Q: I hate my job! It’s fine but it’s not what I really want to be doing. It pays the bills and I’m afraid I won’t be able to find a better paying job that I like. Should I quit?
A: Yowzer! The ‘what should I do’ questions get me because I could tell you exactly what I think you should do but it might not be the best for you…it’s just what I think. At the end of the day I am not in your shoes so I really can’t tell you what to do. Here’s what I will say, life is short. We get one shot at this life so why not do things that you want to do (making sure those things are healthy, wise, legal and don’t hurt anyone 🙂 )? Explore your options. Maybe you can find a more fulfilling job. Maybe it will require going back to school. Maybe it means having to step out of your comfort zone.
Look at the reasons you are staying in your current job beyond the pay. Then look at what you would like to do. Lay out the steps necessary to get from where you are to where you would like to be. If you don’t know the steps you can do research online, find out from someone who does what you want to do or talk to a career coach/counselor. If you attended college you might be able to use your alma maters’ career counseling center at no cost. Check into it. Once you know the steps you can determine whether or not you want to embark on that journey. Some changes require a ton of time and money. Some are fairly simple.
Ask your older self to tell your younger self what to do. Think about being on your death bed. What regrets might you have? It’s hard to know for sure but we can learn from those who have gone ahead of us. Rarely do people say, “I wish I had lived a confined life in which I never did what I wanted to do but only what I thought I should do.” We live in a time and location where most of us have many options. Generally we don’t have to do whatever we must in order to survive. That could change, but for now, if you’re reading this blog you likely have options. Maybe it’s time to exercise them 🙂
Q: My cousin overdosed and died. My aunt told me I’m responsible and should have done something to help him. I knew my cousin was using drugs and I told him it wasn’t good for him. He said he was fine and didn’t want me bugging him about drugs. Is it my fault he overdosed? Was I supposed to help him?
A: Experiencing both the loss of your cousin and the weight of being told it was your fault is a double whammy of pain! My heart goes out to you for the loss of your cousin. Dealing with the death of a loved one is excruciating. Be sure you have support around you and allow yourself to process through the grief. Work with a counselor or get into a grief group to help.
Regarding your aunt’s statement about your responsibility, you are not responsible for your cousin’s choices. You told him your thoughts about his drug use and that’s all you could do since he didn’t want your help. No one can make another person stop using drugs. Sometimes people are court ordered to attend rehab but that rarely ends with the person getting free from their addiction. A person has to want to be free before any recovery approaches will work. Remind yourself of this every time you start to feel responsible for your cousin’s death. Over time you will begin to accept the truth and the guilt will ease. Just like grieving, it will be a process so be patient with yourself.
Note: The information on this blog is opinion only and not intended to replace therapy. If you are running into blocks you can’t get past, can’t understand your thoughts and emotions, are overwhelmed by your emotions…anything that is causing you emotional distress, please seek the help of a professional counselor. If you are suicidal, please call 911. If you are desperate to talk with someone call the National Suicide Hotline at 800-273-8255. For help finding treatment options for mental health or addictions contact SAMHSA at 800-662-4357. Links to thousands of therapists throughout the United States can be found at PsychologyToday.com or Theravive.com
Welcome to my help series!
First question is: My two children who are two and five years old, sleep with my husband and me. It’s not my husband’s first choice but he hasn’t demanded the kids sleep in their own beds. People give me a hard time and say I’m ruining my children by letting them sleep in our bed with us. Is that true?
The family-bed, co-sleeping or bed-sharing is a hot button topic. Proponents on either side of the issue are adamant about their position. Research doesn’t actually support one way or the other as best and each side twists the data to support their point of view. This is an issue that comes down to finding out what works for you as a family and as a couple. The problem I see in this situation is your comment that your husband doesn’t like it but isn’t demanding things change. Is your husband generally passive? Do you make a lot of decisions about the kids without his input or you listen at times but generally you’re the one who “gets your way”? If that is the case, that’s the bigger issue.
I work with couples who are in crisis. The most common theme is not communicating clearly with each other which often is a result of not being heard and validated over the years so why bother saying anything at all. My advice to you: Notice how often it’s your way verses his way. Is he like an employee who takes orders from you or are you collaborators in your journey as a couple and as parents? Ask him, if he’s willing to be honest, what his experience is. If it’s an authority/subordinate structure, you do not have a healthy relationship. In that case I would suggest you learn how to communicate effectively and create a healthy dynamic of working together where both partners are heard, understood and validated. You will likely need an effective couple’s therapist/counselor to create a safe place for both of you to unpack the hurt and learn the skills.
Keep your questions coming! If you want to ask anonymously, send your question to: Journey Forward 1373 Forest Park Circle #204 Lafayette, CO 80026