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Separation anxiety

I’ve always found it really hard saying goodbye to my boyfriend when one of us has to go home or whatever, and I’ve always missed him a lot, but this summer holiday it’s become so bad that it’s impacting my daily life and is definitely more like separation anxiety. I think what had a large impact was that I had a whole week with him and his family on holiday and it was really really good, and then once we came back he immediately went away again for another week and I was left behind feeling so lonely and worrying about him constantly and just feeling really horrible. He’s back now but even still I cry myself to sleep every night from missing him and worrying about him and throughout the day I’m just so anxious that it can be hard to do anything or make sure I’m looking after myself. I’ve talked to him about it a bit but haven’t fully explained how bad it is although I think he mostly understands because he knows everything about my mental health struggles. I don’t know if there’s any solution to this or if I just have to suck it up and deal with it because there’s no way I can be with him every day or message him all the time. If anyone has any advice coping mechanisms (other than the obvious “find a hobby/go out with friends to distract yourself” please) I’d really appreciate it, or if anyone has had similar experience or just some kind words please I just feel so low 
Kathleen07

Comments

  • Kathleen07Kathleen07 Posts: 1,909 Postholic
    Aww, it does sound like this is really horrible and intense for you right now <3

    It can sometimes help to try and identify possible things that are making you anxious. So for example, maybe you have a fear that your boyfriend will get hurt, which is caused by general anxiety or a bad past experience, or being away from him leaves you lonely and without a distraction. Is the separation anxiety part of your mental health struggles? Or is it something else/you can't find a reason?

    Things that help me cope when I'm anxious are exercise (like running), listening to music, talking to someone or writing about it, rationalising the fear or reminding myself everything's okay, and controlled breathing. Can you think of anything that might help you?

    Anxiety of any kind sucks and this must be a distressing thing to experience. Sorry if I wasn't much help haha - I just wanted to express my empathy and send love x
    itsquietuptown
  • MikeMike Hummus-Fuelled Whovian LondonPosts: 1,985 Staff Moderator
    edited August 2019
    Hey @itsquietuptown, and a belated welcome to the community. :)

    It can sometimes help to try and identify possible things that are making you anxious. So for example, maybe you have a fear that your boyfriend will get hurt, which is caused by general anxiety or a bad past experience, or being away from him leaves you lonely and without a distraction. Is the separation anxiety part of your mental health struggles? Or is it something else/you can't find a reason?

    I was going to say a very similar thing. As @Kathleen07 said, it might be interesting to probe those thoughts a little bit and see what might be fuelling them. Exploring that might give you an idea of what you can do to combat them. Have you had any thoughts about that?

    To some extent, it's natural to want the company of someone you love and to worry a bit for anyone you care about. I spent a while in a long distance relationship, and I think sometimes those thoughts can intensify when your mind has nothing to occupy itself; it's easy for a relationship to become your world if you don't have much else to put your attention to. Then any emotions attached to that (e.g. anxiety or jealousy) can have more pull and impact you more than they might otherwise.

    I don't know if that's relevant to you but I thought I'd throw it out there. :) What do you tend to do in the free time you have? (I know you said not to mention hobbies or distractions, but I figured this might be useful - you can ignore if not!)

    You said you'd talked to your boyfriend about it a little bit, which takes a lot of courage so well done. You also said you didn't fully explain how bad it is - is that something you want to revisit with him?

    Would be interesting to hear what you think, and keep us posted on how things go. Anxiety (particularly this sort) majorly sucks, and I hope you manage to find ways to manage it. You're not alone. :star:
    All behaviour is a need trying to be met.
    itsquietuptown
  • coc0maccoc0mac Posts: 276 Rampant Poster
    Hi @itsquietuptown

    This does sound really difficult so I just wanted to say well done for being so open and honest - that really is the best way to get the support you deserve :heart:

    I have never experienced it in this way, however I have experienced missing mine when we are away for periods of time. Something that really worked for me was making a scrapbook with all of our memories - the holiday you have just been on might be a great starting point for you! It's a great distraction and lots of fun, including going to buy supplies or searching your house for little bits and pieces you can use. It's also really nice as you are still thinking about them, but turning those thoughts into a positive thing. You can also use the time to plan some things you'd like to do in the future with him :smile: How do you think this would be?

    In terms of separation anxiety, I think you did really well to talk about it on here and I was just wondering if you have ever spoken to anybody about it before - such as your GP? I really understand that can be difficult to do so it's absolutely okay if you haven't yet :heart:

    I really hope things feel easier soon. Take good care :smile:


    itsquietuptown
  • ValerialettoValerialetto Posts: 87 Miniposter
    hey @itsquietuptown,

    First of all thank you for sharing!
    I totally agree with @Kathleen07 that to solve this issue it's better to understand the real reason of your anxiety. 
    And also one more thing...please answer the question "what will happen if you never see/hear/meet him again?" please try to answer this question without any emotions...really just think of it.
    Also one more thing that can help....for sure in your childhood you had smth that brought you a lot of anxiety but now when you look back you smile cause in fact there was nothing serious to worry about. So imagine what you'll think about this situation 10 years later..I hope it can help you :)
    Butterfly23itsquietuptown
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