How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Cathy Your Own Question

Cathy, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1436
Experience:  Ms, MS.Ed., thirty years clinical practice
Type Your Relationship Question Here...
Cathy is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Since the end of my relationship last month, Ive been finding

This answer was rated:

Since the end of my relationship last month, I've been finding it difficult to live my own life; it seems like all I can think about is the fact that I'm **not in a relationship anymore, and my mind deeply craves one. I feel stagnated. Not only is this feeling preventing me from bettering myself and forming newer healthy relationships, but it's taking a toll on my current friendships, and my ability to create new connections. My feelings are getting in the way of my recovery by moving me to inaction. It feels like I'm paralyzed.

When I look at the big picture, it's plain to see that I really don't have anything to be worrying about. I'm successful in my work, money isn't an issue, I've got a great family, and many many supportive friends; yet for some reason, I'm obsessing over the fact that I'm alone. I'm questioning my self-worth, and blaming myself for not being good enough, even when I know these feelings aren't substantiated. Although I don't believe that I'll be alone forever, these feelings persist. I'm doing the best I can, but I can't seem to break free of these chains, and it's beginning to drive me mad; I'm losing sight of who I am, and I can feel it slowly spiraling me into depression.

I've never had to deal with this kind of loss before, and I'm in great need of advice. Is there anything that I can do?. how can I re-frame this mindset?

Cathy :

Hi and thanks for writing JA are you there>

Cathy :

I have read your post and am just so sorry to hear about your loss. You know the "gold standard" in mental health;/psychiatry is three months for the loss you describe (and I so much wish you and I could chat about this and not send emails). I completely understand how painful this is for you and it matters not which party initiated the break, it remains a huge loss......I tell my clients in your situation that this is a bit like losing an arm or a leg.

Cathy :

It is so great that you know that you need to reframe this so that you can recover. I find your insight into your situation so healthy. You know your pain is transient.and that is the first step in healing. You know this is a temporary situation and that you will heal of this

Cathy :


Cathy :

My clinical observation is that you feel all that you are feeling and mourn and grieve and as I sometimes say "sit in the stew" and

Cathy :

in time this will pass. It does take at least three months to get over this kind of loss.

Cathy :

I am here and will remain here for you so just let me know how I can help you further on this and it would be my pleasure to do anything I can to help you through.

Cathy :

Warm wishes on such a painful post.

Cathy :



You make a lot of sense, and it really means a lot that you're taking the time to listen and understand; your words are very kind. It makes me feel better knowing that I'm not simply being weak over this emotion; that I still have some time to wait before I can expect a more complete relief. It's the constant transitioning between the ups and downs that really make me hurt, and this is where I'm struggling the most. Though the pain is forcing me outside my comfort zone and causing me to grow, it's nothing but useless anxiety, and it makes me feel incredibly unbalanced. Can you think of anything that I can do to better stabilize myself?.. maybe a better way to frame the breakup?

Cathy : Yes I can think of several things to help you but first things first, okay?
Cathy : First of all,all of us when we encounter romantic realtionships go through an "addiction phase". I call it
Cathy : this because all of us do this and recently it has been shown to be as much an addiction on MRIS as drug addiction and so whenever one of us fall "in love" the frontal lobe of our brains change and we are EXACTLY the same as an addict. I completey understand both personally and breaks down, no problem as we are in love, Boss yells at us, no problem because we are in love
Cathy : and finally, House falls on a wicked witch and we steal her ruby slippers and just no problem and its insane but that how is we behave when we are in love
Cathy : so what happens when it runs out is that we are not only in mourning for the relationship but all those endorphins and great feelings we had when things were going well\
Cathy : if this is not enough
Cathy : omigod if this is not enough
Cathy : the other thing that All of us do
Cathy : is condition ourselves
Cathy : in our minds our love affairs take on other dimensions
Cathy : we imagine ourselves in all kinds of situations
Cathy : cozy cabins with fire places for holidays
Cathy : summer vacations by the sea
Cathy : yea, we do all this and then when it ends
Cathy : we go into withdrawal, major hurtful hateful withdrawal
Cathy : Hi are you there?
Customer: Yes, I actually just signed on and have been reading what you've been writing.
Cathy : Okay, so let me know what you need
Cathy : Let me know how Ican help you
Customer: Well, I understand now *why* I'm feeling this way. My brain literally *is* unbalanced from the withdrawal. And I understand that this sort of thing takes time to recover from; the standard is three months, right?
Customer: I'm wondering if there is anything that I can do in the meantime to maybe speed the process up, or if there is a way to control these crazy ups and downs that my feelings induce.
Cathy : Yes we say ninety days and am glad you already know this but it can be less or mor
Cathy : I think there are some ways to go on this but lots of people find them too hard so it
Cathy : depends on you
Cathy : less or more that is to say, sorry about that typo
Customer: I'm willing to do anything that will have a positive effect on my life.
Cathy : You can "white knuckle" this yourself but I hate this option
Cathy : I would love for you to see someone for about four or five sessions
Cathy : do you think you can do that, or not?
Cathy : And also would you mind telling me how old you are?
Customer: I would have absolutely done this already, but my current situation somewhat prevents me from doing this; nothing is *actually stopping me.. I mean, I have the resources available, but you see, I'm in the military, and though there is help open and available to me, I'm not sure if it will effect my record. If it gets added in somewhere, it might effect my opportunities. I'm not sure if I'm going to stay in or not, but I didn't want a little blip on the radar like this to have any negative consequences if I could work these issues out myself.
Customer: I'm twenty-three.
Cathy : First of all, NO it will not affect your record at all. Secondly, are you stationed here or overseas?
Customer: Overseas.
Cathy : In combat or safe zone?
Customer: It's a safe zone; the Pacific near Japan.
Cathy : okay so great
Cathy : how long is your deployment and where do you return in the US?
Cathy : back to a base or your home?
Customer: I'll be out here until July 2014, though I am taking leave to go home for a month this summer.
Cathy : okay
Cathy : I think you would do fine to ask for a counselor in Japan and all you all to say is Generalized Anxiety Disorder and you can talk about this, I think 2014 is too long to wait..............I do not think you are seriously mentall ill and so you would not be offered a discharge.......what kind of work are you doing there?
Customer: I work on satellite and ground communications repair and maintenance.
Cathy : Bless you and thank you. so glad you are there.
Cathy : Look, I do not at ALL see you as having an SMI (serious mental illness). NOT AT ALL.I think you should finish out your tour and see a therapist on base for a break up. Actually you are fine. You are feeling horrible because you just came out of a bad relationship but you are fine. So no worries on your service record at all.
Customer: That's a bit of a relief then.
Cathy : I so do not see serious mental illness even though I am sure you hurt like all get to.
Cathy : So sure
Cathy : Do you have a doctor or nurse there that you can speak with?
Customer: I believe so. All I need to do is get with my platoon Sergeant and he'll be able to direct me there.
Customer: If I bring it up tomorrow it's likely I'll have an appointment of some sort by the end of the day.
Cathy : Okay, so do that.
Customer: They're really big on this kind of thing here (it's not hard to imagine why).
Customer: I will. It'll be nice to be working proactively.
Cathy : I give you permission to say that you were evaluated by a mental health professional and I saw no serious mental illness but at the same time breaking up can be rough.
Cathy : And I cannot imagine what you go through thereso just know are living under extradinary conditions there and you do have our support. In the interim this seems like a break up scenario and I would say a handful of sessions with a therapist and it will be good.
Cathy : Any thing else you wished to tell me?
Customer: No, I think this is about as far as we can take this here. I greatly appreciate your input and time.
Cathy and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you

Related Relationship Questions