My life feels repetitive
April 18, 2010 3:52 PM   Subscribe

How can i bring excitement back into my life after a tragedy?

Ever since what happened with my mom (i found out she cheated on my dad, its in a previous post of mine if you want to read it), of course, my emotions have been kinda off, also my OCD has gone to the extreme, etc.
But one thing that has really been bugging me is that i just feel...BORED. Bored with school, bored with people i love, bored with myself. Weird right? Its just that the day in day out feeling of life has really gotten to me all of a sudden. My boyfriend and i have been dating a very long time, and even the walking to the same classes and kissing goodbye in the same places has gotten to me a bit just this week. Also, during the school week, he needs help with math sometimes, and i have no problem helping him, but this week when he came over, he was quieter than usual. He told me he was stressed out from school, and also he probably felt awkward being around my mom because he knows what happened. He still was affectionate with me, but being OCD, i worried. I worried not about our relationship but about the repitition of it. How every week is pretty much the same. The only time we break that cycle is the weekend, i was really looking forward to spending time with him this weekend and not having to worry about work or school but he was sick so its just right back to school....
Everyones been really supportive of what happened with my mom, but maybe its just the fact that i feel smothered by pity. I dont know. I just feel like i wanna get on a plane and go somewhere far far away for awhile. I guess what i want to know is how i can bring excitement back in my life after a tragedy. How i can secure my OCD thoughts, how i can fulfill my relationship with my boyfriend because i dont want what happened with my mom to slowly affect my relationship with him or anyone for that matter.
I know this is a pretty weird situation, but any advice will go a long way
posted by xopaigexo to Human Relations (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
seeing a therapist might help, specifically to work with grief counseling. I am really sorry for what you've been through. Your experience sounds normal. I think anyone will tell you they experience that same cycle of grief with a revelation as large as your own.
posted by parmanparman at 4:00 PM on April 18, 2010

I just feel like i wanna get on a plane and go somewhere far far away

Yes. Do you have summer plans? Couple weeks vacation, special project or internship somewhere, anything. It's still April, so for ideas as to what to do, maybe talk to some peers or colleagues, or look online.
posted by polymodus at 4:53 PM on April 18, 2010

I'm not clear if OCD is something that you have a professional diagnosis of, or if it's your self-diagnosis for occasionally having obsessive thoughts. Based only on my personal experience, being a teenager (and someone in their early twenties and late twenties and sometimes early thirties) is all about having obsessive thoughts about things that upset you. It's human, is what I'm saying.

I know this is hard and you're going to want to hang onto some things especially because you don't want the trainwreck of your parents' marriage to mess up your emotions and your life, but you have to accept that you won't be able to get out of this completely unscathed. You've had a huge revelation about how people can damage each other even while they still love each other, and even though it is totally unfair that their actions disrupt your life, the fact is that they will. And that's going to suck, but the only way to get through it with minimal damage is to be honest about what you feel when you feel it, even if those feelings are sometimes contradictory or (seemingly) illogical.

That said, don't feel the need to tie everything back to this one experience. It's entirely possible that you're getting bored with your relationship with your boyfriend simply because it's a relationship you're outgrowing. And that's one of the hardest lessons of all to learn, even absent any complicating factors like yours. People can be good, and help you get through things, and you can still care for them, and it still doesn't mean you need to stay together forever and ever.

I guess what I'm saying is don't worry about what you "should" be feeling, just be honest with yourself about where you are now, even when that seems to change from day to day. And if you can get someone completely unrelated to this whole business to just be a listening ear (whether counselor, therapist, clergy, whatever), it will help more than you expect.
posted by MsMolly at 8:23 PM on April 18, 2010

What you're feeling seems to me to be entirely normal. I went through a stressful and life changing year my second year at university and often felt panicked, bored, and claustrophobic.

What helped me: I used to sit or stand on my desk and look at my room from a different angle. For some reason, that used to make me feel much happier and calmer. I went on a few late-night rambles. I went for drives to a place with a good view and looked at the city lights. I stood outside during wind storms.

I don't think you necessarily need to plan a holiday or internship (though those might be nice things to look forward to). Instead, I'd focus on letting yourself experience something new right now. If you have a skip-able class tomorrow, why not skip it, just this once, and drive somewhere new? Or, if you'd rather, walk around where you live - but try to go down alleys and other roads you've never been down.

For me, activities with a touch of melodrama helped at that time, but, of course, watching your favourite movies or cleaning might be equally theraputic for you.
posted by brambory at 1:08 AM on April 19, 2010

You're asking the same questions over and over. You've previously had responses to how to addresss your parents split. Have you followed any of those suggestions?

Also, I'm concered about the use of the term "tragedy." Your parents are adults, your dad knows about your mom's affair, and they've made the adult decision to part ways. While it's a very painful thing for you obviously, the fact you label it as a "tragedy" indicates to me you would do well to discuss the ramifications of this divorce with a counselor, who can better assess and help you take steps to alleviate the pain you're obviously feeling.

The OCD is really, really something that needs to be addressed with a professional. Please don't try to self help on this one; this is A Big Deal and please go talk to a doctor/therapist about it.

You also repeatedly ask questions about your failing relationship with your boyfriend. It's not working. It just isn't. So the issues you're feeling with him likely stem from previous problems, perhaps exacerbated by your current familial issues. In any case, the disconnect with him has been around for quite some time, so this is something new. Again, you might do well to discuss with a therapist why you continue to hang onto a boyfriend/relationship that is causing you pain.

I hope things work out well for you. The short answer is that you need to give it some time, surround yourself with friends, and let yourself feel the sadness in order for it all to improve.
posted by December at 9:50 AM on April 19, 2010

edit: this isn't something new (with the boyfriend problems).
posted by December at 12:55 PM on April 19, 2010

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