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Celebrity Obsession - Help or Support


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Hello everybody,

I’m new to this forum and signed up specifically because I’ve found this thread via Google. I apologize in advance for any mistakes in my writing, but English isn’t my first language.

I didn’t read all the posts, but I have a problem very similar to a lot of you: I have an extremely strong infatuation with someone completely out of my reach. He’s not a celebrity per se, but a dancer at our local theatre, where I go about three times a month to see musicals or other shows. I’ve always been a “fan” of his for his dancing and his whole attitude (he’s always fooling around in the background and being funny all around), but a couple of weeks back I took my courage and waited for him after a performance to tell him, what  a great dancer he is and how I always enjoy watching him on stage. He was really happy about this, because it has never happened to him before, and he even had his picture taken with me.

As you maybe can imagine this extremely funny and cute encounter didn’t help my infatuation at all, because he’s basically everything my thoughts circle around all day. Since the day I met him I’ve been to the theatre twice, and because I always sit in the front row, we always made eye contact and he smiles at me a lot (I’m his only fan after all). I don’t intend to meet him again like I did this once because I refuse to be a stalker. I watch him on stage and applaud him and that’s it. If only my brain could keep up.

Now the theatre goes on a summer break, and for some reason I don’t know how I will survive months without seeing him. My rational self knows he’s probably married and I’d have no chance with him whatsoever, but I still feel like weeping, even though I don’t even KNOW him (his character and so on, all the important stuff).

Has anyone ever found a “cure” for this that actually works? I’m in a committed, loving relationship with my boyfriend of thirteen years, he even knows about my “insanity”, as he calls it. Of course he doesn’t know how bad it actually is. It really feels like I’m going insane…

Thanks for listening and any advice.

Julia

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@posie_riot  I've been where you are. I used to hold my breath every time I'd do a search. Since a couple of my usual "safe places" have blown up in my face, I still do at times. But I would advise you (for survival, for self-defense, for your sanity) to do your best to give up the podcast, the autobiography (you probably already know it by heart, why hurt yourself?) Whatever it is your CO does, if you can enjoy that without checking his interviews, podcasts, social media, daily news (you know the drill) you'll be much happier. If you enjoy a fantasy of yourself or an alter ego with your CO, ignore that real life situation and go on with YOUR fantasy as before. Whatever you do, STOP torturing yourself thinking about him with anyone else but YOU.

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@Julialovesdancing hi Julia, Welcome to our thread!

You're in the right place. My therapist is a huge proponent of distraction for things like this (which would also fall in the category of "intrusive thoughts" I suppose.) When you catch yourself thinking of him, obsessing on him, find something that will keep your mind occupied for 30-45 minutes. Something that requires your full attention/extreme concentration. Keep doing that until the urge to think about him becomes less of a habit. Since I don't want to stop thinking of my CO, I can't say if it works when you have strong positive feelings for someone, but it DOES work for an OCD person trying to break other obsessions and habits.  Good luck, and check back in with us!

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Thanks for your kind words, Audrey.

As an afterthought I'd like to add the main reason why I feel meeting him made things worse: Turns out being seen is even more addictive than seeing him. It sounds like I have no other people who are happy to be around me (which isn't true), but seeing him notice me in the audience and give me a really brilliant smile of recognition was just mind-blowing, even though it sounds weird. 

I try my best distracting myself, but it's extremely hard...

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@Julialovesdancing You MUST be in the right place. Believe it or not, I've been in almost the same situation. When I was a kid I used to go on vacation with my parents to the Caribbean or Mexico. On these trips, my favourite thing to do was go to the theatre at night and watch the dancers. I was totally in love with that whole scene and formed quite a fantasy life around it for several years. One year when I was 11, I "fell in love" with one particular dancer. He totally consumed my thoughts for the week and was all I could talk about when I got home (to the point where my friends were getting annoyed/making fun of me). He turned out to be married to another dancer but seeing as I was only 11, I didn't care at all. I often look back on that whole infatuation as the beginning of a "problem" that I'm still dealing with now in my 20's. It sounds innocent enough for an 11-year-old but I was obsessed and whatever I felt for him seems to have not left me. The energy just transfers around and that's pretty much how I ended up on this thread. 

