I feel like I've lost all empathy
I've never posted here, but I felt that I needed to talk about what I've been feeling. Simply put, I feel like I've lost my connection to other people.
For starters, I'm 26 and male. I've been living in a foreign country for about four years. I enjoy it here and I have done a good job learning the language. I recently started a new job that I enjoy very much, but it's the things that happened before this that caused some problems.
I had been dating a girl for four years. We had gone through a long distance relationship multiple times, but we stuck with it. After a year and a half of me spending most of my money to visit her on weekends, I moved to her city. At this point, I ran into money problems, and was completely broke. On top of that, I was just about to start a new job that was extremely demanding and required being positive and upbeat. I was extremely depressed at this point in my life. I didn't have enough money to buy food, and I had no one to talk to. My gf at the time was the only person I knew there. Unfortunately, I got into a texting conversation with my gf. She ended up breaking up with me. At that point, I felt exhausted. I literally had no money, I had lost contact with the only person I knew, I had a mountain of a job ahead of me, and the only reasoning for me using up all my money and taking a horrible job just left me. I was just so tired of everything; not even sad. Long story short, I ended up attempting to commit suicide. I couldn't get to a hospital; the nearby ones were closed. I ended up dragging myself to a clinic in the morning. They gave me stitches and I went off to work. It was hell.
Work was a nightmare, and I ended up having to spend most of my check stitching up my wounds so they wouldn't look so bad.... I continued the job for a year, I still have horrible thoughts about that experience. I was given anti depressants and counseling by the clinic I visited after my attempt. They helped me get through all of this.
Anyway, fast forward to now, and I'm off anti depressants. I'm enjoying my job and it's keeping me busy. After going off anti depressants, I had the urge to start dating again. I've been on six or so dates and tried setting up even more. When I go on the dates, I don't feel any connection, no emotion whatsoever. I don't even feel nervous about meeting them. To be honest, the idea of dating makes me frustrated. It's something I see as a hassle.
All of the girls I have met are very nice and seem great, but I feel nothing. I talk with them and do my best to make things interesting, but i just don't feel into it. Then the dates ends after four or five goes and I feel like I was super boring. At times I think maybe it's the wrong person, but another part of me wonders how I was able to stay in a relationship for four years. Anyway, I mixed up. I almost feel like after what happened, I'm completed jaded. I'm not picky and I'm extremely carefree. So many things seem trivial.
Anyway, I feel like I almost want to give up on dating. I've always been kind of a loner. Maybe I just have trouble understanding people.
I apologize for the input of multiple issues and he fact that my post has become a novel.
Ah it wasn't that long!
I'm wondering do you still have feelings for your ex? perhaps there is a part of you that doesn't want to let go. And maybe you are comparing all your dates to her. That maybe your mind wanders when you are out and start thinking more about her? And if that's the case well it could be why you don't connect with anyone else. And in your head you feel you were super boring, but I bet some of those girls felt that they were.
You went through some tough times but look at you now, you are getting through them. Others might have given up completely, but you didn't. So even though you don't feel any empathy right now, you want more from life or you wouldn't have found this site. Try some more dates and try enjoy them! Do something different, walk on the beach the park, (free things if money is tight) it doesn't have to be dinner and drinks. Some people are a bit self conscience eating in front of others (I'm sometimes a bit sloppy lol) so doing something that is uncomfortable to start with can set the night off on a bad footing. But don't give up, you already had a relationship for 4 years, remember the good times and how they made you feel? So I'm sure you will get those feelings back again with someone new.
Hope things work out soon.
If you recognize that you have a "flat affect" i.e. non responsive to other people, places, then perhaps a revisit to antidepressants is in order.
You have been thru a lot. More counseling could help you get over that "hump" that bothers you so much.
Thank you very much for the replies. You are right, maybe I should just stick with it. Unfortunately, the scars I have are still pretty visible, and every time I go on a date everyone seems to notice them. I haven't made up a good excuse for why I have them haha.
I don't think I can go back into anti depressants again. They made me feel like a zombie, it was like I was stuck in a bubble and it took all my emotions away. This isn't the first time I've been on them. I agree with you on counseling. I think I will try to set something up this week.
Thats good to hear! hope things work out for you soon