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Forums / Young people / painful nostalgia feeling?

Topic: painful nostalgia feeling?

4 posts, 0 answered
  1. benevolentbutterfly
    benevolentbutterfly avatar
    1 posts
    12 May 2019

    i feel as if whenever i get nostalgic about something, i end up feeling quite anxious and upset? one example of this is last year i got invited (out of courtesy) to a former best friend's birthday party. the two of us were best friends for a few years but drifted due to now going to separate schools and not seeing each other all the time. her friends from her school made her a video from all of them wishing her a happy birthday and she seemed to be having a really good time but the only time we spoke to each other was when i got there and we said hello to each other. i then proceeded to beg my dad for us to leave earlier (the party finished at 11; it was only about 9-9:30) and then cried almost all the way home in the back of an uber. it physically hurt that we had drifted so much that we did not talk to each other at all, when at one point in our lives we were so close that we did almost everything together

    flash forward to today; we were at my grandparents for mother's day and across the road from my grandparents lived family friends we have known literally since i was born. out of their family of four, three of them were now living in qld and the dad had sold the house and was moving out today to go live with the rest of the family. he invited us in one last time and immediately i was hit again with that overwhelming feeling of nostalgia and was fighting back tears the entire time i was inside

    i feel like every friend that i drift apart from, they manage to move on just fine, but for me, everytime i have a conversation with them or go through old text messages i feel like i'm dying inside. does anyone else feel this or is it just me? i don't have any explanation for what i am feeling and i thought maybe someone else might have an answer

    1 person found this helpful
  2. PamelaR
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    PamelaR avatar
    2740 posts
    13 May 2019 in reply to benevolentbutterfly

    Hi Benevolentbutterfly and welcome to our community

    Thank you for sharing your story. It isn't easy is it? Nostalgia is interesting and there is much written about it. What you are experiencing is normal. There are many of us who have the same experiences.

    The reason why we experience it may differ though. It could be from good memories or bad memories from the past, or it could be from the present and what's happening now and therefore we miss (feel nostalgic) for the past.

    For me it's okay to feel nostaglic about things. It means I have had some very good connections in my life - some real positives. Nostalgia becomes a problem for me when it turns to anxiety and depression. These are things I work on - like visit my doctor and get a referral to a health professional.

    Do you see anyone about how you feel? For example your gp or health professional?

    Talking helps a lot too. Is there a close trusted friend or family member you can talk to?

    You're not alone benevolentbutterfly. Keep reaching out if and when you want to.

    Kind regards


    1 person found this helpful
  3. Max K
    Max K avatar
    1 posts
    18 October 2020 in reply to benevolentbutterfly
    i feel exactly like this right now
  4. therising
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    therising avatar
    2300 posts
    18 October 2020 in reply to benevolentbutterfly

    Hi benevolentbutterfly

    You sound like a very emotionally sensitive person. To possess such a sense can feel like both a gift and a curse, depending on the situation.

    Emotions are definitely unique things. We typically perceive them as being more mental than anything else. If you can recall various times in your life, where emotions came in to play, you may actually recall the physical side of things. Seeing emotions as physical puts a whole different spin on things. Some of the following sayings may sound familiar:

    • When someone is feeling 'sadness' they may experience the sensation of 'being choked up'. They may physically sense pressure in their throat
    • When someone is feeling a rise to 'joy', they may experience the sensation of feeling suddenly elevated
    • If we think of a particular person, event or set of circumstances as something we 'love', there can be the feeling of 'lightheartedness' around the chest area. Our posture may change along with our breathing. At the other end of the spectrum, to feel 'heavyhearted' or 'heartbroken' for some reason, may leave us with a heavy or a strange dense sensation in our chest
    • I'll throw one more in, which is a rather interesting one. You know when someone says 'I'm sick of that person', let's rephrase that to 'I'm sick because of that person', because of their behaviour. In serious cases, this may in fact be true. If someone causes you stress on a regular basis, to the point where your muscles tense up, your heart starts racing, your blood pressure rises and you can feel your stomach churning, this could be labelled as 'the body being in a state of dis-ease (unease)'. If the dis-ease is chronic long term, there may be a point where that person (who leads you to anxiety on a regular basis), is leading you to chronic long term disease, if nothing changes

    'Physical emotion' is an interesting topic. Being sensitive to physical emotion in a conscious way (observing it) can actually put us in the driver's seat at times. For example, you could change 'I'm feeling numb' to 'Why am I not feeling any emotion in my body?'. Could be a number of reasons like a lack of energy, gained through various forms of energy restoration, pure mental and physical exhaustion or could be because nothing exciting enough is happening, to energise you. There may be more complex reasons but these 3 remain typical reasons for not feeling emotion (energy in motion).

    I'm wondering how nostalgia feels throughout your body when you experience it.


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