What to do when missing someone keeps you from being able to work.

Smile asks: You may remember my question about my guy best friend. We became closer than ever after your amazing advice, but he has to leave for higher studies now, and I have one more year to complete in my current school (he was my senior). We will not be able to contact with each other for a long time because he is going to hostel (where phones are not allowed). We both completely understand that leaving for studies is important for his future, but both of us felt frustrated and sad after we said our final farewell. I hate goodbyes, and I feel like I will hate school more than ever now because he was my only true friend. It has now reached a point where I can’t concentrate on anything else except my sadness and the thought of him going. I also know that he feels the same, but there seems nothing we could do about it . I miss him so much. Please help me deal with it.

Hi Smile –


What a sad story!  I wish I knew more – like how long he’ll be there, and if he can use a phone sometimes (maybe on weekends?).  I can’t imagine he’s being cut off from all contact, unless he’s joining a monastery or on some other spiritual path where he needs to do that.


But in the meantime, you’re stuck with this problem on a daily basis.


Now sadly, there’s nothing I can recommend to make you stop missing him.  And I imagine you wouldn’t want  to stop missing him.  You love him and everything’s good between you; why would you want him not to matter?


What we need is for you to find something else to focus on in the meantime.  Yes, you have schoolwork, but of course your brain is going to get distracted with that (there’s a reason they call it work; if it was always exciting it wouldn’t require such effort!).  So imagine he was still there, and you could talk to him every day – but you also had a few hours to spend on something besides him and your schoolwork.  What would you most like it to be?  Would you like to learn a new skill?  Play an instrument?  Get involved in a sport?  Maybe do a volunteer activity?  (Like work at an animal shelter taking care of scrumptious pups like me who need love and attention and extra treats?!!!)


But I want you to do something else too, right away.  I want you to do something creative.   Of course I have no idea what you’re good at, or what you love doing, but in some way, I want you to express how much you miss him.  Compose a song, paint a picture, write a story.  Whatever it is, I want you to put your whole heart and soul into it.  And create something so beautiful and heartbreaking that anyone who hears/sees/reads it will burst into tears as it makes them feel what you’re feeling.


There’s an amazing book and movie called Like Water for Chocolate, about a woman who’s an excellent cook.  When she (imagine how heartbreaking this would be!) has to cook the food for the wedding of the man she loves, she mixes up a cake while crying, and her tears, which fall into the batter, are so powerful that everyone who eats the cake at the wedding bursts into sobs, remembering their own lost loves.


Now you might not be quite as magically powerful as that woman (who, after all, was a fictional character!), but I want you to do whatever you can do to achieve that same goal.


Maybe you’ll need to do it a lot.  And if so, maybe that could also be the activity you choose long-term (let’s say you decide to learn to play the guitar, and as you do, you write songs at the level of your playing ability, all about your love for your boyfriend and how much you miss him).


If you can do this, I think you’ll find you’re able to concentrate on your schoolwork again.  Not because you’ve forgotten him, but because you’ll have a place to put all that love and pain.  And who knows, maybe you’ll create something so wonderful it’ll sell for lots of money – and you can use it to go visit him!


Wishing you all the very best,


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