General Question

qashqai's avatar

Thinking about my ex-girlfriend is simply killing me, need some help. Seriously.

Asked by qashqai (2465points) April 6th, 2009

Many of you already know me.
For those who don’t, here’s a brief and simple narrative of my horrible situation: the big love of my life left me one month ago. I feel physical pain when I think about her, something like there’s someone that takes my stomach and punch it repeatedly.
The problem is I am not that type of person, and I cannot afford to behave like someone that is suffering for love-related matters. I can’t because of my job, mainly, and a little because of my principles (that are questionable, of course, but nevertheless they are the ones that I try to follow). The shock subsequent of our separation kept me behaving “normally” for the first ten days. Situation is getting worse since then, at free fall speed. I cannot hide it anymore, or said better, I have to take always greater efforts to hide it, and this is becoming quite evident. Once again, I believe many of you will just say “not to repress my feelings”, and that’s what I would do if I hadn’t to look smart, self confident and all that attributes that are highly required in my work environment so I need practical advices, something small and tangible to start with.

For my self, mainly.
I want to keep my mental sanity, my awesome job, and that bloody b***ard look in my eyes that I was so proud of, just a month ago.

Thank you very much.

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23 Answers

allen_o's avatar

I went through a similar thing a few years ago, it’s all about distracting yourself and changing the way you think about things, do some reading on cognitive-behavioural therapy, it helped me through a hard time

PupnTaco's avatar

Talking to a psychologist can be helpful, possibly better than when you were with her.

upholstry's avatar

I went through a similar situation when I was around 23. It’s the hardest thing you’ll ever have to get through and don’t be ashamed to talk to a therapist or something. I ended up doing a lot of drugs and probably prolonged the experience a lot longer than I would have otherwise.

Basically just keep doing what you need to be doing. You’re mind is going to want to keep returning to this over and over again every day, and you’ll want to let it work things out, but be very diligent about turning the negative thoughts into positive ones. Mostly, just be aware that this is a psychological process that takes time for your brain to work through. It takes a long time, maybe a year or two to completely get over it, so don’t get impatient. Don’t worry about your sanity either. I thought I was definitely going to lose my mind, but I never did :)

mitten13's avatar

why did she leave you?

SeventhSense's avatar

There’s no cure. Live, love, lose, mourn, grieve and move on. There’s no timetable and it can’t be controlled. Try to control it and you prolong it.
If it comes up at work, head to the bathroom and cry. Be caring to yourself and reach out to close friends who can just listen to you and then distract you with fun activities. One day you’ll wake up and you’ll be in a different place. I feel for you and I’m sending you a hug.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

I second what @upholstry and @SeventhSense said. You need time to work through it, and grieve. Journaling also helps; write down your feelings, take stock of what led to the end of the relationship, and learn from it. You will get yourself back; or you may find yourself to be a better person than before.

Zen's avatar

I’m with @mitten13. Not in the sense that I want to know the details, but that qashai should look into the reasons, and learn from the experience so as not to repeat it.

These answers all seem so clinical compared to the pain and suffering that is losing the love of your life, but a combination of therapy, time, introspection, and even distraction will ultimately put you back on track.


Poser's avatar

What kind of job do you have where your coworkers wouldn’t understand the pain that comes with the end of a relationship? Either you don’t give them enough credit, or your job isn’t as shit-hot as you believe it to be.

Admitting that this is a horrible experience is a great first step. Let it be. It’s supposed to be. These things are painful. Denying yourself that pain can be debilitating. When I was going through my divorce, I experienced a lot of pain, which was confusing to me, since getting divorced was the last rational thing I could have done with my marriage (and I was more than glad to be out of it). I talked to a counselor and she told me that all the feelings I was having were natural. She said it’d take approximately half the length of the relationship to truly move on, and she turned out to be pretty much spot on.

That’s not to say that you are going to have these feelings that long, but that by the time you go through all the stages of mourning (much like when someone dies) it will have been approximately that long.

I’d talk to your supervisor, or someone at work whom you trust. Tell them what’s going on. Tell them you don’t want special treatment or to be mistrusted, but that you are having personal issues that might affect your job. It’s okay to ask for help.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

YIf you’re living a life where you’re swimming with sharks every day, that spills over into your personal life. If smart and confident is the real stuff in you, then you will surface without the bastard part, a better person. If not, and it’s all bravado, smoke and mirrors, then, as @poser said, your job isn’t “as shit-hot as you believe it to be.”

Perhaps you need some time away. As in, holed up in your home, go visit your parents, go sit on the beach or on a mountain top. Drop the duality. Scream. Spend some time alone with your grief. Think about the why of the break-up. Run through the could of/should of/would of scenario. But take the time to focus on the pain, and give it the attention it deserves. It will not make it go away, but will make it easier to manage.

qashqai's avatar

Thank you all for the time you spent answering my question.

