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How do I just STOP this stupid anxiety

(22 Posts)
FreakOutLockOut Thu 07-Dec-17 21:13:27

I have always suffered from anxiety. I have taken medication for it but stopped a couple of years ago. Day to day I'm ok but then I have some REALLY bad days but all in all I manage.

I have been single a little while and have started dating again. I have signed up to online dating and have been chatting to someone who seems nice. I have also been chatting via text to someone I met on a night out last week. I am supposed to be going out with the online man on Saturday and the night out man on Wednesday.

But I have this stupid anxiety. I have always been the same when it comes to me, since I got my first proper boyfriend at 16. Since then I have been engaged, had a child and had 2 serious, long term relationships but this anxiety never leaves me. I'm going to put it into bullet points and it would take me till Christmas to write it all out properly.

-absolute crippling anxiety on whether they 'like me'- I tell myself they should be the ones wondering whether I like them
-if I text them and they don't reply immediately/within half a hour I panic- again, do they like me. What are they doing. If they liked me they'd text back quicker etc
-I'm never going to meet anyone- I just don't feel like I'm the kind of person who's ever going to be someone's 'the one'
- with the online dating one, the thought of him going on a date then going on a date with me makes me feel sick- but I am literally doing the exact same thing. That's what online dating is like, that's the whole
- constantly checking my phone to see if they're online/active on whatsapp etc- this again stems to the first one.

I know writing this down makes me look absolutely pathetic. Embarrassing in fact. I am a 30 odd year old woman with a good job, own home, car, supportive friends and family etc and yet this over whelms me. Completely and utterly consumes me almost. It's like my anxiety sticks to it and I can't escape the thoughts.

Maybe I should give up on dating altogether. Like I said, I have always been the same and it's horrible. How am I supposed to find a nice normal man to settle down with when I'm literally feeling absolutely sick at the thought of someone not replying within a hour. It's pathetic.

Will counselling help? And if yes, what kind? Or do people think this is just a symptom of my anxiety? Or is there some kind of book I can read?

I'm not even sure if this all makes sense, I feel like I'm rambling now. Thank you if you have got this far!

Offred Thu 07-Dec-17 21:20:08

It strikes me that this anxiety stems from low self esteem.

Did you have a crappy childhood?

bluebell34567 Thu 07-Dec-17 21:20:40

you need to relax. have you thought of yoga?

FreakOutLockOut Thu 07-Dec-17 21:24:29

No @Offred, I had a brilliant childhood!

Yeah I know I need to relax Bluebell, its just so hard to actually do that. I haven't tried yoga but I do try and do my mindfulness every night which can help when I'm having a bad day

Teensandfuture Thu 07-Dec-17 21:53:27

What medication were you on and why did you come off it?

FreakOutLockOut Thu 07-Dec-17 22:00:30

I don't know what it was called Teens, maybe Sertraline? I came off it because I was originally prescribed it when i was depressed but I don't feel depressed at all now. Far from it in fact. I just have bouts of crippling anxiety

IF362525 Thu 07-Dec-17 22:06:54

"Maybe I should give up on dating altogether"

That's what I would do in your situation, at least until I had been for some therapy (CBT) which I believe you can self refer for. I found some of their techniques very useful. I take mess though so maybe they help. I still have bad days/hours but it's not dating related.

IF362525 Thu 07-Dec-17 22:07:26

Meds not mess!

itsalottery Thu 07-Dec-17 22:23:18

I think you should lay off the internet dating for a while or at least calm it down. It should be fun and not causing you so much anxiety. I don't mean that to sound harsh as I can get anxious too but not so early on. If you can't stop checking their whatsapp then turn off the view function. Maybe only see one at a time, there is no time limit so try not to look any further than date one and see how that goes. Make other plans too so you are not so reliant on the dates to work. As someone else suggested try yoga. Good luck!

FreakOutLockOut Thu 07-Dec-17 22:23:19

Yeah I'm thinking that IF. To be honest, I've been completely single since September and I still have crippling moments of anxiety. The person i met on the night out is the first man I've taken an interest in in months. I think my anxiety manifests itself in funny ways and 'relationships' is something it just latches on to.
I just feel so stupid that I can't just be a normal, relaxed person. I've deleted the app anyway, I was just checking whether he was online (which he is!!)'and I just thought god, get a grip of your life. So ive deleted that. We have been messaging via text anyway.

