The fear of abandonment can be a harrowing journey to overcome. It’s a fear that is embedded deep in our brains and so easy to throw ourselves into. Once someone has left or shut us down in a moment of vulnerability, it's so easy to believe that this could and will happen again. We allow it to fuel our fears and start to believe that others too may do the same. Unlearning these fears however, can be an intensely difficult process, one that takes time and trusting yourself.
The first thing to remember when you’re on the road to recovery is that it's okay to take your time. Panic and anxiety about situations and individuals can help fester the fear of abandonment, so it's important to stop when you need to and check back in with yourself. Ask yourself ‘where is this fear coming from? What are the triggers?’ This process can be incredibly therapeutic and self-reflective. It's important to take the time to reflect and trust yourself that you can change these thought patterns in time.
Despite the fear of course, it's also important to open up and trust as well. It's a delicate balance, but one that is achievable. This doesn’t just apply to romantic relationships, it applies to family and friends too. Opening yourself up to people, being vulnerable and sharing stories can create huge connections and help ease the fear. Being honest with yourself about how you feel, whilst allowing for mistakes and imperfections in conversations and relationships, can be huge steps towards unlearning this kind of fear.
Having a support system around you can also give great comfort and help to alleviate feelings of abandonment. Friends, family, and therapists, who can provide a platform to talk through these issues can often help to ease the fear. Having an understanding, non-judgmental person to talk to can feel like a weight lifted – it's amazingly reassuring to have someone tell you that it's ok and that you can move through these fears one step at a time.
Reward yourself too, along the way. Track your progress, acknowledging what it must have taken to get out of your own head and make a change. Think of all the small but strong things you’ve done, that you are doing, and those that you wish to do along the way. Celebrating yourself, your dreams, and your progress can be a powerfully comforting process. Learning to let go of external validation and pressing the reset button of self-love and self-respect can bring to light how resilient and worthy you actually are.
Moving away from the fear should never be seen as giving up on vulnerability. Allowing yourself to be emotionally exposed can create powerful and long lasting relationships with those around you, and once we become aware of it, can be so helpful in moving on from the fear of abandonment. With patience, self-love, establishing a strong support group, and having faith in the process, it's possible to work through these pains of fear and learn to be happy and liberated. Have courage and trust that no matter what, you can find inner strength to build on.
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