anxiety and overthinking is ruining my relationship!
hey guys im new on here but my anxiety has gotten so bad in the past couple of weeks that my relationship with my boyfriend is been badly affected. Long story short my anxiety stems from a previous relationship where my ex was extremely emotionally abusive and manipulative as well as a drug addict.
During this relationship I was faced with the most intense feelings of worthlessness and was constantly on edge, comparing myself to every other girl in the room, looking at my ex's internet history to see which girls on facebook he was talking to then fantasizing over all while showing me absolutely no affection.
It got to such a point that I couldn't even dress myself with what I thought was nice looking and instead dressed how he wanted me to. I thankfully got out of that relationship and knew I had bad anxiety, jealously and self esteem issues from it however I didn't realize how bad they actually were until recently.
Ive been with my current boyfriend for almost a year now and he is absolutely amazing and I know I want to spend the rest of my life with him. However this makes me feel more anxious than ever! these days absolutely everything sets me off, I feel those past feelings creeping up and as an automatic defense I lash out because its easier to feel angry than hurt or worthless or forgotten.
I get this overwhelming fear of been forgotten and create these images in my head which then rev the anxiety up to an extreme and I cant seem to snap out of it until the damage between my partner and I is already done. This is mostly trigged by the thought of other girls and I cant stand the thought of feeling rejected and completely self conscious about every part of my appearance.
The past comes back to hunt me and I constantly worry and stress about him finding other girls attractive even though I know that's life! ive developed this habit where im literally pulling out my hair strand by strand when im feeling these emotions.
I need help because I cant stand been trapped in my own head like this and my partner does deserve to feel like he cant do anything. I want to be me again and be fun to be around and have my sense of humor and laid back attitude back! please help
I am currently myself working on being more emotionally independent so I can relate to some of what you are saying here. You may want to consider some sort of therapy if you have trauma from your previous relationship. If you like reading you might try "The Courage to be Yourself" by Sue Patton Thoele. Also if you want a bit of a laugh and a confidence boost you could try "The Single Woman's Sassy Survival Guide" by Mandy Hale. She also had an abusive relationship. Hope you find your confidence. Chris.
Therapy is a good idea if you're looking to break patterns in your life, especially around relationships because - from my personal experience, anyway - feelings of love, jealousy, anger are the strongest and most intense.
There are many different types of therapy, so when you're looking for a therapist, you may wish to make sure that it's a type that is going to specifically help you identify your issues, recognise them, and work through them. One type of therapy that can be useful for this is called "schema therapy".
There's more information on that here - the first bit is in quite clinical language, but the list of patterns further down the page you may recognise as part of your life: http://www.schematherapy-nola.com/what-is-schema-therapy
If you want to find a therapist near to you, there's a directory on our website that you can search by postcode: http://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/find-a-professional
Hope this helps.
There are also two stories from our "I Am Anxiety" campaign that you might find insightful:
Dear r. (?rebecca) wills,
How many boyfriends do you reckon it would take to finally accept that you are wonderful, worthwhile, can engage in good communication, enjoy a joke and have a sassy sense of humour, dress well and portray ideas in flowing sentences and never seem to go off on a tangent or start texting mid post ?
Answer: One. The right one.
Your ex must had intimiated you a great deal but it's your current boyfriends who has a hold on you. Try and be grateful for the "now" and the "wow". Any sort of therapy is worth a go if you want to commit to changing your mindset.
I remember working on an American Summer Camp in the early 80's and the staff training before the 600 kids arrived was very friendly. One night, camping by the lack, a few Americans disrobed down to their underpants, grabbed a clinging vine, and swung out over the lake before releasing and splashing down in the water. It looked like a blast. But........my ultra English, quaint, polite, upbringing couldn't allow me to "have fun" the same way. It was too brash and crazy for me. Now, all these years later I wished I had dumped by daks, ripped off my shirt and thrown my kickers in the bush and swing like Tarzan for the instant rush of freedom and the ripple of surprise. What can I say ? A little coaxing is required.
You can stay on the sidelines of your relationship and cling to the old disturbing feelings or you can make like a Baywatch star coasting over the water with nothing but a good grip and a set of underwear to get your over your inhibition. At some point your fear of acknowledgement needs to be exposed. In a good way.
I have to have a cup of tea now and reminisce about the '80's further. Regrets are really on good for writing songs about and Old Nursing Homes. More gello ?
PS "I want to spend the rest of my life with him" = motivation plus !
I noticed that it is a few days since you posted and you have not had a response. I am sorry about that. You might find that this is a pretty old thread and some of the contributors are no longer checking in. I have not been involved myself that much for awhile. If you started a new thread you might get more response.
I am also familiar with worrying and overthinking. I have been told that this is a learnt behavior and trying to unlearn is an ongoing challenge. I am sorry that your girlfriend has lost patience with you. It can be hard trying to talk to someone when they are not in the same place as you.
Are you currently getting more help for your anxiety? If not maybe you might consider going to see your doctor and discussing what you have written here. That is what I would do.
Hope your feeling better.