Anxiety Support
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Anxiety Attacks since break up, need advice

Hi, I'm new here and never done this before but been suffering from what can only be described as really bad anxiety attacks since my recent break up and I need some advice. I don't want to bore anyone with the full details but I've never experienced this type of anxiety before and feel like I'm losing it. I'm aware of anxiety and the feelings it can create as I did a paper on it during my time at University studying to become a teacher. However, over the last 3 months I've felt every emotion in the book from pure sadness to extreme anger. Every night is a struggle to fall asleep and every day I just don't feel myself. What caught my attention were the physical feelings I've been suffering such as extreme heart palpitations where my heart feels like it's going to explode. I become short of breathe and feel the lump in my throat develop and find myself fighting back the pain. At first I thought it was a panic attack but I've never suffered from them before but as time went on the only thing I could relate it to was the feeling of panic. At first I just thought it was heartbreak but the longer it has been the stronger the feelings of anxiety have become. Don't get me wrong I've been through break ups before but none have come close to this. I'm 34 and really felt like I had met the person I would grow old with. All my past relationships never felt like what I had with her and only lasted 1 year tops. However, this one ended after 2 1/2 years. She suffered from social anxiety which I tried to understand but in all honesty I don't think I did as she wouldn't communicate her feelings very well.

Before meeting her I use to be strong, confident, out-going, happy and independent. I chose to be single for 7 years since my last relationship to concentrate on my career. I had the odd fling here and there but never anything serious. However, when I hit my 30's I thought it was time to find someone to share my life with as I had my career sorted. When I met her we just clicked, it was great, yes we had our ups and downs throughout the relationship but only normal. I never introduce my partners to my parents as I know I'm letting them fully into my life but she was the first to do this and considering she suffered from social anxiety she got on with them like a house on fire. My life started to feel complete and as we started to talk about our future together it only made things feel better. However, out of the blue she decided to end our relationship over the telephone hours before we were to set to fly for a weekend break away. It devastated me, I have never felt such strong emotion before. I literally broke down and cried all night the moment I got off the phone. I felt like a 15 year old school boy all over again. She wanted to meet the following day which I did and was clearly upset by the decision but she said it was for the best. I tried my best to hold my emotions together but struggled. I've met up with her a couple more times after that but not seen her since the end of August. During our meet ups I tried to talk about things but the emotion was just too strong, so I could never really got my points across. That's when I decided to send her a letter where I could address things without getting emotional. She replied but didn't address a lot of things that I spoke about in my letter which doesn't bother me as I'm glad I got to say the things I wanted.

As it's been 3 months, I have slowly accepted the end of the relationship but I am now a shell of the person I once was. I dread having to go out yet I dread staying in alone. I visit my brother and his family but still doesn't take away the feelings and thoughts going on in my head. I speak to my parents and they are great but yet the anxiety is there. When I go home and I'm just sitting watching the television I suddenly get heart palpitations out of nowhere and then the sudden shortness of breathe and a very low mood set in.

I try to keep busy by working a lot but when I come home it's just me and the four walls. Thoughts creep in and then the emotional rollercoaster sets off. I honestly feel like I'm losing my mind. I went to seek therapy but it wasn't really working for me and was just costing me more money than anything.

I'm sorry for the long post or if I've posted in the wrong forum but just need some advice on how to deal with the attacks I've been getting. Sometimes I'll get an attack just as I'm trying to sleep and then I can't sleep for another hour or so. I am honestly at a loss here as to what I need to do.

2 Replies

Hi, I read your very well written post. Actually couldn't believe, nobody replied to you. You put a lot of thought into it. I'm having some similar feelings myself. When you lose someone close to you, it's almost like you are going through withdraw. It hurts like nothing else. Everything reminds you of them. All you can do is try to keep busy. The over thinking is the hardest. It's like someone took a piece of your heart. Did you see any signs she was changing? It sounds like you loved her very much. So you're living where you and her lived together? Every time you think about something painful, it's like your reliving it all over again. Totally stressing you out, like it just happened. Ruby🌹


