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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » so overwhelmed-should we take a break?

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Author Topic: so overwhelmed-should we take a break?
artsygirl643
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I get some form of depression almost every summer. I go from the structure of school to having too much freedom, which means too much time alone with my thoughts. Lately, the pressures of college, working at a place I don't like and knowing I'll have to job search again, the anniversary of my pet's death, a loss of connection in my family and now the inevitable death of my grandmother have just been too much for me. Additionally, I have been repressing feelings about my sexual orientation for a very long time. I always assumed I was straight, but now I'm finally accepting that I'm attracted to more than just one gender.
All of these stressors have been negatively impacting me, and my relationship. My appetite has decreased, my sleep pattern is messed up, Something as simple as folding a pile of laundry takes me forever, and no surprise, I have little to no interest in sex with my partner, who I have been with for almost six years. He's starting to notice it, and it upsets him that I am recognizing my attraction to other women, yet I seem bored with him. I've tried explaining that my depression makes me not feel enthusiastic about literally anything, not just him, and that he shouldn't take it personally, but he is. Also, he's going through a lot of stressful family/school issues as well. I just feel like this is all really toxic. There's no way I can possibly cater to his emotional needs when I can't even do something as simple as keep my room clean right now. He told me his worst fear is losing me, which makes me feel like maybe he's depending on me too much? I have no idea what to do. I don't want to break up with him, because I love him and I always felt like we were meant to be together, but right now I just cannot mentally or emotionally handle much of anything. I know that this is all very complicated and messy, but I need someone to talk me through this.

Posts: 59 | From: california | Registered: Dec 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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I'm sorry you're struggling so much, artsygirl.

So, am I getting it right that while you've been very honest and candid with your partner about how you're feeling right now, all around, he doesn't seem to be able to work with you to find ways of coping with how both of you are feeling, including giving you time and space away from being sexual?

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artsygirl643
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He's perfectly fine with giving me space when it comes to sex. He would never pressure me to do anything I didn't want to do and is incredibly respectful. He even said that the lack of sex itself wasn't bothering him, he's more afraid that I'm not attracted to him anymore. After I explained the depression factor, I think he understood but I think it affected his confidence as a boyfriend if anything.
But as far as the emotional issues go, I don't know how well he's able to cope with what he's going through right now, and I've been so down that I didn't realize it was affecting him this deeply. This morning I guess he had an emotional sort of breakdown where he cried a lot about everything going on in his life. We're both just really emotionally fragile at the moment. Usually one of us is the strong, rational one for each other during hard times, but right now neither of us is and that's never happened before.

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Molias
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Hi artsygirl,

It does sound like you have a lot on your plate right now, and I'm sorry things are feeling so tough and overwhelming.

Certainly you can talk through some of this here, but I think getting support for your depression is going to go a long way towards helping you feel better both about your situation and about how to move forward in your relationship. If you're a student, you may have access to counseling at your school, but do you know if you're able to access any counseling over the summer, so you don't have to wait for the fall to get help?

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artsygirl643
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I did tell my mom about my depression, and she said I should go to the doctor's office to see if I could speak to a counselor there. One of our family friends is also a counselor and they said that I could talk to them, but I sort of don't want to talk to them about relationship problems with them. I guess I'm afraid to actually go to a doctor to talk with them about this because I don't know what to expect. I feel kind of like a failure too, because I want to be a counselor someday, and I'm an advocate for a mental wellness program at school, but I'm not exactly mentally well at the moment.
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Molias
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You know, there's nothing that says you have to be 100% mentally healthy all the time to advocate for other people's mental health, or to be a counselor yourself.

Doctors get sick sometimes, right? And you wouldn't say a doctor doesn't have the right to treat other people just for having a cold, or a broken leg - at least I hope you wouldn't. Just because you're having mental health issues right now doesn't mean you're a failure, or that you can't ever help other people with similar issues. In fact, I think people who have had experience with mental illness are often much more understanding and compassionate about those issues and can be even better mental health advocates than those who haven't.

I think it's really important to do your best to be kind to yourself in any way possible, even if depression's making that tough. Reminding yourself that you aren't a failure, and maybe talking to someone at your doctor's office, are a good place to start. =)

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artsygirl643
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Thank you, It's hard to not be hard on myself right now. But while I'm looking into treatment, I have no clue what to do about my boyfriend. We started dating at a young age, and we have literally grown up together and have gone through so much with each other. The thought of going through this process alone is so saddening to me.
Posts: 59 | From: california | Registered: Dec 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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