Trying to deal with anxiety and loss after relationship break up

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    Morning Shelby,

    I think you’re absolutely right. External things are merely a distraction, you need to look deep inside yourself to really feel and deal with everything that is going on. And yes, again you’re right, it’s is exhausting! Excruciating even! You have to really prepare yourself for the worst case scenario. I for example was suicidal many times throughout this process. I found myself so many times with a clear choice of sit and feel the intensity of it all, which often led to spiralling into the dark place, or run and distract. Eventually I figured that for myself the distractions were no longer serving me as I became aware that no matter the distractions, I always get hit with all of the pain and sadness anyway. So I made the conscious choice to sit with it and allow it to naturally flow through, and that was probably the toughest time in my journey. I became very deeply depressed, suicidal, with a lack of energy for general life let alone socialising or anything else. But that was just my bodies response to the exhaustion of really processing everything.. Eventually after what felt like forever that eased. My feelings are there but they no longer drag me down to suicide. I have gained knowledge in how to suss out my triggers and how to deal with them and with that I gained power. I gained some sort of power over my life.

    It is really all a bloody learning curve! It’s such a process that I can’t even begin! But for me personally, the more I ran away from what I felt, the more it could’ve killed me. So I let it do what it needed to do to me at the time in hope that I’ll come out the other end and things are even just a tad bit better…. and they are.




    I’ll write this as gently as I can as I know it is triggering for you. But from everything I’ve learned about and that you have shared so openly, I wouldn’t be being honest with you if I wasn’t brave enough to speak up about what I see as the elephant in the room here, even if it will upset you.

    You believe you are deeply grieving the loss of your ex and the hopes you had for a life together. And that is absolutely true but I do not believe that is all. I believe it is also triggering the extreme loss of two incredibly important people in your young life, your Mum and your best friend/step-Mum.  I suspect you did not allow yourself to feel the huge pain at the time, way too much to handle without help. It hurt so bad it had to be contained. I suspect you may well have been brought up to manage feelings, to pull yourself together and suppress them as best as you can instead of being able to express them raw and naturally. I think the depth of those feelings scare you as to how you would ever get back to yourself.  Since those deaths you have buried feelings so deep you haven’t even known it, not known your true self. Looking to ensure they can’t hurt you, keeping you safe. The relationship with your ex was the first relationship since where you allowed yourself to feel, to hope. That feeling of panic each time you sensed it may end, that anxious attachment style – purely triggered by panicking you would have to feel something akin to those deep sense of losses which you still don’t know how to handle.

    Kkasxo has been incredibly brave in sharing her pain and how there is a way through. I know you can do the same and we’re all here to support you.  I’d love to hear you have been brave enough to return to your therapist and try that grief method he proposed – they sound like a wonderful person to help you through.

    Hugs and strength to the both of you.




    I’m actually glad you said that, because that’s exactly how I feel! The few spirals I’ve had have led me down a dark path where I consider not going on. That it’s all too much to bear. Like I said previously, it seemed too melodramatic to say I was suicidal after a break up…but now I feel a bit braver saying it because you have said it. It’s horrific. The depth of the intensity of the blackness is honestly overwhelming. When it happened last….I think maybe last Toct/Nov, I called my sister as I was in a bad way, alone. But she was away and that’s the time she said to me that she literally can’t put my feet on the ground one after another, she said I had to get up from the hole and walk out of it myself. So that day, I pulled myself off the couch and walked out the front door for a walk. So I thought that was the key, to be strong and help yourself up and out. But I don’t know, it’s all very confusing to me now. You give me some hope though.


    That element of things still hurts. I thought I had processed all that grief, but honestly my therapist consistently keeps asking me if I have really let my mum go. A couple of times he’s asked me to say statements in relation to my mum and I completely break down and beg him to talk about something else. I need to work on that I think, but I just don’t know what it will do. As in, what if it makes me worse and I become completely non-functioning. Thank you for your insight though, I don’t disagree, as I said it’s something my therapist has consistently mentioned. But if talk of her comes up, I start to get panic attacks, so we never seem to venture much further.




