Jump to content

Five months in and it's only got worse.

Recommended Posts

In November I left my boyfriend (LDR issues, he was meant to move this year, promised next year just like he promised last year.. It was too much). We were together nearly 3 years, but he was a big part of my life for a few years before that. For years I have told him everything and really leant on him. In November I barely contacted him and dreaded his texts - I had uni work to do and other stuff going on, I had no time or energy to grieve.


December brought Christmas, then there was our anniversary, then valentine's day, then essay deadlines.. which means that my energy ran out about a month ago. It's really hard right now. My friends were great before, but have never been in love before, much less had a long term relationship. They mean well, but they just aren't very supportive. They do the singsong 'you just have to get over him', like that's something I could just 'do'. The cancel evenings out, or make lame excuses not to go out at all. I try teling them how I feel but either they don't understand, or they don't care. I feel very alone. I've tried going to sports clubs etc, but I'm very shy and nothing has really kicked off in terms of new friendships. These things take time, anyway.


My ex has gone through his hard patch, seemingly. I know I shouldn't, but I text and call him alot. He was my best friend, and I just don't have support elsewhere. I got through on pride before but it's not enough. I don't see things getting better, and sooner or later he'll move on and find someone else.. and I'm so shy, and I've tried to meet people and just haven't managed to.. I don't know what to do. I'm drawing a blank.

Link to comment
For years I have told him everything and really leant on him.


Perhaps you leaned on him too much and expect your friends to fill that gap.


My friends were great before, but have never been in love before, much less had a long term relationship.

By saying this you have just devalued your friends. Perhaps they are not as supportive because you need too much support...you want to lean on them like you leaned on your boyfriend. Are you independent...can you sort out your problems...did you expect your boyfriend to listen to every last detail of your day's complaints? Perhaps your friends are blowing you off not because THEY don't understand, but because you don't understand them. Do you listen to their problems...are you supportive of them?

Link to comment
Do you listen to their problems...are you supportive of them?


Yes. When something bad happens to them, I am supportive through the roof. When they've been having a tough time I make sure that I make time to listen to them, or just have a drink or something. I practically begged to go out a couple of weeks ago, and they just ignored me. We're quite close, 2/3 of the friends I'm talking about live with me. Maybe I am trying to lean on them too much, but I can't do this on my own.

Link to comment

Sometimes I'm down in mood around them, but not all the time. I live with them, you can't put on a happy face all the time, but it's only when I feel really low that I would actually tell them. I do talk about my ex alot, but then sometimes I need to. I'm seeing a therapist, so I can talk about him there too, but I can't just only talk about him for a 45 minute slot a week. Yeah, that's pathetic, but I can't keep it bottled up, and if it was my friend in a situation like this I wouldn't expect them to keep it bottled up either.

Link to comment

It sounds like you are spending too much of your time bending their ears about your ex or the breakup or your latest problem. Friends are friends and they can offer some support, but they are not therapists or counselors, and it is unrealistic to expect them to continue to listen to the same complaints/issues over and over again without you doing anything to fix the problem.


You may be putting too many emotional demands on them, when you should be taking your problems to a counselor or therapist, if you are constantly still obsessing about the ex boyfriend or the breakup after many months.


So the answer is to get a counselor (many schools have them on staff at the health centers) and talk about your issues there. Then apologize very openly to your friends for making so many emotional demands on them, and tell them you want to go out with them and have fun and you will NOT talk about your problems with them, only with your counselor.


If you do that, they may be willing to start seeing you again. You may be misunderstanding the role of friendship and what level of obligation there is there. Many women spoil relationships and friendships by constantly wanting to cry in the lap of their friends or boyfriends like a little child, when the real problem is that you need to learn how to deal with life's disappointments and stress as an adult, which means learning how to solve your problems rather than wallow in them.


I don't mean to be harsh, but to help you. You may also be clinically depressesd if you constantly need to cry about your ex at this point, so i'd really suggest you call a counselor and take your problems there to be solved so that you can have friends and enjoy life.

Link to comment

i just read that you have a counselor, so you need to ask the counselor openly for techniques that allow you to vent stress and solve problems WITHOUT have to dump that stress on friends.


Sometimes keeping it 'bottled up' is what you need to do, i.e., not use friends as a lightning rod to dump your problems on. You need skills to solve problems, and to reduce emotional stress. There are lots of positive ways to do this like working out, learning relaxation techniques, tools like thought stopping to prevent obsessing about things, etc.


So you think you have a NEED to uncork your emotions on your friends and talk about it, but really, you don't have that need, it is just something you've learned that is not good for you or your friends. You need to learn how to deal with stress internally, without requiring other people to defuse it for you. The counselor can teach you that.

Link to comment

I'm not meaning to disregard what you're saying, but I know the breathing techniques, the mindfulness training, systematic muscle relaxation, exercise, diary/+letter writing. I work in mental health, and I do all these things. But it doesn't subsitute social support. What I'm feeling let down about isn't that my friends won't discuss my ex at length with me, but that they frequently cancel on me, or avoid making plans. I know it's not because they don't like me (I've known them for years, and as I said I live with two of them), and yeah, they might feel careworn, but I've been there for them during different things. I'm sick of the 'well, you've got to move on' mantra.


