Mental health problems have long been a part of my life and something that really affects me is the fear of abandonment. For today’s post, I’m going to delve deeper into it and explain how it impacts my day-to-day life.
Ever since I started suffering with my mental health, long before I was diagnosed, it seems my actions and behaviours have led to people drifting from me. Particularly during high school in the later years, the people I hung around with began to socialise and go out more and that was something I was too uncomfortable to do due to my social anxiety. Ultimately when I left school a number of people were no longer in my life; I believe the fact that happened created these doubts and possibly caused this fear of abandonment.
Through all the mental health campaigning I have done, I’ve been able to make a number of new friends. While I feel incredibly lucky and grateful to have done so, it feels like all I ever do is worrying about pushing people away! Whenever I seem to interact or reach out to a friend I am constantly on-edge and imagining every worst-case scenario. What if they don’t like me? Have I upset them? Did I say something wrong? There are so many questions flying around my head. Even when somebody makes it clear they want to talk, it’s as if my mind battles against it and is unable to trust them- despite often being given no reason to do so!
All too often I will be in a conversation with a friend and feel the urge to say something, almost to grab their attention. Rightly or wrongly I feel like people are ‘being off’ with me and then I’ll say something abrupt to make them realise. I usually get a shocked response, instantly regret what I’ve said and apologise over and over again. I’m so frightened of facing life alone and having nobody, it seems I cannot control these urges and continue behaving in the same manner.
Particularly when having a bad time with my mental health, I have a huge tendency to reach out to lots of people and that is really unhealthy. I’ve have probably spent far too much relying on other people to manage my own wellbeing and therefore when I haven’t got the response I wanted, it’s definitely made me feel worse and increase that fear of abandonment. Sometimes something as simple as a ‘no reply’ can cause huge panic to set in and all I want is some sort of reassurance! My self-worth is so low that it’s almost like I need somebody to ‘prop me up’ and confide in.
Especially when people are suffering themselves, it is very hard to help other people and I have very much crossed people’s boundaries. I do display a lot of negative thoughts and feelings and obviously that can be triggering to other people. People have their own lives and yet my mindset is so irrational that I just think people are ignoring me. Rather than leaving a situation to settle, I will go out of my way to contact somebody again. Time after time I realise this is usually not the best option and yet I continue to do so-thus falling into the same trap constantly and making myself feel much worse. It’s a roller-coaster of emotions!
With the fear of abandonment also a clear symptom of personality disorders such as BPD, I do question whether my mental health problems are something more deep-rooted than first believed. Moving forward, I very much hope to find more effective ways of managing this problem- and to find those answers that I desperately need and desire. However long it takes, it’s important that I stick with it!
Thanks for reading,