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David H.
David H., BA, MA,
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 166
Experience:  Counselor; Behavioral Consultant
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My girlfriend and i decided as her career was starting in london

Resolved Question:

My girlfriend and i decided as her career was starting in london and i was still living in cornwall we would struggle with the distance so set to go our seperet ways in the new year. We broke up about a month ago now and i have tried everything to give her space and try and forget about her but its just not working. I find it impossible not to contact her by text at least a few times a week and i constantly think about how she may be moving on to somone new and im at a stage in my life where i feel so stuck and i dont have the motivation or confidence to just get on with thing. Not sure if this is the right place to ask but thought it was worth a shot as im driving my self mad. Many thanks. Dave
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  David H. replied 2 years ago.

DuddyH :

Welcome, I'm a professional counselor and behavioral-consultant. I'd like to chat with you for a few moments to better understand your situation and your question. Your offline right now. That's ok. I'll check back shortly for your response.

Customer:

hi

Customer:

hello??

Customer:

how do i know if you are going to be online? i could do with a chat one on one as apposed to just emailing every now and then

DuddyH :

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I was just finishing up with another customer.

DuddyH :

Now, you've provided a strong, detailed overview of the problem you're describing, but I'm still not clear on your question. What is the most important question I can answer for you today?

DuddyH :

For example, are you asking about how to effectively cope with the life change and to get over the relationship?

Customer:

Yes i think that is what i am mainly struggling with.

Customer:

sorry but to be honest i think i have a lot of issues

Customer:

its like i contact her to make sure shes doing as badly as i am and thats not fair on either of us and i convince my self that im fine with being no more than just a friend to her now

Customer:

i want to feel stronger, shes always had a very strong personality and a huge amount of confidence but for some reason my self confidence in the past few years has been nocked back, why his has happended i am not too sure but its really held me back in life and because of that i now feel very lonly without her. She was my rock i suppose

DuddyH :

Thanks for the detailed response again and for your patience waiting for me to get back to you...

DuddyH :

I am also really sorry to hear that you are going through this right now....

Customer:

its one of those things

Customer:

ihave good and bad days

DuddyH :

I need to let you know that at just-answer our role as experts is to provide strong, practical answers to a specific question. We're not allowed to provide anything like therapy or counseling. Again, what is the most important single question that I can answer for you today?

Customer:

oh ok, sorry

DuddyH :

No problem.

Customer:

well then how to effectively cope with life change would be a good one

Customer:

seeing as i am struggling with getting used to it still

DuddyH :

Thank you....

DuddyH :

Can we refine that question just a bit more?

DuddyH :

What are the top 1 or 2 problems you're having right now coping?

Customer:

the top 2..

Customer:

would have to say trying to keep my distance is a huge one, as in no contact with her, i find that very very hard some days and i know i shouldnt ring and the space is best but i still do it

DuddyH :

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX is primary goal right now?

DuddyH :

sorry what is your primary goal right now?

Customer:

to move on and accept what has happend

Customer:

to care less if im being honest

DuddyH :

To care less, move on and accept your decision to break up with your girlfriend?

Customer:

yes

Customer:

i would say that is pretty spot on

DuddyH :

Thank you so much. Your question is really getting clear now.

Customer:

ok lol sorry i think i just got carried away

DuddyH :

Now you mentioned the need to call, that's a great example of a specific challenge situation. Are there any other specific examples of when you have a problem meeting your stated goal as described earlier?

Customer:

well i think us being friends isnt right yet. I cant stand the idea of not being anything in her life so when we set the distance it gets to 2 or 3 days and i feel like shes going to forget me

Customer:

am i being clear?

DuddyH :

I appreciate your patience. It took me a few moments to process that last sentence because it's written in a very English way. That's not your lack of clarity that's me needing a few extra moments to process....

Customer:

:)

DuddyH :

So you've both decided to end the close emotional relationship as boy friend and girlfriend to become just friends. And you still have deeper feelings for her. You miss her after a "fortnight" is that correct?

Customer:

a month

DuddyH :

..you start to miss her after a month?

Customer:

and yes it was a mutual decision because of the distance

Customer:

and i have missed her the whole time. She is dealing with it better than me now

DuddyH :

What does she say and feel about it?

Customer:

well she still loves me but she knows she has to move on

Customer:

shes willing to do so

DuddyH :

Have you considered a distance relationship or are you both set on getting over this relationship into non monogamous friendship ?

Customer:

we have to get over it

DuddyH :

Why is that?

Customer:

because she never has time to come home

Customer:

and we hardly spoke on the phone after a while when she first started up there

Customer:

to be honest i know its for the best

Customer:

im just not taking it very well and im sick of careing so much

Customer:

its pointless holding on

DuddyH :

Ok. And are you otherwise a physically and emotionally healthy person?

Customer:

physically yes

DuddyH :

and emotionally, any issues?

