Ask Rhona 1
Dear Rhona: I’m involved in a long-distance relationship, and I get so depressed when he leaves or when I leave him. Throughout the day I find myself crying. I try to think about our happy memories, but then I become sad again because I can’t be with him. How do I deal with the separation? I can’t really talk with anyone except my boyfriend, and I don’t like to bring him down, so I try to hide my feelings. He knows how sad I get, though, because he tries to cheer me up.
Dear Anxious: You cannot build a quality life around one preoccupation (such as being with another human being). It puts too much pressure on the relationship and eventually the weight will crush the good stuff to a pulp. Everybody needs diversity of company in their lives. You need an itinerary that does not revolve around your boyfriend. That means getting involved with activities and people who will fill your days with something besides waiting. You may be depressed – a doctor can assess that – but whether you are or not, you still need to get mobile and stack up a few chapters in the book of My Life. Join volunteer organizations, put away the photo albums and stop rerunning tapes of your boyfriend’s last visit. It keeps you from being in the present.