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Anxiety, change, and a three year relationship

With moving, comes anxiety. Those of us already prone to anxiety. Goodbye sleep and any feeling of "normal"... However at the same time, I was incredibly excited. See I recently moved about 8 hrs away from my family and friends with my boyfriend. I felt trapped in my hometown, as most 20 something's do. And I was thrilled at the idea we could finally get out of here and start over. Until about 2 weeks before moving. Suddenly, things i didn't ever really feel guilt for, made me feel sick to my stomach. About a year ago, after having taken off a bit of weight but still not regained physical confidence I was at a real low point, and not wanting to worry my boyfriend I didn't discuss my issues with him which made them much worse and made me question our relationship which led to texting/snapchat confiding with other men, whom I barely knew. To feel "desired" and to confess my problems too. Rather than the boy who loves me. It didn't really hit that it was wrong until right before moving. I told my boyfriend, he forgave me and said it's not as big of a deal as I'm making it, but I can't let go of the guilt. All I wanted to do is move away and start over. And now, my first night staying in my new home I feel nothing but doubt and guilt. I'm consumed, and confused. And I don't want to lay this out on my boyfriend. He should be excited about this journey, and I should be too. I don't want to kill his happiness for my own fucked up minds constant need for direction and reassurance. How can I overcome this feeling that I don't deserve this relationship. That this guilt I feel will destroy us. That I'll never be happy and always fuck up. I learned my lesson, I've been forgiven. But I can't forgive myself. And now, with moving. I feel trapped and horrified. I just want to be happy, and start new with my boyfriend. Please, a little guidance? Links? Or even just someone who understands.

Re: Anxiety, change, and a three year relationship

Hi @Makebelieve - welcome to Reach Out! It takes a lot of courage to recognise something isn't right and ask for help, especially in times when you feel you should be happy, so I hope you can take comfort in knowing you're already making positive steps forward.


Moving is one of the most stressful things a person can go through, especially moving away from friends and family, and periods of stress can make all sorts of things bubble to the surface. It's hard to outrun problems, if you haven't dealt with the issues you run the risk of life being "same thing, different scenery". Have you spoken to your boyfriend about your body-confidence issues and your need to feel desired and supported? The funny thing about weight loss is that we expect to instantly feel a change, but it can take a while for our minds to catch up with our body. There is some good info here on Reach Out about body image and building self-confidence that you might want to read through.


How would you feel about chatting to a counsellor, either alone or with you boyfriend? It can be really helpful to get some professional advice and learn tools for managing anxiety and guilty feelings. Now that you're in a new city you could look up your local Headspace Centre or use BeyondBlue's practitioner search tool. If you're not ready to see someone face-to-face yet, you can also call Lifeline on 13 11 14 at any time of the day or night. One of the opportunities of starting over is not having to go back to your old ways of coping with stress!




Re: Anxiety, change, and a three year relationship

Hey there makebelieve.. don't underestimate the improvements you can make on your mood, self esteem & confidence by actively challenging negative thoughts.... I've two things I wanted to share with you - the first is our info on "self-talk" & and how to change the tone of your internal dialogue from negative to positive. If that's working you could even then start to focus on the things you are good at and enjoy.


Secondly have you tried scheduling yourself time to worry each day? Say, 30 minutes to worry, and you are not allowed to worry at other times of the day? Here's some info that can help with that. TIP: Don't schedule your worry time for just before bed!


(If you are feeling like you really wanna give online help  a go there is even this online course that can help you manage anxiety)


Yr on the right track posting here - keep it up.

Online Community Manager

Re: Anxiety, change, and a three year relationship

Hey @Makebelieve,

Welcome to ReachOut!

Reading your post reminded me of when I moved out of home. I moved in with my boyfriend and even though it was my idea, it was a huge adjustment and I remember getting quite upset by the actual move (which was stressful) and then even more upset when it turned out that my boyfriend and I had big differences of opinion of what our shared living arrangements should be like, which resulted in me feeling quite alone in the new house. And I didn't really know how to talk about it with him... And I really didn't want to tell my parents I was having a hard time because I didn't want to admit that I was having problems with my move out of home that was supposed to prove I was an adult... As a result I felt so alone and depressed. (I really wish I'd talked to my boyfriend at the time, and my parents! Ugh, 20/20 hindsight!). So yeah, I understand there's some pressure to make sure the new move with your boyfriend is going well, and not wanting to "spoil" it.

I really think it's ok and normal for big life changes to also create changes or uncertainty in how we're feeling. That doesn't make those feelings bad or good, it just means change usually makes us react emotionally. Moving is a perfect example. We plan it all - we find a new place, we pack up our stuff, we move it, we unpack... but often we don't make any time to think about or talk about how this big change in our life is actually making us feel!

I think Elle-belle's suggestions were pretty good. Have you had a chance to talk to someone, or think about who you'd like to talk to?


Cheers and good luck!