Customer:

well im a very emotional person to be honest

Customer:

doubt my self a lot and dont have a lot of motivation or self confidence

Customer:

but i dont have any major issues no

DuddyH :

Well this is a very difficult time. Those kinds of feelings can be an issue in these times and that's totally normal. What kind of work do you do, if it's ok to ask?

Customer:

well i work for a plastics moulding company

Customer:

its not the best job in the world

Customer:

because of my confidence again.. i have never known what i want to do in life

DuddyH :

Do you have good social support resources? Caring family and friends?

Customer:

i tend to keep things to my self a lot which is silly

Customer:

my family are willing to talk to me but i dont open up to them

Customer:

and my friends make me happy

Customer:

sorry, am i making things complicated?

DuddyH :

Actually, you have really clarified your question. Thank you for taking the time.

Customer:

thank you for listening

DuddyH :

You are most welcome. Sounds to me like you are going through a grieving process for the old relationship with your ex-girlfriend. One of the most important things a person can do is realize that it this is a process. In many ways it's like getting over a bad cold or flu. You have to get it out of your system emotionally, and there are things you can do to make it much faster and easier process.

DuddyH :

I would start by learning as much as you can about grieving a lost relationship. Become an expert so to speak by spending some time online reading about the stages steps and coping strategies...

Customer:

ok, is there a link you can send me?

DuddyH :

Social support is very important. It's really important to hang out with people who really care about you. It's also important to really eat healthy, exercise everyday (family Dr. permitting) and get a good nights sleep.

DuddyH :

Also, I always tell my clients to stay away from alcohol (and drugs) until they are emotionally strong again.

DuddyH :

Do you ever feel anxious or angry about the break up?

Customer:

yes

DuddyH :

..and yes I will definitely provide some links when we are done. I just want to get a sense of the best most helpful kind of links to send.

Customer:

and i do drink most weekends

DuddyH :

Are you sleeping ok?

Customer:

then suffer mainly with the break up on the hangover

Customer:

i need to get more sleeep

Customer:

i exercise 5 daysa week

Customer:

its the only time im happy

DuddyH :

I'd stay away from drinking if I were you until the you've fully recovered emotionally.

DuddyH :

Great for the exercise!

DuddyH :

Do you have access to counseling in your area?

DuddyH :

Even 3 or 4 sessions of brief solution focused or CBT counseling can really speed up the process..

Customer:

yes i have looked into that

Customer:

there is one very close to me

Customer:

its about £35 a session

DuddyH :

Can you afford it or is there insurance coverage from work? Do you have an EAP at work?

Customer:

no we dont

Customer:

i can afford it

DuddyH :

Well it may be helpful to do the recovery process yourself and keep the counseling in mind if it gets too difficult.

Customer:

yes i think you are right

DuddyH :

Again, the first step is to learn as much as you can about the process and know that things will get better in the vast majority of cases. Let me get you some links. Back in a couple of minutes:

Customer:

thank you very much

DuddyH :

Here's the first one, a strong general overview:

Customer:

ok

DuddyH :

Here is the most well known model. The most recent research shows that although people do go through these stages they can often go through them in different orders sometimes even through 2 stages at once or in and out of each stage briefly in various orders: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C3%BCbler-Ross_model

DuddyH :

As far as the anxiety and anger go (again very normal in the relationship recovery process) really mastering the "relaxation response" is one of the most powerful clinical tools there is. As a person who exercises regularly you must have heard about how generally life enhancing relaxation is. Let me get you my favorite relaxation training link. You can actually learn to self invoke the relaxation response with a couple of months practice; - to the point where you can completely relax your body in 5-10 seconds. The site is not flashy but there are very high quality training videos and audios you can download. It's great to practice at bed time for deeper more restful sleep and at those times when you feel anxious about separation from your ex:

Customer:

wow this is good stuff :)

DuddyH :

No problem just 2 more:

DuddyH :

Here's a good overview from the university of Alberta on how to get over a relationship with coping strategies etc: http://tinyurl.com/78wcqzd

DuddyH :

Here's a solid site with tips for better sleep. But don't forget to make that relaxation training a part of your nightly sleep preparation routine: http://www.k-state.edu/counseling/topics/life/sleep.html

DuddyH :

Finally if you decide to get counseling you want to make sure to get the best value for your money. I'd recommend cognitive behavior therapy or CBT:

DuddyH :

Have I answered your question ok today?

DuddyH :

Well you haven't responded in close to 10 minutes. I sure hope that means you're reading and starting to benefit from some of the links I've provided you as part of my answer today.

DuddyH :

If you're satisfied with my answer please don't forget to press the green "Accept" button so I am paid for my time working with you. Don't pay if you're not completely satisfied with my answer, but please give me a chance to improve my answer before asking for a refund.

DuddyH :

I wish you the very best! Take care.

Customer:

Yes that was brilliant, than you very much :)

David H., BA, MA,
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 166
Experience: Counselor; Behavioral Consultant
David H. and 3 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  David H. replied 2 years ago.
I hope you're doing well. We had quite a lengthy chat the other day. I wanted to confirm that my answer was effective, and see if there were any other questions I might answer for you.

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