Adapted from a 2012 online discussion.
Carolyn: I gave up alcohol for Lent for a lot of reasons, but deep down the reason is that I was afraid I was becoming dependent and wanted to test myself a bit. So far, it is good. I actually feel better not having the wine at night.
I may just cut alcohol completely - having a somewhat addictive personality and a family history of alcoholism and cancer.
But my question is more how to handle the social issues. It's easy to say, "I gave up alcohol for Lent," and most aren't giving me a hard time, but what if it's permanent? Is it enough to say, "I realized when I gave it up that I feel better without it"? And my family is pretty big on drinking, so I will stand out and they already feel like I push them away/try to distance myself. Suggestions?
1. Good for you. No, awesome for you.
2. You don't need me one bit. "Gave it up for Lent, didn't miss it" is all you need; even years down the road, "Gave it up for Lent one year, didn't miss it" works great. When pressed, shrug and say, "What can I say?" and change the subject. If it becomes a sore subject with your family, assure them once: "This is about what I need, not about judging anyone else."
Carolyn: I'm pregnant with my second child. It wasn't planned, but it isn't unwelcome.
I feel miserable (I'm actually home sick today because of morning sickness and headache) and am just not happy about this pregnancy, which makes me feel worse. With my first child, even morning sickness made me think "Wheeee! Baby!" but this time I just think it stinks.
I really need to find a way to get excited for this child. It's possible there's some depression going on. I want to be happy about this child, but I'm not.
HOW TO GET HAPPY?
It's normal and OK, truly, not to feel overjoyed when you're sick. Feeling anything but overjoyed about a child can lead to guilt, which can lead to a shame spiral. Mixed feelings about a baby are common. Therapy might help you.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Chat online at 10 a.m. Fridays at www.washingtonpost.com.