Working through depression and post-breakup blues
October 10, 2017 5:25 AM   Subscribe

My long-lingering depression has rebounded lately, and to cap it all off I got dumped out of the blue. I'm also in a very demanding school program that requires a lot of time, effort and concentration. How do I keep it together when all I want to do is cry?

I've had a lot of romantic disappointment in my life, so getting dumped is really compounding my depression feelings of worthlessness, inadequacy, and nothing will ever work out for me again.I really just want to lie in bed and cry all day, or engage in my classic breakup cure of getting drunk every night for a week, but my school schedule doesn't really allow it.

I'm already seeing a therapist, and will be consulting my doctor soon about a possible medication change (I'm on an SSRI already, but not a high dose). What else can I do to stay on track when I can't afford to waste my time wallowing?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Things that have been helpful for me to remember is that it doesn't all have to work right now. Yes, you want a future relationship but that doesn't mean you need one this second.

Also exercise, even if it's just walking around campus or a 20 minute walk in the evening.
posted by raccoon409 at 5:51 AM on October 10 [3 favorites]

Some people find it helpful to accept that they are having bad feelings, but schedule time to actually think about them. "I'm feeling really sad right now and it's okay to feel sad. I will never find love again ... wait that's thinking. I don't have time to think about this right now because I'm in class. I'll think about how I'll never find love again at 6.30, for 10 minutes."

Journaling, exercise, meditation, good nutrition and plenty of sleep are classics. You've got the docs lined up and that's good. In the meantime, things will just suck for a while. Let them suck and be nice to yourself and do your best.
posted by bunderful at 6:20 AM on October 10 [1 favorite]

10 minute meditations (I use the headspace app) once or twice a day were my equivalent of curling up in bed and shutting put the world when I was going through this, just because it was ten minutes of peace and rest from the overwhelm. Knowing that that little sanctuary was there waiting for me no matter how intense my emotions felt was always helpful.

Other things - make a Playlist that gives you a few sad songs to feel like total shit to (Keaton Heston is my go to guy) followed by upbeat music to bring you back out of it can help.

And audio books. Having someone read to you is very comforting.
posted by Chrysalis at 7:36 AM on October 10 [1 favorite]

Seconding audiobooks/reading!

Make a point to get out in the sun and deliberately reflect on how the rays of sun feel on your skin. I usually tell myself, "I am so grateful to feel these warm sun rays. The sun is beautiful", or something along those lines.

Surround yourself with supportive, loving people! The end of any relationship is really, really hard, but there are also lessons to be learned from within the relationship (the positives), and how it ended (the negatives). View it as a learning opportunity! I basically think, "I don't want to be involved with anyone who doesn't want to be involved with me [because they can't appreciate me for me!]". That helps.

Start a new hobby that you have always wanted to try, and grow. Learning new skills boosts self esteem, puts you in contact with new people who are also into the hobby, and you are empowering yourself and challenging yourself.

Give yourself permission to cry. And take deep breaths. And hug yourself. Recharge your soul however best works for you. Be sure you are getting ~plenty~ of sleep. If you have having trouble sleeping, look for over the counter diphenhydramine or melatonin tablets tell help you.

Everyone has tough endings like this, absolutely everyone. You aren't alone.

Finally, not sure if you'll find this useful, but when I am feeling overwhelmed, out of touch, stressed, I take a breath and make a conscious effort to say to myself, "This is me right now, in this moment. I am erattacorrige. I am me right now." It helps me regain my 'locus of control'.

Big hug <3
posted by erattacorrige at 8:42 AM on October 10 [2 favorites]

When my depression decides to rear its ugly head and make things more difficult than necessary for me, I allow myself to have an off-day. Thing is, somewhere along the way of my life I got it into my head that I had to charge forward and not allow myself the luxury of a lie in or a mope day or a cryfest. I had to plow with all my strength into projects, half-ass them or outright fail, and then I gave depression even more fuel to be a bastard the next day.

Give yourself the off-day. Have patience with that upset part of your brain and talk to it. "Hey, I know you're not feeling good. It's okay to be that way and I'm going to give you that time to rest. Here's what I ask from you. I need you give me some courtesy too. I have things I need to do. Be kind with me and I'll be kind with you." I'm not saying it'll fix things but it has been a way I get mindful and can still function on a tough day/week/month and still get things taken care of. Give yourself limits and timelines, but reinforce that you can have time to console those depressed feelings.

I'm also in a (demanding to me) program and I have had to cut a lot of BS out of my life to maintain the competitive grades and assignments and on-the-fly tests and rotations I've been expected to do. I keep my planner up-to-date, reference it often to soothe my anxiety over what to do that hour, and I fight the urge to wallow too deeply by looking at my mantra on my phone, which is a small paragraph of why I'm in the program I'm in and why it is important to me at the cost of darn near everything else. Maybe these things will help you. Remember to celebrate you and your accomplishments and your ambition in getting into the program you are in. Remember that personal goals drive personal satisfaction and that romantic attachments will enhance not subdue those achievements. Remember you are the most important thing in your world. Remember who you are doing all of this for. Be kind to yourself.
posted by missh at 9:39 AM on October 10 [2 favorites]

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