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Struggling with Overwhelm

Struggling with Overwhelm

Struggling with Overwhelm

Dear Lucretia I feel so overwhelmed

Dear Lucretia,

I feel sad, tired and overwhelmed most of the time. It’s been going on for about a year and I just can’t seem to change things. What can I do?

Talita, 16 years old

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Dear Talita, 
The last 12 months have been really hard for a lot of people and world events have taken a heavy toll on mental health generally.

It sounds like it’s time you got some support to help you work through what is happening for you. We all need support sometimes and it’s important to reach out and ask for it because people don’t always notice what we’re going through. This isn’t because they don’t care. Instead, we can get so wrapped up in our own lives that we don’t see what is happening right in front of us. 

If you’re still at school, please talk to a teacher you can trust or a school counsellor to let them know you are struggling. They will be able to give you support and help you access other resources. 

I’m also wondering if you have a trusted friend you can talk to. Knowing there is another person out there who is in your corner and willing to listen, can make all the difference. 

We all feel down sometimes and that’s when we need strategies to help us get through to a place where we feel happier and more able to cope with things. 

I know you feel alone right now, but I can assure you there are people around you who care a lot about your wellbeing. You just need to ask for their help and they will give it willingly and eagerly.

Lots of love,

Lucretia’s guidance should be regarded as personal opinion only and does not constitute qualified, professional advice regarding psychological situations. If you require this type of advice, please seek the services of a professional in that field.

Got a question?

Lucretia gives honest and practical advice to help you choose the best path for you. It’s all about taking the filters off and helping young women value themselves more. Click the button to ask your question today!

How Can I feel Happier?

How Can I feel Happier?

How Can I feel Happier?

Dear Lucretia how can I feel happier?

Dear Lucretia,

How can I feel happier about myself and what’s coming? I’ve been depressed for such a long time and I don’t look forward to anything anymore. I don’t know what to do.

Kirralee, 19 years old

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Dear Kirralee, 
Depression is such a challenging condition to overcome – but it’s not impossible. The most important thing is to call in as much support as you can and be willing to get to the bottom of what is causing you to feel this way.

You need a support crew and some strategies to help you during this journey. Find a good counsellor or psychologist who you feel understands you. You might have to try a couple before you find the right one and that’s okay. Then you need to be honest about how you really feel, without shame. You are a good person with a hefty problem that you need to work through so let the counsellor or psychologist guide you through the process. 

Part of this process will involve getting to know yourself more. I find that journaling is a great way to honestly explore who you are and how you feel. There is a wonderful freedom that comes from writing in a journal, by hand, when you know that no one else will ever see it. Write a little every day and you will be helping to clear out all the noisy and unhelpful thoughts in your head. 

Lastly, I want you to focus on the things that bring you joy and every night, before you go to bed, I want you to write down three things that went well during the day. It doesn’t matter how small or big these things are. Just write down three every night. This will help your mind focus more on the positive things in your life. 

Kirralee, you are a beautiful human being and I’m so glad you reached out for some advice. I hope it helps.

Lots of love,

Lucretia’s guidance should be regarded as personal opinion only and does not constitute qualified, professional advice regarding psychological situations. If you require this type of advice, please seek the services of a professional in that field.

Got a question?

Lucretia gives honest and practical advice to help you choose the best path for you. It’s all about taking the filters off and helping young women value themselves more. Click the button to ask your question today!

How to Recover when you Screw Up

How to Recover when you Screw Up

How to Recover when you Screw Up

dear lucretia, how to recover when you screw up

Dear Lucretia,

This week I made a mistake at work and got into a bit of trouble because of it. Now I’m worried that my colleagues don’t like me and talk badly about me behind my back. I’m starting to get anxiety attacks when going to work in the mornings, partly because I’m afraid to make mistakes again. What can I do to feel more comfortable?

