For anyone who’s been following my blog, you’ll know that I tend not to include too many personal details. Opinions are aplenty, personal stories few and far between – Unless it relates in some way to the book I’m reading.
Please note, I’m not a doctor. This is my personal story and the opinions and suggestions offered are the things that worked for me. If you need to talk with somebody about your depression, then don’t hesitate to call one of these numbers:
Anxiety UK: 03444 775 774 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 10pm; Saturday to Sunday, 10am to 8pm)
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 (TALK)
At the start of June, I was celebrating 18 months with my long-distance girlfriend. She was in China, where we first met whilst I was working out there. We’d seen each other once in the last year but kept in contact regularly through messaging and old-fashioned letters. This went on until September last year when she began to develop depression.
I offered as much help and support as I could from a distance, as well as encouraging her when possible. Communication wavered, but I figured she wanted her space, so in January of this year I sent her a letter explaining I’ll always be here, she only needs to say so.
I waited and waited, and then in May, I got in contact again. Still nothing. I feared that her depression had gotten worse and severely affected her life.
Roll on June and one of the worst possible outcomes occurred.
She posted a picture of herself holding hands with another guy with the simple caption of ‘a heart‘. I had a mutual friend who confirmed my worst fears.
Instead of speaking with me and breaking our relationship up, she simply decided to ignore it and find somebody closer to home.
If she’d just called and said it wasn’t working, given it a few weeks and then carried on, sure. But to do it in this manner! Especially given that she was previously depressed and had mentioned before that her ex left her out of nowhere – she’d gone and done the same thing to me.
It’s fair to say, I was distraught. Without going into too much detail, many plans for the future were made, and now they were gone. I spent the next week in a daze of confusion and sadness, not knowing what I would do next, or where I would turn for help.
I think that when you miss someone so much, you begin to develop symptoms. These often start as psychological factors; trouble sleeping, lack of attention, and constant worry – and then they manifest themselves as physical problems; headaches, feeling sick and lacking the motivation to do things that were once fun.
According to GoodTherapy, lovesick people can experience ‘intense sexual feelings for that person and can feel desperate to see the person and to touch him/her constantly. We may feel intense grief, frustration, and sadness when we can’t be with the person.’
These are certainly symptoms of my long-distance relationship, mostly when you’ve gone such a long time without physically spending time together.
It’s also these reasons why I don’t feel any sort of malice towards her.
From here I can only speculate but she likely wants to break away from these intensely emotional experiences, and the best way to fill the gap is to find someone new; someone who is there all the time. It’s just unfortunate that she chose to do this in such a self-centred manner.
I’ve realised that by accepting her decision, whether I believe it to be right or not, I too can move on.
There were a few days when all I did was compare myself to her new boyfriend; ‘why him? What’s so special? Etc.‘ But ultimately, the answer is security – knowing he’ll be there when she wakes, and not halfway around the world like I am.
As for the future, I wish her all the best. I hope that she’s happy and finds comfort in her relationship.
This fresh perspective has also given me the assurances I need moving forward. I’m fortunate to have a good family around me, and friends that I can talk with. All these factors make a huge difference in dealing with setbacks such as these.
For anyone who’s experiencing or has experienced a similar situation, I want you to know there is a way of finding happiness again.
What’s to come?
In next week’s edition, I’ll discuss the things I did to help myself off the floor, and how you can start applying these solutions now, should the worst-case happen.
If you have been through similar experiences, please leave a comment below. I would love to know how you recovered from your ordeal and how it’s affected you moving on. Equally, if you have any feedback on my story or my actions, then let me know down below.
See you next week.