Before my blog got hacked and wiped back in August 2020 one of my most read and commented on posts was about my experiences with attachment avoidance.

For those of you who are unaware, attachment avoidance is a form of attachment anxiety. The best way I can describe it is like a flipped separation anxiety, which is where a person experiences symptoms of anxiety when they are separated from their partner for a number of reasons, how they have been treated in past relationships for example.

Whereas as someone who suffers with attachment avoidance I will traditionally close the curtains on a relationship before it can develop and blossom to avoid going through experiences similar to what I had in a relationship many years ago.

As a result of my attachment avoidance I’m a closed book when it comes to relationships. My dating life, details of one night stands and relationships are all things I always try to keep very close to my chest. My family are respectful of it, my friends are respectful of it and that’s all I ask.

My family respect my privacy of a subject I like to keep close to my chest

Sadly, there are times when it isn’t respected. In the pre pandemic world, before our lives were filled with lockdowns and uncertainty, I was back in therapy for a few weeks because someone I had to see everyday showed me so little respect. He made an assumption about me, ignored me asking, begging and telling him to stop and effectively ripped my life apart.

During that phase of therapy the first national lockdown was enforced and that’s where I am with it really.

A tube journey a matter of days before lockdown was announced.

I’d like to think a time will come where I’m an open book about a subject loads of people seem to have an active interest in but that’s a way off yet, which, being honest, I’m fine with.

I can honestly say that other than the national restrictions we are all going through at the moment I’m happy with the direction my life is heading. I achieved a Gold Standard qualification in my NCTJ, I’m training for the London Marathon and my friends and family are all in good health – I just wish I could see them!

Taking Responsibility

I wanted to rewrite and bring details of my attachment avoidance back to the surface because it seemed to help a lot of people identify something they didn’t know they’ve experienced in the past.

But, as the title suggests, I also want to talk about self-love in this valentines day special on the blog.

During this extended period of alone time due to lockdown I’ve been able to give it some thought and in a conversation with someone recently it was worded to me perfectly – my twenties are for me.

I understand that seeing it written out like that may have readers thinking ‘what a selfish thing to say’ and I’m sure there are many people who will think that, but here me out.

My teens were a horrendous time in my life.

I hated school, absolutely hated it. As a matter of fact it’s two saving graces were that it gave me the friends I’m still blessed to call my closest and that I hated college even more.

My closest friends who I met at school

I was also in an unhealthy relationship which ended a mere two weeks before my parents filed for divorce.

All of these things I tried so hard to bottle up and ignore but it all came to surface on the eve of my twentieth birthday when I had my biggest mental breakdown.

Looking back on it now, almost seven years later and considerably more intelligent, wise and emotionally aware I know that I was incredibly depressed and insecure about my life back then and I acted the way I did because I was so lost.

And because of that insecurity I couldn’t take responsibility for my actions which in turn made me feel worse – drinking too much, spending money on material goods I didn’t need and couldn’t afford as well as numerous one night stands.

My late teens – a time where my mental health was at its worst

After my mental breakdown on May 30th 2014 I began my first phase of therapy which was me taking responsibility. For the very first time I was taking control of my emotions and I see that as the starting point of the journey towards building the life I want for myself.

Long story short it’s still a journey I’m on today. And because it’s a journey I’m still on I’m constantly learning more about myself and growing into the man I want to be. I’ve been doing this through my travels, changing things up and living in London, my charity cycle from London to Paris, remaining present and involved in social situations with friends and family and my more recent career change.

Raising money for the Mental Health Foundation while cycling from London to Paris in 2016

I’ve been investing in myself. And that is why my 20s are for me.

But how is this relevant to valentine’s day I hear you ask? Let me explain. I’ve been single since August 2012, so almost 9 years now. In the immediate aftermath of that relationship I needed some time to heal but due to my depression I handled it poorly and made things worse.

Then, as previously mentioned, I began taking responsibility for my life and looking after my mind, learning so much about myself along the way.

It’s because of this progressive cycle of learning about myself and growing into a man I like and respect that dating and relationships take the back seat in my life.

From my point of view, I’m still not the complete or almost complete person I aspire to be and I don’t fully know who I am. And if I don’t know who I am how can I expect a potential girlfriend to know who I am?

Applying self-love during my South America travels in 2017

There is a famous line from Jerry Maguire where Tom Cruise confesses his love to Renee Zellwegger by saying ‘You complete me.’ Despite really liking that film I have to say I disagree with having that perspective on love and relationships.

I personally think that a person should be pretty close to complete in themselves and a partner is someone who makes it even better which is what makes it so special.

If I was an incomplete person who didn’t like key elements of my life I would rely on the relationship too much and it could potentially become unhealthy and all of a sudden I’m in a relationship for all the wrong reasons.

Obviously there have been times in my life where I thought perhaps the time was right to start dating again but for a number of reasons it hasn’t worked out. This could be down to my attachment avoidance, we weren’t suited together, this, that or the other.

The thing they have in common is that more often than not in comes down to me not being ready, which I don’t think is the worst place to be by any means.

Self-love

Self-love has always been important, but never more so than during the coronavirus pandemic.

As someone who lives by himself, hasn’t seen his family since Christmas and hasn’t socialised in months, lockdown will have been a lot worse if I didn’t know how to care for myself.

Living by myself in lockdown

For me the biggest positive from lockdown is that six and half years into my 20s, which has been a rebuilding process full of learning and growth, I can stand here and honestly say that I like the man I’m growing up to be.

There’s still some way to go and obviously I don’t know how my ability to function in a social situation will have been affected by lockdown it is lifted but that is a bridge I’ll have to cross when I get there.

It’s just a great feeling to know that all of the self-investment I have been working on in my 20s is paying off and I look forward to seeing where that takes me in the years to come.

2021 London Marathon

I’m running the 2021 London Marathon for Mind!
If you wish to donate or keep up to date with how my training and fundraising is going you can do so by following the links below.
Fundraising Page: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JordanCamp
My new Instagram page dedicated to my London Marathon journey: @26.2MilesForMind
Strava: https://www.strava.com/athletes/9589825
Mind Website: https://www.mind.org.uk

I’m running the London Marathon for MIND!

Valentine’s Day in lockdown | Attachment avoidance, self-love and taking responsibility

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