Sweet Advice

By Stephanie Lynn


The Drama Hurts

I have been friends with this group of friends for almost 2 years now. We had great times and the memories are really strong. I sometimes have not been the best friend but nor has anyone. People have their ups and downs but we forgave each other and moved on. But somehow when I am not the greatest person it is almost impossible for them to forgive me. When a friend of mine hurts my feelings or disappoints me I go up to them and tell them in the nicest way because I know they didn't mean to, but my friends just chatted behind my back about how "mean" I was, and then finally one friend came up to me and told the whole story of why they're mad at me, so I apologized, but they didn't take it seriously. I tried again, and I truly did mean it, but they will not let me apologize and just keep on dissing me. I know that what I did was not nice or right but neither was it right for them to not let me know and just let the hate attack me slowly and hurt me more.

But the thing is, some of my friends have done things that are not nice either ... I mean NO ONE is perfect and everyone has ups and downs but why ME? Why do they have to get me SO hard but not when others do it? No, I wonder if it's fun dissing me or something. Now school is coming up and we are still not cool. I'm stressed to get back to school now. I'm afraid to know what's going to happen.

Why do they not realize that I have just as much right to speak as they do and just as much right to be heard not dissed? Please help me ... This is getting me so hard that it's been a while since I last actually enjoyed eating meals and sleeping.

Thank You
Katrazyna, 16

Okay, so what I am about to say may sound a little mean, but I promise it's for a good reason. Sorry if I upset you. So what it sounds like to me is you're saying sorry, but you're also pointing the finger. They know you're not perfect, but they also know they do not have to put up with you.

Let me explain. If one person in the group takes it upon herself to "fix" things people get upset and sick of it. So sorry just doesn't cut it after so many times. You need to tell them why you are sorry. Do not point fingers because when you point fingers people don't want to listen. They do not find your "sorry" serious.

If you want to fix it stop looking at their part and look at your own part.

Stress & Bipolar

I have way too much stress building up in me. I'm bipolar and I've had lots of problems. My friends tell me to go to a therapist, but my family can't afford one. And school counselors don't really help. Advice please?
A., 14

If your friends are really your friends, they'd understand and try their best to help you. At least that's what I'd try to do if I had a friend with your problem. Same thing with your family. They may not be able to do much on the therapist, but they can help. Families are supposed to talk. I know it doesn't happen much, but if you need someone to talk to, call on your mom or dad. Ask them for some sort of advice or something.

I'm sure that if you can keep the stress down, you'll be much better in the long run. Every once in a while go up to your room or somewhere quiet and special and meditate or something of the sort. I'm sure that it'll cool the load if you keep doing something like that. Before bed, think to yourself that everything will be alright, an affirmation of sorts. Make yourself believe it. And soon you will. Believe me. It does work.

Blessed BeM

Being bipolar is not an easy thing to deal with, especially when you feel like you are now. You do not need anyone. I'll give you my secret. Write, write about all your worries, all your stress, everything and anything you need to let out. If you need someone to talk to then sit down with a friend and vent or whatever you need, but keep it to one friend only. I suffer from depression and anxiety too.

Last January I went through a lot. It was very hard for me to do anything. One night I broke down. My mom sent me to a treatment center, and ever since I'm a different kid. All my friends saw a big difference after only two weeks. I just stopped going for therapist appointments and even stopped taking my meds because, and only because, I found new ways to deal with my depression and anxiety.

You have to find your own ways. I don't know the correct words to say to make everything easier, because honestly I don't have the words. You have to step outside of your comfort zone and just be you. Think of things you love to do. Channel everything into that one thing. Good luck & keep trying.

Stressed About Her Weight

Ok, I gained about 26 pounds over the summer, and this year everyone keeps joking on me, calling me fat and stuff, and asking if I'm pregnant. I'm trying to lose the weight, but it's hard, and it's not helping, and my parents won't take me to a gym because they say I should just eat better and stuff, and I do! What should I do?
Kim, 13

Weight loss is totally simple. I've written an article about the ultimate way to get healthy. It will be featured in the June issue of the magazine. Even if you're not ready to make such a big change, that's OK. You can do some of the things I mention. If you don't want to stop eating meat and dairy, cutting back on meat and dairy will make a big difference.

Your parents are right, you don't need a gym - you need to eat better. It's the only way to lose weight, keep it off, and be healthy. As I said, you don't need a gym, but you do need exercise. Great exercise can be just walking or jogging around your neighborhood or riding your bike. The best diet to help get you into shape is a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

There are a few things you should not put in your body.

1. Artificial sweeteners, meaning anything that says "sugar free" or contains aspartame, Equal, Nutrasweet, Sweet & Low, or Splenda.

