Things To Remember
- Don’t be angry at yourself when anxiety/depression flares up. It isn’t your fault and no one blames you and if they do they’re pieces of shit.
- Don’t orbit around your perceived value so much. You’re not the sum total of what you produce.
- Don’t let yourself wonder why people love you. That’s not how it works. There are not stark, individual reasons that a person can enumerate about why they love you. It’s the entire, unique combination of what and who you are.
Q:Hello, I'm currently in my first relationship with a guy. But, I feel like I may really really like my girl best friend.. She has been there through a lot & helped me with a lot of stuff. But I know she is straight. & I'm not quite sure what I am though. I don't want our friendship to change & I don't want her to act all funny around me because of anything. What should I do..?
It’s really up to you what you do: often people find that after telling the other person about their feelings, knowing that it isn’t going to work out, that it is much easier to let go and move on. However, some people simply do not see that as an option, or do not feel comfortable discussing it, and for those people, trying to tell the other person may just cause unwarranted stress. For people who aren’t comfortable talking about it, it may be easier to sort their feelings out privately and deal with them that way. In such a case, I’d recommend writing things out somewhere just so that you can get your thoughts out.
Next, I’m in no way saying that you aren’t genuinely feeling anything for your friend. It is very much a possibility that you are. However, a lot of people genuinely do have trouble differentiating between romantic feelings and very strong platonic feelings, partially because there is no real solid definition of those. So, again, not saying that you don’t have feelings for your friend, but it’s very common to be confused about what you’re feeling about someone close to you, and it’s worth just examining them a bit closer to see what you think.
Try not to worry too much about figuring out what exactly you are. Labels can be a huge comfort for some people, so it’s totally understandable if you want to find one that fits you. However, try to remember that you don’t need one, and it’s okay to be questioning—sexuality is often fluid or evolving, and it can take a while to figure your feelings out.
Regardless of whether you want to tell your friend that you might have a crush on her or not, you may want to discuss the fact that you’re questioning with her. She’s helped you before, and having someone to talk through it with may help you sort things out. Alternatively, look into forums or chatrooms related to sexuality: they’re filled with people who have had similar experiences and may be able to offer you more suggestions.
One forum that I liked to lurk on a few years back was the LGBTQ subforum of PostSecret—even if you decide not to post anything, sometimes you can find threads about similar problems and maybe find some useful insights.
Friend-crushes can really, really suck, especially when other relationships and incompatible sexualities are involved. I hope you get everything sorted out soon. Good luck,
Q:I want to get help about my depression and anxiety but I don't want my parents knowing because they don't understand and just think I can snap out of it and tell me I've made myself feel like this, and them knowing will only make me feel worse. Do you have any advice on this situation?
I’m sorry you’re in this situation. It’s really tough to ask for help, especially if your parents aren’t understanding. Know that you can’t just “snap out of it” (*Arctic Monkeys starts playing in the distance*) and it’s not your fault at all.
Though this is a difficult situation, you do have a few options.
First, you could seek help in ways that don’t involve your parents knowing. This could include talking to a school counselor (which I highly recommend), using coping techniques, and using natural antidepressants.
However, I think the better option would be taking the risk and telling your parents so you can get professional help. Telling parents, especially parents who don’t understand, can be really difficult. Here are a few ways to maximize effectiveness of telling your parents:
- Describe how you’ve been feeling. Do this to whatever extent you feel comfortable, but the more you explain, the more likely they are to understand. Then,
- Describe why you think you have a mental disorder/need help. You can show them the symptoms and describe how you feel they apply to you.
- Describe how you’ve been coping. Or rather, how you need help coping.
- Assure them that you want to get better.
- Thank them for all that they do for you.
- This is the most important one. Describe what you want them to do. This can include, but is not limited to: getting you a therapist, getting you a psychiatrist/putting you on medication, being supportive and validating, etc.
I know you feel like them knowing will make you feel worse, but it’s the best course of action if you want professional help. However, if you really don’t want them knowing, there’s always option one!
Good luck, anon.
Q:I have a friend who just got out of the hospital after being held there for a week. My plan is essentially to treat her normally (I've already let her know I missed her), but I'm worried I might accidentally say something that will trigger her or something. Any advice?
Your plan to treat your friend normally is a good one, and is probably going to make her feel a lot more comfortable transitioning back into everyday life. And it’s also great that you don’t want to trigger or upset her; everyone could use a good friend like you!
There’s actually a super simple solution to your dilemma: talking about it. I figure you already know this, but knowing just what to say can be a little tricky. I think the best way to talk about something like this is to be straightforward. First, make sure you’re in a quiet space away from prying ears and eyes. You could start by restating how glad you are to see her back, or delve right into it. Let her know of your plans to treat her normally, then ask if there’s anything you should do/not do in order to make her feel more comfortable or avoid triggering her. Lastly, extend an invitation for your friend to talk to you if she ever needs to.
It should sound something like this: “Hey (friend), I know I’ve said this before but I’m glad to have you back! I want to treat you normally now that you’re here, but I don’t want to accidentally say something that could trigger or upset you. Is there anything you’d prefer I not do or say so we can achieve that? And I hope you know that you can always come and talk to me about anything if you ever need it.”
That’s it! Communication is essential in every friendship, and your friend is very lucky to have someone who is wiling to communicate with them.
Q:I've been clean from self harm for a while now, but at the moment only my cousin knows that I used to self harm and found out by accident. I want to tell my other close friends because hiding scars all the time is frustrating, but I don't know how.
We actually have a special page dedicated to this!!
If you do decide to tell your friends in person, you should make sure you go to a place where you’re comfortable, like your room or a friend’s room not a crowded cafeteria or something like that. If it’s just the two of you (or the group of you), it’s probably going to be easier to let them know.
The important thing is to go in with some idea of what you’re going to say and make sure you’re comfortable with the situation.