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Crash! posted 7/21/2013 02:44 AM

I don't know what's wrong with me, but ever since I went home with that guy, I cant seem to get a grip. I think I've always been prone to anxiety, and this has absolutely been the kick I need to start the process of getting help. I've put myself on the waiting list for NHS (state run, free) therapy, and looked into private therapy through work insurance, which may or may not work out because it has to be a new issue since joining the work scheme, and I went to the doctor to get referred for a therapist after my ex and I broke up. Unfortunately, the NHS waiting list is months long, and I don't think the private route will work out.

In the meantime, though, I haven't been this rough since my breakup, and I have no idea why. I wake up all panicky and can't get back to sleep, I'm hardly eating, I'm teary for no reason, I'm just spending the day distracting myself from these feelings, rather than going out and enjoying myself. I don't think it's all just about this guy (though I don't think I'm cut out for one night stands.. kissing I can do, but once bodily fluids get involved, I get weird apparently). I like him, but I'm also panicky about losing my sports team (which he plays on) because it doesn't feel like my little haven anymore.

I feel a bit duped by him, and a bit annoyed at myself for not listening to his warnings about himself. Initially he said he wasn't over his ex and I said to sort it out and get back to me. So I assumed when he kissed me, that meant he had sorted it out. I even asked him. I don't even know if she's the issue. Maybe he just wanted to fool around, or maybe he's just not a very expressive person (leaving me with no idea where he stands or what he wants or anything) and I gave him the weirds by asking him if it was just a physical thing. It's a guy I've known for a while now, so I wanted to be sure I knew what I was getting into.

Sorry, I'm rambling. I just... don't know what to do. I can't even just cut ties with him, because he's on my damn sports team, and we're going away to a big tournament next weekend (that I'm organizing). I know I'm being unreasonably weird, it's just some guy I've hooked up with twice..but.. I can't seem to stop being weird.


SBB posted 7/21/2013 02:51 AM




This anxiety has nothing to do with him - it has likely been laying dormant waiting for a trigger. You have now triggered.

I don't know how it works where you are but can you go to see you GP for an emergency referral?

Crash! posted 7/21/2013 02:53 AM

Maybe I'm not ready. I thought I was. And I want to be...

And maybe he would have been a right guy, if I hadn't been all weird. Which kind of makes me kick myself. I don't want this to be all my fault, on top of everything else.

I don't think I'm urgent enough for a referral like that. I went to the GP and said what was up, and she gave me a number to call to get assessed, and now I'm on a list.. but I think the emergency ones are for people who are in rougher shape than I am.

[This message edited by Crash! at 2:54 AM, July 21st (Sunday)]

Amazonia posted 7/21/2013 06:01 AM

You don't really want to be ready to date. I mean, you want to reach that place of healing of course, but you don't want to be ready for what dating really is. This is it. This is dating. It's not a magical experience of falling in love, it's stress and anxiety and unanswered questions, trying to figure out your boundaries and your needs and what you really want, and it's making a whole bunch of mistakes that are painful and stir up old injuries that we thought were healed but that ultimately still twinge us from time to time. If you're an anxious person, dating is going to be an extremely anxiety inducing experience for you. So do you see why you don't really want to be ready?

I agree that you should take some time to step back and focus on you. Were you previously in IC? That's practically a prerequisite to the uncomfortable, insecurity enhancing world of dating.

cmego posted 7/21/2013 06:55 AM

I still believe the first "anything" is the hardest to deal with. Like Ama says, it brings the pain back up and you have to deal again.

It always helps me to say, "Oh, I'm triggering", then work through it a little bit.

No doubt, dating this go around is much...different.


burnt_toast posted 7/21/2013 07:47 AM

I hope you get help soon.

I also wake up from anxiety. I find that staying in bed makes it worse. I usually get up and do some chores or go get a walk. My dad became a marathon runner that way. I never knew utill he told me a few weeks ago. Anxiety would get him up before 5 AM every day, so he would just go for a run. And all this time I though he had such an iron will!

If it's during the weekend, I might pop some valerian and get back to bed to recuperate once it gets a little less intense.

