Taking care or Fooling yourself ?

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    Dear Tiny Buddha community,

    Few months ago I sent you my first post.

    To make a long story short I was seeking advice, reinsurance, light about a terrible breakup that rocked my world. I was involved in a long distance relationship for about 3 years. I gave everything that I had my heart, my soul and my health basically I was just working visiting her and trying to find a way to get back together. When she decided to let me go(by email). I lost the purpose for living this life, my vital energy vanished I had no goal to help me move on. I randomly discover this community seeking for answers to give me some hope or at least to convince me that I was not totally becoming crazy.

    I have to admit that those of you who took the time to reply did and amazing job and I was amazed to have feedback from total strangers unfortunately it is a proof that so many human beings are suffering and have to go through unbearable pain…

    I really try to use your advices mainly focusing on rediscovering my own person, taking care of myself basically understanding that my greatest asset was somewhere inside of this walking corpse that I became.
    Out of respect for you and because I was so desperate I tried hard to follow everything that felt relevant to my situation believe me I tried hard but it has been almost 5 months since I got the email that radically change my world as well as my personality and nothing is really evolving the pain is still so intense obviously I fake during the day but every night I am sobbing (not even sure how is that possible) and it feels that I will never ever find the light at the end of the tunnel.

    I am perfectly aware that there is no quick fix and I am not asking for this. Maybe I did not fully understand your advices or maybe I will stay in limbo for the rest of my life.
    I do not know but the more I try to be with my self the more I feel the lack of purpose for my life, I feel useless, I feel responsible for what is happened.
    Is it not more rewarding, fulfilling to make someone happy to give than just looking at your own belly button? Are you not feeling more powerful when you know that you can share? That someone relies on your actions? How can you make peace with yourself when your mind is spinning 24/7 to find answers?
    I thought I gave genuinely everything that I could but it was not enough it was not enough. Did I miss something in your previous posts? Am I not able to comprehend or there is just no after no more smile, peace, love just plain sharp pain?
    I am just wondering, with all the respect that I have for this community, If I am not fooling myself by trying to be at ease with my soul. The more I try the less I like what I can discover (lack of meaningful achievements) and the more I feel the absence of this person…


    Hi: I feel we have very similar problems. When you say “Is it not more rewarding, fulfilling to make someone happy to give than just looking at your own belly button? Are you not feeling more powerful when you know that you can share? That someone relies on your actions?” I wonder if you have taken the opportunity to do some volunteer work or spend time in the presence of other people who love and support you, who can help you find meaning when you are having difficulty on your own. That may help.

    When you put a lot of energy into a relationship, it is easy to be sucked into their world, and forget the rest of the world exists. Rediscovering it can be daunting and scary, but also exciting because you haven’t seen it for quite some time on your own. This duplicity is what makes it difficult, you may be roaring and ready to go forth and find your purpose, but easily discouraged if you don’t get results right away, especially if you are seeking another person, or a vague ideal such as “happiness” or “purpose”. Little goals and little steps. Be content with simply being, and recognize the good days with the bad. You haven’t lost or fooled yourself, you’ve just found ways that haven’t worked. You don’t have to find your purpose right away, as long as you push yourself to try, and try different ways to feel better, you will be okay.

    Best wishes,

    • This reply was modified 10 years, 2 months ago by Lucy.

    Dear Lucy,
    Thank you very much for taking the time to give me your insights.
    I thought I gave the best of me but maybe it was just my way of assessing the situation.I am not sure anymore.
    I am taking baby steps for so long now but it seems that I can not get closure. It feels more like a endless downward spiral making everything tasteless.
    I feel totally empty. Practicing self compassion, self nurturing brought more pain and a sense of loneliness because I have to face my failures and weaknesses and look at my pain straight in the eyes. It is scary and seems unproductive. All my landmarks are gone and I entered this dark world against my will not being able to bounce back and find the light>
    As everyone in this world I had my share of difficult situations but this specific event just broke something that I am not able to fix. Why should I try more? to pretend that I feel good with myself? to fool my soul? To experience this world on my own?The wound is there gigantic and it is a little deeper everyday. I can not see or maybe comprehend how feeling good with myself could help me.
    Best to you


    If you feel you lack meaningful achievements, why not to work on achieving some?

    I’m sorry you’re in so much pain, and for such a long time. It sounds like you’d emptied your life of everything that wasn’t this person, and now they’re gone, you have found your life empty. Perhaps you could try to work on filling it up again. Do things, create things, improve things. Meet with other people, learn a new skill, volunteer and experience being truly useful to others. Take care of someone. Get a dog.