A few years after that first incident, when I was 15 and on a different vacation, another dancer caught my eye. I ended up meeting him briefly and getting a photo with him. That was all relatively harmless. But the the following year we returned to the same resort and he was still working there. This time the feelings were more intense. I was totally smitten, and I guess at 16 I thought maybe I had more of a chance with him. My mother actually forced us to meet each other again and he ended up talking a lot to my parents (I was too shy!). The following year I insisted we go back to that same resort because I was hoping to see him again. We did indeed decide to go back but this time he wasn't working there anymore. My mom found out from talking to another employee that he had been laid off but his PREGNANT girlfriend still worked there. I didn't even know he had a girlfriend. Why is pregnancy a theme with my CO's?! It broke my heart. It was my first experience having my heart really broken over an unhealthy obsession. 

I ended up friending that dancer on Facebook and we follow each other on Instagram. He's still with his GF and I see photos of the child every once in awhile. The only thing that made me get over him was switching my attention over to other men. And now, as you probably know, I'm in a similar situation with a celebrity. Only this time around it's unbearably heart-wrenching. I wish I had better advice for you. My issue is a running theme in my life that I'm trying to understand the roots of. If this is a one-time thing for you and you're not constantly obsessing over men like I am, I would say avoidance may be helpful. But then again, I know you probably want to still be able to go to your local theatre. 

I'm not a therapist, but it sounds to me based on what you said about how "being seen" is more addictive than seeing him that this might be a reflection of a deeper issue. Maybe your desire for excitement, to be noticed, maybe even some desire for adventure has all found an outlet in this obsession. Perhaps reality is bogging you down, so your brain is "correcting the problem" by giving you a fantasy. I know there's some of this going on with me. My real life kind of sucks (in my opinion) so it's easier for me to pretend I'm someone else living another life (maladaptive daydreaming). Part of my problem is I'm compensating for lack of real life experiences and unfulfilled desires. For various reasons I'm unable to feel satisfied or content with my real life so I create alternative lives. It's quite creative, I guess, if you want to throw a positive spin on it!

Best of luck to you and you certainly are not alone. 

Edited by posie_riot
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Hello everyone,

I'm new to this forum and like quite a few posters here, I signed up because I found this thread purely by searching "intense celebrity crush". I'm a guy in my mid-twenties and I've been prone to intense celebrity crushes since I was 12. For some reason I always seem to fall that little bit harder than "oh she's really pretty" and I feel it a little more emotionally.

I've suffered quite a lot with anxiety and depression in my life, and I've generally struggled to maintain proper relationships in real life; either they fall apart, or I fall for someone that's attached to someone else.

I've had quite a few of these "intense celebrity crushes" over the years, mainly actresses and musicians; I often think about what it would be like to be with them for real; kissing, cuddling, going out for lovely meals, long walks, chilling and the mundane stuff too, but also the emotional impact of that; having someone I can pour everything out too without having to actually pour everything out, I guess, as it's all psychological rather than spilling it out in person. I always seem to retain a little fondness for these crushes even when the peak has passed.

There are a couple of actresses I fell for hard a few years ago; I just really liked their performances in the films/shows they were in, I fell for their looks and they both came across really well in all their interviews and articles, with a real grounded personality and I could kind of identify with them. I still crush on them, enjoy their work and root for them, though it's more with a fondness than with an intensity that it would have been a few years ago.

However, over the past couple of years, I've had this crush on someone who appears on television frequently and in the past few months it's become more intense; she's one of the most well-known people in what she does in the world, and is super talented. Not to mention, she's absolutely stunning and seems like a really fun and good person to be around. She's someone that pulled herself out of a rut and has overcome serious obstacles to get to where she is today; I'm not gonna lie, I look up to her as she's an inspiring person. (I don't know how many guys look up to girls or vice versa, but I'd love to read her autobiography someday, as she's got a really interesting story). I think about her a lot; daydreaming at work or at home, or even actually dreaming about her when I'm asleep; and every time I dream about her she's super encouraging and comforting to me, and telling me what I need to be doing to pull myself out of my depression, which I really want to achieve and make myself a better person. (Likewise, in these dreams, I tell her how I feel too about myself and about her and am completely open and honest, which I can't be with anyone in my life). I feel so scared to confront my problems and issues head-on though (my coping mechanisms suck, I eat bad food when I'm sad and I drink more). I mean, she's overcome what life has thrown at her, so she's obviously the voice of reason in these dreams. (If I'm struggling, I'll take myself away from everything, look at her pictures and gifs and think of what she might do to overcome it to try and make me feel better). When I saw her achieve her one of her dreams, I felt really emotional (in a good way) and it made me feel really happy.

