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Thread: Confused

  1. #1

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    Confused

    So for some pre-amble I have a history of depression. I think I am scared of being alone and lonely. I am shy and was a late bloomer in a lot of respects. I was a tubby kid who wasn't confident or attractive.

    Sarah
    My first love was Sarah. We met as graduates and after being friends for a few months I asked her out. We had a year long relationship in which I fell very in love. In retrospect our relationship wasn't healthy. We didn't communicate effectively and although I believe she cared and perhaps felt something for me she was never able to say I love you, we never planned for the future, etc. The relationship ended when she became overly busy and I was pushed down her line of priorities. In the worst parts we would struggle to see each other once a week. I asked for more time together which she said she couldn't give me, nor could she promise things would change in the future. During the relationship she was never ready to say I love you and this, combined with her lack of desire to change to spend more time together, was an indication to me that she wasn't that into me. She was always trying to "figure things out" (I got the rough idea that she was still trying to get over heart break herself) but I suspect she was unable to break up with me. That or she was just riding along, content. I believe my issue about not spending time together was just a means for her to be able to end it.

    Sarah - Break-up
    The break up was the lowest point of my life. I have suffered sporadic depression my whole life however this was a turning point which has impacted me ever since. What I would classify as severe depression over a period of 3-6 months (extreme hopelessness, roomination, thoughts of suicide, etc). During this time I tried several times to get her back, all of which were unsuccessful. I did all the "text book" things - met new people, tried new things, exercised, etc and slowly came through the worst of the depression. However, even once through this she was still on my mind, daily. I can recognise that she wouldn't be a good for me but I still want her. If I knew she would say yes I would seriously consider asking her out, as dumb ad I know that sounds.

    Anna
    I met Anna a year after I broke up with Sarah. When we meet Anna was planning to leave for a 2-3 year stint overseas in Spain. Since she was planning on leaving I didn't persue her. She persued me though so we ended up getting together. She declined a job in Spain and decided to stay here with me for a year (mostly because of me, partially because of an exciting job). On paper Anna is all I could ever ask for. She's supportive, funny, exciting, we share the same hobbies and our communication is as good as I could ask for. She's not perfect, she's far more emotional than me which often leaves us on different levels and I find myself getting frustrated with her sometimes, but overall it is a solid relationship. I agreed to move over to Spain with her in early 2020 for 2 years

    Even though Anna is fantastic I still think about Sarah. Sometimes more than others. I've found the more depressed I am the more I revert to thinking about her. Although this worries me I made the decision early on the Anna was the person for me. She is better in almost every way.

    Things have been good with Anna until recently. As moving approaches I run into another issue. Change is a big deal for me so moving to the other side of the world to a country where I don't speak the language is terrifying. However just as terrifying is the thought of staying. A lot of close friends are looking to move abroad/return home. This would leave me with nothing here. In the same respect I feel I need to get out and explore. Part of me doesn't want to be someone who never sees the world.

    The thought of a massive change is dragging me back into depression and with it my thoughts of Sarah. Even worse after a week of thinking about her daily I ran into her on the street for the first time in a year after which I had a small and pleasant conversation with her.

    With these thoughts creeping back I'm worried I don't actually love Anna. That I've just followed in Sarah's footsteps with what she did to me. Or that I'm confused about what my definition of love is. Anna is stable. She supports me and is always there for me. And I want to be for her. Isn't that love?

    On the other hand Sarah was my first love. I can't have her now nor could I really have her during our relationship. I'm so confused. I was, for the most part over this until recently. I know logically Sarah isn't the right person. I'm worried that all this is just the human desire to have things we can't have. My mind feels Anna is the right person for me but now, part of my heart still wants Sarah.

    So in short I'm confused. Rock and a hard place. What do I do?

  2. #2
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Hopefully you are seeing a doctor/therapist regularly. It sounds like you need to reevaluate your treatment and it's effectiveness. Neither of these dating options or ruminating about them is helping you. It's only an obsessive loop that's making you feel even worse.
    Originally Posted by Bludb4
    I have a history of depression.
    I have suffered sporadic depression my whole life however this was a turning point which has impacted me ever since.
    I would classify as severe depression over a period of 3-6 months (extreme hopelessness, roomination, thoughts of suicide, etc).
    I've found the more depressed I am the more I revert to thinking about her.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    I think you are lost because you have not spent enough time on yourself. You need to spend more time on your own, testing your limits in more positive and proactive ways.

    I'm also feeling like you're intensely afraid of being alone and fear of loneliness will drive a lot of people into terrible decisions.

