I’m 26, my live-in fiancé of six years and I recently split up, and it’s been very tough.
Last weekend I went to a work party, had WAY too much to drink, thinking it’d help cure my blues.
Due to clouded judgment of intoxication, I shared a rather blurry night of sex with a co-worker to whom I’m not the slightest bit attracted.
I was so disgusted with myself when I awoke that I couldn’t get out of bed for two days. Now I’m more depressed than before, and have to work with this man every day.
We used condoms but I’ve only been with two other people, both long-term relationships, so I’m not sure if I’m at risk of having gotten an STD.
Disgusted With Me
Get angry… yes, at yourself, but instead of wallowing in useless self-loathing, be pro-active.
Get tested for STDs, immediately. This will put this drunken episode into reality mode… either you do need STD treatment, or you don’t.
Then, examine your drinking habit and whether that was a one-off indulgence or what you repeatedly do when upset.
Be self-protective and learn this for the rest of your life: YOU cannot drink when depressed. Alcohol does NOT cure blues… rather, it can cause them, and usually compounds blues that already exist.
Don’t delude yourself about “clouded judgment” because of alcohol… the bad judgment came from you drinking as an escape.
That said, this whole event was a hard lesson; you’ve learned it, avoid the co-worker, and move on.
If the co-worker tries to re-connect, be straightforward and clear with your “explanation.” This wasn’t his fault alone, and you don’t need/want someone you see daily to feel used and angry.
Say you’re very sorry, that you drank way too much, and behaved in a way you never do ordinarily. If he suggests getting together, say you’re not dating.
My mother passed away in August. My siblings and I are all handling the loss in our own way. However, our father’s grief is deeper; he’d loved her for 50 years.
We keep saying that each day is getting harder and harder to cope. We don’t live in the same part of the country so can only offer support by phone.
He has no hobbies or interests that he didn’t share with her. Even visits with friends are constant reminders of a life changed forever.
We’ve offered an extended visit over the winter, but so far he’s declined. He’s in his 70’s and grew up believing you never sought counseling or support groups.
It’s getting increasingly frustrating to call, and hear only a rant of grief and sadness.
Do NOT give up, in any way. Deep grief can last over a year, and is at its most dangerous as everyone else gets distracted, and he has nothing but pain and loss.
One among the siblings should visit, and another follow – but go there to soothe, listen, and be company, not to suddenly impose new attitudes.
While there, however, you could go with him to things in his community – starting with an event, a book reading, and slowly try checking out a seniors’ group, anything related to his interests, etc.
If you find his depression continuing or worsening, get him to a doctor, rather than just tell him to see one. The phone is NOT enough.
And if necessary, insist that you need counselling and want him to help you get on with your life… so you can go together and get him some help.
FEEDBACK Regarding the writer who was dumped (Oct. 31):
Reader – “We who’ve been dumped struggle with telling others, so we hide. We don’t answer the phone, we fake illness, skip stuff, etc.
“We can't cope with telling people because sympathy sparks more tears and loss of hard-won control.
“Being dumped is painful and embarrassing. So how do we get it out there so we can get back out there?”
Tell your closest friends and family, but ask for time for you to absorb it.
Follow with being good to yourself, and getting out to things that comfort you, only with supportive people. Whether a few hours at a spa, taking walks outdoors, whatever gets you outside the focus on your pain.
As you heal, socialize more, and look for new people/interests.
BUT, if emotional distress persists or builds, get counselling. It will help you re-build self-confidence after a shattering break-up.
Tip of the day:
Get past your own sexual “mistake” by acknowledging and avoiding what prompted it.