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Not sure if I am ill or just going through a phase

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Old 02-19-2006, 02:34 PM   #1
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taira HB User
Not sure if I am ill or just going through a phase

Let me describe how I feel and if it sounds familiar to anyone, please let me know.

While I'm still perfectly functional (doing well at work, doing all the things I have to do - I do procrastinate but I've always done that), I am starting to wonder if I will ever be at all happy again. I ended a long relationship four years ago. Since that time, my life has gone well but I haven't found another person I really connect with. I am dating someone but I'm going through the motions - I don't really have any feelings about him. But I'm afraid if I don't date someone, I'll never leave the house except for work and errands which is entirely possible. He's really good to me, I just don't have any feelings for him, or much of anything else.

The best description I can come up with is apathy. I just don't care. I don't want to kill myself, but if I found out I had something terminal, I'd feel relief. Everything feels like a chore. I really just want to lie on the couch and watch TV and eat, but I'm trying not to do the last one because I know being overweight isn't going to make me feel any better.

I spend a ridiculous amount of time doing things like surfing apartment listings in other cities and fantasizing about just disappearing. I think about how great it would be to live somewhere so cheap that I could get away with only working part time and therefore spend more time at home with my pets.

I think I'm suffering from a lack of focus because my focus used to be my ex - making him happy, doing things for him, worrying about our relationship -and now that I don't have that, it's like, now what? I've been trying to substitute doing a lot of volunteer work for things I care about, thinking that if I help others it will make me feel better but that only goes so far. I just can't seem to come up with a reason to wake up in the morning. I think I'm just doing everything I'm supposed to in order to avoid the social censure that would come if I gave up and stopped.

A few more facts: before anyone suggests religion as a solution, I tried that but I just couldn't get past my innate disbelief. When it all shook out, I just didn't buy it. I'm in my late 30's, been married once, no children, and no living family. I have a very high IQ. No one who knows me would ever connect this post to me because I have a very outgoing, sunshiny act going because that's what goes over well in my job.

Any thoughts/advice?

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Old 02-19-2006, 02:42 PM   #2
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Re: Not sure if I am ill or just going through a phase

The apathy and lack of energy could be a sign of depression, but you have symptoms that I recognize in myself. Do you feel anxious a lot of the time? The reason I ask is that I have a slew of anxiety disorders, and I don't think that I've ever heard anyone else describe so poignantly what I go through. I don't have depression, but there are many days where I'm just so damn apathetic and anxious that I can't bring myself to do even the simplest of things. Some days I can barely get out of bed because I'm paralyzed with panic attacks, and as for procrastination (on homework especially), I'm the queen. However, I don't do it because I'm lazy or because I simply don't care about my grades, but because of compulsive avoidance due to my OCD (and because my medications make me sooo tired). If I don't do it, then I can't worry about it...Also, for my procrastination on everything else, I attribute it to my combination of obsessional slowness and tendency to get "stuck" when I shift between tasks, a common symptom in us OCD-ers who have Asperger's, too (I have a mild case of Asperger's). It does interfere with my life quite a bit, but since it's just an inherent part of my life that is also Asperger's-related, I can't get rid of it with my CBT. It's very frustrating to say the least. Plus, I like you, also go through periods where I just want to stay home and stay in bed so I can feel "safe". I'm not saying you have an anxiety disorder, but is this how you feel most of the time? I'd be interested to know... God bless!
"Not everything that steps out of line, and thus 'abnormal,' must necessarily be 'inferior.'"
-Hans Asperger

Last edited by GatsbyLuvr1920; 02-19-2006 at 02:44 PM.

Old 02-20-2006, 12:05 AM   #3
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KStorts HB User
Re: Not sure if I am ill or just going through a phase

A lot of what you said sounds to me like depression too. Can you get around to talking to your doctor about it?

Old 02-20-2006, 12:22 AM   #4
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Re: Not sure if I am ill or just going through a phase

def. sounds like depression. You see no bright future and really dont care about anything. Having a high IQ can be a blessing and a curse...many ppl with high IQ's are depressed...many of the most influential figures of our time had depression. Do you philosophize a lot?

