hello all, this is my first post. sorry to dive in at the deep end like this but I've been reading the forum archives and I would appreciate other people's opinions on my situation.

To cut a long story short, there's a girl I really like who I think may be interested in me but I clam up and feel really bad when I'm around her. This might seem like a question for an agony aunt but the reason I'm posting here is because I suffered from severe depression a few years ago and much of it was centered around relationship issues - it was meditation that helped bring me out of it and my practice has been helpful in all areas of my life ever since.

This time however, I seem unable to distance myself from my emotions. Whenever she's around (we work together) I lose all focus and feel entirely overwhelmed. I get this horrible sinking feeling in the middle of my chest and literally feel crippled. This isn't a crush, or love at first sight, or any other positive feeling/state. It's a *very* unpleasant feeling. Like the pain of unrequited love or breaking up with someone you love. That in itself strikes me as odd - I barely know this girl so any attraction is mostly physical - why such strong feelings for someone I hardly know?

when I'm sitting, the same thoughts & feelings come up and generally I'm able to take a step back and let them be. I'd give anything to have that kind of control in a "live" situation when she's around but I feel completely overwhelmed. Afterwards I beat myself up: I avoid the one person I'd really like to get to know. It doesn't make sense.

I'd really appreciate any advice or insight tat anyone can offer