Good morning, Dylan and thank you so much for your question. I realize it's difficult to reach out for help. Please know I honor your courage.
My name is ***** ***** I am a psychotherapist in the Metro-Boston area.
I'm reading over your post and will circle right back with an answer for you. Please be patient as I will be right with you.
Ohhhhh sweet soul, I completely understand the pain of your obsession. I can personally relate as I have been in this situation as well. It's absolutely torturous and makes it so challenging to engage with others within this context.
I sadly believe your feelings are not about this particular woman--as strange as that sounds. This particular woman is simply the source of your obsession. Please know I have no doubt that she is lovely in every way and I imagine the years you spent together were wonderful and almost magical at times. But this, friend, exactly why the obsession exists--it's a way for you to escape the present and find yourself back in a simpler time in your life--a time when you didn't have the same level of responsibility, a time when you were perhaps more carefree and happy.
This is truly a part of your obsessive thought patterns associated with an anxiety disorder. For me, it took a very long time to get beyond the thoughts as I kept focusing on the individual and not the source of problem--the obsessive thoughts and anxiety. When I finally figured all of this out, I was instantly transported into a better place. For me, it required medication for awhile--something I didn't want to do but desperately needed to quiet my mind.
Does this help/make sense? I know it's a lot to take in.
Thank you so much for your response. I know you haven't seen her since you were 18...are the two of you in a similar geographic location? Have you asked if you could call her? I'm sure she has grown/changed in certain ways (as have you) since the time you were together. What if she is not the woman you imagined? Do you think this would quiet the thoughts?
Could you let her know she is on your mind often and you would love to spend some time talking and catching up? Do you think she would be open to that?
Good afternoon, Dylan.
I am very sorry I have been unhelpful to you. I am going to open up your question to other therapists and see if they can assist you further.
I wish you all the best.