Monday, 20 November 2006

Placebo effect?


Valerian
Originally uploaded by gsmattingly.
...although frankly, I don't care at this stage. Thanks to all of you who were supportive earlier, it helps

After a few weeks of what I'd describe of absolute "anxious depression in live-in partner" type antics, J finally seems to be feeling a little better.

Oddly, this kind of thing doesn't appear to be in any way a catalys for change. J's state of mind is rather cyclical; last time he was this bad was probably shortly after we met. He was a complete wreck and didn't eat anything for about two months. And even though it's tiring, I'm not sure if in the end it would give me the push to leave if that's what I wanted to do.

At any rate, better now. He suddenly remembered that his ex-therapist (who genrerally did cognitive-analytical work which doesn't seem to have helped much in the long term despite providing relief at the time) had recommended valerian as a sleep aid.

So we went to Boots to get some, and lo and behold, last night provided the first night of unbroken sleep I've had by his side for at least a few months.

Without having read very much about valerian, I suspect it all might be a placebo effect, but hey, who cares as long as we're both sleeping better.

At times I've slept in the guest bed not to be awoken, and on those days when I've had 7 hrs unbroken sleep, I really recognise bits of my old self in the daytime. I'm optimistic, extroverted, I care enough to wax my legs and armpits and see the good in everyone. And I take J's depression less seriously.

It could of course just be a happy blip, as obviously his state of mind is in constant flux, but I'm hoping we've hit rock bottom and bounced back with a vengeance.

Friday, 17 November 2006

Ultimatum


ground leaves
Originally uploaded by *evil beth*.

I can't believe it. I actually issued an ultimatum to J today; either he sorts himself out or I'll leave.

I've realised that at the moment I'm working full time plus doing about 15 hours a week extra ahead of my "career change", and I could really do without having to be the pseudo-therapist of my boyfriend at the same time.

J is like an alcoholic. He clings to his negative and obsessive thinking in the same way a drunk will cling to a bottle of listerine. His obsessions are the only thing that are true, that matter; everything else is unsure and he doesn't trust it.

Today he woke me at 0600 (on my day off!!!) to ask me what he needs to do re. the job he started a week ago; the obsession for the three last months has been that he'll be unable to do it.

It's the first time this has happened. He sometimes wakes me accidentally because he can't sleep, but he's never purposefully woken me before.

Of course he's looking for reassurance; that's what obsessives do. But through my sleep-deprivation (I've had early starts all week and was really needing to catch up), it dawned on me that it wasn't him talking. It was his obsession.

Yet he won't give it up. Many times, yes, sometimes in situations like this when he's obviously beyond contact, but also in other cases, when he's calm, I've talked to him about the fact that I don't think he'll get better until he admits that his obsessions are a foe, not a friend, and that he'll have to give them up.

Underlying it all is of course his fundamental lack of self-confidence, but it's hard to get at that without addressing the "symptoms" first, as the cycle has to be broken somewhere and it's hard to just "inject" someone with confidence.

After about 30 min of semi-arguing, I decided to go and watch a DVD to calm down. He got ready for work and came downstairs to chat some more.

I told him what I'd decided. Unless he faces up to his denial and admits that he has to let go of the unhelpful thoughts, and that they are in fact making him worse rather than improving the situation; unless he admits that the obsessing, rather than his base ability to do his job, is the problem, I'm leaving.

If he wants to run himself into the ground, I can't watch it. I need stability, I'm taking a big leap in my life in a few months and I can't do with any dead weight when doing it.

I love him, and it hurt when I said it, and maybe I won't go through with it. I'm hoping I won't have to. But at this stage, I don't know what else to do. I guess sometimes love just ain't enough.

Tuesday, 14 November 2006

Break my heart, why don't you

Why is it that dumping someone is so painful? Can I just calm you all straight away by saying that the masochist in me finds it more pain-inducing to stay with J than to leave, so for the time being that's what I'm doing.

But anyway.

Breaking someone's heart is awful. I don't know what it is about it. Maybe I'm just a softie. Apart from this one guy who straight up stalked me after I'd slept with him, I've always had problems rejecting people outright.

When I say rejecting, I don't mean denying them sex; I mean actually telling them I don't like them. That way. Or sometimes not at all.

I talked to my former depressed flatmate (formerly flatmate, she still sounded quite depressed) yesterday. She was telling me all about her ex-lover who told her he didn't want a relationship after a few intense weeks of togetherness (they both worked on a cruise ship; it's like a co-ed boarding school), then dumped her and went out with a girl she'd hitherto thought of as her friend a few weeks later.

Now obviously any good friend would loudly exclaim what an arsehole this guy obviously is.

But for some reason I don't see him as evil; he is merely a coward and has taken advantage of her obvious affection.

It is difficult to reject someone, especially if they're reasonably attractive and throwing themselves at you like uncovered meat to the cats (Australian preacher's description of Western-style dressed women).

It's even more difficult if you actually like them. Just not like *that*.

So all I actually ended up thinking (but fortunately managed to keep myself from saying) was that how the hell can anyone be so naive after the age of 20.

"I don't understand why he doesn't want to be with me," she was moaning. "We got on really well."

I hate to quite pop-psych literature, but honestly, woman, "he's just not that into you".

Basically I just felt sorry for the guy, who's probably been dropping all kinds of inept boy-hints before the fact. My flatmate, although a lovely girl, is completely impervious to hints. Guy doesn't want to spend the night / meet her friends / make any plans for next weekend? He must just be "tired".

So what do I do? I really want to tell her, but am worried that even saying this gently will just come across mean. I'm just getting tired of watching her run herself into the ground time and time again. He probably wasn't worth her affection anyway, but that's hardly the point here.

Be a commitment phobe all you want, but at least have the decency to say it. It's like ripping off a plaster; best done in one go rather than over weeks of painful peeling and pondering.

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