I drink a lot, some weeks nearly everyday, some weeks once or twice, and once I've started (usually when I get home from work) I always keep going until I go to bed. I'm OK if I do it alone, but if I communicate with people in any way while I'm not sober and then the next day I don't remember each and every word of the conversations I start panicking and feeling I did something horrible.
I've had a rough life, but I've worked hard and, after a couple of psychiatrists that didn't help much and 1.5 years of therapy that did, I'm finally, at 29, [...]
I'm part of a group of friends that have known each other for many years. I treasure this group and want to be friends for a long time to come. Unfortunately, conflicts have been coming up here and there over the last couple of years, it seems to be escalating, and I'm at a loss as to how to make things better.
The problems mostly revolve around me and one of the other women in the group, "Jessica."
Jessica and I are very different people. She's an only child who, at age 40, still lives with her parents. Her mother does all the cooking, cleaning, laundry, even buys [...]
I’ve been seeing a dude for about three months. We met online, during an intensive dating-people-online phase of mine prompted by the end of a six-month relationship prior. When we met, I had pretty much given up—not in a resigned, self-pitying way; my attitude was that online dating was wasting too much of my time and energy, with unsatisfactory results, so I was going to keep myself open to romantic possibility, but not actively pursue finding someone.
Then I met this dude—we went for coffee, and I was surprised at the ease of our conversation, and we kept seeing each other and it kept being really nice. [...]
I have a problem that's common to some extent for everyone but lately it's beginning to be unmanageable for me: I have terrible anxiety.
Background: I'm a gay 29-year-old male who's been working at a crappy data entry job for the past couple of years. I've never been in a relationship and since coming out, I've somehow gotten into the habit of having sex only once a year.
As you can imagine, growing up I used to be a nervous little queer kid; scared of being called a faggot, I cultivated this deep monotone speech pattern and tried my damn hardest to keep the camp to [...]
I am stuck on my recent ex of about 15 months.
We began online and with distance. He was in a live-in relationship at that time. I told him that I was not interested in an online, long-distance relationship and that I definitely was not interested in an attached man but he assured me that these things were temporary—and I believed him. She was/is his boss (she got him the job) and he claimed he was fearful of repercussions and also that he feared she would kill herself or quit her job if he left her. He also said that he hated the city where he lives [...]
I'm a 26-year-old female living in NYC who has been in a serious monogamous relationship with my boyfriend for over a year and a half now. He's a supportive partner who fulfills all of my needs and I love him tremendously.
The only problem I have with our relationship is that he was previously married. I met him shortly after he left his ex, and was with him through the divorce. His marriage was an abusive one; she inflicted years of mental and emotional torment that he's still recovering from. He also still lives in the same neighborhood as his ex (I've seen her on more than one [...]
My ex ("John") and I, who are both in our late twenties, were together for a number of years. The relationship was lovely at the beginning, but because of intermittent long-distance, different life experiences, and so-so communication, it was increasingly bad for a few months. One day, John called to say that he wanted to talk about ending the relationship. I asked if he still loved me, and he said yes and then sobbed for thirty minutes. Then, I asked what he saw as the problems in our relationship and whether they were fixable, and he talked incoherently for an hour. I asked if he wanted to end [...]
For the past seven months I've been dating a great guy but now that things are getting quite serious I'm totally scared. I can't tell if it's because I myself am beginning to fall out of love with him, or if the internalized judgment of my (very judgmental) parents is freaking me out.
Before I met this guy, I was on an online dating rampage. I was preselecting guys who were tall, dark and handsome, had been to good schools, and were very, very likeable by my parents' standards (which at the time I thought were also my standards). I am extremely intellectual and well-educated and was [...]
So it's the Holidays again, which means everyone's going to come at you bitchin' about family. Let me throw my hat in the ring as a member of that (sizable) contingent. My mother and her husband live near where I grew up, about a seven-hour drive from where I live now. My father and his wife live out of state; I only see them twice a year or so. My two younger sisters both moved far out of state (to the same town no less) with their children within the past year and a half. The reason for this background—I'm the "only one left" close to visit my [...]
I feel sick just writing this, and I don't want to lose something good, so here goes:
I'm a 34-year-old single mother of a beautiful, sweet, and healthy three-year-old boy. I never imagined having kids, but accidentally became pregnant three months into a destructive relationship. I kept the child and eventually got rid of the man (with the help of a domestic violence counselor and a restraining order), which was a healthy decision.
You see, healthy decisions are not my forte. With a few exceptions, I usually date the damaged bad boy, the alcoholic who needs rescuing, or the tortured artist. I scrapped all that when [...]
