• Hi. It’s great to see you. Welcome!

    Our forum members are people, maybe like yourself, who experience mental health difficulties or who have had them at some point in their life. Amongst our membership there is a wealth of expertise that has been developed through having to deal with mental health issues.

    We are an actively moderated forum with a team of experienced moderators. We also have a specialist safety team that works extra hard to keep the forum safe for visitors and members.

    Register now to access many more features and forums!

My partner broke up with me and disclosed mental health issues as part of reason

F

fightorflight

Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2019
Messages
17
Location
New York, USA
Well I've got some substantial updates, although I'm still processing through them myself so I'm not sure what ways my feelings about them will settle to.


We saw each other Thursday as planned, we grabbed a few drinks and dinner. He was very upfront and immediately jumped into telling me about just how hard this month has been without me, how he realized so much of his world was connected to me or reminded him of me, and how he can't imagine ever being with anyone else. All that was nice to hear and reassured some of my worries and fears that come along with being broken up and not seeing each other for a month.

He actually found out that his older brother went to therapy three years ago-- he had a panic attack and at least one other instance of panic that led him to go talk to someone. This is huge.. I think this will help with the stigma issue a lot. My ex mentioned that he wants to talk to his brother about it (their mom told him this) and wants to talk to the same therapist his brother did. His mom also disclosed that she also went to talk to that therapist as well. I'm glad that he found out about his family's experience with therapy so that he's aware he has family history of anxiety and he's not alone in it. He also has realized that his dad seems to struggle with the same things that he does, and "handles" his struggles in a similar way and this has caused problems within their family. My ex said he never wants to take out his anxiety on me the way his dad took it out on him and his siblings and mom.

After dinner we went back to my place and he stayed over. I think we both knew that it would make things more complicated but it felt right and I don't regret it happening. The next day (Friday) we both were very anxious, I actually called in sick to work. Just a lot of feelings and confusion.

We continued to be in contact, regularly, after that. I mentioned going to therapy with me and hesitantly agreed which was a huge step! He followed through and met me at the appointment yesterday. My friend gave me the solid advice of going into the appointment with the mindset that it's okay to almost be a bystander and not super vocal in the appointment-- yes I have things I want to discuss, but he needs to be the focus so he can get his questions/concerns answered/squashed so he can feel more comfortable making his own appointment. I'm glad that I had thought about that beforehand, because my therapist and him talked between themsevles for 50 minutes of our hour appointment which was a little difficult but I knew was for the best.

When the therapist asked him what our status was he said "It's complicated" and when prompted whether or not he felt like he could work on both us and his issues, he responded that he can't commit the time the way he did when we were in a relationship. He said he can't give me what I want and deserve right now.

His feedback of the appointment was good-- he felt better now that he knew about some of the biological components of anxiety (Fight/Flight, adrenaline/cortisol) and that the therapist described a lot of how he felt without him having to talk about it which I think that confirmed with him that he does have anxiety and he's not alone in how he feels.

We went to dinner and this is where I go back to what you were saying about just being supportive and not bringing up my wants or needs, and I f-ed up. I'm just so hurt that it's hard not bringing up what the future looks like and how I'm nervous about waiting, I was just feeling a lot of things from the therapy appointment prior. He told me that it seems like nothing he ever does is enough, he went to therapy with me which I knew wasn't easy for him, and I didn't seem to appreciate that step and shut down. I later apologized for that both in person, and via text this morning, because I don't want him to feel that way. I do appreciate his going, so incredibly much, and that its my own anxiety kicking in.

I convinced him to come over, and after some snuggling and affection he pulled out of his mood.


While that outcome isn't certain, your anxiety over it is. I think anxiety can be overwhelming when we try to ignore what it's yammering on about. Again, you've shown care for your own mental health by allowing the thought of a future without him to occupy some space in you. That deserves a fist-pump or some sort of recognition and if it doesn't feel right to do it yourself, I'll offer you the deserved praise. Well done. This can never be easy.
I'm such an emotional person it's been very hard to bite my tongue with my own feelings, as you know from this thread.

I'm making an individual appointment with my therapist for hopefully next week-- I do see progress so I don't want to walk away but I'm also back to my original struggle of not knowing how to handle this, if I can handle this, or where to go from here.
 
MeropeneM

MeropeneM

ACCOUNT CLOSED
Joined
Jan 18, 2019
Messages
207
You posted this in the depression forum because that's what you think his problem is. In my opinion, his state of mind has nothing to do with depression. Judging by your description of him, I think that he could have ADHD.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
MeropeneM

MeropeneM

ACCOUNT CLOSED
Joined
Jan 18, 2019
Messages
207
When the therapist asked him what our status was he said "It's complicated" and when prompted whether or not he felt like he could work on both us and his issues, he responded that he can't commit the time the way he did when we were in a relationship. He said he can't give me what I want and deserve right now.
Not completing tasks and being behind with the things you need to do is possibly not anxiety...it sounds like real, logical worry of not being able to do what you need to do.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
F

fightorflight

Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2019
Messages
17
Location
New York, USA
You posted this in the depression forum because that's what you think his problem is. His state of mind has nothing to do with depression. Judging by your description of him, he has ADHD. He needs amphetamines to be normal.
ADHD could be part of the picture, because yes, some of the adult symptoms of ADHD are definitely present, but they don't cover all of his symptoms so I'm fairly confident anxiety is the main culprit.