Old 02-20-2006, 07:31 AM   #5
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i-be-peabody HB User
Re: Not sure if I am ill or just going through a phase

Really sounds like depression to me. It also sounds like you have some trouble letting go. Perhaps you were using this relationship to define yourself and now that it's over, you're kind of stuck. Like, he's gone and you're now in a stasis. Maybe he really was the one you wanted to be with and if that's the case, call him! He might feel the same way. Even better ,it sounds like you're attached to the memories and perhaps talking to him now, four years later, will put it in perspective. You might talk to him and discover that you actually don't feel the same way you once did for him. That happened to me once. Imissed my ex for years. He was doing his PhD in Hawaii and myfather said "Call him. If he feels the same way, we'll have you on a plane in the morning" I called him and as we talked, I forgot to tell him the truth about how I felt. Then I realized when I hung up, I didn't tell him because those feelings weren't there anymore. And all I needed was that closure of change and time to know that.

Also, even if you feel the same way when you talk to him, you'll know once and for all where he stands. You don't have to wonder anymore and you'll get that closure. Closure is so necessary in letting go, whether it's death, love or anger.

If you know he doesn't feel the same way as you do, it's time to move on. You should find something that you really enjoy, that you do well and you feel helps define who you are. Besides giving you a chance to meet others who have similar interests, you'll have a chance to meet yourself, to get to know you. You don't have to worryabout anyone else now?? Fantastic! This gives you the much needed time to think about yourself and spend time getting to know yourself. It's also really good that you've not met anyone you don't feel as good with. It means you haven't lowered your standards or rebounded with some loser. DON"T lower your standards, hon! You deserve a man that makes you feel happy and secure and someone you feel ENHANCES who you are, not defines who you are.

It'll happen. I've been there and thought I'd never come back. But I did. And now I'm engaged to be married to the most wonderful man in the world. I'm actually incredibly glad for all the hurt and loss. It helped shape who I am today and if it weren't for that, I would never have met the man I'm with today.

Trust that you're worth loving, trust that someone will get that and trust that it's a big, diverse world out there with many, many people. Eventually, you'll be thanking your lucky stars that he's out of the way. Perhaps this loss was making room for the RIGHT relationship.

But it's not just the relationship... it seems that theremay be a deeper issue here and that you might benefit from talking to someone. There's nothing wrong with asking for a little help.

Hope you can find some peace. If you work towards it, it'll come.

peace and love

Old 02-20-2006, 08:09 PM   #6
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gully4mile HB User
Re: Not sure if I am ill or just going through a phase

aside from being carefull---from sad expeience i think 'dating' is something to continue---it's a 'use-it-or-lose-it' thing. so it's not my biz---but keep it up---socializing is a major key to mental health---and survival. i was married to a 'borderline' personality for 25 years, children, life---i'm a creative high-achieving bipolar---i always knew she was different---but 'borderlines' may turn from supportive love to total hate, in a blink---until then, you're not loved, rather an obsession---four years is a long time for most people to recover---and move on---the fact you are still 'social' is a very good sign---the fact you have yet to 'recover' former feelings may be something for a female Talk therapist---no drugs---and don't just expect to meet your helper easily. ya gotta shop around, ask your peers, etc. keep dating, but consider you may be 'self-sabotaging' future chances---or you just need more time---you run your life. or it runs you---------

Old 02-25-2006, 12:50 AM   #7
Join Date: Feb 2006
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taira HB User
Re: Not sure if I am ill or just going through a phase

Originally Posted by GatsbyLuvr1920
Do you feel anxious a lot of the time? The reason I ask is that I have a slew of anxiety disorders, and I don't think that I've ever heard anyone else describe so poignantly what I go through. GatsbyLuvr1920-
I have had panic attacks in the past but not for years now. I listened to my body and realized I only had them when I put myself in unnecessarily stressful situations around extremely high drama people, so I simply avoided those people and situations (luckily they weren't work related) and that fixed the panic attacks.

I'm just reading everybody's responses now, I've had a busy week and haven't been back to the board until today. Sorry about that!

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