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I Feel So Lost.

Question:

My boyfriend and I have been together for almost a year now. I live 60 miles away Monday-Thursday as I go to university. I am now in my second year of studies, so he knew what the situation would be and that is that I would see him mostly only on weekends.

He is my best friend and our views on what we want in life are very similar. Although I am aiming to head into the fashion industry, he wants to emmigrate half way around the world. At first I thought it was just another one if his crazy ideas, but he has now told me he can’t stop thinking about it and he hopes to move in the next year or so, when he has saved enough money. He feels we are heading in different directions. He finds it hard to have a long distance relationship and says he is now struggling to cope.

My workload has increased and so even when I see him I spend as much time on my work as I do with him. I understand where he is coming from but the thought of losing him is almost too much to bear. I want to be with him so much that I even considered moving with him. He says that in an ideal world we would both have great jobs we love and would share the same postal code and be together, but he finds it very unlikely. I have to agree. I don’t want to sound like I’m living in a fantasy world, but to me, there is still hope, and it would feel terribly wrong not to have him in my life as we still love each other. I can’t comprehend breaking up, when at present, we are so happy.

The thought of him with being with someone else brings me to tears. The main reason I don’t want him to leave is also that I suffer from depression. I can almost feel it creeping back in with a vengeance. The thought of living in this remote town, with having only unit work to do and flat mates to talk to is terrifying. When I first moved here I didn’t have him, and never got to see any of my old friends as they lived so far away.

I got so down and depressed at that time that I even contemplated taking my own life. I’m so scared it’s going to happen again and worse this time as I would be healing a broken heart. I feel like I can literally feel happiness falling away.

I also feel I can’t talk to anyone face to face is that everyone thinks I’m such a happy person. Also they would think the reason I would be landing such a heavy load on them would be for attention. In the past when I have told people that I feel low, they shrug it off because they think I’m just having a bad day. So, as a result, I don’t see the point of telling anyone how I’m feeling. I don’t know what to do?

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Answer:

One of the important issues that you should take into account, with regard to deciding what to do, is the fact that you have a history of depression with suicidal thinking. Deciding to maintain a relationship based on that factor can spell disaster in the future. There is simply no relationship, regardless of how intimate it may be, that can prevent depression from reasserting itself.

Also, keep in mind that adjustment to university life is frequently difficult, anxiety provoking and depression. After all, everyone is far from their homes, old friends and old neighborhoods. College represents the next stage in life and preparation for the future. As is true in most transitions, there are stormy waters to navigate. You have attempted to use this relationship to help you with that navigation. In so doing you are avoiding immersing yourself in university life. What this means is that you are cutting yourself off from befriending peers at school including the fact that you can meet and date young men with whom you might have even more in common than your present boyfriend.

I want to point out that he is right when he says you are heading in different directions. He wants to move far away and you want to finish your education and enter the fashion industry.  The danger you risk by going with him is that you will come to resent him for ending your education and you aspirations for the fashion. That resentment might not immediately start but it will happen if you interrupt your life plans.

Here is a short quote from your above question:

“I can’t comprehend breaking up, when at present, we are so happy.”

This is interesting because, I believe, it reveals your true feelings and doubts about this relationship. In other words, you “are so happy at present,” meaning that it will not be that way in the future if you stay together.

My suggestion is that you do the following:

Get help for your depression. Colleges and universities now provide counseling and psychiatric support for student. This is due to the fact that so many students feel just as lost as you do and, even worse, attempt suicide.

Second and as part of your counseling and, possibly, anti depressant medication, that you get involved in campus life, building your social life amongst other students.

I have a hunch that you do know what to do and what you want to do which is to break up and move on so that you will end your depression and live a truly fulfilling life.

I wish you well in your travels through life.

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