She just brings out these emotions of giddiness and overwhelming joy when I see her; she's a real bright spark who seems to command the respect of her peers and fans alike. When I've seen her cry it makes me feel sad too (she's brought me to tears a little when she cries) and I just want to comfort her when I see her like that; like when she sees me in my dreams. I know she has a long-term boyfriend who she obviously is happy with, and she lives a long way away so I know deep down nothing will ever happen on that front (although she's from somewhere where I have ties to, so I feel that little connection also), and I know that, and I know we will never ever meet, but I'm trying to use this crush in a positive light. I don't really check social media that much but I do see her pop up on Twitter and Instagram, I know she's really popular and people really like her, so I'm sure I'm not the only one that feels the same way about her.

I like the fact that she's around and that she's really inspiring, and really great at what she does, but I feel a pang of sadness that those dreams will never be a reality (and I've accepted that). I just feel super smitten and something really clicked when I saw her and want to use this as a positive thing and keep her as a good inspiration, but at the same time I worry about falling into the traps from crushes past and depressing myself. Sorry for the long post, if you've read all this, then thank you. I'm not very good at expressing my emotions and opening up scares me.

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@posie_riot You are so spot on with a lot of things, it's scary. Sounds like we are in similar positions. The one thing that is so confusing to me is that I wouldn't usually describe myself as the needy type (as in needing attention). He has completely thrown me off course, and by actually approaching him (and finding out that he's the nicest person ever plus really appreciative of the attention himself) it feels like I kind of sealed the deal.

What I can absolutely relate to is the feeling of having a boring life. I've had the same job for close to ten years, I've been in the (though happy) same relationship for thirteen years - maybe I feel like I've reached a dead end of sorts. I catch myself imagining HIS life as really exciting and fun (although it's probably just another version of  everyday-life to him) and wanting to be part of it. It's crazy. The only thing keeping me from actually crossing the crazy-line (e.g. by waiting for him after each and every performance to talk to him) is that I always try to see myself through his eyes. The last thing I'd want is for him to look at me as the stalker chick. So I'll try to use the summer for an (involuntary!) cold turkey and see how I'll deal with things then.

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Well, it's taken me a while but I've finally made it through all the posts and wow, so many similar stories to my own.

I didn't do much of an intro before, so here's the full one. I've had intense, mostly celebrity, crushes since I was a teenager, like most teenage girls but unlike my friends, I always seemed to crush that little bit harder and a bit more intense than everyone else. I thought it would ease as I got older and for a while it did but has come back in the last decade or so. It started up again when I reconnected with an old friend from my school days who I had fancied like crazy but thought he didn't even notice me. So when he admitted that he'd felt the same way as a teenager, I went into this place in my head where I imagined what it would have been like if we'd just been brave enough as teenagers and how it would have worked out. It was usually somewhere in my head I went to in those moments before sleep and I wrote it off as a mechanism to help me sleep.

But then I discovered my CO. I won't say who he is for the reasons others have stated - don't want it found, feel rather protective, etc. It started out as just admiring him and finding him attractive but over the months it became a lot more. I have built this whole other life in my head where we are essentially in the perfect relationship. What started as these dreams/daydreams/fantasies have developed into following him on all social media, as a family we watch the TV show he's in (so giving up and going cold turkey on him would be near impossible as my kids love his show). The first few weeks of it I felt terrible the whole time, that I was somehow a bad person for having this fantasy life when I am happily married with kids - and I am happily married. If you asked my husband he would say we had a great marriage and we do, I guess I just feel a bit 'Is this it?'. I wanted to get married, have kids but the reality is not as thrilling or fulfilling as I thought it would be - it's repetitive, hard and dare I say it at times boring. My CO fantasy is this wonderful life where he is attentive and romantic and funny and charming all the time which of course is way unrealistic, no-one can be like that all the time.

I think on the whole, I'm OK with having a CO right now - but then it's easy right now because he's single so no jealousy on my part (although what right do I have to be jealous, being married and all). It's not stopping me enjoying my actual life, the only problem I have is the guilt I feel for having this fantasy life as if my husband is not good enough for me. 

