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Anxiety and trust in relationships, help?


spiritbrite

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For as far back as I can remember, I have had some level of anxiety and depression. I think alot of it was genetics and environmental factors, growing up with a mother who had a high level of anxiety. My anxiety has always been prevalent, and it was always about one thing or another depending on where I was in life. Something that never changed was my anxiety in romantic relationships. I think that ever since I have had relationships with men I was always very afraid that they were going to leave me and or cheat on me. This caused many issues.

 

Anyway, I have an amaziing boyfriend. He is beyond awesome. He's super caring and supportive, makes time for me, treats me extremely well. We are in different states, so sometimes we really miss each other and are sad But...we are great together. When I went to visit him...seriously he exceeded all of my wildest dreams. He is soo nice, sweet and gentlemanly. He is also three years younger and very mature which I love. Even though we have an awesome relationship, I do have anxiety, and anxiety hurts. Anxiety is just there, it always has been, and I feel that alot of people don't understand it. I guess I would like some advice on

1.How to kill the worry and not be suspicious/worried/anxiety ridden over nothing.

2.Tips on being jealous as far as him having friends that are women? (I have nothing to worry about, it just makes me uncomfortable)

3.How to deal with anxiety in relationships, generally.

 

It's kind of a big deal, this anxiety is really tough for me, and I deal with it alone, so any help would be greatly appreciated, thank you

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Hi SpiritBrite,

 

If nothing else, I'd just like to say from your first sentence on, I really related to you in terms of anxiety and its grip on your life. I DO understand what you mean and unfortunately, I haven't been in a relationship in quite some time, so I'm not sure how valid my advice can be. I can only give you some tips on what's worked for me to deal with anxiety as far as outside of a relationship. I've gotten much better over the past few years at managing my anxiety in hopes of one day meeting someone and not feeling it as much.

 

the first thing, believe it or not, si to accept the fact that you're anxious. Its one thing to know it and to feel it, but DON'T expect it to change or go away for good. I'm not necessarily saying that's how you feel about it, but I'm trying to help you as best I can. I know I used to be REALLY MAD at myself for not finding a way out of it myself, but the thing is, you can't. I don't say it to be harsh but to be liberating and truthful. Your mother has a genetic tendency towards anxiety, its something that is in you and there's absolutely NOTHING WRONG with it. It does hurt you at times, but you need this level of understanding to help you combat it. I mentioned it won't go away but it WILL and CAN improve to a point where it will almost be completely gone.

 

The first thing is, if you start to feel anxious, just stop. Take a deep breath... realize that anxiety happens and try to let go of it as soon as possible. Whatever you do, don't become worried that you'll feel anxious again or give your anxiety ANY more attention other than that initial "shake it off" period. I know it's hard to do, trust me, I know but it needs to be done and addressed, and then moved on from. This doesn't mean you ignore it, but you also must not become hard on yourself or direct any negative feelings inward. Accept that you have anxiety, that sometimes you will feel anxious but then when its gone, its gone and go from there. It can be a hard thing to accept but you'll feel much better than you do, rather than feeling as if you need to "reprogram yourself" or dramatically change. You really don't, you just need to learn to be okay with this fact and ironically, that'll help to change it.

 

Another thing is, you can't be anxious if you have no time to be. In other words, your mind can only hold onto so much information at once. It may be easy to sit and worry and think "yeah, but what if this happens, what if this happens, what if...?" but try thinking that while also reading a book, or try thinking it while reading a book, talking to someone on the phone, doing the laundry and something else? You get my point, obviously don't try those rather random things at once. For one thing, the person on the phone will be angry you're ignoring them and the darks and lights are likely to get mixed up while you're enthralled in that high octane Stephen King novel. But seriously, it can be tough but the best thing to do to stop from being worried is to do something. Sometimes it can be anything, something simple, something more involved, depending on who you are and what you like to do. What's your idea of fun? Or maybe there's something you can do to catch up on work/school or the like. This is another great way to push your worries to the backburner, replacing them with many other things.

 

Lastly, I don't know how you feel about medications. I'll approach this with the perspective of someone who was AVIDLY against them (myself). To this day, I'm still a bit uneasy about being on them, but at times I've accepted them and done much better since starting Ativan. It's not the only reason Ive managed my anxiety though because its something I only take on rare occassions and in some cases, I find it doesn't even help. Obviously, medications vary greatly and its wise to have a good therapist and prescriber if you decide to go that route, which you may not need to.

 

I'm not sure if any of this helped, but I'd be glad to discuss further. Those were just the first few things which popped into my mind when you mentioned tips to curb your anxiety. Best of luck and congrats on your boyfriend, he sounds like a really cool guy and I wish you guys many more happy times together!

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Hello SonicFan287,

 

I really appreciate you taking the time to write to me You sincerely put alot of thought into your words. Thank you. I just really don't know who to talk to about this, and as I said, it hurts. I think that a really good thing about myself is that I am self aware. I know what my issues are, what triggers them, and how unrealistic they are. I do accept fully what my problems are, and Im not mad at myself just disappointed I think. I made alot of progress this year, and my anxiety is starting up again. I think what I do...is I use past relationships as a template for what not to do, and remind myself of the things that happened when I let my anxiety flare up. Sometimes it's tough, because I deal with on and off depression. My boyfriend is awesome, he's really understanding and he says to call him whenever I'm down or need him...for anything. And I do, but I'm careful because I don't want to overburden him. So sometimes, I just...try to distract myself and let things slide, because there is no reason for my crazy thought process. This guy has been awesome since the beginning and I'm crazy in love with him. I have example after example of how great he is. When we first got together, and had an argument before I had to go to bed for work, he knew I was really rattled. He stayed up until 11 in the morning and called me to talk to me, to make sure that I knew he loved me and that everything was fine between us. That was just the beginning. He is absolutely caring, and truthful, and everything I have ever wanted. I could go on about him for hours >////>

I remind myself of all the awesome and kind things he has done for me when I start to feel anxious/depressed and my makes up these crazy things. I really get what you say about being busy, it's important, soo important actually that is essential to ward off anxiety and distract the mind. Reading, video games, listening to music, watching movies, all things that I do. Also working, laundry, mundane things like that I think the worst case scenarios alot...what if this, what if that. I think part of what fuels my anxiety is bad things that happened to me in my past with guys, and things my mother told me about guys when I was younger and impressionable. This is going to sound strange, but religion gave me alot of anxiety. I mean, think about it. You worry all the time about if you do things wrong you will go to hell or have to repeat your life (depending on the religion), or (usually in New Age religion) you are "meant" to be on this path or that path. I think that you are meant to be on the path you choose, So, anyway sorry I got off track. One more thing that plays into this is this belief that I wouldn't ever be able to have a good guy or nice things, which I think derived from depression and lack of self esteem when I was a kid/teen. So, I have ruled out many of the causes. Sometimes, I get frustrated with myself for assuming the worst in people (as a general statement.) Looking back in past relationships I see a pattern, which again helps me. I just need to break the habit of the ways I think. Easier said than done with anxiety, but I think that staying calm, recognizing the invalidity of them, and distracting oneself is imperative. As far as meds, I have nothing against them, but getting to the Dr's back and forth is a hassle, plus I cant really afford all of the co-pays. I have been on medication before, and I dont feel that the difference made was significant. I think that I need to be the one to change, and for me talking about it really helps, especially with folks that are going through the same thing. Thank you again for your response, I found it very helpful. Feel free to talk more about this anytime.

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