I went to shadow people at their workplace, and I had a really good time. I really enjoyed who they were, and I enjoyed the whole experience of following them around and observing, but it was only for a week.

I got to know the people working there, and I loved touring the worksite and seeing and learning. I developed friendships with them, and started to love the way they work and operate, and I just love who they are.

Now I have to go back to normal life, and I’m having a hard time dealing with it.
I’m never going to see those people again, I’m never going to experience what I experienced again, and I can’t deal with it because I want to go back.

This has happened before on different occasions – where I get attached to a situation or experience and I can’t move on from it and let it go.

It was a completely great and amazing experience, but I can never experience it again or go back. For some reason, I can’t let it go and move on back to normal life.

I was crying, and when I think about it, it makes me feel bad and really sad. I can’t let it go. The thoughts and reminders of the place won’t leave me alone, and it just makes me sadder and unmotivated.

I feel like I experienced a major loss. I can’t move on and let go of this enjoyable experience, and It feels overwhelming and awful.

A. It is always important to see reality clearly. In this situation, you were granted the opportunity to shadow people in the workplace. It was a pleasant and fulfilling experience, but it was short-lived. The ending of this experience should not have prompted such a strong emotional response.

Your strong emotional response doesn’t match the reality of the situation. You only spent a week with these individuals. You barely knew them. They barely knew you. You and them were virtual strangers.

You seem to be misjudging the situation. Maybe you believe that your connection with these individuals was deeper than it really was. It simply can’t be that strong of a bond since you only knew these individuals for one week. One week is hardly enough time to establish a deep bond with anyone.

The proper response to this situation is to appreciate the time you had job shadowing. There should be nothing negative about this experience. It was all positive. You had a good time, you met new people and you learned a lot. Accept the situation for what it is (a great learning opportunity) and try not to turn it into something that it isn’t (a major life loss). It was a great learning experience. Nothing more, nothing less.

If you continue to struggle with attachment challenges, counseling could help you immensely. Therapy allows for the in-depth examination of how you respond to life events. A therapist can determine if your emotional reactions are appropriate and teach you how to adapt your responses accordingly. Regulating your emotions is an important life skill. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 May 2014

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2014). I’m Having Trouble Moving On and Letting Go of an Enjoyable Experience. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 21, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/05/06/im-having-trouble-moving-on-and-letting-go-of-an-enjoyable-experience/