This might not be the fix you are looking for, but that's what I can offer to make it less painful while you are waiting to begin counselling.

[This message edited by burnt_toast at 8:10 AM, July 21st (Sunday)]

Crash! posted 7/21/2013 08:59 AM

Amazonia - I've never actually been, no. I was on the waiting list, but I wound up moving in the meantime and it meant I was in a different borough and had to go back to the bottom of the list again. But yeah, I'm back on the list.

And... if it didn't mean that much, and it wouldn't screw up my whole damn social life, I don't think the uncertainty would have rocked me this hard. But maybe it would have, since this is the first thing and it's just reminding me about how it feels to be exposed and hurt.

You're right. This stuff is messy and uncertain and painful, and maybe I'm less ready for those bits than I thought. But then, who is ready for messy uncertain things!

cmego - How d you work through triggering? What do you do?

Burnt Toast - That's an interesting one! I just lay in bed and try to sleep and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't and either way it's a broken nights sleep. Do you go to bed extra early to compensate, or just go around on a few hours sleep?

Thanks, you guys. I have to see him tomorrow night and then again on the weekend, and I'm just not feeling brave at all. I want to at the very least not feel awkward after this is all said and done, though ideally I haven't botched it all by asking loads of questions (though if I hadn't asked questions, I'd be kicking myself too more than likely) and maybe we can see what happens...

I also think I need more of a close support system here. I have amazing friends back in Canada, but here I've got more activity friends and work friends, but no people I could call at 3 am. Where do they come from, as an adult?

cmego posted 7/21/2013 09:45 AM

Crash!~ For it what it is. Simply recognize you are triggering.

That panicky feeling? Tightness in your chest? Slightly out of breath, feeling "off", jittery, grumpy. Mind racing?

It took me a little time to recognize ^^^^ was me "triggering" over something. I was "thrown back" into the pain for something that happened in the present. I think it is a mild form of PTSD. I was shut down for a full year after d-day, my brain unable to handle the information that was coming at me. When I tried to think, my mind would go black/blank/nothing. As my life calmed down, then my brian could begin to handle the mind fuck.

As I began to date, after doing some serious healing/growing/therapy, my IC would help me to recognize what the trigger was. For example, very early on, a friend of a friend set me up on a "group date". I remember watching the guy texting on his phone and I felt panicky. I zeroed in on his phone and felt almost a hate towards it.

Of course, recognized later that the "guy texting on his phone when it wasn't appropriate" was reminding me of ex and his behavior.

My IC helped me to rationalize what was happening to my body/emotions. Realize it is an inanimate object. Realize not all men are inappropriate, breathe and settle down. Talk myself through the "trigger".

Oddly, phones still trigger me very slightly. (Those phones hold least that is how my world was. It was always locked and protected and he was forever on it.) Now, I barely trigger, and if I do...then I just talk myself through it.

But, it took awhile for me to recognize that I WAS triggering, then had to learn to pinpoint the trigger. Now, I am much better at all of that and rarely trigger. When I do trigger, I just remove myself from the situation/person that triggers me.

Another example, an acquaintance up the street told me her marriage was crumbling and wanted my advice. (it seems to be one of those..."we just grew apart" stories, I can't relate...) Trigger thank you. I have just told her I'm not the person she needs to talk to and have not engaged. The "old" cmego would have tried to help her, offer advice, etc. The "new" cmego avoids situations where I might forfeit any of my emotional strength. I've learned to protect myself more. I need people around me that SUPPORT me, not constantly want advice or need something from me...or are acting stupid.

I didn't have anxiety before d-day. I am an introvert and social situation were/are stressful, but not anxiety.

I had my first panic attack soon after we separated, and had about 3 more over the next few months. They calmed down as soon as I could recognize it starting and talked myself through it. I haven't had one in...2 years.

I found new friends in my neighborhood, joined MeetUp divorce support group and found a good friend there. I have good online SI friends I turn to when I need them. When I come across a single mom IRL, I kinda 'feel her out" to see if she is similar to me. If she is still stuck in the past, we don't click. I click better with woman who are looking forward and doing something with their lives. It is a conscious choice to have people in my lives that support me and do not drain me.