    Take a look at the things and the people that you fear and maybe ask yourself why. Is there a reason to fear being in a country without existing friends? Or is there a different way of looking at it? Does this instead mean more room to make new friends and explore new interests and grow as a human being?

    I think you are using your desires for either woman or a person in general to mask or cover your underlying fears of loneliness. Unfortunately this isn't self-sustaining. You'll keep running into back and forth decisions. It's all because they're fear-based. Poke out of that fear-based thinking and maybe emerge into a different way of thinking. Start turning apparent disadvantages into your advantage and look at things more positively. What can you learn? What can you do differently? If you don't feel confident in something, why not get better at it? If it makes your belly flip flop speaking to strangers, why not practice it and join different interest groups or join classes/groups at a local community center? Why hold yourself back?

  4. #4
    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Rose Mosse
    I think you are lost because you have not spent enough time on yourself. You need to spend more time on your own, testing your limits in more positive and proactive ways.

    I'm also feeling like you're intensely afraid of being alone and fear of loneliness will drive a lot of people into terrible decisions.

    Take a look at the things and the people that you fear and maybe ask yourself why. Is there a reason to fear being in a country without existing friends? Or is there a different way of looking at it? Does this instead mean more room to make new friends and explore new interests and grow as a human being?

    I think you are using your desires for either woman or a person in general to mask or cover your underlying fears of loneliness. Unfortunately this isn't self-sustaining. You'll keep running into back and forth decisions. It's all because they're fear-based. Poke out of that fear-based thinking and maybe emerge into a different way of thinking. Start turning apparent disadvantages into your advantage and look at things more positively. What can you learn? What can you do differently? If you don't feel confident in something, why not get better at it? If it makes your belly flip flop speaking to strangers, why not practice it and join different interest groups or join classes/groups at a local community center? Why hold yourself back?
    ^^this
    It's not either of these women you are longing for or have lost for that matter. You've never really had yourself. You don't seem to portray a very good self image, you are fearful of change and seem a somewhat insecure.

    People with solid self esteem are exhilarated with change and challenges. For you, they throw you into depression. It's because you don't trust yourself.

    How about you spend some time on your own? If you don't very much like yourself you can't possibly love someone else. All the attempts at having these women make you feel whole or at peace with yourself is misguided.

    It's no wonder you look past your current girlfriend and wonder if the one from the past holds the key. But you are looking in the entirely wrong direction. It starts with you.

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  6. #5

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    Finding yourself

    Thanks for your responses everyone. The advice about finding yourself is something I've seen/read before.

    The issue is I struggle understanding what this means. It whole concept seems very vague to me. If you were in a position where you had to "find yourself", or you were in my shoes, what would you do?

  7. #6
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    I suppose we've all had to find ourselves in some way or another. I'm still trying to find parts of myself or grow in better ways. I connect with my community and engage in my career. In terms of relationships, I try to strengthen my marriage in thoughtful ways and make sure my spouse feels loved/cared for in the same way he does for me. With my friendships, I try to touch base as often as I can, meaningfully even if it's just well wishes or a word here and there or asking about how someone is doing. I know what it's like to feel isolated and alone and in a lot of pain/despair. I never want someone close to me to feel that way.

    I'm still having some difficulties spiritually but getting stronger with time. My faith is weak sometimes and I falter quite a lot. I question quite a lot. With my hobbies, I try to finish what I start which is actually a lot harder said than done. I started a painting in winter 2017 which produced so much grief I put it out for the garbage collection one week earlier this year to release myself off the weight of it. It drained me. I'm not sure why I did such a thing but I felt like a failure. The painting represented another part of my life and I think psychologically I moved faster than the painting could finish and really did not want to finish it because it prolonged my healing. This has somewhat shaken me and I'm not sure I want to paint again. I've always painted since I was very young but somehow the idea of going back to that has lost its luster. Instead I'm looking at other interests for 2020. I'm accepting that it is ok to move forwards and find new interests.

    Finding yourself sometimes means facing uncomfortable things because they promote healing or growth. It might not always mean a pleasant distraction. It's sometimes painful and grueling and not what you expect but you learn from it. If you can commit to something, an interest of some sort and grow with it, I think it comes back and rewards you over time. You'll see the fruits of your labour and learn a lot through the process. I might have failed to finish my painting from 2017 but it's led me on a different path which I'm quite grateful for. Maybe I might not be on this path today if I hadn't started that painting I never finished. Does this make sense?


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