I need life advice (14 year old)


#1

Hello all, I am a 14 year old schoolboy in the UK. I have come here to seek advice about what to do about the problems in my life.

I am Catholic. I’m not the best Catholic but I go to church almost every week, and I try to talk to God at least once a day. I frequently speak with him more than once a day. I am always grateful for what I have and thank Him for everything he has done for me and everything He has helped me with. I have nice parents, although I don’t always treat them with the kindness and respect they deserve.

In November of last year I started getting very depressed. This was caused because of a girl at my school that I liked. I am still in love with her very much. I always asked for guidance and help from God but I never felt like I was receiving any. I have not been happy since November of last year and I just want to feel better. I still have my faith in the Lord but I do not understand why he is doing this to me. I have felt depressed for so long now and I am nearly always upset.

Thank you for your time, and I am sorry if this was posted in the wrong part of the forum.


#2

Did the girl reject you in some way? Did she hurt your feelings? After this long, you need to let go of it and move on. You have your whole life ahead of you. God is not doing anything to you, your emotions are still fixed on the girl but you don’t have to allow yourself to wallow in your emotions. You can ask God for help in letting go of her. Pray the rosary and ask Mary for freedom from bondage.

Get involved in other activities, don’t just sit around and mope about her. Get some other mates and go play football, or whatever. Get a hobby. If you fixate on a girl like this now, you are teaching yourself that your emotions are in charge of your life. Not a good way to live, trust me.

Focus on other relationships in your life. Have any younger brothers or sisters? How about helping them with their studies? Taking them to church and for adoration? Can you get any sort of after-school job? Fill up your time so that you don’t have hours to spend dreaming of her or wishing things were different. Help someone else - is there a senior citizens’ centre nearby? Go visit the old people and listen to them, they have some wonderful stories to tell.

Make up your mind that whenever you start to think about this girl, you will instead turn your thoughts to something else. You can train your mind and feelings to let her go. You really must.


#3

The difficult thing is that we are good friends, so it’s not as if I can just forget about her. As for what you were saying about moving on, i’m not sure I want to. I still feel like I’m clinging on to some hope of a relationship with this girl.


#4

I don't know if this helps, but:

I'm 34. Recently I found a diary that I had written when I was 15. It was full to the brim with angst - I was lamenting that I would never find a man, that I was in love with one particular boy who didn't know I existed. I wrote horrible things about my mum. I was frustrated and sad and felt like my life just wasn't going anywhere.

When I read it, besides being a bit embarrassed at myself, I was amazed that that was how I had felt back then. I can honestly say that the boy I 'loved' was not worth the effort, and the man I eventually married was far and away better than him. I couldn't see the future back then.

These years are hard for anyone, and the feelings you have are valid, but very very strong. Try to remind yourself that you are only getting started now, and that God has wonderful things in store for you. I have no idea whether the girl you love is the one God intends for you, or whether another girl is out there waiting for you, or perhaps you even have another vocation. Know that God has not abandoned you, nor is he playing cruel jokes on you. Trust in Him, and you will be okay. (whatever that okay is)

I have wondered about why God allows teens to feel so strongly for those years, and I don't really have an answer. Perhaps it is to make you stronger for the trials ahead.:shrug:


#5

This is why one wise person said that there is no such thing as a solitary Christian. We are the Body of Christ, the Lord sent them out two by two, we are obliged to celebrate the Holy Mysteries together every Sunday and on important Holy Days because God means for us to be made into saints by living our Christian lives together.

The process you are faced with is the process of grieving. You are in mourning because you have lost something your heart was set on. Even if you experience a change of fortune this one time, this is a process that you will have to go through many times in the course of your life, because serious losses are a part of life. This will not be the first time you are denied what you have the inner passion to achieve. There will be more heartaches down the line. It will not be the first time that you will have to use some version of the Serenity Prayer:

*God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
Amen.

--Reinhold Niebuhr *
This web site gives a very brief overview of what I mean: memorialhospital.org/library/general/stress-the-3.html

Learn how to cope with this deep hurt now, and you could spare yourself a lifetime pain.

TheRealJulianne gave you some very good advice, but that is the first line of treatment for heartache. If you have tried it and it didn't work, well, that happens. That is nothing against you. Just as very good antibiotics don't always work, sometimes time-tested advice does not work. Since your case has gone on so long as it has, you may need to move onto a second line treatment. Because of how serious depression can be, especially when combined with the brain chemistry of late adolescence or early adulthood, I think you need help to decide whether more serious intervention is in order. Because of how long this has gone on and how serious the consequneces will be if you leave serious depression untreated, do the mature thing and proceed as if this is too big for you. If it is not, it will be like going to the emergency care only to find that what you thought might be a heart attack was really indigestion. When the symptoms are serious, better safe than sorry.

