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how do you handle the anxiety attacks of a breakup?


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I had posted about my boyfriend who was drinking a lot about a month ago--we had been togther 4 and a half years.

well the funny thing is, he really seemed to seriously realize he had a drinking problem but he also realized he didnt want to be committed and broke up with me two nights ago. i mean we had been arguing for half a year, at least--i mean of course there were still a lot of good times--but i think he hit the age 25 and realized he was heading to a marriage and decided he wanted to be young and crazy and i am going in the opposite direction. i respect that he broke up with me and didnt cheat on me or anything.

i am in this nonstop panic attack though. i can't eat or sleep. the worst part is, he and i have classes together for this upcoming semester in law school. i mean for sure we wont talk or sit by each other, but ill have to see him everyday.

and how will i motivate myself to study now that i dont have him? he was my best friend. no one else knows what i do --or what i think.

he is so happy about this break up to.

i keep comforting myself, imagining in a few years, he changes his mind and then spends a year convincing me he has changed and eventually he proves it and i start dating him again...

does anyone have a similar experience?

how do i handle the anxiety of this breakup?

how will i handle seeing him in class? how do i motivate myself to study when i'm now alone?

i just feel so sick to my stomach. i dont have the energy to pack. he is sleeping in another room right now.

i mean i think my brain knows this is the right decision--he cant just change his mind suddenly because his lifestyle is just different than mine--but i dont know how i'm going to live without him.
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how did you guys get over the worst break up of your life?
Well me and my boyfriend broke up once because of a simliar reason.

I walked out on him in his apartment and he was so mad and so hurt and he said he didnt wanna feel like this so he wanted to break up to see how the single life was.

Well he did..for...about 3 weeks maybe.

What I did was talked to him and let him know I still wanted to be friends. It was difficult to stay at friends and not try and cross over..and a few times i would try and talk relatinoshipy with him but it wasnt working so i decided on this:

Let him know (think) that when your friends..you dont care your together. Your out having fun, your out meeting guys, you dont need him. If he sais somthin smart to you actl ike you dont car.e DONT LET HIM KNOW YOU HURT AT ALLL

Worked for me and my b/f asked for me back. Realized that he was jealous, it hurt him that we wernt together, and he liked it better with us together and now we are happy:)

Try that..cant guarentee it will work but it worked for me :)
You will just have to take it one day at a time.  There is no easy way.  Take some time for yourself.  During class just ignore him.  Smile, act happy, even if you aren't.  Don't let him know that this is bothering you.  Trust me it will bother him more to see you being happy.  Ask yourself did you really want to be with a man who has a drinking problem? Did you want marriage/children with him in the future?  You will survive this.  I am sorry that you are sad.  Do things that make you laugh.  Always remember you are the best and you only deserve the best in return.  Gods Blessing.
thank you so much for responding. i dont want to be alone at all right now.

i do want to be with him--i think he'd be a good husband/father--its more like in the last year he has regressed back to wanting to be this partier--he says it happened around his 25th birthday and i dont know, he has been thinking about it for awhile.

i think my brain knows that right now he isnt ready for what i want.

i want to hold onto the daydream that in a few years, he'll get it out of his system and we can be together again--

did any of you hold on to that daydream and then wind up with someone different?
and he gets the cats--at least one of them, so i dont want to separate them--i just saw a post i made weeks ago about how much cuter my cats are than anyone elses.

i dont have the energy to pack. i dont know how to get over this. i really thought we were going to be together forever.
I did the same thing to my bf of 4 years, I was away at school and really really worried that I would never get out and experience what it was like to date around and be single.  So I broke up with him and then after 2 weeks came back and then broke up again about a month later and then got back a month later and then about 6 months later I broke up again.  It took me 5 months to realize what an amazing and special guy he is and how much of a fool I was to think that I could find that somewhere else.  We started dating again but not exclusively but when he started to really date other people I got sooo depressed even though I was dating other people too.  I didn't eat for a week and that is when I realized it was right for me and I could give up a small part of my life (single life) for us to be together.  It hasn't ever felt as great as it does now.

It is something your ex is going to have to figure out himself.  My bf got me to come back to him twice and when he didn't try to convince me and did his own thing is when I wanted him back. It was something I HAD to figure out on my own and it has made it so much better.  Instead of askign what if?  I'm like wow I'm glad he wanted me back and now I'm ready to do this.