Cassie, 22 years old

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Dear Cassie, 
What if I told you that making mistakes is a good thing? When we try something and it doesn’t work, we expand and this is positive. I am sure your colleagues have made many mistakes during their lives and, if they believe they are perfect, the Universe will soon remind them of their innate humanness.

Humans who try to be perfect all the time are doomed to fail. It is much better to accept that sometimes you will stuff up and that’s okay. The most important thing is you learn from it and keep going.

If you need more information or resources to help improve your performance, then don’t be afraid to ask. A good supervisor loves it when an employee owns their mistakes and is keen to get it right next time.

Lastly, always remember that most people spend most of their time thinking about themselves and their own challenges. It’s quite possible that your colleagues are not thinking about you at all. But, if they are, it doesn’t matter because what you think about yourself is the most important thing.

Lots of love,

Got a question?

Lucretia gives honest and practical advice to help you choose the best path for you. It’s all about taking the filters off and helping young women value themselves more. Click the button to ask your question today!

Lucretia’s guidance should be regarded as personal opinion only and does not constitute qualified, professional advice regarding psychological situations. If you require this type of advice, please seek the services of a professional in that field.
How Can I feel Normal?

How Can I feel Normal?

How Can I feel Normal?

Dear Lucretia How Can I Feel Normal

Dear Lucretia,

What do I do when both my mum and partner’s mum tell me I have borderline personality disorder? I feel so stuck and sad because of it. I just want to feel normal and I don’t know how to get there.

Emma, 17 years old

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Dear Emma, 
Borderline personality disorder needs to be diagnosed by a mental health professional. Has this happened or is your mum (and partner’s mum) making assumptions about what is going on for you? If they are just making assumptions, I would recommend you seek the support of a counsellor, psychologist or psychiatrist who can help you work out what is happening and give you professional support. This will be more useful than an average person’s opinion about what may be going on. Whether you have borderline personality disorder or not, they will be able to help you navigate your journey more easily. 

I’d also like you to focus on being “healthy” rather than “normal”. The truth is, everyone’s normal is different and that is perfect because we are all different. You need to work out what healthy looks like for you. 

For most of us, being healthy means finding a way to get some balance in our lives, valuing ourselves and the contributions we make to the world, and doing things we love. Explore ways you can incorporate these things into your life. 

Whatever happens, remember there is nothing fundamentally wrong with you – you just have some unique challenges and need to find some unique ways to address them. This is nothing to be ashamed of. A lot of people experience challenges with their mental health and family relationships so please know you are not alone. Make sure you reach out to people you can trust who are supportive of your journey and be honest with them about how you are feeling.

Lots of love

Lucretia’s guidance should be regarded as personal opinion only and does not constitute qualified, professional advice regarding psychological situations. If you require this type of advice, please seek the services of a professional in that field.

Got a question?

Lucretia gives honest and practical advice to help you choose the best path for you. It’s all about taking the filters off and helping young women value themselves more. Click the button to ask your question today!

Dealing with Frenemies

Dealing with Frenemies

Dealing with Frenemies

Dealing with Frenemies

Dear Lucretia,

My friend has changed a lot lately. She barely even speaks to me and my other friends and when we try to talk to her she just ignores us and continues talking to her new friend. I am having a gathering and she told us she didn’t want to come and she would rather hang with her new friend. But when I told her that a boy she was crushing over was coming she decided to come.

The other day I noticed something was off as she blew me off for no reason. It turns out she was telling all my other friends that our friendship was toxic and started to cry. I don’t know whether I want to mend our friendship, but I know that all my other friends will turn on me, and I don’t want to lose them. Thanks for helping me.

Silvia, 16 years old

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Dear Silvia, 
Teenage relationships can be very complicated but it’s important you stay true to yourself. If this girl only wants to spend time with you when it will benefit her in some way, that is very toxic – for you. And if your others decide to turn on you, that means they weren’t very good friends to begin with.

