Things were going along fairly well for me, and I had been feeling “back to my old self” for many months, and then I saw her – the old flame, the object of my past obsession – on Facebook. Her network and my own have a lot of intersection, and I saw her picture constantly as I went about the business of building my friends list.
I’ve learned that social networking is not only useful; it’s essential in the internet era. Almost all of my friends are sitting in front of their computers and using these tools; they are a great way to stay in touch with friends, see what they’re up to, and let them know what I’m up to. The old maxim is “publish or perish,” and after being prompted and goaded into joining Facebook by respected and valued associates, I took the plunge.
Dr Hindy talks about Romantic Obsession and Romantic Anxiety as going hand in glove, closely related. I am feeling the effects of that now as I try to cope with the feelings of having seen her face over and over again in the last week or so as I have tried to enter this social networking world. The urge to contact her is overwhelming, and it feels as if the thought cluster, the contents of Pandora’s box, all the old feelings, are very close to the surface.
The feelings are mainly of overwhelming anxiety and guilt. The very sight of her picture makes me flood with anxiety, and triggers memories of our greatest moments, and I become filled with desire for her, and then guilty…What if I slip? What if I fail?
I need to find a way to function in the network without feeling so vulnerable to the feelings. How can I immunize myself? How can I take the power away from the images I’m seeing? All of the elements of the original romance are still there in my mind, body and soul; they had been lying dormant, but now they have awakened, and I feel possessed from within by a demon.
I need to spend some time alone, calm down, separate from this little storm of experience, take a breath, and think about what I’m going to do. I am not going to abandon the network – it’s too important for my business and my life now – but my sanity and serenity are more important even than that. What am I going to do?