2. Many items which say "low fat". When you think "low fat", think of chemicals killing all the good stuff you put in your mouth. However, some items are naturally low in fat, and these are healthy, such as the fruits, vegetables, and whole grains I mentioned above.

3. Refined sugar. It spikes your blood sugar, then you crash, so you're tired and cranky ... and the last time I checked, it doesn't make you skinny.

4. And lastly, products made with white flour. White flour is heavily processed and in large amounts can be unhealthy and a diet buster.

In my opinion, meat and dairy should also be in this list, but I understand that many people do not have the commitment or drive to try a vegan diet. An example of a day of food for me would be:

Breakfast: Fruit, usually an orange, some strawberries, and some cherries
Lunch: A salad or a veggie burger and fruit
Dinner: Gardenburger Riblets or Vegan Mac & "Cheese" or potatoes and veggies

For a healthy breakfast consider fresh fruit or a fresh fruit smoothie. The reason for this is that fruit digests easily and quickly, so when you have fruit for breakfast, you don't weigh yourself down with hard to digest meat or eggs.

Believe me, if you start eating more fruits and veggies and less meat, dairy, and other icky refined things, you will lose weight, eat less, and move more. I also want to impress upon you how important it is to remember that you will crave those old bad-for-you foods. Just forget about them. Eat an apple and watch TV, go for a run, or do anything that will distract you, and never be caught without healthy foods to eat. Keep a healthy snack like a Larabar in your backpack for those times when you're ravenous. Then you won't reach for chips or cookies.

Good Luck!

I'm the same age as you, and I have gained a lot of weight too. I eat well, but I do have the occasional snack. The best thing you can do is maybe go for a bike ride daily (if you have a bike) or take a walk for about 20 minutes every day or something. Also, don't eat so much extra snacks if you do so. As for the people who make fun of you, just ignore them. Everyone gains weight and loses it.

Best of luck,

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Stress = No BF + Unsupportive BFF's

Okay, so I'm so overstressed about everything lately. I can't find the right guy. They all just come and go, you know? I haven't had a boyfriend since last summer, and the longest relationship I've had was two months, and we hardly even talked. I really want to find the right guy, and I know some cute, funny, smart ones, but I don't really want to approach them like that, because we've been friends for so long, and I think it will be weird.

Second, friend problems. They are being so caddy and stupid right now, and I have no idea what to do. The other day they both ganged up on me for something they have no business in, and I guess we are "cool" now or whatever, but it hurts every time they do it, and it puts so much more stress and worry on me than I already have. Oh, gosh, I don't know what to do with myself, and more than I should lately I have been on the verge of tears. This one girl has been my best friend since I can remember, and she's not usually like this. Please HELP!
Ellen, 13

Ellen, you shouldn't worry about not having a boyfriend. I know it's always fun to have one around and everything, but you shouldn't be stressing yourself out because of it. The right guy will come at the perfect time, trust me!

If your friends are being like that, why even be friends with them? Move on, and get some better friends who aren't like that. You should share your business with your friends, because they help out A LOT.

I know exactly what you're going through with the boy situation. I'm going through the same thing. My longest relationship was a month and a half. Soo don't worry, better things will come along. You really have to just wait and see what happens. Let them come to you; if the time is right it will happen.

Now about the friendship thing - my friends are jerks and do that to me all the time - you really gotta tell them how you feel, and hopefully they'll consider what you're saying. OPEN YOUR MOUTH. Don't let them walk all over you or it will get worse.

I know exactly what you are going through! Right now you're at an age when you should just be enjoying life. Boyfriends shouldn't be your main priority. Don't go looking for a boyfriend. Wait until the time is right. You're going to have the rest of your life to date! Everyone goes through friendship problems at one point or another. Try talking to your friends & telling them that they hurt you. They might understand. If not, try to avoid them. Your friends might be trying to figure out "who they are". Some time away might be the best. Good luck [:

Ellen, first problem, personally you shouldn't have a boyfriend. I mean. it's great to have one, but boys aren't everything. They cause problems and they stink =P But getting to my point ... You're only 13. You have so long to look for that right guy you want.

Now your second problem. Girls are always like this. It's because you're in middle school/high school. Girls get jealous very, very easily. You just have to brush it off b/c once you stop caring they think it's not fun anymore. And if your friend does this to you that just proves she's not a good friend. You want a friend who's always there too help, not to hurt.=]

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My Parents Want to Kick Me Out

I am eighteen years old and live with my parents, but we are always at each other's throats. They treat me like I'm still a kid and they are at the point where they just want to kick me out. I don't have a job and they always throw it in my face. I'm starting college in two months, but it's like nobody cares.