Another example: ex created his other life via his travel schedule. He traveled a ton for work, and just took the guys with him. So, now if I read an OLD profile and it says they "travel for work", my immediate reaction is "no way, jose." BUT, then I talk myself through the "Not everyone is ex. There are decent guys out there who don't cheat when they travel." and I relax and then read their profile. And give them a chance :)

Does that help? I don't know how else to explain except I just talk myself through the trigger. The hard part for me, in the beginning, was recognizing I was triggering, and pinpointing why.

burnt_toast posted 7/21/2013 10:36 AM


I usually wake up with anxiety as soon as my body has slept the bare minimum to function, which is annoyingly not enough. Since it's usually around 4-5 AM, I do function with whatever I can get.

I guess if it would happen earlier in the night, I could pop a light sleep aid, go read a book and get back to bed when I feel sleepy.

I go to sleep earlier whenever it's possible - eventually, if you get up and start your day early and are active, the body will call for the lost sleep, and that 3 PM meeting isn't the right place for it! If you don't force it when you can't and go to bed when you feel tiered, you are already doing a better job than when you fight it and screw your sleep cycle all over. Training in the morning or walking is the best activity to fight anxiety and helps with sleep on a systemic level.

If I have to make up for the lost sleep, I cheat on weekends by taking valerian (a natural product - benadryl works too) if I wake up too early to make sure I sleep in a few precious extra hours. I get anxiety «bouts» that can last for days/weeks in a row, so I have not much of a choice to prevent other problems.

Hope this helps.

[This message edited by burnt_toast at 10:44 AM, July 21st (Sunday)]

better4me posted 7/21/2013 13:53 PM

I just plain ol want to reach out and give you a hug (((Crash!))) you'll get through this, you'll still have your running group no matter how this plays out, you'll be okay. You've survived tougher things than this. Whatever happens or doesn't happen with this guy, you've learned some valuable lessons!

Anxiety sucks, but eventually it will go away! It always has in the past, hasn't it? Get some exercise today. Get some sunshine today. Hang in there!!

Crash! posted 7/21/2013 17:49 PM

Thank you all so so much for your support. It's obnoxious how, 2 years after a breakup, I'm still dealing with the fallout. I left, dammit. And it doesn't seem fair that my friends can just be like "oh, just chill out and enjoy the dating" and ask why I'm so stressed about nothing. They know he cheated, but they don't know about the really bad things he did (he was violent a couple times).

I really thought I glided out of it. After the initial shock wore off and the dust settled, I regrouped, pulled myself together, and started up a new life from scratch. We didn't have any kids or a house, we weren't even married, and there wasn't much untangling to do. I just left. And only now, a couple years on, do I feel like maybe something's wrong.

I've always been a bit high stress, especially when it comes to guys I like, so I can't put this all on my breakup. That said, it's not helped. I know that I used to have a sense of fun about it all. I'd kiss cute guys and then laugh with my friends. Now I go home with cute guys and get anxiety and ask questions that may or may not be needy, and get all weird.

I guess knowing that this isn't all just me being weird for no reason is a good first step (even if part of it is just that!) and not beating myself up. And trying not to descend into an all consuming self pitying wallowing phase would be good too, but I've not quite got that one mastered yet.

And learning lessons, like knowing that I'm not cut out for going home with guys before I know where we stand.

As for sleep, I'll give waking up and being productive a go. Maybe even working out. Lord knows the gym membership I'm paying for is just free money for them at this point since I so rarely use it!

And yeah, I have been through worse. That's why this is so annoying! I thought I'd made it through, and now I'm stumbling over this random guy who I've kissed twice. I know rationally they're connected, and that hopefully in a few months I'll wonder what the heck this was all about and why he was worth getting so wound up over... but in the meantime, I keep re-reading every text he sends, hoping that I didn't scare him off or that he still likes me and then reminding myself that I had to stay true to myself and ask if it was just physical or what.

I just want to like someone and have them like me. Or, a wicked group of close friends here.

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