Adult ADHD Symptoms (Red, doesn't have. Bolded black, does):
  • Impulsiveness- He's not impulsive. He's very indecisive actually.
  • Lack of organization and difficulty prioritizing tasks- He's actually very organized. He does have difficulty with prioritizing.
  • Difficulty with focusing and following through on things- He follows through with everything he says he's going to do whether it be plans, a project, etc.
  • Poor time management and planning skills- It's not that he has poor time management, it's that he feels consistently overwhelmed by what he has to get done, even when some of the tasks are every day tasks such as doing laundry, making his lunch, etc.
  • Restlessness- He sometimes is restless, but also goes through periods where he has no energy whatsoever, for no obvious reason.
  • Frequent mood swings- He does have mood swings.
  • Difficulty coping with stress- As I mentioned above, everyday tasks have become stressful, so I can't imagine how he would be when something came up that wasn't everyday stuff.
Anxiety Symptoms (Not exclusive list, but some common ones):
  • Excessive Worrying
  • Chest pain/Heart palpitations
  • Headaches
  • Neck tension
  • Stomach upset, nervous stomach
  • Feeling Agitated
  • Restlessness
  • Fear of impending doom
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Irritability
  • Irrational thoughts/fears
  • Weakness in legs
  • Sleep problems

Regardless I just want him to get help, I'm not concerned with the actual label.
 
Bizzarebitrary

Bizzarebitrary

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 17, 2018
Messages
430
Location
California, US
We went to dinner and this is where I go back to what you were saying about just being supportive and not bringing up my wants or needs, and I f-ed up. I'm just so hurt that it's hard not bringing up what the future looks like and how I'm nervous about waiting, I was just feeling a lot of things from the therapy appointment prior.
That's you being human. Your feelings couldn't remain underwater without popping up to the surface eventually. It sounds like you're not especially proud of how they came up and out - and I get that. It reminds me of how I effed up by blowing up at a family member last weekend over something he said. In my therapy session later on, I realized that this one moment when I'm not at my best doesn't mean that all the skillful work I did over that weekend meant nothing. And I think this holds true for you, considering how you sat in silence through 50 minutes of therapy devoted to him and how you've encouraged him to discover the history of illness in his family. You've done real well by him and you've shown your ability to self-regulate your emotions.

I do see progress so I don't want to walk away but I'm also back to my original struggle of not knowing how to handle this, if I can handle this, or where to go from here.
Yep he's gaining insight and gradually coming to terms with his emotions. Good. He recognized how much you mean to him, how fortunate he is to have you in his life. Great. It doesn't sound like he's closer to actually making a repair of the hole he tore in your relationship - maybe he's not yet ready to deal with that? In any event, the sand in the hourglass has to run out sometime. When do you think that will be? You refer to him as your ex so I take that to mean a life after him is conceivable. Can you cope for a while longer to see if the small steps he's taken are leading him back to wellness?
 
F

fightorflight

Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2019
Messages
17
Location
New York, USA
Hi Bizzarebitrary (& any others that are reading this thread),

Just figured I'd give an update since it's been about three months since I last posted.

In the beginning of March, I reached my breaking point. As I'd been describing in earlier posts, my ex's inability to communicate, commit, etc was really taking a toll on me and I finally got to the point where it was affecting my day to day functioning. I told him that I needed space to take care of myself, and that until he got well it just felt like no matter what I did it wouldn't be enough. Also that I really hope that he does get help, because no one deserves to feel the way he's feeling and I want him to be well.

He responded saying he completely understands and it's not fair for me to be putting my all into it only to not receive the same energy in return and that that's why he went through with the break up in the first place.

That was the last correspondence we had. It was extremely difficult in the beginning, I'd set short term goals for myself such as "I will not contact him for at least two weeks" and I would constantly be thinking about contacting him, but at the two week point I would extend to a month, a month to a month and a half, etc. The beginning of June it'll be three months with absolutely no contact.

I still think about him, he pops into my head in some capacity on a daily basis, but it's gotten easier. That he hasn't contacted me at all hurts, (my thoughts go to, "Well if I meant that much to him he would have contacted") but honestly it's for the best. He needs to take care of his mental health, and until if/when he does that he can't give me what I need and deserve in a relationship.

I actually took a huge step about 1.5 months ago to reactivate my online dating profiles and I met up with a guy that I was talking to online and we've been dating ever since (about three weeks ago) and so far it's been great! On our second date he openly disclosed that he'd been to therapy after a bad breakup years ago and he still goes from time to time to help work through his anxiety. I can't tell you how refreshing that was to hear, after everything I went through with my ex.

For anyone out there in a situation that was similar to mine, my advice would be to be supportive of your partner/ex-partner and don't jump ship, but when you feel yourself being dragged under the water's surface for longer and longer periods of time to the point of drowning, you need to prioritize yourself and that may mean walking away. Thank you Bizzarebitrary for all of the supportive responses, you helped in ways you'll never know. Positive vibes your way!! :thanks:
 
Bizzarebitrary

Bizzarebitrary

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 17, 2018
Messages
430
Location
California, US
Hi @fightorflight! I'm very glad you're feeling and doing better and I appreciate you letting us know what happened. It sounds like you're beginning a new chapter and hey... you sound rather confident! Resiliency tested does increase confidence.

Whenever you look back at this journey, I hope you'll feel proud of the way in which you handled yourself, you made some very tough decisions while you were dealing with difficult emotions and anxiety. Next time anxiety flares on account of uncertainty, you have an example which shows however an uncertainty might turn out - you're gonna be okay.

I'm delighted to know my support helped, thank you for letting me know that - positive vibes recieved! :)

I love the advice you give at the end, it honors your efforts to preserve the relationship while also acknowledging there is a boundary beyond which your own health was in jeopardy.

I wish you peace and contentment, hope you'll pop in again for a visit!

- Bizzarebitrary
 
Top