Thank you for your message and I can hear how much you miss your daughter, and the grief of losing the intimacy you once had with her. I can hear that you have been working very hard to change some of your thinking patterns that result in this anxiety, this process takes time but as you have experienced, you're on the right track with some significant and positive changes happening.
I understand to change our relationships does take willingness and practice. Nothing can be changed overnight yet I also sense that you are here because you actually do want to change. Your courage and motivation is what would bring you success. :)
We can give ourselves the credit for wanting to change while giving ourselves the space and time to go through this process. Meanwhile, we also need to acknowlegde that it does take two to work on a relationship, which means we also need to hope that your daughter will be ready to engage and we probably cannot force this process on her.
It is especially during these times where we feel intense feelings of stress and anxiety where we be kind to ourselves and make choices that are nourishing, without demanding ourselves or putting pressure onto ourselves.
These times will pass, they always have, they always will. Keep breathing, keep floating. Time is on our side, the clock is ticking and it is carrying us. We don't have to have all the answers in order to breathe and be kind to ourselves, these answers will come at the right place and at the right time.
It is wise of you to be aware that you are constantly filling your mind with what you miss from the past, and in other words we are really not sure of our value and identify if we are not doing something / going somewhere. That is something we struggle a lot especially living in such a competitive society. We often compare ourselves with others and fear that we are behind / we are not doing enough.
The root of it could be loneliness, fear, past experiences and our upbringing. I am sensing that unless we deal with these roots, putting more things on our plate would only make things worse.
When we choose to let go of our anxiety, our fear and our need to be control, in return we would obtain calmness, acceptance and peace.
Sometimes we think that in order to achieve peace we must do something extra, something more, yet recently I am becoming a believer of learning to do less and simply let go of our attachments to fix, to control, to heal.
Healing comes when we let go.
In simple words, what we need is not trying harder, but letting go. Letting go of our demand of ourselves, letting go of our desire to want more, letting go of our need to be in control, letting go of our constant drive to fill up our loneliness, letting go of our habits of comparing ourselves with others.
Only when we let go then we truly become who we are, with more peace, happiness and confidence.
I would ask if you can create a time and space where you are quiet, not distracted by tasks and not in need to take care of anything.
Then focus on reading some of these following words below until you have allowed them to be part of you and absorb them like when you digest food. Don't rush, read them over and again, digest them, think of what they are trying to say and what these words mean. Alright?
1. You don't have to control your thoughts. You just have to stop letting them control you.
Research has shown that attempting to control unwanted thoughts, typically results in increased intrusions of those thoughts.
2. The perfect is the enemy of the good.
Do the right thing - the thing that is most consistent with your personal values in a particular moment, even if it's not the perfect thing.
For example, say a friendly hello rather than avoid someone because you've forgotten their name.
3. Don't believe everything you think.
If you're feeling anxious or ashamed, ask yourself what thought or assumption is driving that feeling. Frequently, the thought will be flawed.
4. The only way out is through.
The best way out of anxiety is often to expose yourself to the things you are afraid of.
5. Act the way that you want to feel.
If you want to feel confident, act confident. For example, stand up straight.
If you want to feel calm, act calm. For example, don't do excessive reassurance seeking or excessive checking.
6. If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got.
This anxiety quote encapsulates the principle that becoming less anxious involves acting differently. If you change your behavior, your thoughts and feelings will change. You can't wait for your thoughts and feelings to change, you need to change your behavior first.
7. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.
8. When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.
9. If you aren't willing to have it, you will.
The majority of things people with anxiety do to try to escape from it, generate further stress and anxiety.
For example, avoidance coping, or trying to block out thoughts, which as mentioned in #1 tends to increase intrusions of those thoughts.
10. (Slow breathing) is like an anchor in the midst of an emotional storm: the anchor won't make the storm goes away, but it will hold you steady until it passes.
Meanwhile, breathe...and breathe. You will be alright.
I do hope that you will be able to connect with your daughter soon, yet at the same time please do take good care of yourself so that you will be more ready to engage when she is ready.
Looking forward to talking with you more,