Do your own thing, date other people (he will get jealous).  Knowing you don't need him and are fine on your own will make it so much easier for you and make him want you back so much more.  The most important thing to do is do it for yourself.
After what was probably the worst break-up of my life, I was completely devastated and absolutely wanted him back. After some time had passed and I had better perspective, I could say to myself "what was I thinking?!". And now I'm with someone right for me.

Break-ups are awful, but here is my advice for getting through (at least this is what helped me):

-Be in constant contact with your support system- friends, family, dog, whoever. I needed to be with someone or on the phone almost constantly.

-Stay busy! Go out with friends, take an art class, whatever you like to do, just do it. The absolute worst thing you can do is stay at home alone and feel bad.

-Exercise. During this break-up I started working on an exercise goal. I ended up whipping myself into the best shape of my life, and felt great.

-Know that no matter what happens (you guys get back together or not), you will be OK. You will love again, I promise.

I hope that helps....
A few years ago, I had a boyfriend break up with me two weeks short of our one year.  Not nearly as long as four, but I can relate to how you're feeling.  It was a complete shock that he did it. 

It's hard to give advice because I dont' know your personality, but I would second what you've probably heard before and keep busy.  I know it's hard because you don't want to do anything...but make yourself do something.  Maybe don't do a chore or something you're " supposed" to do..but just..be around people.  I know it won't take your mind off it, but it may distract you enough that you're not completely focused on it.  At some point or another you'll have to see your life without him invading every part, so it's good to start early on with baby steps.

When my boyfriend broke up with me I was devestated... but ultimately I knew I wanted to be with someone who completely wanted to be with me.  Not that a relationship should be all about you, but it is truly about give and take and it wouldn't be fair if you were the only one giving.  As much as right now you may feel like you " don't care how much he loves you or if he's unsure, [you] just want to be with him," if it stayed that way you may end up feeling worse because you're so much more into the relationship than he is.  You may end up feeling neglected.  Maybe he just needs some time...maybe he'll come back to you.  But I wouldn't hold onto that.  It's awesome (well, not awesome, but you know what I mean) that he broke up with you instead of leading you on and I'm glad you're able to respect his answer.  That's already a huge step forward.   

Don't hold onto that daydream. MAYBE it will get better, but you'll never get through it/over it now if you continue to think that way.  I think some people fear getting past the daydream because they feel like if the person (their ex) wants to come back to them in the future the feelings will be gone because they (you) " got over them" after the breakup.  I suggest working on getting over him now. He's made his decision.  If in time he decides he's changed and wants the same things and comes back to you, AND he's the right person for you, your feelings will come back.  There's no reason to hold onto it now.  He's moving past things, albeit probably easier, but still...so should you.  I feel very blunt saying this, and I am by no means saying "just get over it" (because I hate when people say that).  What I mean to say is that you should see it for what it is - a break-up, not a "break," and work to see him as a friend or aquaintance and not a boyfriend. It won't be easy, but I'm sure you can do it.

Another thing that helped me get through tough breakups were the idea of someone better.  I don't mean this to put down your ex-boyfriend, but just imagine - if you thought he was so amazing and he isn't the right one, think how INCREDIBLE the guy you'll end up with will be! It could be your ex...it could be someone else...but focus on that. It will be someone who fits you well, who compliments your personality, who you can share hobbies with, who wants the same things you do, who wants to share a life with you, who loves you, who ADORES you!  Wait for all these things. Don't settle! You deserve all of these things, and I'm SURE it's possible to find someone who fulfills them!

I hope that helped at least a little - if you ever want to talk, PM me, I'd love to listen! :D
Just to add...

We're all telling you to keep yourself busy.  Yes.  Do things you enjoy, whether that's reading, watching movies, being with friends, eating out. What I wouldn't recommend doing is rushing to be with other guys.  You know you wouldn't be ready for a relationship now, and I highly doubt that some sort of " fling" would really make you feel better.  Doing anything to make your boyfriend jealous may leave you feeling worse because if  your attempts don't work in catching your ex's attention, you'll just feel sadder.  Focus on doing things for yourself.  I agree, exercise is an awesome idea.  Actually, anything with a goal that motivates you.  Maybe you wanted to read a certain book. Maybe there's some people you've been meaning to catch up with but never really made the time because you had a boyfriend.  I know it's difficult, but try to look at the positives - you have a lot of time to do things you may not have been able to before!
anblackb, man i hope my boyfriend does that too--i plan to completely leave him alone.

