Ask L.B. – Our Advice Column for Readers: Juuling Friends, Makeup Pressure, and Divorce Depression

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Dear readers,
Ask L.B. (a pseudonym for this advice columnist) is an advice column to advise people on how to deal with their concerns and issues in the most positive way possible. I try my best to ensure that they will make decisions that will help them move forward on the right path. I hope you will write to me, in confidence, seeking my guidance. Just a reminder: I will not disclose any information sent to me. What you write will always remain anonymous. I encourage you to be creative with your usernames and send feedback so that this column will be successful in helping those who seek advice. You can email me at [email protected] or drop a note in our standing metal mailbox outside of the English office. I look forward to reading your letters.
Sincerely,
L.B.

 

Dear L.B.,

I have a big problem. My best friend has been juuling for a while, and it didn’t seem like an issue. But over the summer, he started to get into other drugs, like heroin and cocaine, and I don’t know what else he’s doing now that school’s started. I’m really worried. I want to talk to him and get him help, but I also don’t want him to get in trouble. I especially don’t want him to get mad at me for trying to be a good friend. What should I do?
Please help,
Conflicted

Dear Conflicted,

I can understand why you’re so stressed about your friend. It’s natural for us to want to help our friends and be their backbone through every issue. But at this point, the fact of the matter is that you can’t magically make your friend stop doing drugs. There are teachers and administration staff that would be happy to help him with whatever problems he’s facing, but he won’t actually be able to get decent help unless he really wants it. Some anonymous and safe resources you can (gently) offer him are 1-800-622-4357, the number for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; 1-800-262-2463, the 24-hour cocaine addiction hotline; 1-877-879-6422, Nicotine Anonymous; and 1-800-448-4663, the National Youth Crisis Hotline.
Good luck!
L.B.

 

Dear L.B.,

So many of my friends are coming into school with so much makeup on, and I feel weird because I don’t like to do my own makeup. They talk about makeup a lot, and whenever we go to the mall, they always like to spend a lot of time in Ulta and Sephora buying new products. Sometimes I feel really excluded. I don’t think it’s bad that they wear a lot of makeup, but I do feel sad when I can’t relate to their conversations, even though I don’t feel confident enough to try wearing makeup. How can I tell them without sounding rude?
Thanks for your help,
Does Chapstick Count?

Dear Chapstick,

I’m sorry to hear that you feel left out by your friends! It’s really hard to see your friends, the people that are supposed to understand you, having fun doing something you can’t do with them. Makeup isn’t for everyone, but if you would like to try wearing makeup, I would go to a trusted friend and ask for help. You can be honest; say you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re feeling left out, and you want someone who knows makeup to help you. Don’t worry about being judged — a truly good friend would understand. If anything, they would be flattered that you think they know their way around a makeup brush!
Thanks for writing,
L.B.

 

Dear L.B.,

My parents just got divorced a few months ago. I feel so weird about it. I’m living with my mom now, and I stay with my dad every other week, but I grew up with my parents together and my house just doesn’t feel the same anymore. I was diagnosed with depression a few years ago, and since then I noticed my parents fighting more, and I can’t help but wonder if I’m part of the reason my parents divorced. I know it’s probably not true, but I still think about it. My head is just all over the place, and I don’t know how to deal with all these feelings.
Thanks,
Down in the Dumps

Dear Down,

Divorce is really hard; trust me, I know firsthand. Being the child of divorced parents is never easy, especially if they get divorced when you’re in high school. If you don’t already, I would talk to one or both of your parents about seeing a therapist. Even if you’re having a good day, therapy is a great way to just unload everything and have an unbiased person to talk to. If you have a trusted friend, tell them you’re having a hard time and see if they can help distract you. But above all else, know that you are not the reason your parents got divorced. Relationships are complex things, and though you are a huge part of your parents’ relationship, there are many factors that go into the decision to get a divorce. If you ever feel that you need to talk to somebody and there is nowhere to turn, there is a free Crisis Text Line you can go to. Just text “HOME” to 741741. Remember: this will get better!
Take care of yourself,
L.B.

 

Queridos leyentes,
PEDIR L.B. es una columna de consejos para asesorar a las personas sobre cómo tratar mejor sus preocupaciones y problemas.​ Yo hago mi mejor esfuerzo para asegurarme que tu tomes la decicion correcta, ayudarte a avanzar de manera positiva. Yo espero que tu me escribas con confidencia, pidiendo mi ayuda. Un recordatorio, yo no voy a revelar ninguna información que me envies. Lo que tu escribas siempre va a ser anónimo. Te animo a que seas creativo con tus nombres de usuario y envíes comentarios para que esta columna sea exitosa para ayudar a quienes buscan consejos. Correo electrónico a [email protected]
Espero sus cartas.
Sinceramente,
L.B.