Obsessed with a man I broke up with six years ago
I don't really have social anxiety, but I have OCD. I'm actually a very extroverted person. I came to this page, because I was googling obsessive ruminating over past relationships. Actually mostly just the obsessive ruminating side of OCD and quite badly at that. I have tried CBT, talk therapy and medical drugs.
Currently I am quite functional on a combination of seroquel, zoloft and paxil. I am even in a relationship (going on 4 years) with a wonderful, understanding man. But I have a dark horrible secret that I feel I can't talk about to anyone, even my therapist doesn't seem to understand.
I can't stop obsessing and ruminating about a past relationship that finished six years ago. "Bob" was my first real love and we were together for seven years, starting when we were teenagers. Our relationship ended when I suddenly stopped having amorous feelings for "Bob." I tried to hide how I felt and just grew more and more anxious, trying to act how I should act for him. Eventually, I just couldn't take the pressure from him anymore and I broke things off.
Then my life really went to hell. I fell into a guilt fueled major depression, had massive ongoing anxiety attacks and rampant OCD. My life went out of control and my head was filled with obsessive suicidal thoughts all the time. Terrified of how out of control I was feeling I asked Bob to take me back, but he rejected me. I had to leave the prestigious university program I was at and was naseuated and throwing up all the time from anxiety.
Eventually, I returned to university and got on with my life, but I never really recaptured my ability to feel as happy and in love as I had before everything went to hell. Intermitently I would write to my ex asking him to take me back. He always refused. I thought about him all the time.
Then I met "Dave" and felt lust again for someone, the first time in years. Dave is so much kinder to me and more understanding of my depression and OCD than Bob ever was.
But here's the bad part... I still can't forget Bob. I still think about him ALL THE TIME and the thoughts won't shut up.
I am constantly comparing and measuring my feelings for Dave to my feelings for Bob and thinking that my feelings for Dave are not as strong as how I felt for Bob and our mental connection is not as deep. I am constantly wondering if Dave is the right person for me and thinking that maybe, on the basis of my feelings not being as good we should break up.
Then I think about what happened during the break up with Bob and what my resulting illness did to myself and my family and it terrifies me. I was so much stronger back then than I am now, too. I feel like another bought of depression like that and all the guilt that hurting someone I loved again would bring the yawning abyss back. I am terrified of hurting another person and hurting myself and my family who care about me.
I want to get married and start a family of my own and have children, but feel I cannot honestly commit to Dave with all these thoughts of Bob still clouding up my head and my doubts about my relationship with Dave.
The passage of time has done nothing to dispell my obsession with Bob or to fully clarify my feelings for Dave or give me any idea what to do.
If I marry Dave without feeling the proper emotion for him, I know it will wreck my life.
If I break up with Dave to fall into the abyss of loneliness and depression again it will wreck my life.
I want to move on with my life in some adult way, but I am trapped. I feel anything I do is bound to hurt other people and lead to me becoming severely depressed and out of control again. Returning to that dangerous state is what I fear most in the world. No one I know has this problem and the few people I've told about don't understand and their advice is crap.
I think about it ALL THE TIME for the past five years. It keeps me up at night and from concentrating on things during the day and at work. Please help.