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Anxiety affecting my relationship

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For the past year I've had on and off anxiety issues. Almost two years ago is when I started dating my current boyfriend. Not even a month after we started dating my best friend who was my best friend my whole life was killed in a car accident. 2 years before I started dating my current boyfriend my heart was broken for the first time from my ex leaving me out of the blue to be with someone else.


So, I have trust issues, I have self-esteem issues, my best friend died, I have an extremely busy work/school schedule and I since all this I've been having anxiety.


The first attack I had was a little over 6 months into my current relationship. It was like a switch just went off in my head that made me start questioning everything. Literally one day I was totally in love with him and the next I was just sitting in my car and I asked myself if I was really in love with him and my mind just went off like a gambling machine that just struck a million dollars, spitting dollar after dollar at you.


It lasted for about a week.. I felt completely numb and more unsure than ever. I'd ask questions like does he really love me? do I really love him? what if we aren't meant to be together? what if I could be happier with someone else? what if I want to break up with him? can I handle hurting him?


So I started counseling and I got on lexapro and after that some weeks would be back to normal and great and then I'd have my days here and there full of doubt again.


I was currently going to school to be a dental hygienist and it was towards the time of graduation and I had all these boards coming up and requirements for school to get done and projects etc. I was extremely stressed out which is when I started to feel unstable again and questioning things more and more. Finally one night he made me mad about something stupid that wasn't his fault at all.. and so I saw it as an opportunity to get out and so I did it; I broke up with him.


At first it was a huge relief though it didn't feel completely right. But for a little while I was able to block it out. Weeks after though I still felt completely committed to him and I missed him. School work died down and I wasn't as stressed out anymore. I started thinking about what I did, what our relationship meant to me, things that we could have possibly worked on to have made it last and then I got really upset about what I had done. We started talking again and slowly eased back into our relationship.


Now, six months later, I'm back to my hectic schedule. I went back to school to get my bachelors, working two jobs and student teaching twice a week. I'm really stressed out and I've been slowly anticipating the anxiety coming back. Last week it happened again; it was just like a switch went off and I had a full out anxiety attack for the first time in a very long time. I started having a lot of doubt and negative thoughts and what ifs and feeling completely unsure. I get anxious every time I think about him and most of the time when we're together.


What I know is that this happens when I'm stressed. I also know that I over analyze everything all the time and usually find negative meaning in things. I know I have poor self esteem and that I have things in my past that I haven't completely worked through yet. I just get scared that what if it is the relationship causing this? What if it does mean that we shouldnt be together? I get scared of the thought of me leaving him and hurting him so bad. I get scared that this is how I'll always feel in every relationship and that its not just ours. Deep down I do believe that it's all me and all in my head and it's all because of my bad habits of over analyzing and thinking negatively. I do know that I love him, I just wish I didn't have to constantly remind myself when I get like this.

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Are you still on your meds -- -because sometimes, after a year or so, dosage needs to be adjusted.


Life is going to continue to throw curve balls, and times when there just seems to be too much going on. It is great that you can at least see that your anxiety is about the stress, and that it doesn't mean you need to throw your bf to the curb each time. Maybe, if you just communicated to him during these times that you are stressed and you need more time to yourself, he won't get caught in the crosshairs.


There is no information in your post as to how he reacted/reacts -- so if he is understanding, you just need to try and chill a bit.

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I stopped my meds about 4 months ago. We have communicated about it and he is absolutely amazing about the whole thing. I hurt him so badly the first time I broke it off, I am really impressed that he's handling it so well now. He completely understands.. I almost feel like he understands it better than I do. haha


He's the one that pointed it out to me that this happens every time I am stressed out. He's the one that pointed out that I over analyze things and that I always have. I let thoughts build in my mind and they're always negative.


He also suggested that this may be because of my lose with my best friend.. he mentioned that maybe this is my way of protecting myself from not losing something that means so much to me and that maybe now I have a hard time with commitment to people that are significant to my life due to the fear of losing them. Which may very possibly be true... my last boyfriend was kind of erased from my life very suddenly as well.


He's been very supportive and extra attentive all week.

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  • 6 months later...

Dear banana pickle,

I know exactly what you're going through, because I suffer from exactly the same thing. It's almost like you just typed out my story, and I have to say it's a huge relief that there's someone else out there that's experiencing the same thing. Okay, so you do suffer from OCD, except you don't physically compulse, it's called pure-o meaning your obsessions and compulsions are all mental. So what's happening is that your brain is looking for 100% certainty in an uncertain world. And when you start re-assuring yourself, it only makes it worse. So, when the question comes up "do I love him" say "I don't know, nothing's for certain" and imagine yourself standing there and saying that to him (imaginal exposure therapy) and when the anxiety gets really bad, it means it's working. The reason you had a desire to break up with him is because the brain wanted you to compulse to get 'relief.' Same way as people that are OCD and are germ-ophobic wash their hands to get 'relief' but in the end it only makes it worse. It builds it up. Read "Freedom from OCD" by Dr. Jonathan Grayson, it will save you! Trust me.

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