A deep unhappiness that goes on for months is serious business. It can change the chemistry of your brain. I could give you lots of advice, but you need to confide in someone who will take your situation seriously. I don't mean someone who will get very upset or run around waving their hands, but rather someone who will not simply say, "Get over it." I mean someone who will say, "Try this, but you need to keep in touch with me about how this plays out. We need to keep an eye on you."

If advice from someone close by doesn't help the cloud lift rather soon, find someone with the credentials to help you learn how to cope with bouts of depression, who will make sure you get medical care for that if necessary, and who will be your support as you go through the process of bringing your particular heart through times of pain and difficulty. Usually your school or your pastor can help you find this person, if your parents don't, but I'd start by talking to your parents. If your parents don't see your problem as serious, though, verify their sense by talking to those other adults I suggested.

Talk to a real person about this, and do not give up until you find someone who takes your depression seriously, OK? Do not accept "there, there, you're just 14." This is not something for a 60 year-old to manage alone, let alone a 14 year old. Anyone who does not get that will have to be your support on another round. As for this round, keep looking, and consider that a moral duty, just as you would if it were another poor soul other than yourself who was going through this.

If you ever consider harming yourself or giving up, promise God that you will immediately seek a person with professional experience in helping people through depression. I mean a no-exceptions, despair-is-not-an-option, I-will-avoid-this-sin-with-all-my-might and I-will-avoid-the-near-occasion-of-failure promise.


#6

Hello anonymous,
All the people out there have been giving you great advice, but I think perhaps you should rule out clinical depression first, especially if there’s a history of it in your family. If that is not the case, then finding a spiritual adviser (ideally a priest, but not necessarily) would be a great idea. Just having people to talk to helps a ton. So does exercise (releases endorphins), getting involved in volunteer projects, youth groups, etc.
I can also testify to the difficultly of adolescence (I’m 21 now), as mine was a little rough at times. I had very few friends, and the ones I did have often treated me poorly. I did not have a boyfriend at all. I think this actually is what helped me find the Church, which I joined when i was 17. So clearly something good came out of it! But I assure you, this is very very normal developmentally speaking. The best thing you can do is interact with other people as much as you can; don’t isolate yourself! I speak from experience and knowledge as someone studying psychology.
And of course, if it gets any worse, GET HELP IMMEDIATELY! I don’t know what resources (hotlines, etc) are available in the UK but I’m sure they exist.
Finally, it’s a really good sign that you reached out to us here. That is a very healthy thing to do, so please keep doing that.
God bless, and I hope this helped.


#7

[quote="AnonymousUser3, post:3, topic:243079"]
The difficult thing is that we are good friends, so it's not as if I can just forget about her. As for what you were saying about moving on, i'm not sure I want to. I still feel like I'm clinging on to some hope of a relationship with this girl.

[/quote]

But has the clinging actually done anything positive for you? It doesn't sound as if it has. Do you think that this girl is the only person you will ever love in your whole life? Think about that for a minute! :)

Have you gotten hooked on her, and she doesn't know it? Or did she really reject you but still want to be friends? Either way, the sense of despair isn't helping you live a good life. And you are setting patterns for your future - to need to cling to someone who doesn't want you as a partner is masochistic. You're not even old enough to date, so why think about things in this way? I know you have feelings, you're a teenager, but don't let them rule your life.

Maybe it's hard for you to understand this. I hope you can talk to your parents, either Mum or Dad, or a sibling, or a priest. A teacher at school? Someone you get on with?


#8

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:7, topic:243079"]
But has the clinging actually done anything positive for you? It doesn't sound as if it has. Do you think that this girl is the only person you will ever love in your whole life? Think about that for a minute! :)

[/quote]

Yes.

She messed my feelings about a lot. I'm not sure where I stand with her and if we will ever have a chance.

I thank you all for taking the time to give me advice.


#9

[quote="AnonymousUser3, post:8, topic:243079"]
Yes.
**
She messed my feelings about a lot.** I'm not sure where I stand with her and if we will ever have a chance.

I thank you all for taking the time to give me advice.

[/quote]

Why would you want to have a chance with someone who did that? Could you trust her? What if you made yourself vulnerable and then she hurt you again? And did you say "yes" to my question of "Is this the only girl you will ever love?" Because that is simply absurd!


#10

[quote="AnonymousUser3, post:8, topic:243079"]
Yes.

She messed my feelings about a lot. I'm not sure where I stand with her and if we will ever have a chance.

