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Subject: Emotional Meltdown - need your help rss

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Fellow Geeks,

I am in a state of great emotional unrest and need some good advice and guidance, as I am having sleepless nights for a few weeks now...

My girlfriend and I are a couple since almost three years now, still everybody is maintaining his own flat (hers out of town, mine in the City), all attemps to move together had been failed, as nobody of us is willing to move either into or out of the city, so we are in a stalemate with no signs of a resolution.

Since at least half a year, i feel quite stuck in our partnership, seeing no sign of progress and have the impression, that my feelings for her are fading away slowly and I'm feeling "hollow" and quite depressed. Also physical attraction has massively decreased, all in, it feels like "business as usual"

Now here comes the twist. I had met this very attractive girl about six years ago on a holiday in Turkey, where we had a short intermezzo, which carried on a few months after we returned home, but contact wore off due to geographical distance (she is living abt 500km away from me) and both of us not beeing able to live a long-distance-relationship.

Since a few weeks, out of a sudden, I am dreaming of her almost every night, the physical attraction is still massive and now, even the mental attraction is increasing day-by-day and my thoughts are with her all the time, despite having not seen her for plenty of years. I'm almost in a state of massive depression over this whole issue and last night, I had a dream that something very bad has happened to her, like a car accident or something, which tore me out of my sleep sweaty and confused, yet deeply worried.

I could not resist the urge to drop her a message, whether she was ok and how's life been, not having received a reply, which totally freaks me out and leaves me restless...
I'm very close to jump in the car and drive to her town, just to see her and learn that she is ok..

I'm mentally totally exthausted, feeling absolutely help- and clueless what to do.

Geeks - i need your help !
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Jasper
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Erhm:

1. break up with current girlfriend
2. relax. wait. let time heal the depression.
3. whatever you do, DO NOT, pursue your holiday fling from years ago. No good can possibly come of it. No contact. Nothing. You are dreaming of an image that does no exist, going after it will lead to nothing but disappointment, and you may hurt her as well.

4. there really are plenty of fish in the sea. relax.

Gute Besserung!




Also, I don't know shit, so take anything I say with a large grain of salt.
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Cool User
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I agree with Venga2. Do not go after your former fling. What you've built her up to be in your mind will not match the reality.

You may or may not decide to break up with your current girlfriend, but realize that these "down times" are something that all couples eventually face. You have to figure out if it's worth it to work through your problems. Just realize that if you drop your old girlfriend and take a new one, in a few years you'll probably be back in the same place.

Try to rest, exercise, eat well & in general take care of yourself. If, after a few more days, you still can't get any rest, consider talking to a counselor or a physician. They can help pull you through your funk.
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Kelsey Rinella
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My only concern is that something else is going on, and that cutting social ties might leave the OP worse off in dealing with whatever it might be. It might be helpful to get an evaluation by a professional, or at least a close friend who can observe directly.

I also don't know what I'm talking about.
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Ken
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Before doing anything, I'd find a counselor/psychiatrist/psychologist and go spend some time talking to them. Preferably including your girlfriend at some point if you want to take a run at salvaging things.

I would also avoid your former fling until you've settled other issues. It's no surprise that if times are troubled now you're seeking out more enjoyable memories to think about. But acting on them is a horrid idea. Particularly if you drive to her town only to discover that she's moved on/hates you/got married/whatever doesn't fit your dream picture and adds to your malaise.

It is entirely possible that what you have already described as "massive depression" is, in fact, a clinical form of depression. For which there are really, really good treatment regimens available if you seek them out.

Get help. You might be able to sort this out solo, but your girlfriend deserves to be a part of the conversation and you could easily benefit from some outside assistance. It might also reflect a psychological condition that could benefit from medication to help you think more clearly.
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Guys,

many thanks for your replies which helped me to realise, that I have certainly reached a point where there is no way around professional help to get out of the mud I feel stuck in.

I was quite scared to post this here on the geek but your thoughtfull replies show me, that I have done the right thing...

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Chad Ellis
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A lot of people, myself included, have found themselves in a relationship that was clearly not right for them but which was still difficult to end. When you're in that situation it can seem like you should keep trying -- after all, s/he has these good qualities, you've invested so much, etc.

As someone who was there, my advice is pretty clear -- if you've been a couple for years but neither of you would live in a second-choice area in order to be together then it's time to end the relationship and to move on. You're just not that into each other.

I'm glad you're getting some professional help as well. Best wishes.
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Dave G
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Containerguy wrote:
Guys,

many thanks for your replies which helped me to realise, that I have certainly reached a point where there is no way around professional help to get out of the mud I feel stuck in.