i dont want to be manipulative right now at all. i know right now we dont want the same thing. like we'd be perfect if i was 18, but i am calmer now--i dont want to go out all night anymore--i want him to want to be home too--i want to trust him to make smart decisions and stuff. i mean i can't sum up anything here--

who do you talk to when you are suddenly alone? like what do you do during the nights--like when nick and i would have long conversations?

i mean jsdamdam, i really like how you said you were on the phone a lot. i noticed that stuff really helps.

and jettaranger, yeah i mean i do have it in my head that if he can break up with me and be so happy and calm about it, that mostly i'm losing an illusion, not a reality--like i CAN survive because if it was mutual, it woudl be strong and we'd be together ...

oh and i agree that i dont want flings..i did that before and i was manipulative before--

and now i just want to be okay. i do plan to not let him know the hurt i have because i dont want him to know anything about me at all, even where i'm going to be living...

i just dont know what to do with the nights --i mean i told him every detail of my thoughts and activities...and he doesnt even care about that. i dont know. what do you do with yourselves during the late alone hours?

like how am i going to study--he used to be my motivation. but yes, i have to stay busy--i have to act happy--i have to follow any advice because i cant think on my own.

please any experience, id be so happy to hear.
During my big break-up, my friends were "taking shifts" with me! Friends would be over as often as they could (I've got some good friends), because I found being alone very difficult at first. Also, at the time my family lived cross-country, so I was on the phone with my sisters during the early morning hours (everyone near me was still asleep, but lucky for me my sisters were awake). If no one is around to talk to, distract yourself with TV or a book- anything to keep your mind occupied. And always keep in mind that as much as it hurts right now, you will feel better. It takes time, but it does happen.
Hi Laura,

I was in a 4-something year relationship.  I was a little younger, from age 16-20, but it was devastating when I was dumped.

In my case, I had unfortunately become so immersed in the relationship that I was left without my own life in the end!  A stupid mistake that many people make, and definitely a lesson I've taken out of that situation.  I 'mourned' for a long time - probably 2 or 3 months - but then decided to get up and do something.  I was in college at the time.  I joined a coed fraternity on campus and things really turned around.  Making new friends and always having something to do made all the difference.

Whatever you do, girl - don't let this get in the way of classes!  I failed a couple of classes because I was in such a slump.  NOT worth it in the end, of course.  Try to separate school from everything else - focus on what you need to do in that respect.

And you don't have to act like you're happy.  This is a big part of your life that has just made a drastic change and you're going to be sad.  You're going to think all of those 'what ifs.'  Its totally normal.  Take your time.  I know this sounds sappy, but really, I think that's how it is.

In the end, this will be a huge learning experience.  You'll look back on the situation in a completely different light.  You'll realize all of the reasons why its good that the relationship is over.  But for now, be sad/angry/devastated/lonely/confused/whatever .  Its totally normal.  And it will get better.

My cat has a thing with hair ties, too- what's that about??  I find them all over the house.
It helped me to understand that there's a biochemical basis for why breakups suck so much.

When you're in a long-term relationship, the body creates brain chemicals to encourage pair-bonding. The brain becomes addicted to these chemicals. If the relationship ends abruptly, it's like going through a physical withdrawal of any substance. It causes physical and mental symptoms - yes, panic and anxiety can be part of that. And it doesn't matter who did the breaking up, whether you wanted the break up or not.

It may sound corny, but it's true: time is the solution. Time heals the heartache. Your brain eventually gets back to its normal level of functioning. Alternatively, a new love can also help you replace the source of the chemicals you are now missing... which is why so many people rush into the next relationship and it's not necessarily a good one for them, nor are they truly ready for it!! The classic rebound relationship is really just a way to get one's "fix."

Seeing an ex after a break up can actually prolong these symptoms. It's akin to the smoker who quits but then is around smokers all the time, or even "cheats" with just one puff.

The best way to get over a relationship, therefore, is white-knuckled cold turkey, with no contact. I guess you can't do this, but if you could, it would hurt like hell but time would eventually pass and one day you'd wake up and it'd be over.

