New here and lost, losing control of my life as things get worse and no idea what will help

Hey guys,

I'm new here, but I can't deal with my problems on my own anymore. Long story short, early last year my best friend at the time (now he's my boyfriend) got sick. As in catching the flu, MRSA, and 2 types of pneumonia at once, needing a ventilator and placed in ICU for 8 weeks, and almost on life support at one point type sick. It didn't start out all like that all at once, if it did and he got out sooner I'm sure I wouldn't have the problems I do now. Anyways I started out just worried (best friend was in the hospital after all), but almost day after day all I heard was how he kept getting worse or how the meds weren't working right or how something even worse was added on on top of all he had to deal with, even by texting him every chance I got to help keep his spirits up I could tell he was faring pretty bad. There were several times neither he nor the doctors thought he would survive (his mom saying "God will save him" really scared me, since when do mothers become that desperate and scared?) so friends, trust me when I say 'worried sick' is a real thing. It stressed me out bad, on top of homework and finals and all kinds of other issues I had to deal with. He eventually got better thanks to prayers and support, and he's generally in good health now, so I thought my problems were over with. I mean, the only time I ever found a trigger was when I saw a photo of him in the hospital room on Facebook and how bad a shape he was really in (this was a few weeks after he was back home). After that I rarely had any memories bug me, but starting last month things started getting really bad. I keep thinking 'what if this happened' or 'this could've been real' or 'I could've lost him' out of nowhere. The last few weeks my mind has started making random associations that somehow connect to him being sick (they don't make sense, but if examples are needed I can give them later). The worst part, however, is how these thoughts make me feel: nauseous, worried, scared, and helpless again; it gets hard to breathe, my mind goes fuzzy, and I try not to throw up or cry (especially since most of the time these episodes happen in class or around others).

I'm not sure if this is PTSD or some other panic disorder, as I've never heard of someone's loved ones getting PTSD instead of the person who suffered the illness or harm, but many of the symptoms for both it I have in common, especially concerning triggers (which scares me, because I either won't know they're triggers until it's too late, or they won't affect me every time (50/50 chance)). I haven't been able to find a doctor or therapist yet to ask them, and a group therapy thing at my school doesn't start until January, assuming it will even help. I'm worried I'm losing control over my mind as these associations cause self-triggers more and more often, and I can't shut the negative thoughts or physical reactions (i.e. nausea and lack of energy) out anymore. It's hard to be happy for long, and as my mind tends to wander and I'm a natural introvert, I've been keeping busy lately instead of thinking randomly like normal because I'm scared I'll set my mind through another loop of despair on accident. Again, sorry for the long post, but it's hard to tell a story without telling all of it. I just wish I could find actually helpful support, I don't have too many ideas of what to do next anymore and things are getting worse.

6 Replies

  • Please don't apologize for the long post, we all do it. As you say sometimes it takes a lot to explain how you're feeling. I'm not a professional but when I started reading your post I immediately thought PTSD. You didn't lose him and that's the important thing to remember. I think you have a good idea in trying to get some help in January which is almost here. Things happen and from the sound of it you have no reason to believe that it will ever happen again. He's in good health now and I'm sure he wants you to enjoy that with him.

  • Thanks for the post, but yeah...I know that he's here still, but no matter how hard I focus on that and how he's fine now the thoughts still won't go away, and the nausea that I feel for awhile after (hours sometimes) keeps reminding me of why I feel bad if I somehow do manage to get my mind off things. As I can't really pin down what'll set me off yet, I started keeping a journal about two weeks ago to see if I could find patterns (still random thus far). I was also hoping by looking over what I wrote I'd get used to seeing it and lessen how it effects me, although I'm not quite sure how long until it might work more. Any other tips maybe, or anything I'm missing or getting wrong? Maybe even just ways to distract myself quicker, anything helps at this point.

  • Sorry, if I had all the answers I probably wouldn't be here 😊 but I know that advising you to think rationally doesn't help a whole lot because this is not a rational illness. The journaling is a great start and I always mean to but I fall off and I'm really glad that you're doing that. The only thing that I can think of is that you accompany him on a checkup with his doctor and then you ask that person all the questions that you can and get some assurance that way? If that's a possibility I think it would go a long way.

  • Thanks again for the help. I don't think I'm ready to ask to go to something that personal to him, but perhaps I can ask him about coming to a support group thing once or twice. Thanks again for the advice. As for the journaling, I find writing down all the key info on a phone or a post it helps, that way I can come back to write it down later if I happen to be busy or not in the mood at the time it happens. Maybe it'll help you too🍀

  • PTSD makes sense to me. You did go through a trauma when you realized you almost lost him. You are now experiencing flashbacks about this thought of losing him. Journaling sounds like a good idea and distracting yourself is always good when experiencing anxiety. Redirecting your thoughts (distracting yourself) is very effective for anxiety and derails it, but it requires great effort to stay distracted, doesn't it? Practice and more practice makes you better at it. It's still never an easy thing to do.

    I have found it helpful to make flash cards when I'm perfectly calm to look at for the times when I'm anxious. I write 1 calming, sensible, soothing or distracting thought per card. When my anxiety rises, I read these cards to help me bring my anxiety down. I do other things, too, but these are helpful for awhile and easy to pick up and read through and repeat. Many of these thoughts I learned in Recovery International, a self help group that teaches people how to cope with depression and anxiety without drugs. Dr. Abraham Low came up with this method back when there were no drugs for these illnesses. It really does work.

  • Thanks Sue, I'll see if I can come up with anything for the flashcards, it sounds like a good idea. Thanks again.

You may also like...