Anxiety Attacks During Divorce

Anxiety Attacks During Marital Separation

I’ve been having a boatload of anxiety attacks since D-day. Every month they escalate where breathing and meditation doesn’t work for me in the moment. I’m very methodical in everything I do. I realized during therapy, that when relate my feelings of an anxiety attack to her, I can’t pinpoint my thoughts. I just let them come to me, overwhelm me, and then eventually it passes until the next one comes. So I prepared myself with a head (thanks Google) and decided that during my next attack, whatever I thought I’d write it down and display where the pain or anxiety was experienced. I had a doozy last night and this is what it felt and looked like.

Anxiety Attacks During Divorce

Most of the extreme pain/suffering, during an anxiety attack, targets the bottom left side of my head and my left temple. However, once the thoughts increase it envelops my whole head.

I posted this on Reddit this morning and OMG, everyone who has experienced infidelity can relate with this photo. The anxiety attack not only involves your thoughts, but the way you see your ex, other people, and your future. It involves loss of control and a state of instability for god knows how long.

Thoughts About the Ex

Ironically, you can see that none of my thoughts of my ex-husband is about the mistakes he made DURING our marriage or the thought ‘I hate him’ crosses my mind. It’s all about the aftermath. The choosing of being single. The choosing of his lifestyle. The choosing of his job. For an instant, since we are not communicating, I do think “I should have tried harder and longer.” This clearly displays that all could have been forgiven and worked on had he chosen his family. My disbelief in him for not choosing family has caused me a lot of anguish, because I always assumed he would. It is still unfathomable to me and I feel abandoned. Thirty years, and in an instant, he chooses the door. Like so many other men his age does.

Why is he so mean? Well, he claims he’s no longer on any drugs, so I guess he’s just mean. I mean I’d like to assume and explain his meanness is due to addiction, but I’ll believe what he’s professing. He’s clean and it’s just him.

Again, I expected MORE out of him after 30 years together. I thought I knew him. We all make mistakes, but love conquers all. No it doesn’t, not with certain people. It takes a very special individual to admit their wrongdoings, are willing to do what it takes to change, and apologize through action, not words. He wasn’t one of them. I thought he was.

My Current Mindset

I was literally left in dire straits. He had the job. He had the new life. He had the new truck and I had the old junkie car. All of this was my decision as I assumed he would eventually follow me. We were together for thirty years total after all. Well, You know what assume did?

“You should never assume. You know what happens when you assume. You make an ass out of you and me because that’s how it’s spelled.”

Ellen DeGeneres

Therefore, my trust right now with literally everyone is limited or nil. I trust my two best friends and my mother. I trust my kids, but I feel that they are in the awkward position of hiding things. Rightfully so, but my current mindset is still in the 30-year marriage. It’s the reality of being separated. For all that you gave and all that you done, you’re basically a stranger now. I have to learn to accept it. After talking to so many betrayed spouses, the inability to trust is a common feeling. We tend not to trust our kids, our family, and anyone who is in any sort of contact with them. Why is that? All I know is that they didn’t just betray, they ruined a lot as well.

I’m not going to repeat everything I’ve said in previous blog posts about my current state but it isn’t pretty. Yes, I am forced to move in with my parents so I can get a job and find a place that will coincide with my income. At 46, living with your parents isn’t one of those life long dreams we aspire to attain. I have more than once looked at Air Canada and thought to hop on a plane to anywhere and never be heard or seen again.

I Want to Die Comment

I know some of you may have gasped when you saw that on my photo and I’d like to explain. While reconciling is completely out of the picture, I look at my life in a very weird way right now and I’m by no means suicidal.

He hates me for writing about our separation, but those are the choices he made when he decided to choose his single life. Writing for me is therapeutic and getting responses from likeminded individuals is even more so. I’m not crazy based on the amount of people who can relate to my every feeling and thought!!

Personally, I don’t hate him for the horrible things he did to me during our marriage, and I do not hate him for destroying the person I was. YET! I posted this image on Reddit this morning and someone said “Remember, you are too good for him.” I responded by saying, “He’s said that too in the past but I still don’t feel too good for him.” Perhaps I should….

You see, my life was mapped out at a very young age. Get married young. Have children young. Make dinners. Have friends. Work hard. Play harder. See my children become amazing adults. Live the empty nest life with my spouse. Travel.

Well, I was privileged to see my children become amazing adults. As I see it now, my empty nest life included the father of my children, the remember when discussions, and travel. While I’m not suicidal by any means, had I died on August 24th, rather than moved my things to Ottawa, I would have died over the moon happy with my life.

So when I have anxiety attack and I think this way, it’s because I’ve thought it through. I am starting a new life. I really don’t want this new life at all. I’m not open to meeting new people. Sleeping with new men. Finding new hobbies in the same town I left. I will find something to inspire me because I’m that kind of person. But, my current map of life is burnt. It’s gone. It’s buried. It included my life long partner and father of my children. With that, my anxiety escalates and I feel so alone.

And that’s all I really have to say about this photo today. There’s plenty more though as I want to talk about the Attachment Theory and how it relates to my current anxiety and future. Divorce is a ride….a ride from hell, until it gets better (SHRUG. Yes, I feel like my head is going to explode even without the anxiety attacks.)

Written by Trina Stewart

Trina Stewart is the editor-in-chief at Life's a Blog. Blogging and Social Media is her passion by night, while project management and business development fills her day.

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