I was quite scared to post this here on the geek but your thoughtfull replies show me, that I have done the right thing...



Find a professional therapist that you can be comfortable talking with before you make any big life decisions. Chad and the others may well be right about your current relationship being over, but you might be able to leave it on better terms and with a better understanding of yourself if you talk out some of your depression issues first.

And Jasper and the others are absolutely right...no good will come of pursuing your former fling. That's just a distraction, and if you're dealing with some serious unhappiness in your life you will find yourself even more despondent when you realize that the distraction isn't making you happy either. Better to get yourself sorted first. Good luck, and be assured that you can get yourself better if you find the help you need.
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Mac Mcleod
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I'm really sorry you are suffering. Things will get better and it will happen again during your life unless you are very lucky.

The advise of a random stranger on the internet is:

Officially end things with your girlfriend. If you end it, you'll be in better shape than if she ends it. You will both be free to move on.

Life is too short to be unhappy all the time.

Unless you have unreasonable standards for a girlfriend given your appearence and social standing then you can find another one quickly who is in town, shares interests with you, and will be new. You'll probably be on the rebound for about 6 to 9 months so watch out for that. You don't want to lose a good catch during that period. So it's a good period for just dating. I.e. you want to do something fun and would like to have company sharing it.

After "suffering" through 12+ months of two bad relationships in my life I now will no longer make a strong effort to "save" things. I recognize the signs things are going bad, we don't share children, and I end things in a calm way without betraying them.

That's my #1 rule is do not betray people.

And when breaking up, keep the comments generic or targeted at yourself, even if you feel it is about them. Unless you are planning on having children with a person, you are much less likely to last beyond 7 to 11 years anyway.


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Mac,

thanks for your post, which feels really true for me !

maxo-texas wrote:


The advise of a random stranger on the internet is:



Quite often strangers are having a neutral and objective point of view, which feels like a lot of help to me in my current state.

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Asili Eiliaz
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maxo-texas wrote:

Unless you have unreasonable standards for a girlfriend given your appearence and social standing


I just had to step in and mildly counter this with a firm reminder that if the moon appears suddenly in your life, you should SHOOT IT.

The way people speak so casually about not attempting to sexually "rise above one's station" in this culture is a little disturbing to me, so I'm really responding to a pet peeve and not primarily motivated by your situation. But it applies. If you wind up single, and you see a girl you like, DO NOT HESITATE BECAUSE YOU THINK YOUR SOCIAL STANDING IS INSUFFICIENT.
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Also, one more item. I've been in the situation where both of us had good reason to keep our own places. I ended up selling my home and moving in with her. It didn't quite work out...and the clues were there that it wouldn't.

It boils down to the fact that you both know you have something that's "good enough" to keep going. You personally have to decide if that's what you want. Do you want a "good enough" relationship...or will you risk being alone to find something better?

On the "other" woman...Fantasies can be a good thing sometimes. However, as a few others said, reality will never quite match up. So, protect that fantasy for as long as you need it. At some point, reality might actually be better than that.
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All I can do is to remind you of something that I learned from bitter experience.

The lies we tell OURSELVES about how we feel are the worst of all.

When going over what it is you really want, and how you really feel, try to bear that in mind- don't let a fantasy of what 'could be' or 'should be' get in the way of happiness- or at least acceptance- NOW.

Good luck, have a pint, and most importantly, talk to some PEOPLE rather than random voices on the internet. At the very least, talk to a mate.

Darilian
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Darilian wrote:
Good luck, have a pint, and most importantly, talk to some PEOPLE rather than random voices on the internet. At the very least, talk to a mate.

Darilian


Thanks Darilian. At the moment I try to stay away from booze and at least try to grab good food as suggested by Cool User. I just dont feel that alcohol will make it any better...

Last night, I actually slept better than plenty of nights before, hope to keep it that way and definately going to seek professional advise next week.

Again, thanks for hearing me, sharing your own experiences and supporting me in seeking professional help, trying to get my life back on track.

I am still utterly scared of the way ahead and hope my life will not completely disintegrade.
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If you feel you need professional help then definitely pursue it. You're never locked into anything, all you get is assistance and any professional ought to be walking you through the pros and cons of various approaches to healing.

In terms of my own experiences, I can relate in various ways.

With sleep, I worked an overnight shift for several years and so I understand what it's like to be missing out of sleep and how that has both a physical and mental impact. Being sleep deprived cascades through your body and brain in a variety of ways and can create feed back loops of stress, emotional instability and behavior which can then create more stress and further instability. So stabilizing your sleep cycle is kind of a survival priority, much like if you're lost in the outback you need to prioritize shelter and water before even food.

