Dear Mesmerizing Meg: I have so much pent-up emotion. How can I release it? It’s from deaths of loved ones and not being able to discuss it with anyone, because I come from an old-fashioned family where it’s all stiff upper-lip. I carry on day to day and nobody would suspect I am so sad. Plus I don’t want to burden my lovely friends who all have equally hard things to deal with. But it is eating away at me.
Kind querent: I have two suggestions. The first is to ask to speak to your school’s guidance counselor and tell her how sad you feel. Maybe he/she could help you with your grief. I really do wish you had someone in real life who you could talk to about these things.
The second suggestion is to blog! It’s such a great outlet for family stuff that you can’t address directly with family.
Also, please burden your friends! That’s what friends are for! If they tell you about their problems, then you can tell them about yours!
I’m so sorry for the family members you’ve lost! That must be really tough.
Dear Mesmerizing Meg: How do you forgive yourself for doing bad things whilst mentally ill? I was not on medication and did some terrible things. I have five diagnosed mental illnesses and have been hospitalised three times relating to my mental illness. Now that I’m back on medication I feel so much remorse and guilt for the things I did whilst I wasn’t medicated. How to forgive myself?
Kind querent: So many thoughts! First of all, commit yourself to staying on your meds. With five mental illnesses, which is probably about how many I have, you need your meds. Not just today and next month, but next year, and the year after that. Don’t let yourself go off them again. If you want to adjust them with your doctor’s help, that’s fine, but don’t go off them.
How to forgive yourself? I’d apologize to everyone you hurt and explain that you were unmedicated, for which you take full responsibility and regret. Ask how you can make amends.
Beyond that, it’s just life. So please don’t beat yourself up eternally!