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Old 07-13-2012, 08:43 AM   #1
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Hello all! I hate my anxiety. I know that sounds silly; no one likes anxiety. My mind never stops. I'm TERRIFIED to take chances in life, yet get so mad when I see others do so. Not mad at them but at myself because I can't get out of my own way. I'm very used to being independent. I've had limited relationships with men because that is where my greatest anxiety is. I've been let down numerous times and as much as I want to get back on the horse and give it another go, my anxiety stops me. I've definitely chosen the wrong people, as previous posts have noted. Sometimes I think I'm not supposed to find happiness. I battle myself all the time. I'm on a dating website now and struggle with it tremendously. I was emailing two guys and that stopped. Yet, a guy who actually seemed mature and decent emailed me. It took me the longest time to email him back, because I psyched myself out each time. How can I be afraid of something I want? Then yesterday, on another social networking website, I noticed my ex is now with someone else. I'm sure some of you remember the guy I was dating who began acting like a child. He was younger and lived with his mom and sister. He had difficulty giving me space and began making comments about what my friends have because he was at a different point in life. Ok, so I broke up with him in December but it's still very hard to see an ex move on before you do. Is that normal? I know I made the right decision breaking up with him but it stung to see his picture. He was a good person but a child in many ways and I needed to move forward. So now this guy who is older, has a set career, emails me and I freeze. I guess what I'm asking is...what strategies do some of you use to actually stay with your anxiety, deal with it, and not run when it comes to dating? One minute, I want to find someone to share my life with, but not lose my independence. When the chance is in front of me, I'm a bag of nerves and fear. I avoid everything!

Last edited by Mod-S4; 07-28-2012 at 12:37 PM. Reason: Posts merged.

 
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Old 07-13-2012, 08:58 AM   #2
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Depression, Anxiety, and Dating

Howdy! I've written many times for most of the posters to know some of my history. My greatest issue I have with myself is my self-confidence and anxiety to live life. I feel that many times I actually make myself depressed and can't get out of my own way. I'm terrified of ending up alone, yet even more terrified to put myself out there. I'm so lonely most of the time but that's easier than rejection. It's a cycle I can't get myself out of, which leads me to be sad most of the time. I've definitely chosen the wrong guys to date as they all had baggage. Granted most people have baggage, but they needed to be fixed and I couldn't help them. I've always taken on that role in my family, Ms. Fix-it. So I'm making attempts to change that in my dating life.

I may have written about this before. I started dating someone last September. He was 3 years younger than me. He would've done anything for me but to a point of suffocation. I'm sooooo used to being independent and he needed me to need him. His parents divorced when he was young and never had a relationship with is dad. No doubt in my mind that he never addressed this issue and it's part of the reason he still lives at home with his mom and sister. He played the role of husband (around the house) and son/brother. They were great to me but I always had a strange feeling. The three of them rarely did anything without the other two. My therapist helped me to see that that's how they want things and he wanted me to be a part of that group, with no other real attachments to people. I let him know that I needed to keep some of my independence but he never respected it. If I was doing something and couldn't get in touch with him for a period of time, when we were next in touch, I'd get a sarcastic comment. I couldn't do it anymore. He made comments about my friends and what they have that they've worked for. My feelings started to change when he started acting as a child. So I ended things. I know I hurt him but it would have been cruel to stay for the fact of not hurting him. Moving along, I saw yesterday on FB that he's dating someone. Granted I know I made the right decision letting him go, why does that sting? I guess I wanted to move on first.

After being off of it for 4 years, I'm back on a dating website and I find it tremendously hard. My depression and anxiety keep me in one place and don't allow me to move forward, as much as I want to. I can't get out of my own way. Does this make any sense?

