Moving Beyond Loneliness and Despair: Death is not Real

Dear Liz,

Recently, I am struggling with the fact that I don’t feel as though I belong, not only among my peers, but in all aspects of my life. Along with this, I am afraid that I am battling severe depression, but I don’t know where in myself I can find the courage to get help. I have a hard time getting out of bed every morning, because I know that when I do, I am just going to be dealing with the same demons that create my life and make it hard for me to go to class, or to go home, or to work. I have no idea how to find what I need to feel better, because no matter what I do I am so unhappy. I want to go home and want to take a leave of absence from school, but I don’t want to be with my abusive mother and I don’t want to fall behind in school because I only have the next year to finish.  I use that goal to get myself through because for some reason when I think about finishing school, I think that all of these problems and feelings will go away. But at the end of the day, I’m up all night dreading all of these things. What do I do to make it through this?  Continue reading

A College Student Wonders Why His Suite-Mate Is Such a Jerk

A student came into my office to talk about life with a particular suite-mate in his dorm, someone he was not getting along with at all.  His question:  what makes someone an a–hole?  I told him I’d need a few details, a few examples, of this person’s “a–hole” like behavior, and he offered this for starters:  “I have a friend, a young woman, who is very overweight, and anytime she comes around, he makes whale noises, refers to her as a whale, etc.”  I stopped him right there, and suggested that “a–hole” was far too gracious a description—there are a–holes (they grab your parking space when you’ve been patiently waiting with your blinker on, they act rude to servers at dining establishments, they gossip behind your back…) and then there are cruel and abusive individuals who have deep and profound emotional/psychological challenges.  Continue reading