Devil’s Advocate

Dear Devil’s Advocate,

I recently confessed my love to a guy, and he shot me down. I’ve spent so much time and energy in convincing him that a relationship with me would be worth it, and I am mentally and emotionally exhausted. We have spent a significant amount of time together, have been on many dates and have even been intimate on multiple occasions. Everything seems fine and dandy when he asks me to come over, but then the next day I don’t hear from him. I dedicated all my time to him and would do anything he asked me to do. I feel used, manipulated and betrayed, because I did confide in him and felt I could trust him. I just feel like I wasted a lot of time.
However, I refuse to wallow in my misery over a guy who didn’t realize all that I have to offer. So now, I’m onto something else. I want to get out there and start dating, but I’m kind of na’ve about relationships (as you can probably tell, or I wouldn’t be in this mess) and don’t know how. Do you have any tips on how to get out there?

Gone Fishing

Dear Gone Fishing,

Well first off, I commend you for understanding that any guy who doesn’t see or appreciate the woman you are isn’t worth the dirt under your shoe. Secondly, I hope that your wanting to play the field is not about making him jealous. That would be you simply acting for him as opposed to yourself. It sounds like you need some time to assess what you truly want in a partner, instead of dating aimlessly or ending up with a guy for the wrong reasons. We all know that girl who stays in an abusive or unfulfilling relationship just to avoid being alone. The best advice I can give is to really look inside yourself and learn how to be your own best friend. Don’t feel like you need a man in your life to make you happy. Haven’t you seen Sex and the City? Those gals are well into their thirties and still holding true to that conviction. All you really need is yourself, and anyone else who comes along and adds to your happiness is just a bonus! Focus on school and thinking about your future, which can be fulfilling in itself. As the saying goes, “No man who is occupied in doing a difficult thing and doing it well, ever loses his self-respect.” Cultivate your own talents and abilities, and the right person will come along at the time he is meant to come along.

Dear Devil’s Advocate,

I just moved to New York from Florida, and I am currently living in the St. John’s dorms. I have been suffering with an eating disorder for about two years now, but refuse to allow it to control my life. I need to know how I can keep my new roommates from finding out about this extremely personal problem. I am trying to change, but I would just prefer for my roommates not to know at this moment, because anyone who finds out thinks I need to be constantly checked on and watched, which only makes me more nervous, which leads to binging. I got enough of that from my family back home, and I don’t want to have to go through all that again. I am seeing a therapist and a nutritionist, so I am well on my way to recovery, but as I’ve been told, those with eating disorders are never cured. It’s a constant battle. How do I keep my roomates out of this part of my life?

Closet Binger

Dear Closet Binger,

This is a tough one because teaching you how to hide your condition is actually counterproductive, so that’s not what I’m going to do. Eating disorders thrive on secrecy, and it would behoove you not to go down that path. However, I’m not going to suggest that you tell anyone if you really don’t want to, even though it’s hard to hide something so serious from the people you live with. It was very brave of you to leave your home and venture out into the world on your own despite this condition, and I commend you for not allowing your disorder to prevent you from accomplishing great things. One thing I’m going to suggest that is incredibly important is that you have a strong support system here in New York. If you eventually feel close enough to at least one roomate, then confide in her. It will feel liberating to be able to confess your daily struggles to someone.

Dear Devil’s Advocate,

I am on academic probation, and I haven’t told my family. I have one semester to get it together before I get dismissed from St. John’s. I have bipolar disorder, and when I’m down, I have a hard time focusing, I’m always exhausted, I get so depressed I can’t even think straight. I was qualified for a medical leave last semester, and now I’m feeling like I should’ve taken it to hold onto my academic scholarship. I’ve started on medication to alleviate the systems, and I’m doing a lot better right now, but do you have any tips that might help me stay afloat with my classwork?

Gettin’ the Boot

Dear Gettin’ the Boot,

You should really communicate with your professors, whether you have a therapist talk to them or you do it yourself. They need to know what’s going on, so if you have any problems they might be able to work with you. Also, take advantage of the school’s tutoring center. The office is on the first floor of St. John’s Hall, and they are extremely informative and helpful. Also, you may benefit from the Counseling Center on the first floor of Marillac Hall.
All in all, what I would tell myself in this situation, is that I am going to be the only one that either benefits or suffers from this situation. Don’t get caught up in the past, or the future, but focus on the “now”. You may have dug yourself into a deep one, but you can do something about it now. Failure is an illusion, because no one ever fails at anything — there are actions and results from those actions. The real question is what you do with the results that you produce. If you can’t seem to focus, have a snack or watch some television and come back to it. Do not entertain the thought that you may not be able to do it. You are the only who can change things for yourself.