Once I left the overnight position it took about six months for my body to recover. Maybe even longer, but at least I felt "normal" after about six months. But even in the short term the effects of getting regular sleep was profoundly helpful to my sense of well being.

On the relationship side, I was in a long term relationship, where we were physically separated, and not willing to move to where the other was. Relationships are complicated and answers aren't always obvious, but once I left this relationship and went out and began dating again eventually I did find a wonderful woman. The hangups and complications of the previous relationship were non-existent. Rather than being stressed out in the previous relationship I feel totally at peace with my wife.

And the thing is the person I was previously in a relationship wasn't bad. She's a great person but we met in college and a decade later our perspectives on the world had grown and changed and our expectations for a relationship had gone in different directions. It lasted as long as it did because we were both romantically tied to the idea of "working at it" and not letting the love die. The problem is that the underlying cracks just kept getting wider and wider, and that just made things worse. It would have been better to recognize that pattern earlier, but eventually we parted ways and we're both better for it and on good terms with each other.

What helps to keep in mind is that today we live in an age where you have an incredible amount of power over who you end up with, far more than just a decade or a century ago. Today there are hordes of people conveniently organized into online databases so that you can sift through and zero in on those people that you think you'd have chemistry with. In ye old days you basically had to physically stumble around in the world hoping you'd bump into the love of your life, now however you can look for it rather efficiently. There is still a lot of work, and still plenty of randomness, but it's like going from playing Monopoly or Candyland as a game and entering into a world of euros. You've got a mix of choice and randomness and you can improve how to make that choice work for you.

There is also a much greater understanding of the underlying chemical elements about what happens when people are attracted to each other. The BBC has good material, and there are plenty of documentaries out over the last several years that illustrate all sorts of elements at play, such as Discovery Channel's Science of Sex Appeal, which is currently on Netflix instant.

If you're aware of the underlying chemical elements that go into mating, you're better equipped to reflect on your own reactions which can further help you navigate through a relationship.

So get some rest, see if there are clinical issues, talk with your girlfriend, reflect on your own and with company and aim for the light at the end of the tunnel.
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Ken
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This:

Containerguy wrote:
I'm feeling "hollow" and quite depressed.


plus this:

Quote:
I am still utterly scared of the way ahead and hope my life will not completely disintegrade.


plus your comments on difficulty sleeping and the overall tone of your posts makes me think you are either on the road to a depressive episode or in the midst of one. Having been diagnosed with depression myself and been where that leads you, I cannot urge you strongly enough to at least go see a doctor. Even a general practitioner can help identify whether or not this is something that needs to be handled with more than time, reflection, and thought.


I don't know whether your relationship with your girlfriend is salvageable or not. I don't know whether you want to make it work or not. I do know that if we were having this conversation face-to-face, I'd say this: Go get some professional help. Even if it turns out I'm wrong (which is entirely possible), please believe me when I tell you that if I'm not you want absolutely nothing to do with where that particular road leads.
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Mac Mcleod
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Spacejack wrote:
maxo-texas wrote:

Unless you have unreasonable standards for a girlfriend given your appearence and social standing


I just had to step in and mildly counter this with a firm reminder that if the moon appears suddenly in your life, you should SHOOT IT.

The way people speak so casually about not attempting to sexually "rise above one's station" in this culture is a little disturbing to me, so I'm really responding to a pet peeve and not primarily motivated by your situation. But it applies. If you wind up single, and you see a girl you like, DO NOT HESITATE BECAUSE YOU THINK YOUR SOCIAL STANDING IS INSUFFICIENT.


I have three friends with average looks who make good incomes (but are no wealthy) who have been and are still single because the only females they will consider are way out of their league.

While the moon may fall in your lap... as Admiral Ackbar says, "It's a trap!" The pretty girls in their lives basically just string them along while dating hot guys. It pains me to see it since they could have someone who loves them inside of a month or two if they would be realistic and lower their standards.

Also, while it can work out- I know you have a higher chance of failure with a very attractive mate of either sex (attractive people cheat more).

---

On the depression after a relationship: I attack it with country music and really wallow in it some and then other days find things to distract me on it so it doesn't become a pattern.
 
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Kelsey Rinella
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maxo-texas wrote:

On the depression after a relationship: I attack it with country music


Fighting pain with more pain doesn't work any better than fighting fire with fire, dude. Try the blues.

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Mostly good advice here. But I'd change one thing. After (and if) your relationship is over, get in the car and visit the old flame. It may wind up being nothing, but if it works out, what a great story! If it doesn't pan out, you still get a road trip.
 