Going to get Christmas out the way then have a look st making a doctors appointment, I can't go on with this level of anxiety. It's not normal

FreakOutLockOut Thu 07-Dec-17 22:25:14

Thanks lottery. I've always said online dating wasn't for me because i know what I'm like but I was bored and thought I'd give it a go. I've just deleted it anyway so that's that. Good tip about the last viewed thing, I'll do that now.

PhoenixRisingSlowly Thu 07-Dec-17 22:39:18

If you had anxiety and were, say, training to be a nurse and were getting stressed about exams, fearing the responsibility or that you might mess up with patients meds etc and said to us on here: 'Maybe I shoud give up on nursing altogeter' I woudn't think yep, you're pants at nursing, I'd think woah! The anxiety is the problem, not the nursing. Same goes for dating.

I have experienced anxiety and I have found it really insidious. It creeps in and before you know it, you're rocking in a corner thinking everybody hates you. It's horribe. I'd recommend getting some counselling or even longer term psychotherapy, because that helped me massively. I'd also look objectively at what if anything seems to trigger anxiety. For example I ave completely cut out a caffeine (I can't even drink decaf tea any more, which sucks) as I found it exacerbated my anxiety hugely. It's partly about knowing yourself and what sets you off.

It might be that you'd fare better with other ways of meeting a man, rater than online dating. Maybe take a break from technology for a while and head out to some meetups or hang out with friends and see what develops from that. I'm not looking to meet anyone but if I was, I woudn't do OD because I think it would mess with my head too much and I recognise that. I'm far better in a no pressure setting. And even after therapy and no caffeine grin etc I still worry 'do they like me' etc, but I notice myself doing it and try and have compassion, and recognise that I am not a special little snowflake and almost everyone worries about these things from time to time, some more than others but literally EVERYONE goes through this. If you see it that way, that you're part of a group of people all experiencing the same thing to a greater or lesser extent, then its less lonely and dividing.
I'd recommend therapy hugely though. Good luck OP, I know how hard it can be.

Teensandfuture Thu 07-Dec-17 22:41:12

I was asking about medication because I came to realise I have anxiety too.
I'm not depressed,never been really but came to realise that overcounter sleeping pills help a lot with anxiety.
Sleepeeze lower dosage,I take it every night when it's bad and come off them completely when it's better. I'm similar with WhatsApp so deleting the app completely helps a lot. I delete it then restore back up to read messages ,if they come through. Sometimes I restore and delete straight away. My interest is the opposite,he doesn't appear online often ,certainly not every day and I get obsessed about when hes next online and will he message me? And if he's online but doesn't message,who does he message? Although logically thinking just because he's online doesn't mean he's chatting to people. I mean I'm there to check up on him, but don't chat to others!

Shankarankalina Thu 07-Dec-17 22:59:31

I opened this post thinking 'oh, it's me - I don't remember starting this thread!'

I'm in the same boat, op. Not only about singleness, but friendships too. I have always been quite a confident person and a good organised of get-togethers, but my anxiety now paralyses me and I am faced with an empty calendar and too fearful to try and fill it.

I've had a few dates, and gone to a couple of Meetup events in my nearest city. It's all such an effort that it's easier to sit home with a bottle of wine and feed my isolation.

I've also done the 'he's online but not messaging me' behaviour, and wishing people would reach out to me (not just men). I wish I could casually embrace dating, but the men I've met have just left me disappointed - except one, who of course I invested way too much hope in which sadly was not reciprocated.

My anxiety manifests itself when day to day hurdles that I would normally take in my stride overwhelm me and things like the car not starting or a difficult client preoccupy me to the degree that I think of resigning and going into hiding. I screen family phone calls and dither over whether to accept invitations (which in turn become fewer).

Finally, I've become BORING to myself, demoralised and lazy. On the plus side, I go to the gym, read, and provide a happy home for the children (whose care I share with their dad, 70:30). The gaping chasm when they are not here is horrible and isolating.

I'm watching with interest ...

FreakOutLockOut Fri 08-Dec-17 05:39:19

Phoenix insidious is exactly what anxiety is. This morning I feel fine and will probably feel fine for the rest of the day but slowly the anxiety will build up and up, just creeping on me until I can't ignore it for a single second longer then it just overwhelms me and I can't breathe.

I am definitely going to look into counselling once Christmas is over. I need help and I KNOW that this behaviour when 'dating' is just a symptom of my anxiety and it's not who I am but it doesn't help. Funny you should say that about caffeine though, I had 2 espressos and 2 large glasses of Coke yesterday so consumed quite a lot of caffeine. Maybe I should try cutting it out too?

