Your dilemmas: I'm obsessed with my neighbour 

In her weekly column, JOAN LONG, a Bishopstown psychologist and psychotherapist, answers readers’ queries
Your dilemmas: I'm obsessed with my neighbour 

"I can’t understand why I am feeling this way about the guy next door, literally!"

Dear Joan,

Can you please tell me what to do? I am totally obsessed with my neighbour. Unfortunately, he is in a relationship and lives with his partner and child. He is absolutely gorgeous. I feel like a 14 year old, even though I’m 40.

I have known this couple for two years. She is a nice girl in fairness and I could not find fault with her. Their little boy is gorgeous too. I have been to parties in their house.

I can’t understand why I am feeling this way about the guy next door, literally! I have had lots of relationships but never felt like this. I feel I am losing my mind. I can’t sleep or eat.

I cannot concentrate at work and know I am getting behind in my work load. This has been going on for six months. This has never happened before to me, even when I was at the height of my addiction to drink and drugs.

I’m a recovering addict, I might add, and have not touched drink or drugs for almost two years.

I think he does like me alright but I do not know if he has the same type of romantic feelings.

At times I love to imagine me, him and his little boy together as a family unit. I daydream about how great that would be. I know this must sound mad, I am an educated professional middle- aged woman!

Most of my friends are sick of hearing me talking about this guy. I have always been there for them but now they are not returning my calls or even some of my texts.

I have gone out in the last few months and even gone off with unsuitable guys to try and get him out of my head, but nothing works. I’ve stopped going to my meeting for my recovery from addiction as I feel it is just a waste of time.

Dear Reader

I can feel your obsession in the letter you have written. There is a sense of urgency and speed in how you write. And YES, I would agree you are obsessed with this guy. You are on very dangerous ground! 

You know yourself that your feelings for this man are crazy — they don’t make sense to yourself.

You are an addict in recovery from addiction and it sounds like you have replaced that addiction with being addicted to this man.

He sounds like he is quite happy in his own life. You seem to have manufactured a Walter Mitty fantasy of obsessional desire that transports you away from reality.

What you are doing is mood-altering, just like the drink and drugs you were addicted to. You know stopping your recovery meetings is an extremely serious risk to run. You are endangering your recovery. You know this.

The first thing you must do is get back to your meetings immediately! It is very important you get some professional help. You have alienated yourself from friends with this obsession. 

You’re also experiencing negative impacts at work so this is very similar to the consequences you must have experienced in your drug and alcohol addiction.

You have done extremely well in your recovery to date, you cannot afford to jeopardise it and your life. Please get the help you need.

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