Recent and first break up
I recently broke up with my first girlfriend of about 9-10 months mutually. She lives in another country, but wont move. I want kids, she doesn't. Makes sense, right? We even want to stay close friends for the rest of our lives and for the most part, get along very well, which is why we dated online and even people that didn't know about us exclaimed how well we fit together. But since the break up (on and off since about March-May) I've basically fallen into waves of depression. I've never felt this before, nor been clinically diagnosed, but I feel like it's definitely the case. Every so often, maybe multiple times a day, a massive wave of sadness crashes over me, my chest tightens, I panic a bit, feel super alone, hopeless, physically painful and my thoughts get both sad and dark. Very dark from my normal self. I'm going to assume this is depression, unless someone tells me otherwise.
I suffer from social anxiety, I'm a 28 yo man (in 5 days from this post) and this was my first "proper" relationship. I was extremely happy, the happiest I've ever been. But now, it's quite the opposite. I feel like I know what I should do. Go out there, meet people, work out, eat healthy, better myself, etc. But, I just get this massive overwhelming sense of hopelessness and lack of motivation that prevents me from trying (nobody will talk to me at a cafe/etc). And because of the current state of the world, I can't exactly safely go outside to better myself and clear my head/thoughts right now either.
And to top it all off, me and my ex have been arguing almost constantly since the break up because of, basically, me and how fast she's moved on. She no longer feels the way she did when she was with me. She moved on about 3 or so weeks after the break up (no boyfriend but, she is looking). Meanwhile, I keep begging her to change her mind about kids and moving here, knowing full well that she wont. Not exactly topics people just flip their decisions on. So I feel like my emotions and potential depression just force me into insecure panic attacks that just result in me begging her for answers and badgering her with questions when we should be close friends. Instead, she occasionally tells me that she thinks we shouldn't talk anymore and that she's falling out of love with me because of these arguments...
...So, I guess my question is... Anyone got some advice or help?
Sorry for the late reply. I have tried for a few days now to think of how to explain it, but I can't seem to put it into words. It's a bit of an ineffable concept, it's taken me more than a year to fully understand it.
I'm going to keep trying. Anyway, something else I have just remembered is a good self-help book that has relevancy to your situation. It's called 'The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem,' and is written by a psychotherapist. If you don't like reading, you can get an audible trial with a free book. It's a 3.5hr listen, so not that long if you put it on while driving or doing jobs around the house. Non-fiction can be a bit boring, so it might help to listen to it slowly.
Anyway, if you feel like talking, how have you been feeling recently?
Hey Aphador, sorry for my late reply lol
I feel like I've somewhat improved, but I still have this mental cycle of good days/hours and bad days/hours. Especially when I start thinking about her or checking our conversations. However, I did come across a Youtube video recently that essentially said bluntly to "abandon hope". Obviously not in an overarching world view way, but rather abandoning the hope that we may get back together again some day. On top of that, the video kept saying things like "You're amazing/They will chase others like you that aren't you/They're not as good as you thought they were" and etc (basically, closure and self appreciation comments by the bucket load).
This plus meditation, distractions, small dietary changes and trying my best to learn self appreciation has helped create far more good days/hours than how was feeling previously. I took some of what you told me, and tossed ideas back and forth with my therapist, and in general, this change all over has made my more recent days far better. I've actually found myself complementing myself to combat the depressive feelings when she comes to mind, and it really does help. I have to thank you for bringing that particular topic up, because if all goes well, this should hopefully help stem future problems as well as this one.
I'm glad you're doing better Autumnado,
It sounds like you are on the right path, and are finding things that work well for you. As you said- you are not only healing now but also preparing yourself for the future. You are awesome, and are going to be even greater in the future 🙂 As long as you stick with this stuff, you'll be sweet.
I'll be here if you need to talk 🙂
I have been struggling quite a bit lately however, as my feelings do overwhelm me from time to time, and I had probably my worst episode of depression about 4 days ago where I simply just had the thought of "I could end it right now" and proceeded to imagine the... "event" happening. I'm still extremely happy that I'm strong enough to stop myself doing anything horrible, because that was the most terrifyingly overpowering feeling and event I've ever had.
But I've pushed though, and cut contact with my ex. Because of this, I am feeling a lot better lately, and even had a rather happy day yesterday with very little depressive thoughts or emotions. I've only been awake for an hour now (currently 7:35am), but today already feels nice as well. So hopefully this trend continues until I'm fully healed, ready to move on and can think about my ex getting a boyfriend without devolving my mental state.
And thanks Lilli, I do very much understand your point. However I have struggled with my opinion of my own appearance for so long (pretty much since primary school/years 3 or 4 +). So while my mental situation and opinion of myself might not have been as severe as others (I know I shouldn't compare myself to others), and the fact I landed a rather attractive and sweet girlfriend (imo) recently was almost like a positive shockwave after being single for so long up until the age of 27. I finally felt like I could have the relationship I wanted and craved for so long, because my appearance wasn't as god awful as I thought. But now, I feel as if I'm being thrown into an ocean of emotions that'll leave me forever alone or without love until the dice roll of life deems it time to change my life again. And living on a dice roll isn't something I'm happy with, so naturally I'm interested in trying to actively change myself into as an attractive person as possible so that I can more easily find what I crave once more.
Thanks for checking back in and sharing some more Autumnado. I'm sorry to hear you had such a hard depressive episode recently. It shows such strength to feel that pain, be with it and somehow find a path through. I would like to commend you for seeing your own strength and being happy with yourself. It sounds like you have had some positive days. What do you think helps you to get to have those days?
It sounds like you are feeling like it was the right move to cut contact with your ex at the moment. Although that relationship may have ended you can take comfort that you did have a successful relationship with a sweet girl for awhile. If it's happened once why couldn't that happen again.
I hope you will keep checking in and sharing your journey, it may not be an easy road after a broken heart but its one well travelled for many on these forums. This is a safe place to share and sometimes heal through reading through others experiences.
I hope today continues to be a nice day for you.
I'm not so sure what causes the positive days, but I would say distractions and the silence from communication between me and my ex are what do it. Though I do still have bad days, like today, I don't end up anywhere near as bad as previous times. Still, the broken sensation does peak when there's physical silence and physical isolation, so I often try to tell myself that it's just because I'm tired or it's late when they come about. But it does make some nights hard.
The thoughts that usually cause this are the fears of being permanently alone, potentially never finding love again, finding a woman who has other harmful intentions (cheating, abuse, etc) and my ex getting a new boyfriend. Hell, seeing her online or her posting a message in a chat not involving me at all just stabs my heart sometimes. It all just eats at me and crushes my soul every time all of these things crop up, and it feels like a wave of sadness washes through my chest like a shock wave each time. I'm convinced this will happen daily, with it's strength dependent on my overall positive/negative 'cycles'. And that it can only end once I find a new love, if I ever do. So another fear to add to this is that I'll feel like this for years or decades.
And while I'm logically sure that I can find love again, maybe an even better fit, I just don't feel like I will or can. It feels impossible, or like I need to bend over backwards to even try and find it. In other words, not as naturally as I did with my ex. I want to believe I'll find love again, but there's just huge doubt over my head telling me that it's near impossible. Especially if I want to find the right woman for me, and because of things like the virus around. I'm sure many people have just given in to desperation and dove head first into a flawed relationship because they needed to fill this similar hole, and I want to avoid that like the plague, but at the same time, fill the hole with actual love and happiness. I just feel like all the hope I once had has turned into fear, pain and torture, and I want it to stop.