I've read some of the links others posted about limerance and maladaptive daydreaming, both of which sound like they fit me perfectly. Addictive personality also sounds about right - my dad is an alcoholic so there's certainly a genetic predisposition towards addiction. It is definitely not celebrity worship because my fantasy life is set around before he became famous, I don't seem to get as far as living the life of a celebrity's partner, and when I see pics of him from before he became famous, he is someone I would definitely find attractive if I met them socially.

Thanks for reading

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On 7/3/2016 at 6:30 AM, posie_riot said:

I just did a bit of reading on limerence and I plan to do some more. I have to say, I don't think it really ever occurred to me  that this sort of thing doesn't happen to everyone. Maybe some of you can relate, but any time I've ever been "in love", it's always been obsessive and always with unattainable men. This must be a big reason why I can't seem to develop meaningful feelings for available men in my real life. I have a hard time imagining myself in a comfortable relationship where the feelings are mutual and relatively ordinary. I think I have very high expectations at this point for how I'm supposed to feel in a relationship. Anything less than what I feel for my CO seems disappointing. I only know how to experience obsessive love. I worry that if I ever found a good man in real life I'd have trouble committing to him for fear that an "incredible" guy like my CO might be out there waiting for me. God forbid I should waste my time on anyone who doesn't have the ability to destroy my life! How can I learn to "settle" for someone who doesn't make my heart race and drive me crazy? Ugh, I guess I've got to blame movies and love songs for this...right? 

I can completely relate to this - it's why it took me a long time to realise I did love my husband because it wasn't like this, he makes me feel good about myself rather than hurt and obsessed. I can't tell you how I learned to accept that it didn't have to be like that to be love because I'm not sure I have. I still worry that I've 'settled' for a safe person rather than someone who makes my world like the lyrics of a love song or a romcom movie.

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I want to ask you all something and I would ask that you please keep this in mind: I'm not having a sad moment or a sad day and I know you all aren't licensed therapists but please answer me one question.

Do you guys think I'm crazy? What if the reason I feel so restless is because I was supposed to do something about this and because I didn't I have to live with what could have been of course without knowing him first-hand but still nonetheless.

I guess what I'm asking can't really be answered by anyone other than myself. I realize now that maybe something could have been there for me to have felt so drawn to him from the very beginning but what I chose to do about it was still my choice all along. I'm not blaming myself or anyone because as much as I may have felt a certain way about him it doesn't mean it would have worked out that way but I knew that all growing up but even though I knew that I was willing to take a chance to see if anything could have happened.

I am truly happy and am moving on but I still get these pangs where I feel like because I always loved music and the entertainment pop culture and felt more at home with that than where I am maybe it was a sign of things to come: if I was to take a chance.

I'm also not just referring to him I'm referring to the fact that I've wanted to be an entertainer since I was a little girl. I've been inspired and learned through so many wonderful people along the way but at the same time I've also learned through many different examples that fame isn't always worth it nor is the grass any greener in the rich & famous world.

I go back and forth between all of this because I feel like I have no purpose anymore. I feel most days like I'm thankful to be here and be whole but why am I here? As much as I know you all will tell me to settle down and marry a nice Christian guy - I wanted someone who had more in common with me than Jesus and I knew that no one would understand me here and they would hold me back from my life out there.

I don't want my life to be working 10-12 hrs a day, coming home, taking care of everything, watching tv, going to bed. I want something more than that. I'm 30 years old and halfway dead so I want a more   life. Maybe I'm better  off staying single. I don't mean to upset  anyone. I just feel like that this makes no sense  in the real world and feel like an *****.

Edited by urivgirl86
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@pingu Welcome to the thread. It sounds like you're engaging in maladaptive daydreaming...I've done this since I'm about 10 or 11, and it's been a coping mechanism for me too with my CO as part of these daydreams. Don't be put off by the description as "maladaptive." It sounds so negative, but MD has been a huge positive in my life, I refuse to think of it in any negative way. Google "maladaptive daydreaming," and see if that sounds like what you do.

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@urivgirl86 No, I don't think you're crazy. But you're going to make yourself a little crazy with these thoughts you're having (and I can say that to you as some who did the very same thing just a few months ago.) 