Sometimes I think it would be better if I did leave, so I don't cause them any more problems and I won't think about killing myself at times.

Then there is this relationship I'm in. I didn't want to fall in love, but I think I am, and now he might be leaving. This has happened to me before, and I don't know what to do. I'm not asking for a miracle, but I am asking for help.
Nataline, 18

I have the same problem at my house, even though I'm 15 years old. I can totally relate to you. First off, you should sit down with your parents, and tell them that you don't want them to get angry or upset or yell, that you want your side of the situation told. (If they have reallllyyyy bad tempers then I suggest going out to eat at a very public place so they don't make a scene.) Tell them that you're going to college soon, and that you are a legal adult, that they have no say in what you do, so they can't make you do anything you don't want to do. Say that they have to get over their fear of growing old, of watching their daughter move out and start her own life. If they're still having problems, then just move in with a friend who is willing to share the place while you get on your feet.

But about the no-job part, I suggest finding someplace that is good for you, that you know you'll love, and that doesn't have soooo many hours a day that you'll have no time to do your work. It may be hard to find that, but if you really look, then you'll find a place. And don't just look at the major places like department stores or grocery stores or other retail places like that. Try a pet store (if you're into animals) or an ice cream shop (if you like bright colors and sweet smells - it wouldn't hurt to be surrounded by those things if you still have feelings of suicide).

Hmm ... a man too. You have to be absolutely sure that he is someone you want to hold onto if he moves away, that he is willing to make the commitment of seeing you even if he's so far away, being loyal to you and only you while he's out with his friends getting drunk and being surrounded by girls.

I also have the same problem. My boyfriend lives 50 miles away from me and we only see each other once a month. If your boyfriend is willing to go that long without seeing you, and he's truly who you want, and you're both willing to go through with it, then try your best to see him when you can. Then after all of the chaos of college and whatever he's doing is settled you guys can go back together finally and permanently ... if that's what you want.

I really hope all goes well, and this helped you, Nataline. Best of luck with college. You'll do great.

Nataline, I am not the same age as you, but I can give you some advice to deal with your parents and your relationship. If you feel that your parents treat you like some little kid then I would tell them. Even if they don't listen, just keep trying to find that right moment. Also, I think that they shouldn't be at you for not having a job. I think it is better that you don't have a job since you will be starting college. I personally think that they should be proud and supportive since you're actually going to college. As for your relationship, since the guy is leaving, I think you should talk to him and tell him that you are in love with him. If he still leaves after that then I am sure you two will keep in contact and maybe have a visit every so often. Best of luck.

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Stressed About Her Weight

I am stressed out about my weight! Like yeah, I have tried dieting and exercising and it doesn't work. It makes me stressed out. I started smoking cigarettes to relieve stress, but my parents found out, so I had to stop. They gave me this lecture and it made me more stressed out. Also, to top it all off, I'm having dating problems. No guy wants to hang out with me because I am overweight. I don't know what to do. Help!!!! please.
Rachel, 13

First off: Smoking? Not going to help.

Listen ... I used to be heavy. I lost a lot of weight, but I'm still not that happy with myself. I think, "Why does it take so long?" Well, my dad helped me. See, you need to stick to your dieting and exercising for a long time. It took me three years. But it's worth it! I'm still on my diet, and I get compliments all the time! Focus on that goal of losing weight.

Also, it is possible you aren't really overweight. I don't know what you look like, but you may have a distorted vision of yourself that no one else sees. I understand that you may not be happy with yourself. I'm not going to give you that "You look great!" thing. I HATE it when people do that. It's like "Well, I don't feel that way." Just stick to dieting and exercising.

Do you like sweet stuff? One word: FRUIT! I love fruit. And it fills you up. As for exercising, walking with friends is soo much fun. Go on walks barefoot with your best friend. Talk with them and the walk goes by fast, and there goes a bunch of calories!

As for your dating problems, don't worry. You're thirteen, and though you're mature and ready for a relationship, most of the guys probably aren't. They're not mature enough yet. At one point they'll be smart and appreciate you for you.

First of all, I think you're speaking for all teenage girls when you say you think you're overweight. At our age, no one is satisfied with the way they look ... particularly their weight. The best advice I can give you is to learn to love your flaws! At 13, a girl has so much more to be concerned about than her weight! You need to realize that people come in all shapes and sizes and every one of them is beautiful!

Next, you might want to think of some other ways to get relief than smoking. Smoking is hazardous to your health, and if you start at a young age you may not be able to stop. Find a way to be creative and let your emotions out like drawing or writing or playing an instrument. By picking up a hobby that interests you, you can let your feelings out in a constructive way.

