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Steven Olsen
Steven Olsen, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1765
Experience:  More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education
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I have recently been re-engaged to the same woman after 20

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I have recently been re-engaged to the same woman after 20 years. It failed after 3 months because we did not mesh well together. But, I can't sleep well at night because I dwell on the past. I even wrote a book about her in 2006 (before we got back together recently) to try and shed those memories of her and the love we shared. I have had issues with abandonment at age 12, and I just feel that when it comes to relationships, I feel like I'm 17 instead of 43. I feel like my personality is changing to a depressed and lethargic one. I am a recovering from alcohol abuse (for 20 years). For the last 10 years I have been a dry drunk trying to forget everything by working too much and not socializing with others. I am an Home Improvement Contractor/Handyman. I get along great with customers and feel confident when I am with them because I am great at what I do. But, I have no friends. I do everything by myself.

What strikes me most about this question is your comment about your age. You state that you feel more 17 than 43. This is often a sign of a developmental difficulty. As we develop we go through certain stages; at 17 we learn about our identity and shortly thereafter, about love and relationships. Those ages of 17-25 are so often a difficult and tumultuous time. It seems you are still feeling them, expressing them in a love relationship that also may also feel stuck or at least not fully resolved.

There is great hope here however! I so liked to see clients with this type of issue as one on one cognitive therapy can help much to get you past the "stuck" period and onto a better life. Another thought: The depression may be what you always felt, covered over by behaviors that were not as functional as you would have liked. Now that you are working to resolve your issues you are feeling the feelings directly. Take heart as so many times this is what folks feel prior to a major breakthrough.

Seek out a good therapist, one who looks at both your thoughts and development. Know that you have to find your own identity before relationships with others will work out well. It will not be easy, and you may find yourself feeling some very powerful things but it will be worth it. Medications alone will not solve this type of issue.

The alcohol issues are important but do not minimize the experiences of your earlier development. Only by dealing with those issues will you find your self moving forward.

Steven Olsen and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you