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Just friends

To me the phrase "just friends" can often hit harder than the cruelest of physical blows.

...


Why does that phrase hurt me so deeply? Because it is a reminder of a barrier that I have never been able to cross, a reserved region of love and sharing always set aside for someone else. All I approach turn me away. Boundaries are erected all around me and I am fenced in, trapped, imprisoned in a hollow wail of pain and loneliness that offers no relief in sight and no hope for the future.

The romance obsession has thrown me back almost completely into full-fledged depression. Today it took more than four hours to get out of bed. Therapy is not helping. Homeopathy is not helping. Antidepressants are not helping. Nothing is working. Only pain, stabbing pain, mindless pain, a tortured agony of loneliness and despair that tears at me, jeers at me, rips peace of mind and comfort away from my soul.

The more I try to forget the obsession the stronger it becomes. Why should love have become such a Holy Grail? What is wrong with me? There is only the silent mockery of my feelings and the vice-like grip of despair.

It is said that months of therapy may be needed before social phobia is cured and real relationships begin to form. Months more like this make suicidal thoughts return. Two weeks ago I would have placed the probability of suicide at zero. Now I deem it at 5 percent, the highest since mid-November. Months of slow but steady recovery from depression have been erased.

...

Private email, Apr. 9, 1997.