December 25, 2012 12:13 PM Subscribe
How do I get over my completely insane (and crippling) fear of spending time alone.
posted by pandorasbox to Human Relations (13 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I've clearly had this problem for a while, but somehow wasn't able or willing to recognize it until yesterday.
A couple weeks ago my boyfriend and I ended up having a HUGE and RIDICULOUS fight the night before my birthday. He had made plans to go hang out with a friend, and I had assumed that since we were hanging out that day and on my birthday we would obviously spend midnight together. I ended up turning the entire thing into "WELL OBVIOUSLY MIDNIGHT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT" (even though I hadn't mentioned that to him, and I'm not even sure its true.) I framed it, unfairly, as him being neglectful, inadequate etc (I didn't directly say that, but it was the tone definitely)
The fight ended up lasting almost 3 hours, at which point he said it was getting ridiculous and didn't seem to be ending and he was going to leave now and see me tomorrow (probably). At this point I freaked out and said "You can't leave me alone on my birthday" "I would have made other plans" "I can't spend it alone!" "Why are you doing this to me!?" etc. I started crying as hard as I have in a long time. The idea of his leaving me alone seemed like the ABSOLUTE WORST THING THAT COULD EVER HAPPEN IN THE HISTORY OF EVER. He accused me of being manipulative, which is fair, I was. I was, in that moment, willing to do or say ANYTHING to get him to stay. Because his leaving was the end of the world in my crazed mind.
After the fact, I can totally see that I was being ridiculous. And this isn't the first time these sorts of fights have come up. (Although the "birthday" factor made things seem a lot more magnified, it's never been this bad.)
I try to make sure I have plans with my friends or family EVERY night. I look at my google calender and am calmed if it is full, or uneasy if it is empty. If my boyfriend cancels plans with me at the last minute, I always freak out because I am afraid I won't have time to make other plans. To him, he doesn't get why spending a night alone is the end of the world. It's stupid too, because often I will miss a party or stay home by myself by choice. Somehow that's perfectly fine... because I chose it.
Yesterday I hadn't made plans, and because it was Christmas Eve, I couldn't get ahold of anyone. I started to panic. I got so worked up I could barely breath and started crying. The idea of spending Christmas Eve alone scared me. I kept trying to tell myself that it was just a day, and it wasn't a big deal. But I wasn't calmed until by chance my bf called and we made plans to go get food. I don't know why I'm so crazy.
This is ruining my relationships, and sets me off into a guilt-shame spiral when I'm not in the moment and I can use my logic to see why it's so crazy. I've tried to use coping strategies but they are always lost in the moment. It's like my brain goes away and all there is is a giant pit of evil and if I don't find someone to talk to immediately I will fall into it. That sounds crazy, but its about how it feels.
I'm going to go talk to my university about counselling in January, but it takes a while to get into, and I feel like I need some advice/coping strategies NOW.
Side question: Should I talk to my boyfriend about my realization? Part of me wants to, but I don't want him to feel like I am trying to say that I am entitled to act the way I do, or like I'm trying to justify my behaviour. It isn't justified.