[/quote]

Although maybe not many foisted suffering onto someone else on purpose, there are few of us looking back on your time of life who have no regrets about how we treated all of our peers or how much angst we put into how they treated us. Between what body changes do to the brain and the hazards of inexperience the first time we go through adult social conundrums, it can get to be quite a mess, and a very real mess.

I heard an applicable quote today, though: "Resentment is like taking a poison pill yourself, and then waiting for the other person to die." Probably the best thing you can do is to let go of your legitimate complaints against this young woman. That is not an easy thing to do...far from it! It is probably going to be part of what you need to do in order to let go of your intense unhappiness. It will help to look for something and/or someone else to occupy your thoughts. Look for someone with experience, if at all possible. (If you are the oldest teen in your parents' household, look for help* in addition* to help from your parents.)

Find someone to talk to in person. Really. There is a big limit to the extent that virtual help can support you. More to the point, if you talk to real people, you will have the habit and support group that you will need the next time you need someone to lean on. It may not be in the field of romance, but there will be a next time. You do well to use how you handle this time to get yourself prepared for next time.


#11

Hi Anonymous.

I’m a teen too and want to say that it’s true, life is just harder than I ever thought it would be! I’ve got to say it’s interesting to find someone who’s finding it just as challenging as I am.

But I say this just as much for me as for you: Life is good. And God has a plan for you, better than your wildest dreams! (Read Jeremiah 29:11. :))

I guess that means, right now, God wants you to make Him, not this girl, the center of your life. Then if she’s the woman He’s prepared for you, He will make sure it happens. You’ve fallen in love with her–OK then. The love you have for her is something that’s made a deep impression on you. You want to keep loving her. (We all know how you feel.) But if you want to marry her, if you want to have a happy life, then God has to be at the center.

You said you were asking for guidance and help from God, but that you didn’t feel like you were receiving any–also that you still have your faith but you don’t understand why He seems to be putting you through all this. If God wasn’t thinking about and loving you with more love than anyone in the world could give you, you wouldn’t be here! He died for you.

Trust me, He cares about you! He hasn’t forgotten you. And He wants you to come closer to Him. It’s wonderful you’re going to Mass–maybe it would help also to go to Adoration, just to tell Jesus in His Real Presence all the problems you’re having. He can give you graces when you come and ask Him for them.

After that extremely long-winded answer, I’d like to add a passage from a book by Blessed Pope John Paul II that has aided me tremendously. It’s called Crossing the Threshold of Hope.
“If at every stage of his life man desires to be his own person, to find love, during his youth he desires it even more strongly. . . . If one loves human love, there naturally arises the need to commit oneself completely to the service of “fair love,” because love is fair, it is beautiful. After all, young people are always searching for the beauty in love. They want their love to be beautiful. If they give in to weakness, following models of behavior that can rightly be considered a “scandal in the contemporary world” . . . in the depths of their hearts they still desire a beautiful and pure love. This is as true of boys as it is of girls. Ultimately, they know that only God can give them this love. As a result, they are willing to follow Christ, without caring about the sacrifices this may entail.”


#12

[quote="AnonymousUser3, post:1, topic:243079"]
Hello all, I am a 14 year old schoolboy in the UK. I have come here to seek advice about what to do about the problems in my life.

I am Catholic. I'm not the best Catholic but I go to church almost every week, and I try to talk to God at least once a day. I frequently speak with him more than once a day. I am always grateful for what I have and thank Him for everything he has done for me and everything He has helped me with. I have nice parents, although I don't always treat them with the kindness and respect they deserve.

In November of last year I started getting very depressed. This was caused because of a girl at my school that I liked. I am still in love with her very much. I always asked for guidance and help from God but I never felt like I was receiving any. I have not been happy since November of last year and I just want to feel better. I still have my faith in the Lord but I do not understand why he is doing this to me. I have felt depressed for so long now and I am nearly always upset.

Thank you for your time, and I am sorry if this was posted in the wrong part of the forum.

[/quote]

My dear boy I am now in my 40s but remember well what being your age was like. I feel for you because you are so young and so unversed in life but my dear dear boy EVERYTHING IS ALL RIGHT. I promise you everything is all right. I hope you believe that.

You are growing up and like us all you are heir to what will be some rejection, sadness and tears. We all feel that. I who is 45 feel that but I also know that everything is all right.

Your understanding of the world is so limited by your youth and so restricted. Not your fault. But EVERYTHING IS ALL RIGHT AND GOD LOVES YOU.

Good luck from a 45 year old who sometimes feels lost as well but knows that he isn't....no more than you are.

By the way you are right to come here to ask advice because you have access to adults who will respond to you with respect andreal Christian love. Be happy. The sun is shining behind the clouds. I know. I've seen it.


#13

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