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qzhdad wrote:
Mostly good advice here. But I'd change one thing. After (and if) your relationship is over, get in the car and visit the old flame. It may wind up being nothing, but if it works out, what a great story! If it doesn't pan out, you still get a road trip.


As mentioned before, I had dropped her a message via a facebook-like platform on which we are "friends" since back then, but she hasn't replied yet and her profile had been updated Feb.2011 for the last time and I have no other method for contact.

It might lead to a even more devastating situation, but right now, not having not received any reply from her sends me crawling up the walls and makes me want to drive her direction immediately, even not knowing where she currently might be living.

Sorry for using BGG as my emotional dump, but you guys have been a great source of help and advice since I started this thread.
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Containerguy wrote:
qzhdad wrote:
Mostly good advice here. But I'd change one thing. After (and if) your relationship is over, get in the car and visit the old flame. It may wind up being nothing, but if it works out, what a great story! If it doesn't pan out, you still get a road trip.


As mentioned before, I had dropped her a message via a facebook-like platform on which we are "friends" since back then, but she hasn't replied yet and her profile had been updated Feb.2011 for the last time and I have no other method for contact.

It might lead to a even more devastating situation, but right now, not having not received any reply from her sends me crawling up the walls and makes me want to drive her direction immediately, even not knowing where she currently might be living.

Sorry for using BGG as my emotional dump, but you guys have been a great source of help and advice since I started this thread.


Yeah, that part probably isn't a great idea. If you do go see her, which may not necessarily be a bad thing, be sure to make contact first. An ex from years ago showing up out of the blue may make a good story but doesn't always go very well in practice, even when there aren't any other issues in play.
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There is no Dana, only Zuul
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1. Don't pursue the new thing until you're done with the current thing.

2. Have you ever had direct, explicit conversations about what you need and expect to happen? It's not unreasonable to tell your partner what you need, and have a frank discussion about logistics and how to make your life work together. Maybe you need to find a place in the middle? Maybe you need to consider options that might be "unusual" or creative. Or maybe you need to admit to each other that neither one of you is willing to compromise and maybe this isn't the right relationship fit for you any longer.

There is no shame in recognizing that life changes and maybe it's time for your relationship to change or end. You need to ultimately make up your own mind about whether this has a future or not. If you decide that you are done...that there is no way you can move beyond where things are now or if is no way that even if you got what you wanted from your current partner that you would be happy...then end it gracefully, and move on.
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maxo-texas wrote:

On the depression after a relationship: I attack it with country music and really wallow in it some and then other days find things to distract me on it so it doesn't become a pattern.


I find this mechanism curious. I remember going through a painful break up a number of years ago, before Gwyneth Paltrow's career died and Coldplay were still popular. They released one maudlin dirge at that time that manage to crush my soul every time I had the misfortune to hear it in public, or on TV unexpectedly. It didn't help that my ex was a huge Jeff Buckley fan as well, another undernourished warbler that thankfully no longer walks this earth.

I understand, mentally at least, how people can take comfort from hearing songs that relate to the feelings they have, but I find myself that when I'm feeling really down, melancholy music amplifies the emotion, rather than damping it. I was force fed disco as part of an idyllic childhood, maybe it stunted my emotional growth.

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SabreOfParadise wrote:
maxo-texas wrote:

On the depression after a relationship: I attack it with country music and really wallow in it some and then other days find things to distract me on it so it doesn't become a pattern.


I find this mechanism curious. I remember going through a painful break up a number of years ago, before Gwyneth Paltrow's career died and Coldplay were still popular. They released one maudlin dirge at that time that manage to crush my soul every time I had the misfortune to hear it in public, or on TV unexpectedly. It didn't help that my ex was a huge Jeff Buckley fan as well, another undernourished warbler that thankfully no longer walks this earth.

I understand, mentally at least, how people can take comfort from hearing songs that relate to the feelings they have, but I find myself that when I'm feeling really down, melancholy music amplifies the emotion, rather than damping it. I was force fed disco as part of an idyllic childhood, maybe it stunted my emotional growth.



Music is one of the ways I can get in touch with my emotions. Sad movies and songs can give me catharsis. Until then the bad feeling is trapped inside my body and I can't get it out.

Also, I "burn out" the feeling or become desensitized to it. For me, it accelerates the process. However, with my last ex- I finally just had to leave- cut everything off. It was the only way- I was very attached to her and the situation could only get worse. When someone really highly effectively lies to you long enough it can be very intoxicating!

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Kelsey Rinella
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SabreOfParadise wrote:
I was force fed disco as part of an idyllic childhood, maybe it stunted my emotional growth.


This is the kind of prose which deserves acclaim.
 
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