“I don’t know what to do anymore…”

This question was submitted to Kids Help Phone by a young person and answered by one of our professional counsellors.

Question

So… It’s been a while since I’ve come to this site because I thought I was doing well… Turns out, I’m not. Around a year or a bit less has passed and I’ve started feeling down or maybe even overly tired again. I have a new boyfriend, our one month just passed and he treats me like a queen, but he’s the only one I have that makes me truly happy. My family acts happy and cheerful but around closed doors they’re miserable and they argue. I know lots of people who claim to be my friend but over half of them only talk to me when they need me or just don’t talk to me much at all. My best friend only talks to me about her boyfriend or when she feels upset, but when I’m upset no one is there for my except my boyfriend but he can’t be there for me all the time because he has a job and can’t be there all the time which is understandable because I know he isn’t my slave, it’s just… I’ve tried telling my friends that I do need them. And when I do reach out I find out later that people spoke about me behind my back about how I’m depressed and I have scars. It’s a bit off topic but I’ve been thinking about starving myself again… I did back in the seventh grade but now I’m in grade nine. I don’t feel, what I guess some people would call “pretty” I used to be bullied for a while about my weight. And now I’m always insecure about how I weigh. My boyfriend always tells me I’m beautiful and being extremely skinny like other girls is unhealthy and that I’m perfectly built, but I can’t help but think of doing it again to maybe even [edit: content] to feel pretty again. I’m stressed out about school, exams are in January and before the Christmas break no one would shut up about it, which caused me to have mental breakdowns in class, which made me get sent down to the guidance counselor a few times a week to help me but nothing works and I study a lot but I never feel like I’m going to pass. I just want to be the perfect student, daughter, friend, girlfriend, etc. But I don’t have the perfect grades, body, or anything,the only thing I’m capable of is breathing. I don’t know what to do anymore

Answer

I’m hearing how the stress and pain of everything has built up to the point that it’s feeling way too heavy…unbearable even. I’m so sorry to hear all that’s been weighing on you. I can’t tell you just how much I admire your courage for connecting with us at this time-this stuff is surely not easy to talk about. And yet you chose to reach out when things felt really overwhelming. I wonder what helped you do that today…. I want you to know I took in every word. My heart goes out to you. Big time. You are clearly dealing with a tonne of pain and isolation. So much so that the urge to restrict your food intake is feeling like an option again. Instead of acting on these urges, I wonder if you could ask yourself what this might be telling you about what you truly need right now. For example, would it be helpful to see this as a HUGE signal that more support is needed? These kinds of thoughts can grow in silence (have you noticed this?) So I wonder how you feel about continuing to reach out-perhaps a counsellor could help you to find new ways for coping until the urges feel more manageable. I’m not sure if you have heard of the National Eating Disorder Information Centre (www.nedic.ca) But I wanted to put it out there as the more supports you have, the better. This is a great place to connect with when dealing with (or even contemplating) disordered eating. Would this feel like an ok step to take-connecting with them or checking out the site-before acting on the urges? I imagine it’s really hard to see the positive qualities within you when (from what I can tell) you are often only hearing negative messages. L We tend to believe what we hear most often. But please know that how others treat you speaks to who they are, not who you are. I mean that wholeheartedly. You mentioned something that really stood out for me. You say that you thought you were doing well. I wonder what was helping when things felt a bit better. What was different then? (ie. Thoughts, actions, supports, activities, etc.) My hope is that exploring this will help you to see what might make a difference at this time. Can you think back to a time where you saw the great qualities you possess? Can I invite you to bring yourself back to this place-maybe even write yourself a letter from this person and tell yourself all the loving things you need to hear from *you* right now? Would this make a difference at all? It sounds like there are a lot of areas in your life that you are currently not happy with which can feel pretty defeating, huh? It can be overwhelming to look at everything at once and want it all to change. Can I invite you instead to consider what part you might start with? Setting a small, achievable goal can help build your confidence and help you gain momentum to keep going. Remember, the way you are feeling right now has built up over time. So it makes sense that it’s going to take time to get back to a place where you are feeling better again. But with every little thing you do to move in that direction can help you get there. With that in mind, what might be a small step you could take starting now? It could be something suggested in my response OR something entirely different that brings you comfort. But please remember, you matter…and being kind to you matters. I hope it has helped to talk this out here today Madydiva1. I’m sorry to hear that you are not feeling supported by your friends at this time- This does not mean, however that you are not worthy of support.Be really proud of yourself for recognizing that you deserve to have a support network. We are here for you, anytime, ok? Know that we are rooting for you! J And I hope we hear from you again (through chat or by phone) really really soon. Bye for now. “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” –unknown “Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.” –Dr. Seuss. “Strive for progress not perfection.” -unknown

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