    There is absolutely no shame in admitting that you feel or have felt in a deeply dark place. Granted, it’s not something I ever wanted to or thought I would’ve experienced in my life but I have and that is the truth, that is my reality. Not that I am glad that I’ve experienced it, but in some way I am glad that the acceptance of it has helped someone like yourself in admitting that these things do happen to the best of us!

    I know that feeling of ‘I can’t go on’ so well now and it is a terrifying place to be.

    Having a little read through your response to Michelle, the panic attacks around conversations about your mum, the avoidance, what if it makes you worse? The ‘i beg him to talk about something else’… Shelby, that was me in a nutshell. Grief and loss of a loved one does that.. I did exactly the same when it came to my trauma. Literally, exactly the same. I would avoid any conversation, thought, anything because I knew it hurt too much.. I couldn’t bare to live with it, I couldn’t bare to even try to move on and so I distracted myself. For a while even, I felt like I had no right to try and work through the pain. It is SUPPOSED to hurt, it DOES hurt, how can I even dare to try to get ‘over’ this?! It is not right to attempt to live as though nothing ever happened.. But that attitude did more damage than good.

    I think the only difference here is the therapy I attended was very much entirely directed at the kind of trauma I had endured and therefore I had no choice but to go in there and pour my soul and grief on the table, no matter how difficult that was. The thing with grief is that it comes in waves. And I don’t really think that it is ever something that we will just ‘get over’ or ‘move on from’.. rather it is just something that you learn to live with. I know i’ll never forget or get over my loss. I know that, I have accepted that. Grief leaves a little hole in your heart and soul for the rest of your days, but as time goes on your heart becomes filled with other little things in life that make the pain a little less excruciating…

    I know it is extremely difficult and you have to do what you feel is best for you at all times but I do think that you have concluded yourself in that last post that this is an area in your life that requires emotional work… And whilst it isn’t going to be easy, as and when you decide to re-visit this, please know that I will be here every step of the way because I understand.

    Sending you big big big hugs today! xx




    Thanks so much for your kind words and advice! It’s like you’ve gone inside my head! I do hold a belief or feeling that if I don’t feel excrutiating pain and loss at the thought of both my mum and step mum, that I’m doing them a disservice. That I’m being disrespectful. Because they mattered. I don’t want life to move on as if they never mattered.

    Anyways, sorry have to sign off for the moment, I’m at work and getting very emotional, so I’ll be back again later. x



    Morning Shelby,

    I’m sorry to hear that it all got a little too much for you yesterday… although I completely understand.

    I hope you’re feeling a little better today x



    Hi Shelby,

    Sorry for not being more thoughtful you were at work, hope you are ok now. Thought I had better wait to the weekend before writing again.

    As ever, you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. Hoped it may help you understand better why you are finding it so hard and help give you a way forwards, when you are ready, if you are ready.

    You don’t need me to tell you that letting go of the extreme pain would not be disrespectful, nor in any way, shape or form meaning they didn’t matter. Ofcourse they mattered, they always will. It’ll sound trite but the best way to honour their memory is remembering the happy times together, to be glad of the time shared and that you had such love in your life.

    I’m sorry for upsetting you, trust you understand why. Take care.



    Hi ladies,

    Hope you’re all enjoying your bank holiday weekend!

    Emotions are running high for me since a little while back but for some reason cannot shift them again the last few days. I am on the verge of tears at anything and everything. I’m simply not happy with my life..

    I think it’s safe to say that that good old cry is definitely needed! That might be the plan for tonight then!

    Shelby, I hope you’re okay!



    Hey Kkasxo,

    Ah, I’m sorry…..that’s no way to enjoy the rare event that is a sunny bank holiday in the UK…..

    All good here, visited parents today before heading out to Andalucia on Weds. Had a bit of an upset with my sister – my whole family are a bit emotionally up/down and can be hard work – but all good now. Had a bit of a weird moment out on our bikes when we got stopped/diverted by a fatal cycle accident – one of those there but by the grace of type things. Not that I’m religious but it was odd as a number of things stopped us setting out when planned which meant we missed the accident timing. Always a slightly surreal feeling.

