I feel as though I can really understand what you are going through. I have been obsessed by people in my life and felt as though the obsession was sometimes the only thing that kept me going; the only thing that made what I considered a miserable life to be livable. Sometimes the absence of a person we constantly think and dream about can seem like a presence. It is as though the absence of them is more real than the presence of others. Sometimes the absence is torture. But sometimes the presence of their absence is comforting. It is very hard to explain.
Literature is filled with stories of obsessive love: Dante and Beatrice, Petrarch and Laura. There is an entire school of psychology which seeks to explore the nature of love in all its manifestations, without prejudgement. This school of psychology explores what it means "to fall in love," to be "bewitched" or "transfigured" by desire. It has linked love very powerfully to the imagination. So much of myth and legend is filled with the imagery of love, unique love, impossible love. One school of psychology in particular regards all love, even the love we don't understand as being important to our psyche as being soul-making and soul-enriching.
I think that since we live in the age of the photograph, we are in new terrain. Because of photography we can "have" the face of an other in a way people before photography could not. But even without photography, love, passion, loneliness, desire: these are all great mysteries. Anyone who tells you that they have this all figured out is not telling the truth.
The real question has to do with your life. Are you suffering? Is your obsession or lack of it causing you great pain and misery? Sometimes various illnesses of the brain can be the cause of obsessions that cause excruciating pain and agony. And that kind of pain and agony is not necessary. There are medicines available to help the brain heal from suffering like that. Looking back on my life I think I can say that I have been obsessed with people. Perhaps one obsession lasted 13 years. At one time, the famous psychologist Carl Jung was obsessed with what others called "his imaginary friend" Philemon. But Jung insisted the person was very real.
Now Jung was one of the Fathers of modern psychology.
I think if you are suffering terribly from your obsession or if it is causing you to be unable to function and live a full life, you might want to see a doctor. Perhaps you are suffering from an illness. Just because you get better does not mean that you have to forget your life in the past or your loves in the past. Healing your brain will not destroy the unique person you are even in your loves and desires.
I think it is important that you not beat yourself up over an abstract ideal like the concept of "normality." Normality even in its statistical sense, varies very widely across cultures. Sometimes what is considered "normal" say in Japanese psychology might be considered "abnormal" in Western psychology. Was Dante normal? What about Francesco Petrarcha? What about the Sufi Master Rumi. I do not intend to judge you at all Chucapabra. But if your life is miserable and a living hell, please seek the advice of a physician. I wish you the very best. I mean that. You are not alone. You are not alone!!!
Edited by Ep1ctetus, 25 July 2012 - 08:56 PM.
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Try to love your brain and make it a priority like a good mother loves an infant and makes it her priority. Try to love your brain like that. And just as a good mother goes on loving her child no matter what that child does or doesn't do in life, so also try to love your brain. Your brain only weighs about 3 pounds but works night and day, 7 days a week to keep you and the trillions of cells in your body alive and healthy. Each day, for you, it does thousands of strong, brave, wise, beautiful, loving, kind and sweet things. It monitors the sensory output of millions of cells processing data from trillions of nerve cells. It does all this plus tries very hard to realize your ideals and desires and dreams. Sometimes it falls down. But it is always there for you, like the best of best friends. Try to not be too hard on it. Try to not "beat it up mentally" for its mistakes. It is not an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-perfect Being. But it works incredibly hard for you. Try talking to your brain like a mother would talk to a small beloved infant. Tell it you love it, appreciate it and are grateful for all the sacrifices it makes for you. Your brain deserves love, respect, encouragement, and consolation. And when it is sick or hurting, it deserves consolation. Many of us were raised to be mentally hard, even brutal on our brains. But we can change and learn to love our brains more and more each day. Try this, if only as an experiment, to see if it helps with your depression and anxiety.