Sometimes we get so caught up in wanting someone to like us back that we lose our way. My advice is that you sit down and have a good think about your relationship with this girl. Have you been deliberately mean to her in any way? If so, apologise and move forward. If not, then it is time to assess whether this friendship is really a friendship at all. 

Friends can have a bad day and be snappy, then apologise later. After all, life is challenging and sometimes we take our unhappiness out on the people closest to us. But, it doesn’t sound like this is happening in your friendship. 

True friends are kind and supportive. They don’t try to compete with us for popularity and they don’t make up stories about us either. I understand that often we want someone to like us but not everyone will…and that is okay. It doesn’t mean you are a bad person because your worth is not based on what someone else thinks. 

It doesn’t sound like it is up to you to “mend” this friendship. It would probably be healthier to step back and let her go.

Lots of love,

Got a question?

Lucretia gives honest and practical advice to help you choose the best path for you. It’s all about taking the filters off and helping young women value themselves more. Click the button to ask your question today!

How do I Become More Self-Loving and Confident?

How do I Become More Self-Loving and Confident?

How do I Become More Self-Loving and Confident?

Dear Lucretia How Can I be More Self Loving?

Dear Lucretia,

How do I become more self-loving and confident? It’s dragging me down so much and I don’t feel good enough for anyone. I’ve tried so many things but my motivation always gets overpowered and nothing changes.

Sophia, 17 years old

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Dear Sophia, 
First of all, stop worrying about being good enough for someone else – that is not the ultimate prize in this game called life. The prize is accepting yourself as the beautiful and unique being you are, and never apologising for who you are.

Self-worth is something a lot of us struggle with (even me) so know that you’re not alone. But it can be worked on and improved. One of the most helpful things is to stop looking to other people to give you validation. I know we’re taught to seek the approval of others and we flourish when this happens. But life can’t be about them, it has to be about you.

I want you to go on a journey to work out who you are. Journaling is a great way to begin – and yes, I know you might be thinking, “How will writing down my trivial thoughts help anything?”

When we write (by hand, not on a computer or device), it is very hard to lie to ourselves about how we really feel. Instead, we are honest and vulnerable because we know that no one else will ever read our words. This suddenly makes it much easier to have all those feelings we think others will judge us for. So, write every day and just let your thoughts flow out. No one else is going to read it so be brutally honest.
 

My second suggestion is you spend more time focusing on what you love and are passionate about. I don’t care if it’s crochet, running, films from the 1940s or a charity you want to support. Find the thing that you love doing then prioritise it in your life. Do it every day if you want or schedule it in once a week. The most important thing is that you do it regularly because you feel good when you do it and you care about it. And, if you don’t know what your thing is yet, then try random activities every week until you find it. Trust me, it is out there. In fact, there is probably more than one thing that you will love.

Finally (and this might be difficult for you), I want you to catch yourself every time you feel guilty about investing this time in yourself. Your mind may tell you things like: “This journaling is a waste of time and nothing you have to say is interesting” or “You should be doing things for other people all the time instead of focusing on yourself – you’re so selfish.”

When you get these thoughts in your head, I want you to notice them and then say, “Thank you mind, but today I’m going to try something else.” Then keep going.

How will this help you to feel more self-loving and confident? Well, firstly journaling will help release all the emotional energy you are holding in your body. It will also help recognise how you really feel about things so you can start making decisions that are better for you (instead of serving other people’s interests all the time). This will also help you accept yourself more.

Secondly, focusing on what you love always makes us feel better and our passions light us up like nothing else can. Often, this helps us connect with other like-minded souls who are also passionate about the same things.

Lots of love,

Got a question?

Lucretia gives honest and practical advice to help you choose the best path for you. It’s all about taking the filters off and helping young women value themselves more. Click the button to ask your question today!

Can Men and Women Just Be Friends?

Can Men and Women Just Be Friends?

Can Men and Women Just Be Friends?

dearlucretia.com can men and women be friends

Dear Lucretia,

I find it difficult to be friends with males. There’s always some awkwardness because either one could develop feelings for the other. This leads to one party getting disappointed.

