Fredrik Bornander wrote: Any tips on how to deal with the separation anxiety?Hi, I'm assuming that by the word "anxiety" (which has so many semantic connotations "layered over" it, that it can mean so many things), you mean: "feelings," as your post's title suggests.
I think every person is quite different in what, at a given point in their life, in their current social context, in their culture, in their "natural temperament," helps them at moments like this.
For me, a long walk out in nature, alone, would be the kind of "activity" I would choose to allow whatever feelings were present to emerge into my conscious mind, and be expressed, and experienced. And a talk with a trusted friend, who is completely "outside" the whole context in which the "separation" happened: with someone who knows how to listen, without judgement, would be equally helpful: to me.
For me, that "trusted friend" would always
be from "outside my family," (a sad comment on my family, perhaps ?) but, for many people, I think. they might find that "trusted friend," inside their family.
For other people, I can imagine a near-death work-out in the gym might just the thing to bring them to the state where they could "let their feelings out;" for others, perhaps, getting drunk, or stoned, might work (but, I doubt that one, because it's often done as an "escape," and, while drunk or stoned, one may, indeed, pour out their feelings ... literally and figuratively ... whether they have a true "healing catharsis," of enduring value, is something I have serious doubts about). The gym-thing would work for me.
For me, "grief" (I am not assuming you are
grieving, by the way), is always a "flux" of different emotions: including, at times, anger, a depressing sense of emptiness, a frightened feeling that the future is uncertain, and unclear. And, at times, really relatively "crazy" thoughts: grandiose fantasies, thoughts of bizarre acts of "revenge." Or, "denial:" "this isn't really happening;" "it's just a mistake that will be cleared-up soon."
And, a "flux" of varying mental content: from "worry" about: "what to do next;" to, sometimes, depressing thoughts about: "how I failed, how I could have done better, where did I go wrong." At other times, there are angry thoughts, angry emotions: "how unfair this is;" "how could that s.o.b. f*k me like this," etc.
And, to balance the focus of these comments on what you might call the spectrum of "negative states," I'd like to assert that, there can be" exhilaration," and a sense of "being "freed," in this kind of event, alternating with (even much more dominant than) the "negative states."
On the only two occasions, when I was laid-off, I was delighted; in fact, I had to "mask" expressing my happiness at the time, because I was around other people who were laid-off at the same time, at very different points in their lives, who were really grief-stricken, panicked, and I felt empathy for their obvious suffering, and confusion.
On another job, when I quit, because it was obvious that continuing in the job was impossible in terms of either my technical skills, or my ability to "fit" into the social culture of the work-place, I did grieve, for some time. But, I felt, strangely, more angry with myself, for having used my cleverness to "sell myself into" a job I sensed would not work out, than angry at anyone else, and depressed that I had been stupid enough to let my "ego run away with me"
I believe this "flux of states" I speak of is inherent in major life-changes, and allowing it to be fully experienced mentally, and emotionally, is healthy, and, almost often, takes time.
Sometimes the immediate circumstances one is "in" virtually "demand" that grief, or full experience and expression of emotions, be deferred: a baby's on the way; a family-member is sick, the mortgage payment just "ballooned." I personally believe that the "Self" has natural defenses, and coping mechanisms, when deferred grief is required. And a period of a certain kind of emotional "numbness" can occur, sometimes accompanied by chronic anxiety: if that condition then becomes "habit," and "sticky," even when the external stressors are relieved, out of the way, then, I believe, counselling can help remove that "hard carapace" we sometimes get used to wearing, emotionally.
I sincerely hope these words are helpful, not too "academic," and, that you feel a sense of empathy, not sympathy, reading them.
"We are all agreed that your theory is crazy. The question which divides us is whether it is crazy enough to have a chance of being correct. My own feeling is that it is not crazy enough."
Niels Bohr's comment to Wolfgang Pauli after his presentation of Heisenberg's and Pauli's nonlinear field theory of elementary particles, at Columbia University, 1958.
modified 25-Feb-13 12:13pm.