Do you have a hard time being away from your spouse or significant other? Is separation anxiety a problem for you? Read these tips to help make things easier.
I spent many years living a very sheltered life. I was afraid of crowds, and even more afraid of being alone. My significant other was my whole world, and being apart from them was torture. I’d become panicked, depressed and even paranoid. Fortunately, I found ways to get through it and be comfortable being away from the one I loved.
One of the first steps you should take is spending short periods of time apart. Go to different parts of the house, or have one person inside and one outside. You partner is still nearby, but out of your sight. Depending on the severity of your separation anxiety, you may be able to do several hours apart, or only a few minutes. Start out small, and slowly increase the amount of time apart. Having your loved one nearby will give a sense of safety and at the same time get you more comfortable being by yourself.
Once you can handle being apart but nearby, start having your significant other leave for short periods of time. They should stay close to home though, in case you have a panic attack and need them. Walking to a neighbor’s house or driving up the road for a while can be good in the beginning. It’s important that they can be contacted, so a cell phone or somewhere with a phone you know the number to is best. Slowly increase the amount of time your partner is gone.
In the beginning, calling your partner can help you feel better. Hearing their voice will ease your fear. You may need that assurance that they’re okay, and that they’ll be coming back. That’s why it’s a good idea to have them stay local at first. You don’t want to be calling them repeatedly at work or some other place where it’s inappropriate to take calls.
While your partner is away, keep yourself busy. It’s best if you have some task that takes a lot of focus so you’re not thinking about them being away. Music and housework were what I usually focused on, or a deep video game. Do what works for you, but try to keep your mind occupied. Over time, you’ll get better at being alone and you won’t need constant distraction. If things get rough, you can call your significant other or another friend or family member to help get you through.
Separation anxiety is a real problem for some people. Don’t let anyone tell you to just get over it. It can be a really hard thing for some people to deal with, but you can do it. If your partner loves you, they will find the patience and take the time to work you through it. I still get a little sad spending a night in an empty bed, but I can handle being alone for days at a time now without panic or crying fits. It takes time, but you can overcome it.