DIVORCE ANXIETY

If you are reading this you likely have already experienced anxiety due to your divorce/break up situation. Divorce is rarely easy for anyone. Both men and women experience stress and anxiety of various levels when fighting in marriage and even worse through the dissolve of their relationship, but when does it become too much to bare?

  • ANXIETY- a feeling of worry, nervousness or unease typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.

COMMON SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

-difficulty concentrating/mind goes blank

-irritability

-feeling weak

-poor sleeping patterns

-feeling restless, nervous or tense

-constant worry

It helps to know how you typically respond to heavy kinds of stress and if you are likely to become overly worried or nervous.

I hate to brag but I for one am a worrier by nature (inherited from my mother) and was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) in 2005 with panic attacks to boot, so when I went through my first divorce in 2007 I couldn’t eat and had much difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. I was insanely irritable even I couldn’t stand myself. All I thought about was hundreds of “what if’s”. When in reality….I had anxiety for nothing. My ex husband was more than willing to be fair. He didn’t fight me on custody and to this day has never missed a child maintenance payment or important days in our children’s lives. It was in this experience that I realized that my main focus was my children. If they are good, then I am good…and relaxed.

I have had many little bouts with anxiety in my life and sailed through them just fine. However my second battle at the courthouse and this had it’s own set of challenges. This time it was with my ex boyfriend and father of my youngest son. I needed him to start paying child support which he hadn’t in five years since he left us. Every time I would mention it he would lose his temper and get defensive. I had no choice but to stand up to my bully both during visits and at the lawyers office. Anxiety struck hard and again I lost a lot of weight, couldn’t sleep or stay asleep. This lead to deep depression that landed me in the doctors office with a leave of absence from work. I had to take my “what if’s” seriously as he threatened me from time to time but in the end reality was he had to pay child support because it’s the law. When he was faced with standing in front of a judge, he buckled and finally agreed on payments and my terms. We settled the day before court.

My perception and reality were not aligned. I got very sick for close to no good reason at all. I realize that these two examples of divorce/break up related anxiety are mild in comparison to someone trying to get away from a domestic violence situation or a narcissistic partner but I hope someone can take away some peace from my story. Try to keep your feet on the ground. Stay focused on what is most important to you and how you can attain it. After all, we can all learn from others.

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