Hi, I'm new to this sort of thing but as someone who's not very good at opening up about things, I thought I'd give it a try. Basically I've been strugg;ing with feelings of worthlessness and low self-esteem for just over a year. I graduated from University in 2013 with an amazing girlfriend and felt like things would only get better.
Prior to going to University I had always been a very quiet and reclusive person, I form very tight relationships with people I'm close to, but I don't have very many friends at all. I've been obsessed with my body image since around the age of 15. I never had the self-esteem to feel comfortable speaking in front of other people, and consequently really struggled to enjoy my time at school. Exercise became my crutch because I was always of a fairly athletic build, and I felt that enhancing that part of me would help me to form new relationships.
Although it has never been medically confirmed, I have displayed the traits of an eating disorder for the past 10 years. My recent relationship had to become long-distance after graduating, which put considerable strain on my mental state. My girlfriend always treat me amazingly well, but this has lead to what I believe is an inferiority complex. I was only able to find a low paid part-time job after uni, and felt ashamed that I was unable to pay my way in the relationship. I'd also have to work some weekends, meaning we would sometimes have to go 2-3 weeks without seeing each other. Because of the circumstances and my low self-esteem, I ended the relationship in late 2013, telling my girlfriend that she'd be better off without me. Around the same time I became even more obsessed with exercise, adopting the lifestyle of a competitive bodybuilder though I had no intention of competing.
Months passed and I managed to get a new full-time job. Fortuitously around the same time my girlfriend and I had been back in contact. I now had my weekends free, and enough money coming in to sustain the long distance relationship, so we got back together. However, my feelings of inferioty remained because I was regretful of how I'd ended the relationship in the first place. So I continued to maintain the same obsessive exercise and eating habits, now using my better income to spend large amounts of money on gym equipment, supplements, and food.
This caused considerable strain on the relationship, and although my girlfriend identified what I was doing and told me that I needed to change, I continued to the point where I became neglectful in the relationship, and wasted so much money that I'd be unable to afford my train fare to visit her at the weekends. I was always a very caring and attentive partner for the first year of our relationship, and the change in my behaviour was radical. Despite sticking with me and showing nothing but love and affection for me, my focus on my body only intensified, and I now began to feel like my girlfriend was trying to stand in the way of what made me happy. My drive was now on bodybuilding competitively, in my mind having to travel to see my girlfriend in a place where I couldn't train, and didn't have my supplements and food annoyed me, and I became resentful of our relationship. Bodybuilding by definition is a very self-obsessed discipline, and for someone like me with inherenty reclusive traits this caused me to shut down completely to the outside world.
Because of my behaviour, things in our relationship hadn't been right for months, the only time I'd been able to stop obsessing over diet and exercise was during a brief holiday together, and it felt like a massive relief. Post-holiday normal service resumed and intensified, to the point where there was very little intimacy in the relationshop, and I rejected physical contact. It was late December last year that I again ended the realtionship, knowing full well that I was so lucky to be with someone so special, but feeling like a mental case that doesn't deserve happiness.
A few months on and I'm at the lowest point I've ever felt in my life, my exercise regime and dietary habits are at the most extreme they've ever been. I gain very little to no satisfaction from anything that I do anymore. I don't socialise at all, and have never been able to open up to family about my emotional or mental state. At work I am in a position where I am alone in a seperate building away from the main office, and can go the full 9 hours most days without almost any interraction. I frequently cry and fall asleep, and have very poor productivity. I'm not the sort of person who displays emotion subconsciously, and so I've been able to have small periods of interraction with other staff without seeming abnormal. I miss my girlfriend so much because I feel as if she's the only person that ever really understood me, but I can't erase the feeling that I'm not good enough for her, and it really stops me from trying to resolve things. My theory is that I'm experiencing depression, but I'm so scared to admit to anyone that I'm feeling this way. I was such a positive person before, but now I just feel like I have no redeeming qualities or anything to look forward to. Any advice would be gratefully received as I don't know where else to turn.