Anxiety is making me question everything I know
I'm not married but this is the only place I saw about anxiety, depression, and relationships and how each is affected.
Since having anxiety, I do a 180 and question everything I know to be true, especially with those I care most about and my boyfriend, Ken.
Just a little info on the situation:
I'm under a lot of stress. I'm in an international Long distance relationship with an absolutely wonderful, supporting boyfriend, who is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I'm a junior in college and I feel lost here...I don't feel comfortable in this school and I felt that way before I left for Australia, where I met my boyfriend. I especially don't feel that way now. I was so happy in Australia and felt extremely comfortable and welcomed. I felt like I could relax and be myself.
Flash forward to now being back home in Boston, I have daily anxiety...feel emotionally numb a lot of them time except for tears and frustrating emotions. I can't feel love for my boyfriend and I KNOW that I do. When we are together, I am calm, peaceful, and I feel whole. I don't have this anxiety like I do now. He knows I have all of this anxiety and I've explained it to him and he's still soo supportive and he's hanging in there with me, encouraging me constantly.
I get anxiety when I can't feel love because I start freaking out like "DWhat if I don't love my boyfriend? What does this mean? Am I not supposed to be with him?..." It makes me want to crawl into a hole but I don't want to because I love him so much and I refuse to give up on the best thing that has EVER happened to me. I don't know how I got so lucky to find him.
I get anxiety whenever a thought of any other guy comes into my head. Moreso if they're guy friends or something. It's like...not romantic at all. This past week or so it's been the thought of one guy friend in particular who I ahven't talked to in about 2 months. In fact, I haven't really talked to him but like 4 times since I've met my boyfriend...before I started dating my boyfriend when we were just friends. Like...we only really talked for a couple of weeks. We shared a lot but it was mostly our issues and stuff with life...like with him he had really bad issues with his girlfriend and it was a lot of negative stuff. All of the information I've shared with him I've since shared with my boyfriend so it's not like...he's the only one who knows or anything. For example, he would send me a message on fb chat like "I hate her" and I would try to make him feel better. We only really talked in person a few times and most of those times were after I asked him if he wanted to talk because he sounded SOO depressed and worried me. He reminded me a lot about myself emotionally.
Lately he's been the Automatic negative thought that keeps popping into my head. like not romantic...just like his face here and there and this gives me anxiety and gets me going with the "What does this mean? Why am I thinking about him? DOes this mean I don't love my boyfriend...etc."
I've been a little bit better at calming myself down but it seems like because I don't want to think about it, it sort of associates itself to every single thing I think and that gives me anxiety. like I woke up with anxiety yesterday and I had a an image of trees and such in my head and for some reason that was associated with him, it's ridiculous. I'm willing to admit that there probably is something about him that does fascinate me and possibly attract me but that doesn't change the fact that I love my boyfriend and want to be happy with him. It's hard when we're apart, you know? And I know that I perpetuate the thoughts myself sometimes. I can be fine and not thinking about it at all and then it's like I notice that I'm not anxious and my mind will go "Oh good, you're not thinking about it." which just brings it back into my mind. It's hard because I don't have these thoughts with my boyfriend. I didn't start feeling anxiety until about a month before I left for home and that should tell you that I was really stressed about going back. I spent an amazing week with him before coming home and I could feel love then and I've felt love since. Just I'm getting so overwhelmed and I feel like my emotional good days are less than the bad days lately and I am constantly plagued with questions and it's just frustrating. I don't want to be like this any more. I want to be able to feel the love and affection that I know that I have for my boyfriend.
After going to counseling and talking to my therapist about this, I've sort of realized that I put tougher restrictions and expectations on myself than everyone else in the world. Like, I feel guilty or like I am cheating on my boyfriend when a thought of another guy, even an unromantic one, comes to my mind when both my boyfriend and I have talked about how it's absolutely normal to find other people we meet to be attractive, whether it be physically or emotionally in some way. I mean, of course we're going to have thoughts about other people from time to time...it's just a part of life. It happens. We can't control it. And yet...I try to stop myself for some reason. So of course, because I stop it...I think of it more, like my guy friend who I probably am fascinated by or have some sort of emotional connection to. But it;s like...ridiculous. I mean...I don't expect the anxious thoughts to go away right away after i've realized this but I will continue to work with it, you know?
This is the first real serious relationship I've been in (I'm 20, young but old enough I think) and the first time I've been in love. I guess I'm learning as I am going and it is more difficult as I don't know what to expect or whatever and the long distance does add a lot of stress on my life. The thing is...I KNOW I love him. It just seems like there's a disconnect between my head and my heart lately. Be it hormone levels or stress levels causing it...it's frustrating. The sort of emotional stunting or whatever that I'm experiencing has escalated as my stress has escalated. I just hope that as I sort out my issues and calm down with anxiety that I'll be able to feel more like myself and feel the full breadth of my emotions, just not the negative ones, you know? I mean, when I'm not feeling anxious I feel fine and my thoughts are a lot more consistent, rational, and logical...but holy crap when I start feeling anxious I question EVERYTHING...like what if years down the line I'm not meant to be with my boyfriend? The fact remains that things might not work out in the long run but that shouldn't stop me from enjoying our time together now and I KNOW this but the thought of being without him scares me so when I'm anxious and I feel like i'm cheating on him, I can't feel the love I know I have for him, and I question if just ending things with one of the most important people in the world to me would make my anxiety go away, like a fix or something. I know it's not.
Oh I know for a full fact that my mind is playing tricks on me. I also know that feelings of love, as strong as I feel for my boyfriend, just don't go away overnight which what I felt like happened as my anxiety got bad. I'll get it back again, I hope. I just want to start to feel again.
I still talk to my boyfriend every day and I still carry on as usual...there's just not always that extra twinge, like the warm, butterfly feeling which he gives me. I generally feel at peace, calm, and whole when I am with him so to be so upset, disrupted, and not whole right now I'm sure has something to do with it.
I try breathing techniques and binaural beats. They help a bit but I still feel like I'm emotionally numb and withdrawn from all the stress I've placed on myself.
Sorry for this rant.