Hello Hidden - I've only just seen your message

It sounds like you are really going through very serious grief - Grieving all that your future could've been - Mapped out your future with someone who suddenly pulled the rug from under your feet and betrayed all you'd thought you both had and wanted together - It sounds like she deceived you - the fact that she was happy to meet two or three times immediately afterwards sounds like insensitivity in the extreme -she was incapable of being totally open and honest or expressing her true feelings - sounds like you were struggling to get close - I wonder how some of this behaviour has replicated relationships and behaviours between parents siblings or whatever you may have perceived within your childhood family - We often find ourselves drawn to similar behaviours - It seems like you were drawn to someone who needed being taken care of -

Have you read about Co-Dependency - how we so often put our own needs on th shelf and find ourselves lost in that other person putting them and what they want - discounting or dismissing when we aren't being treated very nicely or disrespect - For 3 relationships I did this and sold myself down the river - my own self worth was pretty much at rock bottom and I kept on taking the bad behaviour, rudeness, selfishness and dishonesty - Perhaps this person perceived you as a pushover and to be as socially isolating as she preferred to be and wasn't expecting the sudden weekend out of her own comfort zone - and obviously neither was she a spontaneous spirited person capable of taking risks - We so often choose someone like ourselves without realising it - which in turn can give one Dutch courage in order to tackle something we might otherwise find extraordinarily difficult doing alone -

Rebuilding one's life after believing it to be 'sorted' is no joke - but you obviously won't see it right now but she's probably done you the biggest favour - there are wonderful holidays out there for singles e.g. Skyros that includes creativity and/or writing / art / music etc as well as self development with solid support - As for therapy it's a very personal thing - either the therapist just didn't click with you

This experience has clearly been enormously traumatic - Grief and bereavement goes through many stages - anger, extreme sadness, physical pain and symptoms of panic, anxiety - all of which are very common but not always recognised - Yes it feels like the end of the world and the end of you - and we cannot escape it - I finished my marriage of 22yrs, almost immediately I'd 'gone cold turkey' off a cocktail of benzodiazepines - at the same time I lost my grandmother (my only brief childhood home) my sons left to work and live in London within months of each other and around whom I built my whole world -

The GP surgery where I was dispensing prescriptions harassed me back too soon from major abdominal surgery then sacked me for not coping -

I was then forced out of the matrimonial home for my own safety on Housing/Sickness Benefits- moving 5 times in six months - pushed around by one landlord for being unemployed- water cut off in the next having handed over my months rent -forced to return home run out of savings - his final assault while kicking him out I suffered attempted strangulation-

Grown up believing I was never good enough- apologising for my existence - For 2yrs barely able to leave the house I thought I'd never see the world or people ever again

But I needed to change the way I viewed myself and how I was also subjecting myself to unpleasant people who were treating me with disdain and disrespect -

I needed to learn to care and start to love myself for who I was and not what I looked like or what I'd achieved - I needed to learn that it was just OK JUST to BE - and not feel I had to EARN or pay a penance in order to feel accepted or worth something.

From a childhood of feeling a nuisance and burden with my scars after an accident when my dress caught light out in S Africa my mother dumped me anywhere and everywhere she could - and my father and grandfather died the following year but nobody told me. So abandonment was a big issue I my life -

Guilt was the underlying driving force pushing me into relationships with men who seemed incapable of looking after themselves and driving themselves into an early grave with drink or drugs- I had to learn that it was my thinking and view of self that was the problem and that you can't change someone else, only oneself.

Personally I did some of my best writing during the very worst time - Mourning momentous loss can never be underestimated - emotions you're having to weather right now will be the rawest you'll ever know - When we've given our all and it's thrown back and never appreciated is the cruelest - Whereas you appear deeply sensitive it doesn't sound as though this other person had much sensitivity to do what she did in the way she did it- all of these things are very important when seeking another partner -

I thought I'd never get through all of what I described - I never thought it would take so many years - but as they say it took years to find oneself in a troubled situation so it's certainly not going to take a few minutes or days getting out of it.

And please don't apologise for the length of message - you write what you need to when you need to and how you need to in the way you want to - it's YOUR message - Take care of yourself and value yourself ((Hugs))x

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