Confusing time mentally and emotionally

Im going through a very exciting life change at the moment, genuinely life changing, but I can’t help but be sad. My heart feels so lonely. I just haven’t been myself lately, I feel like the past year has been so stressful, that I’m just a shell of a human now. I haven’t been paying attention to my heartbeat lately, and when I do pay attention to it, my heart feels like a stranger.
Part of this exciting life change requires me to go back to the US for about two and a half weeks, and I’m going alone. I’m really scared cuz I’ll be in a place I’m not very familiar with (Florida), I have no family, no friends to see, I’ll just be alone. The optimistic part of me thinks I could use this trip as a practice/meditation in patience, calmness, solitude. But the scared, anxious, lonely part of me is terrified. I’ve gotten so used to being with my husband, that now the thought of being alone scares me. I think it’s such a silly thing to be scared of cuz I’ll be back, but I just can’t stop thinking about how lonely I’ll be. My husband said he’s gonna try to come out the second week so we can go back to the UK together, but I don’t think he’ll be able to. If he can, then my problem is solved, I can do a week by myself. But if he can’t come, I treat it like it’s the end of the world lol no matter what I tell myself, I can just feel the pre-loneliness.
I’m also scared cuz I’m afraid I’m gonna run into my parents, which is also RIDICULOUS. I am 99% sure I won’t run into them, but that 1% overcomes all of my senses, and swallows me whole. I keep thinking “what if I see them in the airport” “what if they find where I am?” Etc. When I’m in a good headspace, I can rationalise and say “why would they be there??? They live in North Carolina…I’m going a day after a busy holiday, they aren’t gonna go anywhere” but again that 1% of fear has a chokehold on me. I’m tired of being scared of my family and I feel lonely thinking this way.
I feel like I’m put in a lot of situations/experiences that test my weaknesses, and even though it can be annoying and I don’t ask for these tests, I guess this is just another test. A test on being alone with my loneliness is very daunting and I don’t want to do it, but I have to. Maybe I’ll find out something about myself, maybe I’ll be reintroduced to myself after feeling like I haven’t been in my body/mind for a year. I’m just scared about the worst that could happen, and thats all I care about sadly.


Hey nicole_kaley

Hope your day is going well. Since you have considered what the worst is that could happen, have you also spent time thinking about what the best is that could happen?

Maybe thinking about this, and pondering on it could help distract you from some of the ideas of the worst that could happen. I think it is okay to be yourself, and feel all the things that you are feeling. You have your reasons to feel the way you do, and that is perfectly okay.

Hopefully you can still talk to your husband though, right? Being physically a lone can be a bit jarring if you are not used to it, but if you have that certainty to fall back on, that your husband is still there waiting for you to come back. I think this should give you a bit of comfort. Especially if you have the ability to talk/text them while on your trip. Take some solitude in what you have, and what you will be returning to. That would be awesome though, if they can make the trip part of the time with you. So hopefully this can happen for the two of you to make things easier, but if not, you still will be together again eventually!

I would say that you are probably correct in thinking it is highly unlikely you will run into people from another state during a holiday, especially if those said people are not a part of your life, so they will not have any information of this trip. That doesn’t mean you are wrong for, or should feel guilt, for feeling this way. Like I said, you have your reasons for feeling this way. I wonder if maybe you could plan some fun things to do while in the area you are in, and maybe these things could help pass the time/relieve some of the stress you are feeling?

Hope your trip goes well and you become a bit more confident in your ability to be alone. You got this!

Hey Nicole!

I know this response comes a bit late but I hope it finds you well all the same.

This definitely sounds like a tough spot to be in. But it makes sense to me. Because it sounds like there is a lot of anxiety underneath the surface that just swallows the goodness and fixates on all the what-ifs and negatives. And the frustration that comes with knowing this is happening must be overwhelming. Like “why cant i just be happy?” or “why cant i just enjoy it. Why cant my brain let go of the negatives?”. I imagine that feels a bit like a war against yourself. And Im sorry youre going through that. Or well, went through that, now in the past tense.

I super super struggle with this still. So I think I get where you’re coming from. To a lesser degree, my partner and I take roadtrips to California to see her family. From Chicago, that’s 32 hours. In my head, I know that the destination will be so wonderful. I know, logically, that it will work out. But my brain fixates on the long drive. The 12 hour days in a car. That feeling of my back hurting. The stress of “what if I fall asleep at the wheel?” or “how will i stay awake?” or “what if something happens to the car on the way?”.
And suddenly, the joy of the trip is overshadowed by all of the what-if’s and maybe’s and whatnot. Instead of seeing this wonderful opportunity to go on adventure with my partner.

I think I identified a few years ago with my therapist that my anxiety is a need for control. That I need to know every possible event and then have a solution for all of them. And if I dont have a solution…well then comes the spiral. Does that resonate at all by chance?

The hardest thing for me to do has been to learn to let go. To say “well, the worst case scenario is ridiculously unlikely, but if it comes up, I’ll handle it. I’ve been through tough times and weird things before and I’ve come out the other side.” There’s something profoundly powerful in letting go. But it took lots of time. So much time and effort. But in doing so, I feel wholly more confident in myself. My own efficacy to handle things.

So what I mean to say in this is that, perhaps there is a way to plan for some contingencies and to be aware. But also, knowing we can never truly know what’s going to happen. And learning to make peace with that, whatever that looks like for you.

I’d love to hear and update on this and hear how you’re doing.

In the end though, i want you to know that this isn’t you’re fault. This isn’t something you have chosen for yourself. But I believe you can find a peace. Please please take care of yourself my friend.