Am I doing the right thing?

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bekahisloved2
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2012
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 7/14/2012 5:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello all,

I am new to this forum but it seems like a great resource. I've been trying to talk to friends and family about this matter, but I feel I could use some help from a slightly more experienced audience, so here I am :)

First, a little about myself. I was basically depressed from the time I was a very young child and this persisted into a good portion of my adulthood. It hasn't been until the last year or so that I've finally started to experience some real happiness and freedom with my emotions- freedom to feel both the ups and downs and not let any one thing keep me too sad for too long. I attribute a lot of this to a diet change, having a great job, and getting into a more stable routine with life.

As I said before, I was depressed most of my life, but I hit a real low back in 2003. It lasted until 2005, at which point I was almost too depressed to function (down to about 90 lbs, crying almost daily, lacking any social support, not sleeping, etc.), and finally sought help. I had tried medication in the past, but it didn't really seem to solve the deeper issues I was experiencing. I was very overwhelmed by the time I sought help, so for the time being, I stuck to just trying a new medication and just following my doctor's advice.

This worked really well until a few months after I had met my new boyfriend at the time. Whenever we would argue, if he upset me, I would basically fill with rage and call him names and be completely unreasonable with my anger. The majority of my major depression had lifted (although I wouldn't say I was "better"), so I felt good enough to seek therapy- I knew that my behavior was not how I should be treating someone I loved, and I didn't know where it was coming from.

Long story made short, the therapy- although brief- was amazing, and I've been improving since then. I graduated college in 2010 and moved a long distance to start my new career. It was challenging at first, but I finally feel like I'm really living my life!

The relationship I was in lasted for about 4 years but it was worth it because I learned a lot. We broke up in 2009 and I haven't really found anyone since then that seemed like a really good long-term prospect until just recently.

I had mostly given up on online dating but had a profile nonetheless just in case. I got a message from a guy that seemed really nice and worth talking to, so I replied. We messaged a bit back and forth and went on a date shortly thereafter. I had an AMAZING time and went on several more dates. I feel that this person really understands me and that we get along great. We have a ton in common and he gives me butterflies whenever I'm around him. For the first time since I was about 18, I feel like I'm getting to know someone that I'm compatible with on almost all levels.

As our dating progressed, I learned that this guy- we'll call him Jim- has been in therapy for some time (about 8 years). He also had a very rough childhood and, from the sounds of it, hasn't really been all that happy until more recent times. He graduated from college and has two advanced degrees and has been in the same profession for about 9 years. 8 of those years were spent at a toxic work environment which nearly killed him from the stress- he now has a great job where he enjoys himself and feels much more appreciated.

A couple of weeks into our dating, he started to seem not himself- he was getting agitated easily and was less affectionate than usual. A couple of dates later and he was still feeling low and seemed very concerned. From what I can tell, his depression is expressed mainly via irritability and hopelessness as well as a loss in desire to do things he normally enjoys. We had a very deep conversation about things that have him worried- cultural issues, environmental issues, family, etc.- in which he seemed to hit a low and said he felt like nothing could make it any better. This was a biiiig change from the person I had met just a few weeks prior to this- a confident person that had a lot of goals and seemed in control of his life now seemed to think that everything sucked and would never get any better!

He hasn't been in any major relationships since his early 20's (I'm 27 and he's 30), and had mentioned that it may take him a bit longer than average to decide if he wanted to take things to the next level. So, at this point, we had been seeing each other for about 3 weeks and were not really an official couple. He mentioned quitting Cymbalta with a doctor's help not too long ago (in May), so I think this combined with staying up a bit too late on a few occasions to hang out with me may have triggered a bit of a relapse. He was very disappointed with his cynical behavior and said that he felt bad because I'm a very upbeat person and he didn't want to drag me down...

I could tell from his behavior that he very much wanted to be alone while he figured out what was causing him to be so upset about things he had previously thought were under control. I got the sense that he was only talking to me at that moment because I'm a love interest and didn't want to push me away. This, combined with his relative lack of experience in relationships, a strong desire to solve things on his own, and his refusal of my offer to help, made me think that the best course of action would be to give him some space. So, as he was about to sign off of our conversation, I told him to do me a favor- I was going to leave him be for now and that he should call me when he wanted to chat because I didn't want to bother him or pressure him. It just seemed too early for me to offer too much more than that. He seemed extremely thankful and told me it could be a while, but that he'd pop in from time to time.


This was 2 weeks ago. I messaged him last Tuesday to just check in and, although he replied, it was somewhat trite. He said he had a dr's appointment and felt pretty crapty, and when I offered to bake him something, he said No thanks (darn his independence! smilewinkgrin). That was about all I got from him.

