#MentalHealth: To get back together with ex or not? Dr Anjali Chhabria helps find a solution

Last month I received a call from my ex. We were in a year-long relationship post which he said the relationship was smothering him and he needed an out. I didn’t argue much as he was very clear in what he wanted. I have moved on with great difficulty, and his call last month has baffled me. He wants to get back, and is trying to reach me through my friends now. I don’t want a reconciliation, but I am unable to be assertive. Please help.

The predicament here seems to be about whether or not to give your ex another chance than sticking to your resolution of having moved on. Him reaching out after all these months has sparked some interest in you as he was the one who called it off. The way he treated the relationship has probably been etched in your memory, which might make it difficult to let him get back into your life. If you do not wish to get back with him, avoiding the conversation may only send mixed signs; communicating it directly could help reach a conclusion.

In the recent times I have been thinking a lot about mortality and life’s meaning. My friend’s mother died by suicide few days ago. I have been with my friend ever since holding the fort at his house as he is yet to recover from the shock. As an observer, I felt a lot going on in my own head as I started to think about my own life choices and its impact. Am I overthinking?

Dealing with death so closely could lead to such thoughts. It often takes such drastic instances to introspect and wonder about life choices and their impacts. First, it is natural to think and feel the way you are at the moment. Let it sink in and at the same time keep a tab on the feelings and thoughts during this period. Next, seek professional help and discuss things that have come up during this introspection so that they can be channelised effectively and do not make you feel like you have opened Pandora’s box. It is important to take into account how you act upon certain realisations.

We recently adopted a cat after deliberating on it for a while. However, I feel we took the decision in haste, and we are not ready to take care of the new member. I am thinking of giving it up for adoption, but my family thinks I am doing this to shake off the responsibility. Now, I can’t get rid of that thought. How do I determine the difference?

The idea of taking responsibility stems from the core personality traits. This trait of being responsible will thus be seen across various life situations. In your case your parents could be highlighting towards a bigger picture with the help of the cat’s instance. Thus, speak to them about what made them express their concerns towards your ability to be responsible. Once you understand their context, you can also reflect on your tendencies to either accept and fulfil responsibilities or to shy away from them. The basic difference here is that you will show this behaviour of shirking responsibilities in most life situations that could be remotely tough for you. Look into this matter as well that giving up the cat for adoption is purely coming from a space of you feeling unprepared.

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