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.
Your brain is your best friend. It works 24 hours a day to keep you alive, healthy and happy. As such it deserves love, respect, compassion, encouragement, understanding and consolation. It is not an all-powerful all-perfect being. It makes mistakes. It can become ill. But it always tries to make your health its #1 priority. Where could one find a friend like that? Even when you are sleeping it is trying to help you. So it deserve love in good times and bad, it its successes and its failures, in sickness and in health. It doesn't deserve to be mentally beat up with insults like: weak, lazy, stupid, loser, no good. It does tens of thousands of strong, brave, clever, wise, good and beautiful things each day for you.
If depression is related to hatred of the brain [even unconscious or organically caused], then it seems like learning to love the brain is one of the ways out of depression. If putting a sense of life-or-death urgency on the brain in non-life-or-death situations stresses the brain out and leads to anxiety, then it seems like learning to be less demanding, more realistic and more compassion to the brain is one of the ways out of paralyzing anxiety.