I'm just wondering if I did the right thing. I have told him several times that I want him to feel comfortable talking to me and that I am here for him, but again, I just got the sense that he was caught off guard by this sudden change and didn't want to involve me in the process. I know that if I was suddenly feeling rage again like I did with my ex that I wouldn't want to expose someone to that and would rather be alone while I figured it out. What do you guys think? I am having trouble not taking his trite replies to heart. I very much wish he could be himself right now so that we could continue the courting process. I miss him so much!

bekahisloved2
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2012
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 7/14/2012 6:05 PM (GMT -6)   
I forgot to mention...

Part of what made me think he wanted time alone but didn't want to ask for it was that he cancelled our 4th of July plans and said he probably wouldn't feel up to anything with anyone for a while. He said he felt cold and cynical... I don't want him to feel that way because I've seen how warm, positive, and confident he can be!! It scares me to think that he won't ever be that person again. :( will he get better?

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 42612
   Posted 7/14/2012 6:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi there,

Welcome to the depression forum. I think you are wise by giving him space to figure things out. I think he genuinely cares for you and doesn't want you to see him at his worst.

Your relationship sounds solid. And I think you are both being very mature about this matter. I would say you were doing the right things. Give him some time, but maybe check on him from time to time. I am glad you understand what he needs right now. I see too many people who don't respect the other person's space and the relationship goes down.

Keep posting. Let us know how things are going. One day at a time. And if he is meant to be with you, he will.

Take care...

Hugs, Karen
Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

Kaely
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 619
   Posted 7/14/2012 6:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Bekah,

Without knowing him, I don't think I can really say if he'll get better or not. Have you met him in real life?

The only internet relationship I had went very badly. He was the perfect man online, total opposite in real life. Keep in mind you don't really know this guy. Most guys on dating sites are married in real life. It's just way too easy to lie online.

I think he needs to get back on his meds. Doesn't sound like he's doing very well off them.
Chronic pain, Depression, Fibromyalgia, Tennis Elbow (both arms), Arthritis (knees and fingers), Diabetes. Ruptured disk L-4, Severe degenerative damage L5-S1, ACDF C5-C6

bekahisloved2
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2012
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 7/14/2012 7:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello Karen,

Thank you for the encouragement! I think it would be better to lift the pressure and have some "me time" than to try to push him to give me what I "need" right now. I don't think he's capable of that when he's feeling so low. It's good to hear that my instincts may be right! I will keep touching base with him from time to time.

Hello Kaely,

Yes we have met in real life. We went on regular dates for about 2 weeks before I noticed this change in his behavior. He lives about 20-25 minutes from me minus heavy traffic. I've also been to his house and so I'm pretty sure he's not married or anything :)

So far, he seems very genuine with his feelings, and when I told him that I was concerned about his anger/cynicism, he didn't lash out at me. Instead, he was saddened that he had more work to do. I feel that he's been very mature about this whole issue which is why I am very serious about giving him the space he needs. I think that once he gets to feeling better that we'll make a great couple :)

Kaely
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 619
   Posted 7/16/2012 7:19 PM (GMT -6)   
In that case, I'd say a little space is good but don't let it get to be a gulf.

Maybe he simply needs to go back on his meds. If he has a chemical problem it's not something he can 'grow' out of. Your body simply doesn't work right.

It's nothing to be upset about if one has to stay on meds. It's just how some of us are. (I had the hardest time accepting that I needed meds)
Chronic pain, Depression, Fibromyalgia, Tennis Elbow (both arms), Arthritis (knees and fingers), Diabetes. Ruptured disk L-4, Severe degenerative damage L5-S1, ACDF C5-C6

bekahisloved2
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2012
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 7/17/2012 1:48 AM (GMT -6)   
Well it turns out that he didn't want me to wait (he had mentioned that he might need some time to decide if we are meant to be a real couple). I'm pretty bummed because he's got a lot of things going for him. Maybe it's for the best, though, because this was a huuuuuge trigger for my anxiety and now I feel like I could use some therapy! I've learned quite a bit about myself, though, so it's not a huge deal.

freyd
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2012
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 7/17/2012 4:07 AM (GMT -6)   
Well just be supported as you can, couple or not just be a friend that he can count on to.
...give a time to meditate :)

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 42612
   Posted 7/17/2012 4:51 AM (GMT -6)   
One day at a time my friend...

Hugs, Karen
Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

Kaely
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 619
   Posted 7/19/2012 1:06 AM (GMT -6)   
Maybe it's time to stop worrying about others and work on you for a bit :)

You seem very nice and supportive. If he's dumb enough to let that go, his loss. It's ok to keep being supportive of him if it's what YOU want to do. However take care of you first.
Chronic pain, Depression, Fibromyalgia, Tennis Elbow (both arms), Arthritis (knees and fingers), Diabetes. Ruptured disk L-4, Severe degenerative damage L5-S1, ACDF C5-C6

bekahisloved2
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2012
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 7/19/2012 9:28 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks all :)
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