    As for human beings suffering and having to go through unbearable pain: I don’t think your pain is unbearable. Forgive me, but to the naked eye it does seem like you are, in fact, bearing it. By definition it is therefore not unbearable. Human beings can be amazingly resilient, many have bounced back from much greater calamities than being dumped after a 3 year relationship. Think about it. You don’t have cancer. You didn’t lose your entire family in a house fire. You weren’t a prisoner of war. People live through these things and worse, and turn out ok. So this is possible, you can get through this.

    Stop torturing yourself with the past, and get on with your life as it is. Good luck.



    I’m sorry for your continued lamentation, and can understand how alone we sometimes feel when we begin to unravel the mystery of ourselves. It does sound like there is some infection in your wound, doc, and it may be making everything harder than it needs to be. Consider for a moment the nature of pain. It is biologically designed to grab our attention, push our brain to figure out what is causing it, and then remove that cause. We get a splinter, and it agitates us until we remove it. We break a bone, and it hurts until we heal. Emotional pain and grief is the same, we weep until we’re done, then maybe a few sniffles here and there, but its better, fine.

    In your case, in sounds like the wound is figuring out the balance between self nurturing and self indulgence. To weep during our grief, but not fall into lamentation and self pity. To think about ourselves, but not so consistently that we overlook the many blessings around us. For instance, you feel darkness inside because you feel lonely, and want to share time and space with another. But it goes further than that, your mind pushes you well beyond that. “I gave my all and the world shit on my face” which leaves you without an option. As though all women would treat you in such a way, as though you’re just flawed in some way. Not so. You slipped on the floor (had an intimacy that failed) and broke a bone. As you are healing, you keep walking on the bone, so it isn’t healing as fast. Said differently, keep crying, weeping, and eventually you’ll get bored. Perhaps that’s now? Perhaps not.

    Then, instead of some hopeless “I just don’t know what to do with myself, how to find love”, you’ll stand up and start growing what you want to have. Not “throw all my eggs in one basket and hope that it holds”, which is dumb, but rather “go explore, and find what makes me happy”. A great place to start, in my opinion, is metta meditation. Metta is the feeling of loving friendship that arises in the upper chest area, and does some wonderful things for us. When we practice metta, our mind becomes peaceful and smooth. This gives us an easier base to work from, a stable ground to return to when we are done crying, done rippling. Consider “Sharon Salzburg guided metta meditation” on YouTube if interested.

    Finally, try to be patient, gentle with yourself and your pain. Don’t become agitated with yourself for crying, for feeling sad. That just adds a new layer. Or, don’t be frustrated with yourself for being agitated with yourself for being sad. Just let those ripples go, and cry your tears, accept your sorrow. Its helping you become more alert. Consider a metaphor. Imagine we are given $100 a day to live off of. If we give all 100 to our partner, hoping they will go to the store for us, then we have to accept that we will feel hungry if they take the 100 bucks and ditch us. That’s life, our own unskillfulness. Instead, we can take 25 and get our own food, 25 for shelter, 25 for entertainment/investment, and 25 for charity. As we dance along the path in this way, we find someone that likes the same things, takes care of themselves too, and doesn’t ask us to give them our 100 bucks. Said concretely, it is folly to get our sense of self worth from others, or from a romantic partner… rather, we grow contentment that we can breathe, see, dance, sing, explore and help. Then, when we find a dance partner, we become held together by mutual desire and deep knowing of ourselves and each other, rather than needing each other to feel whole.

    Keep breathing, brother, the light isn’t at the end of the tunnel, its in the torch in your hand!

    With warmth,


    First of all thank you very much for your answers or even the time that you took to read my story.

    : I did not want to offend anyone when I wrote about unbearable pain if it was the case I sincerely apologize. Obviously I am searching the web for some help meaning that I am still on my two feet. By definition I am doing a meaningful job (I am a doctor) but maybe I should search to disconnect these specific needs from my professional life.
    I did not want to give to much detail because it was the purpose of my initial post few months ago but to make a long story short my professional and love life were really interrelated.Lets say that I was fooled by the people who hired me changing drastically the initial plan. it was a domino effect my professional and personal life crumbled at the same time. I guess it was little much for me knowing that everything I fought for was gone in no time. Maybe I am weak but it is difficult to bounce back and claim that the show must go on. At this very moment I do not have anything to hang onto.

    : I deeply appreciate your insights and the time that you took to help me. An outsider perspective is so valuable and I have to admit that I have not found the wisdom and the clarity to look at the situation the way you did.

    Once again I am not asking for a magic solution. I just want to get some clarity (closure) and try to focus the remaining of my vital energy toward the right direction because when every aspects of your life are falling apart it is difficult no to feel overwhelmed and lost. I have to admit that I am emotionally drained having a difficult time to recognize my former self pushing me into this survival/lethargic mode. It is scary and I feel paralyzed unable to make any steps forward to avoid aggravating my inner CHAOS.

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