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Separated from the one person who understands
I have had anxiety all my life and started taking anti-depressants 5 years ago when i got into such a bad state that i considered taking my own life. My depression has been up and down over the years but the medication has helped me keep stabilised. I do feel very misunderstood by my family though.
We have been in isolation for so many months now and while i am grateful to be in a warm house with my family safe and surrounding me, it is my partner who i feel has kept me sane as he understands my thought patterns and isnt judgemental or confused by me. Now that lockdown has reached stage 4 in melbourne and my boyfriends mum works in healthcare, my family have told me today that i cant see him anymore because he is living with someone who may be exposed to the virus. This separation from him could be for the 6 week lockdown or even longer. We havent spent more than a week apart since our first date. I am so devastated but it has hit me in a different way. Usually my reaction to feeling depressed is to cry and panic and resort to self harm etc. Now i think i have had so many knock downs lately that i literally feel numb. I dont feel anything. Its like my brain has just given up even trying to comprehend it.
I am so scared for the next few weeks because one of the biggest parts of my life has been ripped from me. I am not working atm so the only thing i have now is my family who i am so incredibly grateful for but i do feel trapped sometimes. I dont know how i will get through losing so much, i dont feel like myself anymore. I am a shell of who i used to be.
also my partner is trying to be positive and say that we will facetime etc but talking to him on the phone and seeing his face but not being able to be with him physically makes me even more sad than not talking to him at all. I think i might actually tear apart our relationship by ghosting him because its too hard for me to bare! How do i go about these next couple of months without breaking up a relationship that is everything to me but also keeping my sanity and not crying everytime i hear his voice on the phone? I am completely stuck!
We're so glad you've been able to share your story with us tonight. We understand this can be really daunting to do for the first time. It sounds like you're in a tough situation and we understand how difficult being separated from a partner can be. We know how much strength and support our partners can bring into our life.
It's great to hear how much you care you for your partner. It seems they really mean a lot to you. To help get you through this period, we'd recommend visiting our Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service. The website is regularly updated with information, advice and strategies to help you manage your wellbeing and mental health during this time. You might find the following articles useful:
- How to activate your support network
- Managing your mental health – why staying connected is so important
- Coping with loneliness and COVID-19
We hope you'll find our valued forums community helpful as this is a safe, non-judgmental and supportive place.
It's times like these that we feel the value of our senses. If you remove a sense, like the sense of touch, it can be deeply impacting. Some of our relationships are such deep sensory experiences.
This is going to sound a little outside the square but something that might be worth considering is replacing the direct senses of touch and smell of your boyfriend with something he can post to you. For example, just say he posts you a teddy bear. Before he posts it to you, get him to sleep with it in his bed the night before so the bear picks up his smell or maybe he's got a favourite aftershave he can spray on it. So, next time you Facetime each other, you're holding something he's held. This connects you. You won't just see him and hear him, you'll be able to smell him and connect through touching something he's put his touch into. I know it won't be the same but maybe it will help tide you over until the lock down ends. Just a thought. Maybe this idea triggers a better alternative, also a little outside the square perhaps.
Nothing completely replaces a loss of sense that we directly connect through with a loved one. Wondering about the next best thing can be a way of managing.
How someone makes us feel is highly significant, especially when we're facing challenges in life. We don't always realise how we feel our way through life. We see someone we love and we can feel our heart race and we might even feel those butterflies in our stomach. We can easily fall in love with such a feeling. Seeing them, when we're anxious, can lead us to feel a sense of 'powering down', as our body goes from extreme hyperactivity to a sense of peace. We are able to feel peace, in this case. Maybe this is something you can experiment with during Facetime. Pay attention to your physical/emotional feelings. Even though the physical distance exists, another way of connecting can be through the sense of feeling how you connect to your partner.
Yes, living in Melbourne is definitely a challenge at the moment. Figuring different ways to connect with life is one of the greatest challenges, I believe. I find a lack of excitement deeply challenging but I'm determined to be up for such a challenge. I will not let these times get the better of me; I will use them to find the better in me.
Take care and look after yourself as you face this challenge 🙂
PS. Wondering if you've advised your family that you're extra sensitive now, without your partner's direct presence in your life.