You're right. You're the only one who can really answer the questions you asked. But remember what I told you last week? You're still young enough to do anything you want to do. If you're worried you're going to be consumed with regrets if you don't follow your lifelong dream, then don't give up on it until you try! It's that simple. But only you can make that decision. (If I were you, feeling as you do, I would go for it...all of it. That's my two cents.)

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4 hours ago, perfectcircle77 said:

I can completely relate to this - it's why it took me a long time to realise I did love my husband because it wasn't like this, he makes me feel good about myself rather than hurt and obsessed. I can't tell you how I learned to accept that it didn't have to be like that to be love because I'm not sure I have. I still worry that I've 'settled' for a safe person rather than someone who makes my world like the lyrics of a love song or a romcom movie.

That line could bring me to tears right now. That is all. 

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@urivgirl86 If you were crazy you wouldn't be asking "Am I crazy?" You have too much self-awareness to be crazy. 

I can completely relate to the feelings of "what if?" It's why I fear I'll never be able to settle for a normal life. I guess I have more in common with everyone on this board than I even thought because I too always dreamed of becoming an entertainer (I consider music to be my passion). For various reasons (mostly my social anxiety and my acceptance of how much luck is involved in terms of who actually makes it in the industry), I've pretty much given up on this dream and it does haunt me sometimes. I too relate to the feeling that I have no purpose. I always wonder why I'm here. I don't know what's more terrifying to me - settling for a mediocre job, boring husband, and boring life OR refusing to settle for that and ending up with nothing. You said: "Maybe I'm better off staying single" - I wonder that about myself often. Maybe I'm just destined to continue living inside my head. The "real world" is a crappy place. The real world doesn't make sense. It's full of injustice, pain, suffering, stupid people being rewarded, good people being punished. Look at how many untalented pop stars there are signed to major record labels, living in luxury. Even the ones who work hard often have to sell themselves out or behave like jerks to get where they are. Don't worry about anything you think/do not making sense in the real world. That's probably a good sign. 

Edited by posie_riot
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8 hours ago, Audrey822 said:

@pingu Welcome to the thread. It sounds like you're engaging in maladaptive daydreaming...I've done this since I'm about 10 or 11, and it's been a coping mechanism for me too with my CO as part of these daydreams. Don't be put off by the description as "maladaptive." It sounds so negative, but MD has been a huge positive in my life, I refuse to think of it in any negative way. Google "maladaptive daydreaming," and see if that sounds like what you do.

Thank you very much. I've had a read through about maladaptive daydreaming and a lot of it does indeed appear to ring true for me. It all makes a lot of sense.

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@ncc welcome to my life. I just can't wait to be gone from this earth cuz apparently that's the only way to get that slut out of my sight. I took a trip to Florida this weekend and couldn't even go to the grocery store without her bulls*** news and her smiling ***** face on one of those magazines. I am never watching television again. I hate celebrities and if any celebrities are here snooping around for an ego boost, I hope you all ******* choke.

I lost my hope for ever being noticed by her, lost my entire fantasy too, know everything I never wanted to know. I ****ing get it. It already hurts just let me live my pathetic life and STOP SHOWING ME. GET THE **** AWAY FROM ME. I hate you Mila and everyone you associate with and I fantasize about your pathetic excuse for a husbands death every day. I hope somebody buries his body in the $5 cut out bin in the back of WalMart with the rest of his career. If I have to wear headphones everywhere I go and live in a hole forever to escape you, id rather do that than see you ever again! GET...THE ****...AWAY FROM ME. I used to love your smile but now seeing you happy makes me sick. **** you forever. Just keep pouring the salt in my wounds wh*re. **** YOU.

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Hello everyone! Firstly, a belated thanks to everyone here who wished me good luck for Monday. I know I said I'd post here on Monday evening or Tuesday, but I've been too depressed to do so until today. As you've all probably gathered by now, things didn't go as I hoped. Actually, just about the worst thing that could happen did... I am so heartbroken for my CO.

@decado I've cheered up a bit reading about the wonderful time you had seeing your CO. Him looking into your eyes and singing to you... wow... what an incredible moment! You'll treasure that forever!

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Hi @OpalP25 I'm so sorry your suffering at the moment. I'm sending you lots of love and virtual hugs. :hugs:

Thank you for your kind words. I'm here if you want to talk. I'm always happy to listen and help where I can. 

Lots of love Hun xx 

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