She left because she was tired of our relationship routine, mainly. It has been three years and a half that, while theoretically living together, we were seeing us just during weekends or holidays. She’s in London all week long. I am never there, lately. I tried to ask for projects in the area, but given my specifical skills and what’s happening in England lately, I have been assigned in Cayman Islands, Aruba, Luxembourg and Singapore since last october.
Hence the number of weekends spent together fell down drastically and that made everything irreversible.
I assisted to the death of my love relationship without being able to do practically anything. That is hurting too, just as much as losing her.

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

It’s been a month? I was you, around 16 years ago. I was not over her in a month or even a year, but I did get over her. I started seeing other women, and eventually married someone else. I still think about my old love, but I know now that she was not the one. I could not have prevented the breakup, and it was ultimately for the best that it happened.

Give it time.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

Certain work lifestyles suit themselves to aloneness, either on the part of the person with the demanding job, or on the part of their families. Having a committed relationship puts parameters and controls on work, because priorities shift. What you are able to commit to doing workwise is different when you are unattached. Commitment, as in terms of marriage and family, usually ends up meaning career change.

Part of what you’re going through is perhaps not just the loss of the person and the relationship, but the interjection of loneliness back into your life. If your work situation is such that it could not sustain a relationship, then meeting someone new and creating a meaningful relationship from scratch will take time and commitment that will be hard to find.

My nephew is a pilot, and we have conversations similar to this some frequency.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

Would the relationship work if you had a different job and a committed relationship your girlfriend? Thinking about that may help you get a grip on what you’re going through. Is the girl worth giving up the job for? If the answer is no, then you are making a choice, and by making the choice, gain a little bit more control of the outcome. It should make you feel a little less sucker-punched. You always have choice. Have you talked to her? It probably is not as hard for her, because you weren’t a reliable, committed element in her life.

Focus on the choice. You can rarely have it all.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Along with all this great advice, I’d get as many hugs and tactile attention from friendly people as possible. As often as you can, hug your friends and family. That may be difficult at the moment, it seems, but touch does help. When you’re by yourself, as silly as it sounds, hug yourself. If you can volunteer for something where you have to touch people or care for animals, do it. It will help.

I had to do some grieving for a loss of relationship myself, and I learned how to get over my reticence to being touched outside of a romantic relationship. It’s actually saved me from getting into something wrong for me because I was starved for human contact.

Jude's avatar

I went through a pretty shitty breakup in January. I loved her with all of my heart (still love her) and it tore me apart. I agree with others; keep yourself busy (key), friends/family would say, “have fun and do the things that you enjoyed doing prior to the relationship” – well, I wasn’t interested. I had no interest in diving into a hobby or activity; lack of motivation/a bit depressed, I suppose. But, that was me; you may be different.

This will all take time, and it does get easier, believe me. One thing that has really helped me, is having no contract with my ex – at all. No text, no calls, emails. Easier said than done, I know, but, honestly, now, I feel a helluva lot better by having done so. My mind is clearer and it is helping me to move on. Big hugs.

aneedleinthehayy's avatar

See a pyschologist. Read some self-help books. Trying channeling your sadness, anger, whatever into some form of art, like painting, music, dancing. Excercise can be good.
Basically, find a way to express your negative feelings in another way other than tears and moping, stay distracted, and take this experience as one to learn from and improve yourself upon.

SeventhSense's avatar

If nothing else it sounds like you have a full and interesting life. That should help it pass sooner.

May2689's avatar

Something that really helps me, instead of talking about it, is to refuse to think about it. If I start thinking, I tell myself to STOP, and think about something else. When you feel that the thought of your lost one is sneaking into your mind, act quickly and deny that thought an entrance. Works better than going over things over and over again… especially when I know theres nothing I can do about it.

mcbealer's avatar

- exhaust yourself physically (whether that be staying up or engaging in very strenuous activity such as your favorite type of exercise)

- find an activity that is all encompassing for you mentally and do it
(for me, some examples are hiking, riding my bike, photography)

- teach yourself a method of redirecting your mind similar to the “screensaver” method a computer uses to keep the screen fresh. Create an image in your mind that is invigorating and cathartic, and make it a point to visualize it each and every time your mind digresses and thinks about your ex

- Lastly, be patient—with yourself. Know that down the road you will have to deal with the pain at hand, don’t defer this indefinitely, because it will hamper your ability to love others freely and fully in the future.

Garebo's avatar

There’s millions of wonderful women out there, so go fidn one to go out with and get your mind off her.
Or, a more decadent approach, every time you think about her go out and get a lap dance, that way you transfer the agony from the big head to the little head.

SeventhSense's avatar

um she doesn’t have a little head..just a little man in a boat :)

Just_Justine's avatar

Take some time off work. Allow yourself to grieve in private. I know what it is like, when your heart feels like it is being physically stabbed. It is horrendous and it feels as though the pain will never fade. It does, but not before you allow yourself to grieve. Think about the things she did to make you feel special and do those very things for yourself. It does get better, each day is one step away from the hurt. Take care. x

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