I don't seem to want anything all that badly. Well, I do and I don't… You talk about having a compelling vision for your life. Well, I can't seem to come up with much of one. At best everything is fuzzy. I've always wanted one of those careers where you're paid to be yourself—one where you can be funny and show off on a stage and make people laugh and be entertained. To be someone's muse and inspiration rather than the service lackey I am now. Except I took acting classes and auditioned for plays and never got in. I'm not stereotypically good looking and female, plus in [...]
Sometimes when I'm feeling unaccomplished I like to seek out some new, insightful, unbiased, life's great mystery deciphering blog or news and culture magazine or twitter account and somehow this morning I wound up at The Awl reading your column. I love it. Your hyper-honest, humorous, practical approach was entertaining and, dare I say, educational.
Here's my shit:
I am a 27-year-old male, which is probably not your target demographic, but third wave feminism says embrace the contradictions of life so fuck it, right? I graduated from college sometime in the fuzzy prehistory of my adult life and prior to moving to a new city and finding a [...]
I'm going kind of crazy right now.
A year ago, I quit this job that I mostly enjoyed and was good at after three years in the same position. I quit because I wanted a promotion and suddenly it felt masochistic to keep waiting for that to happen.
I want to emphasize this: I really, really wanted a promotion. I wanted a promotion because I was undeniably successful in my role. I wanted a promotion because I had a lot of ideas how we might do things better but I had absolutely no authority to implement those ideas. I wanted a promotion because I wanted the external [...]
I am hoping you might help me with a peculiar personal problem. I apologize in advance if this is a bit vague. To begin with, I am your average 28-year-old fun-time party gal who is often overly drunk/brash, 'one of the guys,' sensitive to criticism/weirdo childhood and thus live a smaller life which I've overall been happy doing with great girlfriends of my own, cool hobbies, owning my own home, working a well-paying not particularly prestigious helping-people job that affords me lots of free time to do whatever I want. I definitely need therapy & a journal, which I plan to do, soon.
I've lived in a certain [...]
Let's start this off originally, to match the unique snowflake that I am: I'm an extremely socially handicapped lady, 25 years of age, with just a handful (maybe 3 at best) of friends, and in a lonely place in my life.
To paint a bit of background: I have always been very shy, introverted, and fucking terrible at connecting with others. I was comfortable with my alone-ness, though. I've always been a bit (of a lot) of a closet romantic, so I can't really remember any long period of time since the fourth grade when I didn't have a crush on someone. But mostly, those were either boys [...]
I'm at a point in my life (24 years and a month, to be exact) where I'm finally slipping out from my romantic ideas of the world and starting to accept hard facts. Things like preparing to be alone forever, me not giving a shit about impressing people who don't deserve my time, etc.
However, I'm in a funk right now that I can't figure out, which is horrendous because I'm a logical thinker who wants to solve every problem anyone has right away. Six months ago, I was living with my boyfriend at the time in the small, shitty college town where we went to school. He [...]
So, I was dating someone long distance (YES I KNOW). Though I thought it was going well, he ended it—and now I’m not sure if it’s good for me to be friends with him (YES I KNOW JUST HOLD ON).
I’m a 40-year-old gay guy who’s never dated anyone longer than 9 months. This year I finally felt ready to settle down (not immediately! this takes work!), though I know that may not be possible at this point. I’m smart and ambitious, but with some major problems I’m finally working on (sorting out issues from my college-era drug use, always had difficulty maintaining friendships). Though I’ve always made [...]
My question is a simple and boring one: How do I find love? And, more importantly, how to I cultivate self-esteem? I'm in my late 20's, and I tend to get into relationships with dudes that are only half interested in me, and then I badger them to death about their half-assed interest until the relationship slowly dies. What I want most, MOST, in the world is a happy family. Children that I feel joy with. A genuinely happy marriage that lasts until I kick the goddamn bucket. I grew up with very unhappy, miserable parents that immigrated to the states, and I don't even know what to look [...]
We all want confident children, but research indicates that effusive parental praise can backfire. In one study, 80% of kids describe their parents' compliments as "not really true," "overblown" or "completely full of shit." Does this mean we're doomed to raise a generation of children who doubt themselves? Not if we stop praising them unnecessarily. Instead, parents should give their children truly daunting challenges that actually do warrant a flood of praise. For example:
1. Teach your child to do the Heimlich maneuver. Then, pretend that you're choking on a chicken bone. When your child "saves" you, thank him profusely, through tears. Be sure to tell everyone in the [...]