A few months ago, my boyfriend broke up with me. The breakup and its immediate aftermath were, perhaps, the most frustrating period of my life. Not that I’ve never had a real problem, and not that I’ve never been dumped, but it was that the reasons he gave (or lack thereof) made absolutely no sense, and I’m one of those wacky people who likes things to make sense. Plus I hate it when people I care about are in pain. So I’m hoping some of you guys can help it all make sense and/or provide some coping tips.
The only reason he has ever managed to articulate for breaking up with me was something like: “you’re a wonderful person, and I love you, and I missed you like crazy while I was out of town, and I can’t manage to keep myself from jumping your bones, but something is just, ummmm, I don’t know, wrong. That, and I feel like I’ve been using you as a way of procrastinating on other areas of my life where I feel like I need to get myself together.”
What I really suspect: he yo-yo’ed a couple of times before finally blowing me off for good, and said yo-yoing commenced shortly after he decided to drop his Prozac, cold-turkey. He’s always had mixed feelings about taking meds for depression, and I can certainly understand why (side effects and all, although he didn’t have any to speak of this time around, at least certainly not the lack of libido, which is the main one he’d been worrying about!). I tried to be supportive, saying that a) the drugs might not affect him the way they did before, since it had been quite a while since he’d been on them, and b) if they did, he could always adjust the dosage or try different drugs. Barring that, of course, there’s always the option of talk therapy alone.
He has always acknowledged that he needs to deal with the depression somehow, but when I tried to get him to explain why he quit the Prozac and didn’t replace it with some other form of dealing, he never really responded. The closest I ever got to a response was “you know, you just have to accept that not everything will always make sense.” During this whole period, at least while he was still at least nominally dealing with me, he was also blowing off his family and other friends, and in general behaving quite grumpily and withdrawing socially. Another friend of mine, whose mom has struggled with depression for many years, observed that sometimes depressed people go on and off their meds, maybe because they somehow find it oddly discomforting NOT to feel depressed all the time, because when they’re happy, they feel like they’re not themselves, and so they feel unsettled.
Crazy as it may sound, I care about this guy’s happiness and general well-being, even post-breakup, and hope that someday he will be able to deal with being friends with me, even though the whole episode left me in such a blue funk that I spent a week of what should have been vacation lying on the sofa, staring at my ceiling, and have been seeing a therapist myself for the past couple of months (I’m feeling much better now, though).
So in the event that we ever deal with each other again, a) how can one deal with a person who has depression issues without beating one’s head against the wall on a regular basis, and b) how can it be done without letting him drag me down with him, since I tend to let my friends’ problems/feeling affect me rather strongly? Any other insights into my ex’s bizarre behavior?