 
Old 07-13-2012, 10:09 AM   #3
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Re: Anxiety and Dating

I think the first thing to acknowledge is that you're lacking reassurance. That could be something that has been with you throughout your childhood also. But sometimes when we've never tried something before we can be anxious too especially if we think about it too long before we take that first action or learn how to do it. Do you have anxiety with most things or is it more to do with dating? There may be several emotional hangups that need to be dealt with first and challenged within yourself. When I was going through a time of severe social anxiety I had to challenge myself but also learn how to be a better interactive conversationalist, just like any other skill.

 
Old 07-13-2012, 04:04 PM   #4
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Re: Anxiety and Dating

Thank you for your response! You are correct on all accounts. I've always needed reassurance. I've learned a lot through the years but struggle at times. I tend to have anxiety with most things but mostly socializing and dating. I'm having a hard time lately watching others put themselves out there. For example, tonight. My friend is going through a divorce and has been dating anything that passes her way. I'm soooo not like that. I know I'm not in her position and I'm looking for something else. We are going out and the guy she is currently dating will probably meet us. I'm not looking forward to it. But part of me knows I'm not looking forward to it because I'm envious that others are out there. Make sense? I feel so awful feeling this way. Another part of me doesn't like him just how she speaks about him. They argue often and in my mind, I just don't see the point. How can you argue so much with someone you hardly know? I am forcing myself to go and be social. I'm so confused in my own head. I want myself out there but I'm terrified. At the same time, I'm fed up with others just living life. What gives? As far as my ex, he just wasn't for me. But I wanted to find someone first. Granted, he may not be happy, who knows? I do wish him happiness; I'm not a mean person. But I wanted it first. What's wrong with me? Is this normal?

 
Old 07-14-2012, 12:10 AM   #5
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Re: Anxiety and Dating

I'm still trying to understand the 'envious that others are out there' comment. When you say envious do you mean similar to jealousy? Is your anxiety more to do with how to act around the opposite sex in the world of dating or is it more worry about failing in a relationship again?

 
Old 07-14-2012, 04:57 AM   #6
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Re: Anxiety and Dating

Yeah I guess similar to jealousy. As far as anxiety, it's both acting around the opposite sex and failing at a relationship. Sometimes I just feel so out of place, in this world, in general. Like I don't belong! I'm not one for carefree sex and it seems to be the route that many go. I probably come off as a prude or boring. I'm terrified to let myself go and just be. Last night, I met my friend's current guy. Didn't seem any more mature than her husband that she is divorcing. I know I made the right decision as far as my ex, but why does it still hurt eventhough he was really not for me? Maybe it's the loneliness talking and it feels like the walls are closing in on me and I'm running out of time. I just feel terrible about myself and where I'm supposed to be.

 
Old 07-14-2012, 08:34 AM   #7
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Re: Anxiety and Dating

Are you seeing a therapist? I think a therapist could help you with your anxiety and your other issues. You're plenty young enough, too young to feel the way you do.

 
Old 07-14-2012, 09:34 AM   #8
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Re: Anxiety and Dating

I do go to therapy weekly and we are working on this. I have a very warped view of myself. Well I should say that I know I have a lot to offer but I'm terrified and a little jaded from previous experience. I want to not care. I want to just be able to do whatever and move on. I overthink everything, making myself miserable. I know my exes are exes because they weren't right for me, but I still feel so far behind. It's hard to keep getting back up after being knocked down. Yet sometimes I knock myself down. Much of this also lends itself to family issues. I've always put my family first and have a hard time putting me first. I'm afraid something will happen if I attempt to become happy. My anxiety intertwines to so many parts of my life. I just want to break free from it all. I'm tired of trying!

 
Old 07-14-2012, 10:00 AM   #9
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Re: Anxiety and Dating

Being single at any age does not mean someone is "behind". You need to stop thinking that a relationship is the answer to all of your problems because relationships are hard, time-consuming, frustrating work. They take away time from people to be able to experience getting to know themselves on a level that is not possible when in a relationship. You're in a really good position right now to feel free to do whatever you want, whenever you want, and not have to answer to anyone. It's freedom, something that people in relationships don't have and won't ever have again as long as they remain in that relationship. So don't keep telling yourself you're behind because you're totally not. You're fine but you just need to learn how to focus your thinking in a different direction.

