You can go home again

Joey Garcia

My dad suffers from depression but won’t get any help. The older he gets, the more often he just stays in bed and refuses to do anything. Most of the time I go stay at my mom’s house but I can’t stop worrying about my dad and that gets on my mom’s nerves. Then we fight and I go back to my dad’s. I’m going to junior college. I’m also working and saving for a car, but I feel overwhelmed and hopeless. I can’t afford to live on my own and I don’t feel like I can keep living with either one of my parents. Please help.

A safe, comfortable living space encourages the mind, body and spirit to relax completely. You’ve been unable to sink into that kind of surrender, and are feeling the heightened tension that results. Give yourself a break. Spend more time in nature: local parks, the American or Sacramento rivers or the Sierras. Being surrounded by the natural world is soothing and restorative.

Once you recalibrate inner peace, it’s easier to deal with other aspects of your situation, like the tendency to worry. Fretting about the people we love is understandable, but don’t permit worry to consume your mind. Excessive worrying is wasted energy. Instead of engaging in creative problem-solving, the mind plays duck, duck, goose around the same circle of fears. Redirect your thoughts toward actions that benefit your goal of moving into your own place.

Your mom may not be available to listen to your concerns because she’s heard it all before—in her own head. Yes, your words likely echo things she told herself when she was married to your dad. She divorced him, and probably expected to leave those worries behind. Your conversations reactivate her old fears. Try setting boundaries with her: “I need to talk about Dad. Can you listen for a while? Let me know when you need to stop listening.” It also helps to have a signal she can use to let you know she’s full and can no longer listen. Of course, it’s possible that she’s not skilled at listening. If that’s the issue, find another family member to talk with or see a counselor on campus.

Let’s talk about your dad’s depression. Children should evolve beyond their parents. So you can help your dad by living differently than he does. When you feel stuck or hopeless notice those feelings, but don’t trust them. Trust your ability to manage your life by finding the information you need to prove difficult feelings wrong. Remember, not every emotion or thought is accurate, but each one offers data you can use to understand yourself better and to create the life you desire.

What do you do when you want deeper intimacy in a relationship but your partner just isn’t up for that? I love my boyfriend but he limits his connection to me. I wonder if he is doing it on purpose, or if he just is not able to give me what I need. We’ve been together for six months and I don’t know if I should keep going. It’s been hard for me to meet men I am attracted to.

It doesn’t matter whether your boyfriend is intentionally limiting his connection with you. It doesn’t matter whether he is capable of deeper intimacy. Refocus: You are dissatisfied. What can you do to experience more freedom? One possibility is to notice whether you fully accept the intimacy he does offer. If not, go deeper into gratitude for what you have together. You should also investigate your expectations. Do you believe your man is responsible for all of your intimacy needs? Once you have explored these questions, you will know how to proceed in love.

Meditation of the week
“It is an unfortunate human failing that a full pocketbook often groans more loudly than an empty stomach,” said President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Are you ready to be a voice for those who need you most?

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