I'll get straight to the point, over the last month my life has imploded. I've personally intervened, in person, in two attempted suicides. I have a grandfather I idolize now in hospice care, my girlfriend of 2 years left me for someone else, my close circle of friends have just gone after each other like gossiping High School students, and as a result my Grades and cash has suffered hard (well it is college, so I guess the cash part doesn't surprise me). Now I'm not looking to write a sob story, I want to lend gravity to when I ask for some advice on what to do. I normally excel at taking things like this in stride but everything back to back has destroyed me. I'm far from any rational mindset and would like to know if anyone here could offer advice on how to get back on my feet and get into a productive life again, can't stand to let this pattern keep up.
Devon, some of these are things over which you have no control; your grandfather's illness , your friends' attempts. If you are not part of the fighting among friends, other than encouraging to stop you are not in control of that. But you obviously feel responsible for it, or your grades would not be so affected. So you need to know that you cannot worry over things you cannot control. Being left by a girlfriend is no fun, I know, But your life is starting, and you will have others.
You my be having trouble assimilating all these occurrences. They are likely random, badly timed events. IF your college offers counseling to students, take advantage of it. Its good you reached out here, but you sound like you need some individual help now, and to develop some coping skills for the future. Just know that you will be okay.
I agree with Stein about realizing whats not in your control and also accessing counseling services at your college (which are generally free). There are also often group counseling sessions where you may meet some new friends and who can provide support outside of your sessions. Let us know what you decide and this is a great site for support as well.
And to top it all off, you have finals rapidly coming up.
My advice, grab whatever friends aren't fighting and try to plan some minivacation for after finals. Camping or a road trip out to see the worlds biggest ball of twine. Just something away from what is your life right now to allow you to reboot. Sometimes that is all you really need.
Good idea but it could easily be done without the friends. grab some camping gear and a fishing pole and head out on your own. Let family know where you are going and send a text to friends that says "camping. my phone will be off until Wednesday" then turn the phone off and get out of town.
I'll agree with Stein in that knowing where your sphere of influence begins and ends and having the where-with-all to take or refuse ownership is a crucial life skill.
I have posted elsewhere that, while I have many acquaintances, I’ve relatively few friends. Your situation, with exception of your grandfather’s condition, largely speaks to why this is so. I am very, very particular over whom I will consider a true friend and spend time with. So many people seem to be prone to the sort of drama you describe and frankly I’ve little patience for it. Of course that means that from time to time I get labeled as standoffish or cold but who cares. This may all boil down to simple personality quirks of mine, but the advice of choose your friends wisely is sound regardless.
“Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried, Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel; But do not dull thy palm with entertainment Of each new-hatch’d, unfledged comrade.” (Shakespeare’s Hamlet)
Talk to a school counciler and get it documented.
Colleges can handle this well and may let you retake your courses or help you in other ways beyond just talking about it.
Sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug. Right now, you're the bug. Endure. This too shall pass.
I'm not sure this is a "pattern", though. Mostly, this stuff sounds like events that have happened to you rather than because of you. Life has a way of intervening in our plans. You can't control what's coming at you, you can only control what you do with it. Try to drown out the noise and refocus on your grades and finances. Unplug for a while -- at least a weekend. Turn off the phone, the computer, whatever -- and let yourself recharge. Go behind closed doors and come out with a plan.
Let your bickering friends settle their mess without you. Find another girl -- there are a lot of them out there. Be there for your grandfather and any family that is around him.
You've got a lot coming at you at once - so it's natural to feel overwhelmed. The universe doesn't care about timing!
In regards to the suicide attempts, my uncle committed suicide last year. Then my father died a month later after 6 months in the hospital. It wasn't an easy time and my family and I relied on each other for support. None of these things you have any control of and you have to just open up with your family and friends, get the support you need and provide it as well. Dealing with suicidal people isn't easy and it honestly is not your fight. Point them to the help they need.
It's a bummer that your girl broke up with you - but think of it this way - your future wife would not leave you for another man. So she's eliminated as a candidate. Remember fondly the good times and move on. Time will heal the wounds - the cliche is a truth.
I advise taking some of that diminishing cash and using to fund a trip. Go spend a weekend somewhere you've always wanted to. Or find a new hobby - do something you've always wanted to. Don't let the craziness around you stop you. Don't worry about what you can't help and focus on what you can.
Thank you all for the advice! It's much appreciated to get some help, all parties involved put alot of weight on me and I needed somewhere to look, and this site has always offered great advice. I'll take the common suggestion of getting away, it all hit at home so I haven't had any escape, I'm in rural Iowa so getting away won't be difficult at all. I just need to forget about her, forget about the drama, and regroup. I've started a "self improvement" campaign as it was. I've started working out for the first time since basic, got new clothes, and met new people. Going to try and stop smoking here soon :P thank all of you for the help, and I will update on the situation should anyone be interested! This advice has helped!
Just know that the men here are always here for you Devon.
Awesome! So glad to hear you're getting your life back together again! (After the circumstances you've been through, it's not easy, but you're doing it with flying colors!) Keep it up and always remember that we will be here for you.
Hi, Devon---Well, first of all, don't be too hard on yourself. True, you don't want to allow yourself to be weak-minded or self-pampering, but you've got to recognize that when life deals us some tough blows, we do get rattled and sometimes have to re-group and re-focus after temporary set-backs. And that's okay---we can't always just "tough it out" and expect to stay on an even keel without stopping to take care of ourselves.
It's time for a break and a change of scenery. If I were you, I'd take two days off, even if I had to carve out some convenient time by skipping some classes or taking some time off work (do you have Christmas break coming?) and go do something completely out of your routine---something you don't normally do (and usually wouldn't think of). This doesn't have to be expensive---go to a nearby city and hang out---go to the zoo, a museum, a bookstore with a cappuccino bar, a park with a nature reserve--whatever you normally would NOT do. Along the way, go to a restaurant you wouldn't normally go to, a mall you don't usually visit, some store that's out of the ordinary for you---and buy yourself a little something. What's this all about? It's called breaking away and re-grouping. You're going to be all right---you'll be happy again, and you're going to be able to cope and deal with things--but be nice to yourself. You've got to get away, think things through, and sort some things out.
Re-examine your priorities, goals, and ambitions--get refocused on them and start putting one foot in front of the other towards those things--but along the way, do something else--focus on making other people happy every single day while you're going through this difficult time. That's right---plot, plan, or scheme some way to make a couple of people's day every day. Sound cheesy, especially at a time like this? It's AMAZING how effective this is, so don't discount it. Go out of your way, but find some way EVERY day to brighten the world for a couple of people a day---a small gift, and unexpected compliment, a note of appreciation, an unexpected act of kindness (secret is better)--this creates a lot of positive re-bound energy (again, I know that sounds cheesy, but trust me on this)--it won't be long before your own "funk" will be over and life will move on.
Let us know how you're doing.