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!
). 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!