My counsellor has done some assessments and I am now on the clinical end of low mood, but I've been here before five years ago. I had psychotherapy and various kinds of antidepressants, and it didn't help that much. I feel like I'm at a dead end.

Link to comment
I am now on the clinical end of low mood, but I've been here before five years ago. I had psychotherapy and various kinds of antidepressants, and it didn't help that much


I am sure your friends care about you, but it is also difficult for friends to be with someone who is constantly in a down mood. Yes, friends should be there through thick and thin..but I am sure they were initially there for you when you and your boyfriend broke up..it is just harder as time goes on, for them to hear the same story and the same moping. Even people with tons of dating experience will end up saying "just get over it". This is a common complaint here on ENA, that their real life friends just don't want to hear about it anymore. One thing I would urge you to do is talk to your friends and tell them that you are hurt that they keep cancelling on you or not socializing with you. Then, try to improve your mood around them and work on your depression. You have to work on the depression yourself, nobody else can do that for you.

Link to comment

I've been depressed for about nine years now. It was five years ago I actively sought out treatment. My mood does change, but I never feel more than about 5/10 (apart from when I was with my ex, when it did go a little higher). Yeah, I'm back in therapy, but because of a long history of things that have happened, and a big family history of depression, I'm 20 and I've had alot of therapy. For now my mood isn't really going anywhere, but it's not for lack of trying. When I can put on a happy face I can and do, but that's not all the time, and it shouldn't have to be all the time. The ony time I've ever felt happy was when I was with my ex, and then because it was a ldr this was fleeting. I have an otherwise active and full life. I have hobbies, and a job I'm passionate about. But none of it makes me feel happy.

Link to comment

>>I'm sick of the 'well, you've got to move on' mantra.


Well,they're probably sick of hearing about the same old gripes about your breakup etc. So whose needs are paramount? You have to accept that friends after a while can't 'fix' you, only you can fix you.


Don't miss the point that if you want them to include you, then you need to stop talking about the ex and let them know very clearly that you promise not to talk about him anymore and you want to go out and do things and won't mention him.


If you do that, they'll start including you again.


Have you tried 'thought stopping' (google it). Perhaps you need to really make an effort to stop indulging in negative or self defeating thoughts, and use thought stopping techniques to get a grip on that.


Also, if your family has a history of depression, you probably need to be on medication to treat depression. Biochemical depression isn't something you can't think your way out of, you need to fix the chemistry problems before the doom and gloom will lift.

Link to comment

If you can feel happy with your ex then you can feel happy without your ex. Having a man should not be the determining factor on whether you are happy or not. A man should complement your life, not BE your life. If you are passionate about your job then why aren't you happy? Usually things we are passionate about make us happy.

Link to comment

I know my friends can't 'fix' me, but they're still my friends, and friends support eachother. I can't exist with a false grin on my face all the time, I live with friends, after all, and if I'm feeling low one day after a long shift then I'm not going to pretend like I'm not. I don't expect to cry on their shoulder, but friendship is a give and take. It's not like I refuse to listen to their problems. It shouldn't be about whether or not they feel like hearing what I have to say, because I know that whenever they have a problem I make the time to listen.


Yes, I've heard about 'thought stopping', it's a pop psychology term for recognising and tackling negative automatic thoughts as part of cognitive behavioural therapy.

Link to comment

Then only go out with them when you're feeling up for it. If i'm in a bad mood, i just don't go out with friends, i work to adjust my attitude.


And just because you've heard about thought stopping doesn't mean you've tried it... have you done cognitive therapy and used that technique?


Honestly, from your posts i'm getting the sense that you WANT to wallow in your own problems and have other people wallow with you there too... and you're unhappy with people responding because they're not agreeing that wallowing is what you're entitled to do. There is a difference between needing a little support and wallowing in it.


If you want to maintain friends, realize that friendship is OPTIONAL and people can withdraw it if you are taking advantage of their good will by using them as a wallowing pit. Why not instead really start applying some of the techniques one uses to snap out of a bad spell, and make that your prime agenda rather than using your friends as lightning rods for your own unhappiness.

Link to comment

Yes. I have had cognitive behavioural therapy, and I have used it. As I've mentioned in early posts, I've been in various types of talking therapy and anti-depressant treatment for years. This isn't me 'wallowing' in my own problems. This is not something I can 'snap out' of. Don't you think I would prefer to? This attitude is profoundly unhelpful and completely fails to understand the nature of low mood. How would you suggest to someone who has said they've felt low on and off for nine years that they go about just 'snapping out' of feeling depressed?


As I have said, I live with my two close friends. It's not like I can only arrange to see them when I'm in a good mood. It's not 'taking advantage' of a friend by just being honest and saying that I'm having a rough time, just like I'd expect them to be honest with me when they're having a bad time, as they have.




I'm a mental health nurse, so at work sometimes I have fantastic days, other days it can be quite hard. I'm always passionate about what I do, and would never change it but that doesn't mean that it necessarily makes me happy all the time. I know a man shouldn't complete my life, but I'm not quite sure how to shift this focus.. It's not like at the moment I don't do anything but think about my ex, I have a very busy active life, but it just doesn't make me feel like I'm doing anything more than existing. I just know when I was happy.

Link to comment
  • 4 weeks later...


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...