I don’t have many guy friends and I would really like to try but how do I be friends with men when it seems to always lead to sex? 

Meg, 26 years old

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Dear Meg,

This is a common question many of us have asked over the years – can men and women ever just be friends without sex getting in the way?

Fundamentally, I feel the answer is: boundaries. When we connect with another human being, we choose what boundaries we put in place around how we interact. These can include whether we allow people to touch us in certain ways (e.g. you might be a hugger or not) and whether we are comfortable discussing certain topics, or not.

There is an old saying that if you’re talking to a man about sex then he is thinking about having sex, with you. I suspect this may be true in some cases. But does that mean you shouldn’t discuss certain topics, like sex, when you are with male friends? I think the answer once again, is boundaries.

Unfortunately, many women are not taught how to identify their own boundaries or communicate them to other people. This leads to miscommunication when we think they should just know what is okay and what is not. But how can they know unless they are mind readers? [Note, this perspective does NOT accommodate violent or harassing behaviour by men. If they believe that type of behaviour is acceptable, no amount of boundary-setting by you will change that.]

I feel that women and men can be friends as long as the boundaries are clearly communicated and respected on both sides. So, if you want be just friends with a guy, then I would make that clear through your words and actions from the outset.


And if you feel he over-steps a boundary then you need to kindly but firmly let him know immediately. Remember, you are not responsible for his hurt feelings if you reject his advances. If he is a grown-up with some level of emotional maturity, he will accept your “No, thank you” and understand it’s not meant to be.

Of course, it is possible that a friendship may lead to sex – there are lots of romantic relationships that start this way. But the key, as always, is to be clear about what you want from the start. If you only want friendship and he doesn’t respect that boundary, then it would be a good idea to step back from that connection.

Lots of love,

Got a question?

Lucretia gives honest and practical advice to help you choose the best path for you. It’s all about taking the filters off and helping young women value themselves more. Click the button to ask your question today!

He Slept With Her But Says He Wants Me

He Slept With Her But Says He Wants Me

He Slept With Her But Says He Wants Me

dearlucretia.com he likes me but slept with her

Dear Lucretia,

How do I know if a boy really likes me? He told me he did at a house party then slept with someone else.

Now he’s saying it was a mistake and will never happen again.

Rosie, 17 years old

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Dear Rosie,

Run, run, run away from this boy and don’t look back. If he was serious about you, he would not have slept with someone else. That’s not how it works.

Yes, I understand you weren’t going out at the time but I think you need to ask yourself, what kind of guy do you want to be with? This is the time when you choose. 

Do you want to be with someone who says he likes you and makes it clear he is not interested in anyone else? Or do you want to waste your time with someone who says he likes you until he gets a better offer, then comes back to you?

Rosie, you deserve better than this.

Don’t wait for him to choose you when it’s convenient for him and don’t accept second best. If a guy really likes you, he will show you consistently and won’t leave you in any doubt about how he feels.

Lots of love,

Got a question?

Lucretia gives honest and practical advice to help you choose the best path for you. It’s all about taking the filters off and helping young women value themselves more. Click the button to ask your question today!

How Can I Value Myself More?

How Can I Value Myself More?

How Can I Value Myself More?

How do I Value Myself More Dearlucretia.com

Dear Lucretia,

How can I value myself more?

Over the past five years, I’ve overcome a lot of personal obstacles and worked hard on my mental health but I still don’t see the worth and value others see in me. I don’t see myself as someone to be proud of. How can I feel better about who I am and be happy? 

Kara, 17 years old

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Dear Kara,

Many of us struggle for a long time to see our own value and it doesn’t feel fair sometimes that other people can see what we don’t.

Self-worth is a tricky thing that needs to be built from the ground up. And if you’ve had a shaky start, for whatever reason, it will take a while to build. But that’s okay. Understand that it isn’t a race. It is a journey. I know that might sound annoying because we live in a world where we’re taught that things must be fixed instantly so we can move on quickly. But real life isn’t like that. 

