I have issues with anxiety in relationships, but I recently started seeing a wonderful man, and will start going to a therapist soon. However, I'm looking for techniques or ideas to help manage my anxiety while I'm searching for a steady therapist.
I'm a long-time sufferer of relationship anxiety—basically, if you read the description of relationship OCD
, it describes word-for-word the anxieties that occur in my relationships. Usually my panic causes me to either leave or sabotage a relationship. However, I've recently (six months) started dating a wonderful, wonderful man I'm majorly crazy about, who makes me very happy (and with whom I have seriously mindblowing sex) which makes the anxieties — do I love him? how do I know what love is? — and the inane nitpicks that arise, about totally irrelevant details like cowlicks and vocal intonations — that much more distressing, especially since there are no red flags, and when I'm not anxious, I'm the happiest I've ever been. (I also have severe anxiety about a number of other issues, which I haven't seen a therapist about since high school but which make it completely unsurprising that my issues with relationships would be based in anxiety!)
After I had a panic attack a month or so ago, which ended with me almost breaking off the relationship because I just couldn't deal
with the CONSTANT anxiety and obsessing, I decided to start researching the root causes of my troubles, and was so happy to come across the idea of relationship OCD / relationship substantiation — basically, happy to learn there might be an explanation and a solution to my problems, and a chance I might actually not sabotage this super-great relationship. I've started researching therapists but because of insurance purposes, it might be a while before I am able to see one regularly (but I'm working on it!).
However, until then, I'm looking for ways to manage the anxiety, especially considering it's anxiety about someone I love greatly and want to (and do) see often. There are a lot of peaks and valleys, and I'm coming out of a wonderful long valley of happiness where I was rarely anxious and incredibly optimistic about my prospects in the relationship. However, I can feel myself getting anxious again (triggered by recent events completely unrelated to the relationship). My boyfriend is super supportive and understanding, but I'm looking for any ideas to help modulate my anxiety until I can set up regular therapist appointments.
Advice about how to either calm down the obsessive thought spiral or how to modulate the anxiety in the long run from people who have been in this specific situation is especially super helpful. As is any reassurance that everything will be okay! (And I've read this
and it's great, but I'm looking for advice more tailored towards helping the sufferer.)
and oh my god please don't say "anxiety in a relationship is a bad thing" — this is a long-time reoccurring problem in my life and relationships, I'm very much in love with my boyfriend, and I'm tired of the anxiety consistently taking control every time a relationship starts going well. now that I know the (probable) source I want to at least make a valiant attempt to fix it before throwing the relationship under the bus in an attempt to quell my anxiety and obsessions. thanks!