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My attempt to deal with Depression and Heartbreak

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I'm new here and have been lurking for a bit, trying to read the threads. I'm hoping that starting to post will help me heal the tremendous anguish I am feeling. Hopefully I can help others by posting as well. Here is my story - I'm sorry it is so long.


We met through a friend about 16 months ago, and it was love at first sight. The spark was strong as we fell in love within weeks, and we both recognized that our feelings were stronger then anything experienced before After 2 months I got sick with mono - a fairly bad case that had me on disability leave for a further 2 months. My GF took care of me, and did her best to support me while I recovered. Unfortunately, after the physical symptoms of mono had passed, I fell into depression. At first I blamed the mono and the job stresses I was experiencing (promotion year, "up-or-out" career model). I was eating poorly and not taking care of my body, so my libido and well-being sank to rock bottom. My GF continued to stick with me through this tough time, despite the fact that she had her own problems related to school and family. I am a naturally gentle, caring and sensitive person, and I tried to support her as well, but it was so hard when I could barely keep my own head above water.


This leads me into the other problem I had. My prior ex girlfriend treated me very badly, toying with my sensitivity and emotions 3 times before I finally managed to break free. As a result, I built barriers to protect myself, and these barriers made it very difficult for me to share my feelings with my new GF. I knew my GF was totally different from my ex, but getting hurt again was something I feared more then death. In my already depressed state, I wasn't strong enough to overcome this fear of opening up, which ultimately led to my current situation.


It has been about 10 months since my depression started. I hoped that time would heal me, but it did not. I changed jobs 4 months ago, and while I am happier with my new job, this didn't cure my depression either. Perhaps my biggest problem was that as a formerly strong and proud male, I did not want to admit that I was actually depressed - that it could actually happen to me.


1 month ago, things started to change. I finally acknowledged that I was depressed, and I summoned my remaining strength to begin a recovery. I forced myself to eat better and exercise, and I stopped hating myself. Feelings of well-being were returning, and as I mastered the depression I was working up my courage to share my imprisoned feelings with my always supportive GF. Unfortunately, I ran out of time.


The heartbreak occurred in early February. My GF was devastated that after this time, she still didn't really know me. I do not blame her at all for this, because she put so much into the relationship, and my distance was hurting her. While I never treated her badly and we did have many amazing experiences and memories, I was not able to fully reciprocate. Being both gentle people, we never argued or fought during this time. However, this was likely part of the problem because we were not able to effectively communicate our problems, for fear of upsetting the other person. That being said, I recognize that she is a special person and deserved more then what I was giving her, depression or no. We have since talked and seen each other several times (although it's heart rending to meet or talk when we are no longer together), and I am proud of myself because I was able to overcome my fears of opening up. I told her everything from how depressed I was, how afraid I was to share my feelings, and how I want to commit to her into the future. She said that while she loves me, she needs time to think about what she really wants, and also to take care of herself. She was glad I opened up to her, and she told me that she learned more about me in the last hour of talking then in the time leading up to the breakup.


I hope that I can show her how much I love her by having the strength to give her the time and space she needs. She is the one I want to commit to and care for, however I am so afraid that she will decide she does not want to see me again. She told me that before we met, she got back together with her prior ex after promises of change, but that it only led to more pain. I truly believe that with love and dedication, we can learn from our mistakes and improve, and I hope she can find a way to believe in this despite her experience with her ex. Right now, I have this burning desire to show her how I am learning and improving, but I hope I can be strong enough to avoid contact. I know it will be difficult, because I want more then anything else in this world for us to reconcile. I will keep this thread up-to-date with any developments.


Thank you for reading and for any responses. If anyone wants to hear more details for whatever reason, just ask. I don't want to only "take" from this thread, so allow me to "give" something I have learned. While opening up, and being toyed with or rejected by a GF/BF is painful, it is nothing compared to the agony and regret of losing a Sweetheart due to fear and reluctance. If I could go back and change any one thing, it would be to accept that the previous ex did me a favor by removing herself from my life. I will never let fear of exposing my feelings deter me again, because I know that if it causes pain, then the person does not deserve what I have to offer.