 
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Old 07-14-2012, 02:59 PM   #10
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Re: Anxiety and Dating

It seems like there's a lot of energy that goes into your worrying. At the core I see someone who has never been in a situation that helped them towards reconditioning the way they think and feel. At the bottom of it I feel there's someone who hasn't been able to discover the true reasons as to how they feel. Do you ever feel there is a 'because' to all of this? Like I feel sad or hurt because...Do you talk yourself out of understanding your 'becauses'? And I feel the need to be sad because....?

 
Old 07-14-2012, 04:35 PM   #11
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Re: Facing Anxiety

I use deep belly breathing and remind myself that it's just a normal human emotion that everyone experiences.

 
Old 07-14-2012, 06:16 PM   #12
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Re: Facing Anxiety

I try but sometimes it feels like someone has a pillow over my mouth.

 
Old 07-14-2012, 06:20 PM   #13
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Re: Anxiety and Dating

I'm not sure I understand what you mean blujonny. Much of my anxiety I've had since I was a kid. Always worried. I was overweight so always had people make fun of me. I'm part of a co-dependent family. I always had the role of fixing all problems. A major lack of confidence.

 
Old 07-14-2012, 06:34 PM   #14
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I'm saying at the core of your anxiety may lie a lack of understanding of your emotions. In other words you may explain your anxiousness in a way that makes it seem like it's something that's out of your control, that you've decided certain beliefs in relation to your anxiety, but if someone told you that it's possible to change what causes your anxiety, do you think you would agree that you could believe it's possible to change your anxious feelings?

You've decided that your anxiety is out of your control possibly, is what I meant.

Last edited by Mod-S4; 07-15-2012 at 08:55 AM. Reason: Posts merged.

 
Old 07-16-2012, 05:37 PM   #15
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Re: Anxiety and Dating

I only just saw this. Sorry responding so late. I think I've figured something out. Ya know how sometimes people have difficult relationships with a parent growing up and it effects their adulthood and how they live their life and make decisions? Instead of that being my parents, it's my brother. I will try to make this short but clear. Growing up my brother had a temper. Not on purpose, but my parents pretty much appeased him so fighting would not occur. He controlled much of what went on in the house. I never did much for myself because I was afraid something would happen. I "had" to be home to put the pieces back together. My brother doesn't have the temper he used to have but does try to control once and a while. His life is a mess and he's all over the place. He doesn't drink everyday but has difficulty knowing when to stop when he's out. As much as he tries to control things once and a while, he's unreliable. I have a lot of resentment and anger towards him and my parents and I'm working on that. If my parents put their foot down, my brother wouldn't have gotten away with 1/2 of what he did. I'm angry because I feel it became my burden (unintentionally) and I put my life on hold. NOW, I'm petrified to move forward. I've worked so hard to become independent and handle my life and be self-sufficient, because I never wanted my life to be like his. But inadvertantly, I think I closed myself off tremendously and put a wall around myself. This is making it hard to let people in and when I have, it's been the wrong ones. I want not to be afraid of dating. I think I realized the other day that I'm afraid of losing what I've worked so hard to attain. I don't know how to separate. I want to let someone in and attempt to find happiness in that part of my life but I'm afraid of letting myself down. I'm afraid that if I do let someone in, it will show a sign of weakness. I'm also feel sometimes that I'm not meant to have that part of my life or that I don't deserve it. My relationships stem back to my brother. I love my brother dearly and know he doesn't know how to control is own life. I know I need to live for myself but every once and a while I try to depend on him and he usually doesn't follow through. I've trained myself to believe that's what relationships are like. Any of this make sense? I'm sorry I rambled, but it all just came out...didn't want to stop typing.

 
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