I am twenty years old and I suspect I am stressed out. I have chest pains and feel anxious and easily irritated a lot of the time. I have many headaches and digestive problems and have been gaining weight recently. I am always tired but struggle to get to sleep. I also have a rash on my neck and face.
I have been caring for both my ailing grandparents since I started high school. As a result I had no activities outside of school, and virtually no social life. I started college, but had to drop out because my grandparents now require round-the-clock assistance. I only get out of the house when they have doctor’s appointments. Their last appointments were 35 days ago.
I cannot count on my mother to help me, because she is spending all her time and energy on getting my three younger siblings back – they were kidnapped by my father and his ex-convict new wife.
I feel that I am struggling more and more to cope, and I am worried that I will die before my life has really started. I often pray to God to help me, even if it is just to help me relax so that I can get a good night’s sleep, but it feels like things are getting worse rather than better.
What can I do to make my life better?
When things get really stressful, it is time to first look after yourself.
Over the last four weeks I have had some major things to deal with. My god-daughter was born and had to go straight into NICU (neo-natal intensive care unit). Then my sister’s baby was born and also had to go straight into NICU. I got a severe allergic reaction – I still don’t know the cause. Just after that I discovered that my mom has got skin cancer. And yesterday I had another severe allergic reaction and now I need to have tests done.
I have never coped well with stress, and this is just too much for me. As a result my home looks like a disaster area. My grocery shopping is behind. I have missed days at work, and I really care about my job. I have not exercised in weeks – and I love my exercise. I have started to snap at people for the simplest reasons.
What can I do to reduce my stress, or just to relax?
Don't stress about what has not happened yet because if you do, you create your nightmare.
There is a potential lawsuit against me.
While I am waiting for the decision, I am unable to sleep and eat properly, and I just want to stay in bed most of the time.
What can I do to feel better?
If you care about yourself other people will also care about you.
We cannot change the choices our parents make. We can only love them for what they teach us.
I have been diagnosed with social phobia and anxiety by a psychologist who was not able to help me overcome these issues. However, I have decided not to let that put me off.
There was an incident at work with a female colleague who had bullied me for quite a while. One day she just went too far and I threatened to beat her up. Of course I will never lift my hand to a woman, and did not mean it. Unfortunately the woman is related to the manager, who took her side and I lost my job.
I have since had chance meetings with some ex-colleagues who looked at me in a funny way, as if they want to laugh at me but not to my face. At first I thought it was my imagination, but then it happened again and again. This made me believe that they are gossiping about me whenever they can.
I am wondering whether it is possible for gossip to destroy a person’s life. Do you think I should be concerned about what these people say about me behind my back? I know that I live in a large city and I no longer work for this company, but it still bothers me that these people are talking about me and I don’t have an opportunity to defend myself.
I have recently turned 20 and moved out of my parents’ home because I could not stand staying there any longer.
My parents are always fighting about money, but I can see how they cause their own money troubles. My dad has been unemployed for a long time and he smokes weed to relieve his stress. He can come up with the craziest things, and then gets frustrated and embarrassed, which makes it very difficult to speak to him.
My mom has a job that she hates, and she drinks two bottles of wine every night to deal with her stress. I work as a waiter and I have seen people sharing a bottle of wine and having a good time. I can see my mother does not have a good time – she drinks because she does not want to face her problems. When I try to talk to her, she says it is her money and she will do as she pleases.
My sisters dose themselves with prescription drugs and drink and smoke weed. I think they have also already tried crystal meth. I have tried to talk to them but they say if our parents can do it, why can’t they?
I don’t want you to think I am judging them. I have experimented with drugs and weed, but one day I had an experience where I felt God was reaching out to me and I just knew this was not what I wanted in my life. Now I will only take medication if the doctor prescribed it and there is no other way.
Even though I no longer live at home, I am really stressed about my family. Despite everything I love them and I know I can’t change them, but I want the best for them.
Can you help me?