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Whats important now is that you give back to her what she put in and invested into your life. The happyness and love, and doing those special things to make her feel special and loved, and which she deserves.


A warning should be issued tho. It might already be too late, to preserve your feelings i would definitly take this in account. And as towards your previous ex who has hurted you i say this. In life you need to act like a castle gate, closing yourself to bad people/things/events, and opening yourself up to good people/things/events. So normally to a wonderfull person like your current gf you should open up, however since there is a lingering possibility of a break up, i would give the love she deserves but i as said again ' be aware' that she is definitly in a period of doubt.


Give her the security that you are there for her, and that you want and can provide a fantastic future for her.

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Thanks for the response robowarrior. I appreciate your "castle" advice. My problem was that I built a gate with a lock, but never thought about the key to open it. I know that this might all be too late, and that my feelings might get hurt badly, but I am willing to accept that possibility. She is so worth fighting for, and I will not give up on a future together as long as there is hope. I'd rather get hurt, having no regrets because I tried my best to work things out.


I hope nobody minds, i am going to keep updating this thread.


Last night was rough. I work out of town during the week, and it is very difficult to deal with this situation because everyone I care about, including my Sweetheart, are far away. I have to be strong and keep myself going while I am out here. I try to work out and eat right every day, and it really helps. It is such a good feeling to get back into shape and take care of myself. I wish I could work out all night!


This is only day 2 of no contact. We talked several times after the breakup, and each time we opened up and shared our feelings, but now I need to give her space. She wants time to sort out her feelings and I am trying my hardest to give this to her. The difficult part is that she is the type of person who might appreciate it and feel better if I send her messages, even though she wants space. I really want to tell her I am thinking about her and us but I don't know if it would make things better or not


Another thing I do daily is write down the things I have learned, and also my thoughts and desires for our future. Sometimes I write the same things down as before, but that is OK because this proves what I really want. It feels good to let the feelings flow like that, I wish I had done this sooner to get in better touch with myself.


Thanks again for the support, I am going to try to post in other people's threads to help out

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Perhaps you said it and I missed it but regarding the depression. Are you getting treatment for that? I have depression and do get treatment and it helps tremendously. I still have bad days but I now know how even more horrible I would feel if I wasn't getting help. I've learned the hard way and that is when you're depressed, TRY NOT MAKE LIFE-CHANGING DECISIONS. Wait until you feeling better so you're thinking clearly. Especially when it comes to love and affairs of the heart. Otherwise your decisions will be made based on very bad feelings, outlook and expectations. You're not alone.

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Thanks for your post Samross,


I received some medication, but found that it affected me negatively in other ways - it felt like it made things worse, which might have made me more reluctant to seek treatment. I am going to see my doctor again when I get back home to talk about this and see what we can do to keep an eye on it. I am willing to talk to a psychologist or counsellor if that will help. I really have been feeling better over the past month. I no longer have the feelings of self-loathing, confusion, and fear that I was suffering from. I feel very clear about what I want so i do not think I am making a mistake trying to make this work. I know I will feel much worse if I walk away or do nothing.


When I was depressed I tried to deal with it and heal myself. While I think I was successful in the end, I should have reached out for help, and I am going to do that from now onward.

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Keep in mind there are a lot of different types of anti-depressants, and they work differently. I've went to counciling as well. Also, I didn't mean to imply you were making a bad choice because you were depressed. SOme people only need an antidepressant for a short time, others, like myself will probably be on it from now on. As long as it's working for me that's ok. It's not a feel-good drug or anything like that. Clinical depression is a physical problme that can be treated. I don't mean to sound like a doctor but it has helped me tremendously. It sounds like you've gotten things sorted out right in you mind and that's great. I wish you the best of luck...

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