Now that I can see where my attachment issues stem from, I can see more clearly how they affected my life.
Ironically, being discharged from mental health services really helped (despite my fears). I learned to stand on my own two feet and take back responsibility for my life and future.
A lot of my fears around losing people I love/care about, was that they may die before I do. I was so scared of that. And it terrified me so much there were times I harmed myself or tried to take my own life so that I wouldn’t have to experience that kind of pain.
Of course, it’s natural for people to worry about losing loved ones. It’s something we would all dread, and it’s something I can still worry about. It’s when I allow my imagination to run away and create traumatic scenarios of losing loved ones that I become overwhelmed. I simply cannot allow that to happen any more. And I asked myself earlier, what changed to enable a more accepting attitude?
I guess the first thing I had to do was face up to the reality that everyone will die at some point. It’s the one certainty in life. It’s the one thing we have little control over. Accepting that is a huge but do-able hurdle. In accepting the inevitability of death; I also accepted that the same is true for friendships/relationships. They will all end at some point or another. Be it that you fall out, you gradually lose touch, the relationship naturally dies out or one of you dies. And the fact is, it is something we have/will likely face in our lives.
I had to learn to recognise when my wild imagination was running away with ideas, images and thoughts of loss/grief. Once I could recognise that was happening, I was able to reassure myself by reminding myself that
- My imagination was creating those ideas/images. What I saw in my mind was not factual. It was an interpretation I’d conjured in my mind through anxiety.
- I couldn’t foresee the future or know if/when/how my relationships would end. Therefore, it was more difficult for me to entertain those fears
- In this moment, all is well.
This reassurance helped me a lot. I came to realise I was worrying about things/situations that hadn’t even happened and were not guaranteed to happen.
Truth is, none of us know what the future holds. So how can we worry about something that’s not real? It just causes us to avoid relationships with others. And avoiding contact, relationships and intimacy with others will cause nothing but loneliness and misery.
Don’t make yourself lonely and unhappy just so you can avoid becoming lonely and unhappy. It’s a no-win situation.
Get out there. Make friends; build on new and existing relationships. Build on your self-esteem and worth. And start enjoying life.
If I can do it then anyone can💜