Hi and thanks for writing JA
I am sorry you are in so much pain. I have done quite a bit of counseling over the years with people who have gone through exactly what you have described here and this is what works best.
First off you have to cut off all contact with the person you were involved with. No visits, no calls, no texts, letters or emails. NO CONTACT at all. You can not even accidentally run into this person. The more you try to contact them the more you will drive them away.
Secondly the state of being in love has less to do with the person we love and more to do with what we create in our mind about that person and our relationship with them. You read this right, it is not the person or object of our affection that we really crave when we mourn the loss of their presence but rather the way that we felt when we were with them.
All infatuation that creates the kind of heart break that you are now feeling begins and ends in our own minds. We idealize their beauty, their talents and every nuance of their being. We create joyous fantasies of our life with that person in every imaginable scenario. We practice these fantasies so often it is as if we condition ourselves to believe that we cannot breathe or survive without them and that is simply not true.
Now given the way that you are feeling you might beg to differ with me and write back and say. NO No no Cathy you do not understand. This woman is the most beautiful and wonderful creature to ever walk the planet and I will never meet another like her and I will just shrivel up and die without her.
Except that is not so.
Your perspective is distorted because your infatuation is so great and you have practiced your fantasies so often you have thoroughly convinced yourself that you cannot survive without her and nothing could be further from the truth.
I have clients that come to see me in exactly the same condition you are now, mourning these unrequited loves and they insist they are right and I am wrong. Six months later when I remind them of this, they cannot believe how distorted their perspective was and how little they care anymore about the person they were so into.
The gold standard for mourning these types of relationships is three months. If after three months you are still devastated by the loss you need to see a therapist to help you with this but actually if you are like most people you will gradually begin to feel better and as long as you have no contact with her should be much better in about four weeks. You must remember this one small thing. It is not her that you miss, it is the way that you felt and what you imagined while you were with her that you miss. Its like a drug and you are now in withdrawal, but you will feel much better and it will be quick if you follows these two simple rules: no contact and reminding yourself you are mourning your own feelings more than you are her.
let me know if you have more information to share on this or more questions to ask>
All my best to you,