    You will be ok, I just know it. You just need to gather the strength for the next phase. Indulge your feelings, sofa, netflix, snacks…….hide from the world and recuperate until you are ready.

    Take care both.



    Hi there!

    Sorry for the delay. Time ran away from me again. Things are difficult. Stuff is hard. Self awareness is hell. That’s what I’m feeling lately, but I live in the hope that it’s worth it. That happiness is a possibility too, so I trudge on.


    I’m not overly religious myself but I have long since found and felt that disaster has been avoided for many because of a flat tyre or forgetting keys or missing flights. So tragic for the loved ones of the person who died. I am glad you are still here to tell the tale but it can be a shock experience.

    Thank you for your advice about grief, it really is something I am hoping to work on further. In one way, a sick part of me hopes that’s exactly what’s wrong with me. That that would explain the devastation I have felt at losing my ex, my extreme reactions etc. I’d love to be able to have a eureka moment. But who knows.


    Remember what I said previously about emotions….from the Latin word which basically means, express outward. I think you have to continually keep doing it, even if therapy sessions have ended, even if your relationship is on steadier ground than when you were in a spiral. Everything must come out. So let it out. Here, if you want to, or to family, friends, Mr.A, your journal, the air, whatever way you need to.

    I know for me, hormones play a huge part in my ups and downs so I really have been telling myself lately that ‘this too shall pass’ and it usually does. I’m a bit anxious and panicky this evening (actually probably due to other people’s input into my life), but yesterday on a walk, I registered that I could not say I was unbearably sad. I have only felt that one sentence to be true the past year, on and off but the overriding response to the question ‘how are you?’, one I’d ask myself regularly. But on Saturday I felt I couldn’t justifiably day I was extremely sad as before. I had to admit, I am kind of neutral or maybe I don’t know the exact description yet, but it seems things do change, even if only sporadically.

    Feel whatever you need to and make no apologies. x



    How is everyone today?


    I must say I’m pretty exhausted, anxiety in the form of a twisty tummy has been keeping me awake at night lately.

    I was quite happy about my decision to leave work and my travel plans, but people are asking questions about my plans for after and while I’m shrugging and saying I’ll figure it out, deep down it must be seeping in, because the anxiety is rising lately.

    It’s annoying, I hate that I can’t control when or if the anxiety comes and it just bores into or out of me.

    How are you doing?



    Morning all,

    I do think that hormones are definitely partly to blame for the recent shift in mood.

    But I do also acknowledge that I may be more emotional as I am becoming more aware of who I am as this new person and what my wants/dreams/goals are and how I am becoming less and less patient or able to wait for them to come true.

    I am finding that whilst normally it is Mr A that shifts serious conversations into lighter ones, now it is me. Because I simply find it way too upsetting to speak of the hypothetical future with him so I prefer to change the subject immediately. One of the examples is that his younger sister (21) has been dating someone for the last year or so. Now in their culture there is immense pressure on the girls to marry off etc. So when seriously dating someone the guy is expected to come in to meet with the family and express serious interest via a promise ring as such which essentially means that he is serious and is intending to marry their daughter. With that in mind, I am aware that she will get married in the next couple of years (I’m literally talking 2/3 years tops!).

    What’s upsetting is that whilst there is all this pressure on the girls, it just isn’t the same for the boys! In fact, its quite the opposite! Mr A’s brother, has been with his girlfriend for 20+ years, with two children, two homes and unmarried! Because he’s never had too… and she is english so there isn’t any cultural pressure there to get married!

    Mr A is the same.. oh ‘one day’ I would love to get married! But the point I am making to him is WHY is it acceptable for your sisters to be guaranteed a married life with whoever they date because naturally their families want to know that the guy is taking their relationship seriously, and yet we are nearing on four years deep into this and you’re hypothetically talking about the future? Where is the ‘serious’ from you?! Why does your mother expect security for her daughters but would advise you against providing any security to the woman that you are with?! Seriously, it makes 0 sense to me and it makes me super angry!

