sitting there telling them about our recent travels and future plans, really hit me how everything they shared was fond memories, a life liven, nothing much ahead.  Really brought home how glad I am to have taken the leap and ( a balanced.. )  risk to quit a ‘normal’ life and now adding so many future memories of our own. You always think you have time but you know what – sometimes you just have to get on with it and do it.  Seriously, both, make the most of the years you have, don’t put up with just “ok”. Things have a habit of working out just fine.

    Hope you are both having a good one.



    Afternoon both,

    Michelle you hit the nail on the head with the reference to time there. Shelby, like yourself I had to attend one of them ‘life’ events myself this weekend. We had a wedding yesterday and it was gorgeous and I even got quite teary at one point with my mind in full overdrive about how much I thought my life would’ve been different at this point, about how much i’d love to be walking down the isle looking like a princess in my white dress, seeing men with their wives speaking with absolute pride and honour and there I was.. 4 years in, with no sign of anything like that on the horizon with Mr A and it put me in a very foul mood. Resulted in us arguing and actually having a deep chat about me feeling unsure etc.

    I actually journaled last night (something I promised myself to do as and when my emotions/feelings are running a little high and I’m struggling to process) and it helps once you’ve had a few hours away BUT it’s sad to read back knowing I don’t feel that he is the man I want to marry. How sad is that girls?! This man who I’ve been so utterly in love with is not the same man I can picture myself marrying.

    Nonetheless, the need to try and ‘control’ the situation is obviously getting the best of me at the moment and I need to take a step back and remind myself that not all things are in my control. It kinda brings me back to the idea of time and not settling for just ‘ok’ like you said Michelle. This is ‘ok’, we’re fine, we’re getting along etc but it’s just okay. It isn’t amazing, and I know it can be because I’ve had it before with him and it’s something I know I can have and refuse to settle until I have that again mr A or no Mr A. It’s what I deserve.

    We all knew the move was going to be a make or break, so let’s see what actually happens but I’ve got my bets on one more than the other.

    Shelby, I hope you got through your hen night okay and it wasn’t too exhausting for you, the wedding for me definitely was!

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