DR. WALLACE: Two months ago, my ex-boyfriend and a friend were killed in a terrible car accident. Their car veered off the road and both of them died instantly when the car rolled over and down an embankment. When I heard about it, I went into total shock, and I couldn't even bear to attend the funeral and see him in the casket.
We had broken up four months ago and had been discussing the possibility of getting back together. I thought I loved him, but I wasn't quite sure. But now I realize I really did love him, and I keep thinking about him every waking moment. The last words I heard him say to me on my cellphone were, "I love you." And now I will never hear him say those words again.
I'm a high school senior, so it's important that I try to keep up with my studies so I can attend college, but I have trouble concentrating in class. I feel so helpless and depressed, and I don't know what to do to ease my pain. Please tell me what I can do to get back on track. — Devastated, via email
DEVASTATED: It is often said that time is the universal healer of all wounds, both physical and emotional. Your depression and sadness will eventually fade, and memories of happier times will remain. Of course, you will never forget this tragic event and the love of your close friend, but as you begin the new chapters of your life, you will be busy creating new friendships, interactions and memories to add to the happy ones of your past.
In the meantime, speak with your parents and other trusted adults such as a favorite teacher, aunt or uncle. Open up about how you feel these days. Communication with others about how you feel is an important first step toward emotional healing and recovery. As time passes, you will hopefully find comfort in those who love and care for you. If your depression continues, seek professional counseling and have your inner circle of adults guide you in this process. There are great resources available for grief counseling these days, and your school could be a good place to start, as many schools provide free or low-cost access to this valuable service.
In any event, do not attempt to go it alone. That is not the answer. Seek comfort and guidance from others. Trust me, they are out there for you.
THERE IS MORE TO SPORTS THAN WINNING
DR. WALLACE: Please answer my question real soon! My parents were recently separated, and now I live with my mother. My father still lives in the house where my family used to live, but my mother and I moved out to an apartment on the other side of Miami. Because of the move, I had to change high schools. I don't mind attending the new school, and I have already made new friends. But my problem is that I was on the softball team at my old school. If I still lived in my old house, I would be the starting shortstop on a very good team. My new high school has a weak athletic program. I could play softball here, but winning is fun and chances are we wouldn't win many games with the team this school has.
If I move back in with my father, I could be eligible to play for my old school. I love my dad, but I think I would enjoy living with my mother more than living with my dad. What should I do? — Shortstop, Miami
SHORTSTOP: You did not mention your age, so I will give you a few different answers that apply to different ages. If you are in the 12th grade and will graduate this coming June, move back with your father until you graduate. After the school year, move in with your mother. If you are not a senior, stay put where you are. Athletic participation is important, but living with the parent you most enjoy is ultimately more important. In athletics, winning is important, but participation is more important, and you can participate at your new school and still live with your mother.
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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