Since circumstances are such that you can't do that, gee, I'm almost tempted to tell you to go ahead and have a rebound relationship!!!! It might help... provided you were open and honest and let the new guy know that's what he was. Some guys might not mind.
Xanax....It saved me for the first few weeks after my worst break-up.
My boyfriend and i broke up june 11...and it takes a while to get over them....(Btw he was a dreadful alcoholic...all day everyday)....but i actually had to break up with him because he just kept drinking and i found out that he was getting into harder stuff to...i thought i'd never get over him....things that really helped me were: hanging out with friends...dating other guys...even though it felt really uncomfotable like...i still loved clint but i knew that i had to get him out of my mind....i cried constantly...another thing that helped was singing....i'd get on my computer and play songs like "Fighter" by Christina Agularia or "Irreplacable" by Beyonce...i know it sounds lame....but i related to what they were saying in the songs and it helped.  I also started this diet on the day we broke up...like...you know what i've spent the last couple of years...worrying about his drunk ass and doing everything i could to keep us together and putting all my energy into us...so i'd advise taking up something that focuses on you and bettering yourself...learn how to play an instument (i also took up playing bass after be broke up) or some other time of self expression..

but believe me i know EXACTLY what your talking about...like i kept wanting to call him or wished he'd call me...and it was driving me nuts i cried to anyone that would listen and i felt like my world was falling apart...couldn't eat couldn't sleep just laid in my bed and bawled....but you have to make the choice to not let him control you anymore....good luck.
Wow Jenmcc, that explains alot! 

Getting over my worst breakup - I had to break contact to make progress.

We were in a 5-year, living together situation.  It was more of a mutual breakup, regardless it was still hard.  We tried to be "friends" but it just muddied the water and made it that much harder.  So we stopped hanging out, talking, emailing for a few months.  Then we gradually started texting and now we are ok, as friends.  I needed that me time to get myself straight again.

I know it is soooo lonely.  You feel lost.  You are completely unmotivated.  But like all those above me said, IT WILL GET BETTER.  I always think of that saying, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. 

If life didnt have its downs, the ups wouldnt be so sweet.  Best of luck.  ::hugs::
jenmcc, --it doesnt seem like HE is feeling a physical withdrawal, but man, i sure do feel physically screwed up. like i dont feel like i have complete self-control. and i'm constantly too hot or too cold.

i do think cold-turkey is the best, at least for sure in our case--because i do think i can't accept what he does and i know even if he ever does change, it will take a long time...

heather--, you just broke up june11? are you feeling better at all?

i keep comforting myself with stories--of relationships that had break-ups and problems and then they got back together.

like in Friends, when Mike broke up with Phoebe because he didnt want to get married and then he realized he did...

i just hate that he might never miss me. that he is happy with this decision and he wants to break up with me and move on--like i keep thinking that he just doesnt realize how great we could be. i mean we could talk for hours everyday even 4 years after dating--and after 6 years of knowing each other...i mean, trust me, i'm reminding myself of all the bad and that really helps. especially in the last 6 months when he seemed to have decided he wants to be some sort of drunk drifter rock and roll crazy guy who stays up all night.
but if he never misses me, man will i feel stupid--because i thought we were going to get married.

sometimes the time BEFORE crying is the worst. like right now i feel so anxious and i wish i could cry to release the pressure in my brain...but i just feel sick.
oddly enough yeah i feel alot better....and i didn't think i would...granted i did start dating another guy pretty quickly...but somedays i'll admit...i want to call him and i did once...i was doing okay but i had dreamed about him...so i called him and we were friendly to one another....but yeah i was not expecting at all to get over him as quickly as i did.
i was just reading your last post... and i cried soooooo much....i'd go times and cry until i couldn't cry anymore...and then it something changes....i woke up one morning...and i was expecting to cry...and i just didn't....i didn't care anymore

see...i did the same thing with the thinking that one day we'll get back together because he'll come to he senses and quit drinking...but its a fairy tale and then i realized...i'm soooo much better without him...i can do whatever i want now...i don't have to baby sit a drunk anymore...i don't have to watch and make sure he doesnt' pee on somebody (which believe me happened A LOT!)

I say think of how smart you are...i mean your in law school think of how successful just YOU can be...you don't need some guy to make you feel great. 
I'll echo what others have said and suggest that, yes, you should keep busy! What about joining a study group, if you're not already part of one? I'm not sure what year of law school you're in, but a study group may help keep you focused and motivated (and accountable) with respect to your studies (unless you're a 3L, of course!). Otherwise, what about other student groups, pro bono work (ooh! fun! *cough*), or activities where you can meet other people? I know this is all so much easier said than done -- I was never much of a joiner in law school myself -- but you never know who you might meet once you stop looking in your ex's direction. Hang in there. You can do it.

(P.S. You don't really want to end up with another lawyer, anyway, do you?!? J/K)
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