DR. WALLACE: I'm married and the father of a 2-month-old son. I love him more than life. Last year, when I was 18, I was arrested for driving under the influence. That should have made me quit drinking, but it didn't. I'm still drinking, and I hate to admit this, but I drink a lot. My wife often tells me to stop drinking. I've tried, but I just can't seem to do it for more than a day at a time.
More than anything, I want to be a good role model for my son. I fear that someday I could be involved in something worse due to my drinking. Please help me. I'm willing to do anything to help me stop drinking. I want to change my life. — Wrong Role Model, via email
WRONG ROLE MODEL: Asking for help is a first step in becoming sober for life. The vast majority of alcoholics — and, yes, teens can be alcoholics — cannot overcome by themselves the strong urge to consume alcohol.
There are many treatment centers that can help. The most widely known is Alcoholics Anonymous. AA is a highly successful form of group counseling and support, and attending AA meetings can be a helpful and rewarding experience for most who give it a try. Because of the increasing number of young alcoholics, many AA groups now have chapters made exclusively for young drinkers.
Alcoholics Anonymous provides meetings in nearly every part of the U.S., and many international locations as well. Visit the AA website to find information on local meetings in your area.
YOUR EXPERIENCES WERE NO WASTE OF TIME
DR. WALLACE: My girlfriend and I had been dating for about eight months. We had some really fun times and fun dates together. Last week, she told me that she no longer wanted to date me because she wanted the opportunity to date others. She explained that there is no one else that she plans to date at the moment but she wanted to be free from our relationship before she even considered going out on a date with another guy. She further stated she no longer had any romantic feelings for me.
That last comment of hers really hurt my feelings. I really feel that, in time, we could have worked things out if she would give it a chance. I feel terrible that we have wasted eight months of our lives by now going our separate ways. What should I do about this? — Unhappy Single, via email
UNHAPPY SINGLE: Don't look at your recent relationship as a waste of time. Both of you have gained much from the experience. Remember the great times you shared with your girlfriend, and then move on with your life. At least your girlfriend was honest and forthright on why she wanted to end the relationship, and from what you've related here, I'd say she did this respectfully and did nothing behind your back.
Respect her for this, and give her space to move on with her life. It will be good for you to remember this in case you find yourself being the one to break up with a future girlfriend at some point.
Think of it this way: Many relationships for teens and young adults end well before marriage. This is simply a fact of life, but it's a true sign of maturity and growth to respectfully and earnestly part ways. After all, you never know if you'll cross paths again or even set up a friend with someone you previously dated!
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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