Recently separated and so scared of being alone
I’m a very emotional and caring person and all I want in life is to be happy and to be with someone that cares for me as much as I care for them. I have little self confidence and suffered from depression right through my teens and mid twenties. I haven't suffered from the depression much for more than 10 years expect from dealing with a fairly serious chronic back issue.
The problems that lead to me leaving my partner basically stem from my emotional needs and her not being in touch with her emotions at all and, though she is in many ways a very caring person, the way she shows it is very very limited. After years of my affection being ignored or not reciprocated, plus her work taking precedence over almost everything, I was left feeling very lonely and unloved in the relationship. I just couldn’t handle it anymore and decided it was time to move on. Its been the hardest thing I’ve ever done, I’m so scared of being alone and I constantly question whether it was the right thing to do. I’ve now moved out, leaving an amazing home, nearly all my belongings and my cats and am living in a pretty crummy rented place with a fairly small room as my space. My moods/feelings are very up and down and some days I struggle a lot, feeling very lonely and depressed. I try to keep as busy as possible to keep my mind off the bad stuff.
The only thing that is keeping me going right now is having met a beautiful and caring girl, who I’ve been seeing pretty much since splitting with my ex. She makes me feel things I never thought possible and things seem to be going fairly well, though my recently ended long term relationship and my somewhat excessive enthusiasm for her are freaking her out a bit. When I’m with her I’m completely happy, but as soon as I’m away from her, I’m straight back to feeling extremely down and depressed. She’s going away for 3 weeks in October and I’m really scared how I will handle this time alone. I’m so paranoid that I’m going to mess things up with her and if I end up alone I'm very scared that I will slip into a severe depression and won't have any will to li
Welcome to Beyondblue. Thanks for engaging in the forums and sharing your story with us.
I wanted to draw your attention to your comment "I try to keep as busy as possible to keep my mind off bad stuff". This is a great form of distraction, however a really unhelpful for of avoidance. There's a huge difference between the two. Avoidance is pushing a problem aside, with no intention to come back and deal with it. Distraction is about taking your mind off of a problem for a short while with the intent of coming back to it and working through it. I wanted to ask whether you feel you are distracting or avoiding?
Are you seeing a therapist at the moment? Do you take medication for your depression?
I'm also wondering whether it's worthwhile you exploring what it's like for you to be in solitude? Often when we are in the depths of depression, solitude can sound like a really horrible word. The thing is, we need to be comfortable with being on our own. We need to be able to soothe ourselves, and not be dependent on others doing this for us.
I suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder and one of the traits of this illness is an absolute fear of abandonment, real or imagined. So I completely get what it feels like when people leave you in for just a short while and yet you feel like your whole world is crashing down. Self Soothing Techniques are really good for this. I can suggest some, but you may also like to explore the internet for more and speak with a Psychologist about supporting you to do this. Some methods are:
1. Focusing on the presence that your loved one has in your life. I'll try to explain this as best I can, it's something that I had to do recently when my partner went away. You know when you're at work and you think about your girlfriend, it's highly possible that she's thinking of you too. This is what I mean by presence. She never really leaves you, she's in your mind, your heart, and takes up a part of your soul.
2. Finding something that makes you feel pampered. Maybe it's a bath with a muscle soothing bath gel.
3. Using mindfulness. A method of keeping you aware of the present. It helps to stop past and future thinking. (I'll let you google this)
4. Mental Imagery. Imagine a safe space, maybe you're there alone, maybe your girlfriend is there with you. Explore this space in your mind, recognise how you feel there, curiously look at all the objects there etc.
Hope to hear back from you.
I hadn’t really thought of it that way. I definitely want to deal with the problem so I guess it’s distraction I’m after. I’ve just never known how to deal with it.
I haven’t seen anyone, but do have an appointment next tuesday. I’m also not taking any medication.
Solitude is when my depression and despairing state really sets in. I’ve been avoiding coming home, coz being alone scares the hell out of me and it’s when the darkness comes. I think, right now, this is a lot to do with the fact that I’m no longer in my home. I’m a long way from my comfort zone. If I was still living in my home with my things around me I would be a lot better. Just thinking about it is making me cry.
When I was a teenager, I had a really hard time at school with being bullied and wanted nothing else but to be liked. I ended up spending a lot of time on my own and this is when my depression really started and for a long time I just wanted to die. I really feel that this time in my life has very much shaped the way I am now. I have very little self esteem and I have a great need to be liked and loved and I find being alone very scary.
Now that I’ve found this girl that seems to be so caring and could possibly give me the acceptance and love that I so desire, I’m utterly scared that I’m going to mess it up. I have no idea if I’m reading things correctly and I’m sure I’m driving her nuts with my excessive attention.
Thank you for your suggestions, I will definitely look into them further.