    Anyway though, I don’t really know why I expected any different eh, I’ve been around this strange family for too long to expect any different, rant over.

    I am currently sweating my a** off at work in this heat and absolutely cannot wait to go home! How are you doing today Shelby? Anxiety is a real pain in the back side but try to breathe through it!



    Hi Kkasxo,

    I completely understand your anger and frustration. IT IS frustrating, but unlikely something you can change. My brother said to me the other day…’What are we going to do for four sundays for someone to make us dinner’ and ‘who will look after Dad when you are gone’….now I can explain until I#m blue in the face that it’s not solely my responsibility and he has equal responsibility, but he will NEVER get it. It ends up in a screaming match. He sees it as my/woman’s job and that’s just what he believes. Equally you can try and compare Mr.A and his sister to him, but the fact is, the emphasis is NOT on men in his culture, only on the daughters, so he’s unlikely to see how it should affect him when no-one from his background sees it that way and he has never seen it that way before. So it is what it is I guess.

    The resentment will continue to grow though I think, it’s honestly something that does not go away unless some serious hard and progressive work is done by both parties. That’s not to say that’s not a possibility, it is. But I think it’s the only way to move forward happy in the relationship at least.

    I’m have a meh week. My friend near London has really been flaking on responses to communication and I’m hurt by it. She has a busy life with kids, I completely understand that, but that has never stopped her communicating in the past, even briefly. I have always felt it’s disrespectful to anyone you care about to not respond, even at the very least to indicate you are swamped and will be in touch soon. It makes me question a lot and she’s not the only friend who has failed to respond to a text with a question recently.

    Growth is supposed to be for the better so why does it feel like I’m ending up sad and hurt with a lot less friends?


    S x



    Yeah it’s definitely not fair that the expectation for you to look after your dad is 100% on you… I suppose though it is what everyone is used to so it’s hard for them to see any alternatives at the moment.

    I think that’s where the whole ‘learning curve’ comes in to learn to put ourselves first sometimes.. as tough as it may be.

    I understand the frustration around your friendships, I’m feeling a little bit like that myself too. Since all the happenings of last year I very much secluded myself from everyone, and despite being the biggest social butterfly a lot of people hadn’t even noticed I was gone for near enough a year! I mean what does that say about my friendships?!

    and now, I easily fall back into my isolated ways although now I know they don’t serve me in the long run. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE me some alone time when I have a lot on but I purposefully try to get myself out of the house so to not fall back into old habits and even then it proves difficult because everyone is tied up with their own lives. I suppose that’s just the way it goes? Who knows..

    it is what it is.

    I do still think you’re extremely brave to be taking on the travel plans by yourself! Honestly, I couldn’t admire you more for it! I do believe it will be such a soul searching experience and I cannot wait to hear about all of your adventures. I am happy for you that you have taken this leap into the unknown and are diving into it head first, fear or no fear. It’s the definition of brave. So whilst people have their two cents and opinions, just remember that sometimes you have to look after YOU first before you can look after anyone else.




    Ive been trying to look at my friendships. Really look at them. I can’t believe that they were fake or superficial, yet I do feel a little abandoned or respected less than I’d like, lately.

    But to my friends, these friendships are very real. I know that. They’re good people. It’s just I facilitated the friendships 80% perhaps and like my family, they got used to it. When I pulled back to 50% they didn’t rush to make up the 30%. They have busy lives, which is fair enough. But I guess, I have to accept that the more I put myself first, maybe the more alone I might feel. Perhaps I was trying to fill something, but have to accept more loneliness once and for all.

    Having said that, I can really identify some truly deep good friends too, so it’s spurred me to make more of an effort with them.

    The guy who kinda asked me out but didn’t ask me out but wants to be friends, is still in the background. It’s just a bit of a distraction for me I guess, but I hate that I feel he’s controlling the interactions. I do not want to play into his hands! But I guess distraction is just that.

    How are you feeling? Still exercising? Are things any better with Mr.A?

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