Thanks Teen, I will look into the sleeping pills. . I over invested in someone (who used to take FOREVER to reply to messages, literally 6-7 hours) and he broke it off with me but I think my behaviour added to that, I got upset one night blush and I think this added so much to my anxiety as I would be on edge waiting for him to reply then when he did I'd be on edge thinking about what to say, how long to leave it till I reply etc. Then we only saw each other once a week and I'd be on edge all week hoping nothing happens that would stop us seeing each other!!

I went online last night and saw he was active and I just deleted the app. Or I'll be checking it all the time. And he could have been checking to see if I was active!! And even if he was chatting to other people, that's got nothing at all to do with me. We haven't even met. I'm going to try cutting our caffeine and book a counselling season and hopefully this mind of mine can get fixed!

shank yeah mine menifests in friendships as well. Like if someone only sends me a couple of words in reply, that's it I think something's up and I worry what I've done to offend. Same with family, constantly saying 'are you ok, are you pissed off with me' it's exhausting. And the worst thing is I'm pretty confident Day to day. Will talk to anyone, make people laugh, have no shyness. No one would know about this crippling feeling seeping it's way through my skin.

Thank You all for taking the time to reply to me flowers

ohlittlepea Fri 08-Dec-17 06:05:13

ten days to self esteem is a great book xxx talking therapies will help too and perhaps mindfulness, knowing how to calm a buzzing busy brain helps when those thoughts peak xxx Id suggest not atarting a new rshop until you feel youve made some progress with this because you might put up with some absolutely terrible stuff if you dont think youre deserving of someone elses love. xxx mindfulness is a great place to start rerouting those negative thought patterns smile

Columbine1 Fri 08-Dec-17 06:35:04

I think maybe you need to do more OLD till it doesn't matter any more! I recognise some of this myself - feeling possessive about internet men! - & i needed to work through it till I didn't take it too seriously. Agree it relates to self esteem though. And that being anxious eg about level of communication can scupper nascent relationships. Its important to learn from it & backboff a bit next time. You have a child & lovely friends etc - you don't NEED this man, he'd just be a nice addition to yr fabulous life smile

Columbine1 Fri 08-Dec-17 06:39:32

Back off not backboff!

Stella60 Fri 08-Dec-17 06:53:24

Definitely cut out the caffeine, it took me a while to realise how bad it made me feel! Also don't listen to yourself in the middle of the night, many people think bonkers thoughts then. Keep busy during the day and physical activity is good especially that requiring mental concentration as well. Anxiety is the pits, hope you feel much better soon

Pinky333777 Fri 08-Dec-17 06:58:06

All the things listed are things out of your control.
Try and let go of things that are beyond your control. It's a time will tell situation.
I have a stern talk to myself when I'm anxious, especially if they're illogical or irrational anxieties.
What good Can I possibly do by worrying? Worrying solves nothing.
I agree perhaps some talking therapy could help you find better coping strategies.
But... who isn't nervous when dating?
I know I worry if they like me or not and worry if I don't hear anything.
They are normal feelings, they just need to be kept in proportion xxxx
Always assume the date went well and they adored you, unless you get obvious signs otherwise 😄

Biddylee Fri 08-Dec-17 07:38:17

Freakout I'm mid-40s and have suffered from anxiety when dating. It was particularly strong with one guy (I was jittery most of the time) - this was because something in me knew he wasn't the right guy. To deal with it, I did lots of meditation and I used Vitano - a brand of rhodiola tablets - which calmed my nerved. Also cut out caffeine. And reduced drinking.

However, one of the things I realised is my anxiety stems from lots of OCD thinking. I have a bit of that in normal life so I get a little obsessed with a hobby and that can have great results but on the minus side, that obsessive side really clings to relationship issues. I'm generally alright in most other ares of my life except dating. So I came across something called relationship OCD. So this is the constant questioning and doubts and fears repeating focused on your relationship. There is an app you can download that is for ROCD and helps you reevaluate your thoughts. CBT might be something to look at.

Also look at keeping a feelings journal to see if anything else is triggering the anxiety.

Teensandfuture Fri 08-Dec-17 10:12:29

I just read about ROCD and none of doubts and questions apply to me, in fact mirroring image is.I worry the OTHER person either don't care about me,actively avoids me or goes through those questions in their mind.

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