Every human being on this planet is valuable and worthy. The challenge is to discover this knowledge within yourself. 

Perhaps you could start by sitting with the idea of giving and receiving. Many sensitive souls (like you) think you must give and give and give more, to be worthy. But that is only part of the story. Giving and receiving must be a cycle that goes out and returns, then goes out again. You must give to yourself and receive from others, just as much as you give out. Only then will things be balanced. 

Find a cause you care about, something you want to help with – it might be a charity, a group or something similar. Focus your energy on that cause and your desire to make a difference and help others (humans, animals, the environment, etc.). But, for every contribution you make, I want you to give something back to yourself too. It might be you allow yourself to say “Thank you” and accept a compliment from someone (instead of brushing it off). You could gift yourself time to do something you love or maybe just have a nap because you are tired and will feel better for it. 

I know these things might sound silly and trivial but I assure you, they are not. Practising the art of giving and receiving, with the knowledge that you are an important and valuable part of that cycle, is a healthy way to live your life. It will also ensure that you don’t burn out. 

I’m guessing from your letter that it might feel uncomfortable to give to yourself in this way. But practice makes perfect. And no, before you ask, giving to yourself as much as you give to others is not selfish. It is healthy because ensuring your needs are met first, will ensure you can continue to help others. As they say on the planes, put on your own oxygen mask first before you help the person next to you. 

I hope my advice helps you Kara. You are a wonderful human being who absolutely deserves lots of love and joy in your life. 

Lots of love,

Got a question?

Lucretia gives honest and practical advice to help you choose the best path for you. It’s all about taking the filters off and helping young women value themselves more. Click the button to ask your question today!

How do I Stop Myself from Repeating the Past?

How do I Stop Myself from Repeating the Past?

How do I Stop Myself from Repeating the Past?

dearlucretia.com how can i stop repeating the past

Dear Lucretia,

How do I cope with relapse? I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety in 2018, and went on 4 different medications until I found the right one.

For about a year I have been doing so great. But, recently, I have felt myself using my old thinking patterns and behaviours. I can’t help thinking that I’m going back to how I was. Tears, hospital trips, breakdowns, sleepless nights. I don’t want that again. How do I change this? If it does happen, how do I cope? Thank you so much.

Ellie, 17 years old

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Dear Ellie,

When someone tells me they are worried about going back and repeating the mistakes of their past, or being the person they were before, my first response is always the same:

You can never really go back to being the person you were before, because you have changed since then.

Every day, our bodies change. We shed cells and get older.

Every day, our minds change as we grow and learn more about ourselves and the world. We constantly have new experiences and understandings that change who we are.

This means you have changed from the girl you were two years ago.

Yes, you may have some old patterns coming up. But you can see them for what they are now. You have a greater understanding of where they come from, how to manage them and who you can go to for help. You have learned those things. You have done the work on yourself. No one else. You.

You are not the same girl you were before, so let that fear go. You don’t need it.

Secondly, it sounds like you’ve had to be really strong to get where you are. Hold onto that strength and know that whatever comes you will deal with it. You will move through it because you are strong and courageous. I can feel that about you.

Setbacks happen in life and it can feel like you’ve gone two steps forward and three steps back. It’s frustrating but, in reality, it is just another step in your journey. Sometimes we need to revisit parts of ourselves or things in our past to clear them properly.

You know what to do this time. Reach out and get the support you need. There is no shame in asking for help. Do the things that work for you. And if they’ve stopped working, change things.

Have faith in your ability to keep going. I believe in you.

Lots of love,

Got a question?

Lucretia gives honest and practical advice to help you choose the best path for you. It’s all about taking the filters off and helping young women value themselves more. Click the button to ask your question today!

Lucretia’s guidance should be regarded as personal opinion only and does not constitute qualified, professional advice regarding psychological situations. If you require this type of advice, please seek the services of a professional in that field.

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