Finally, don't stress over guy problems. At 13, guys can are usually very immature and not even worth thinking about. Stay focused on other things, and I promise that one day you will find a guy who loves everything about you!

Best of Wishes,

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Weight Issues

Okay, I'm being made fun of because of my weight. Whenever I try to lose weight I just add on more for some reason! So I'm thinking of not eating and just pretending when I'm in public and when my father is around. Do you know any other way besides pretending to eat and going on a diet and working out?
Alexis, 13

Babe, okay ... hold on, slow down. I understand you're stressed and feeling like you have to be a certain weight, look, and everything else. Thanks to the media we have a problem with appearance and thinking skinny is the only way to be. However, that is NOT true. Most guys like girls that aren't a size zero. Studies show guys prefer girls who have some stuff there.

But if you still feel you are overweight then not eating is NOT your answer. Not eating is actually an eating disorder called anorexia. Anorexia can be very harmful. It can be so harmful that people have died from it. And that is the last thing I want for you, along with friends and family. That would leave so many people heartbroken.

I understand you are young and in a state where your body is constantly changing and your hormones are all over the place, and that is probably not helping you at all. But, like I said, anorexia is not the answer.

Now, to answer your question, "Do I know of any ways to loose weight? I am not going to recommend any ways, because they may not be the best for you, and may hurt you in the end. So what I recommend is sitting down with your dad and explaining to him how you are feeling about your appearance and weight, and ask him to speak with a doctor. A doctor will be able to help you find something that will fit your body type and schedule. Since your dad will also know what is going on, you will be in good hands.

Your dad cares about you and he won't let you harm yourself. If he doesn't know about how you feel, you can seriously harm yourself. It may be hard to confront him, but in the end it you ensure your safety and bring your relationship closer.
Best of Wishes,

Body Image

Ok, I'm a freshman, and my little sister is in sixth grade. I'm pretty small, like I'm thin, and I have a very small chest size, and she's almost bigger in her chest size than I am. And it's like devastating to me because I've always been self-conscious about my chest size. I don't know how to handle this. Can you help?
Holl, 14

I can really identify with you, Holl! My younger sister (5 years younger) is medium build. I'm really thin like you, which for most people like us means having a small chest. The reality is that nobody's body is perfect. Too short, too tall, stringy hair, acne, big hips, and so on. My sister struggles with her weight, while I eat anything and everything, and I never gain a pound. Yeah, sometimes I'm a bit jealous of her. But she's also sometimes a bit jealous of me too. Being overweight or having to constantly diet is a very difficult way to live. So count your blessings.
♥ Stephanie Lynn

Family Secrets

I've had a pretty rough life. To make a long story short, my dad left my family while my mom was diagnosed with cancer. He obviously couldn't handle it, and just left. After that, a series of pretty bad and bizarre events followed. Needless to say, I've had a pretty rough life the past few years. My friends have never suspected a thing until recently, when I was at a party with my girlfriends and my mom called with bad news. My father had called for the first time in three years. My friends listened in on the whole conversation. Should I tell them what's really been going on in my life? Or should I keep it inside? I cried myself to sleep that night at the sleepover, wishing I had someone to talk to. But I don't want to get any pity from my friends. What should I do?
Carolyn, 15

Well, this is a difficult situation. My recommendation is to tell your friends, or at least one. Carolyn, if you don't want all of your friends to know, then pick your most trustworthy and closest friend to tell. You have been holding all of this inside of you for too long.

I understand you don't want the pity, so explain this to the friend(s) you tell. Let them know you don't want the pity, just the chance to let it out and get it off your chest, just someone to listen.

Tell your friend(s) sometimes if you just cry this is why. You don't want them to pity you, just be there for you. Let them know there may be times you may not want to explain, just want someone to be by your side so you know you will be okay. Friends are a great thing. Don't think they don't care about you.
Lots of Love,


Lately my grades have been slipping. I'm moving, and I got in this huge fight with my best friend. I feel like the whole world is on my shoulders, and I cry at school all the time. And that brings us to bullying. It sounds so kiddish, but I cry during school for no reason, and they say "You're such a crybaby, Annette."

It hurts me very bad, and I can't get if off my mind ... the whole stress thing. I've tried yoga, pilates, getting massages, but nothing seems to take it away. My mom thinks I'm going into depression. I DONT WANT TO THOUGH! I want a normal 14 year old life! So Steph, what would you do in my situation?
Annette, 14

I know how you feel. Like I've told other people I've helped with your problems, I've been the same ... being depressed. There is exactly nothing I can do. YOU have to do this. I can help, but remember, I know you can do this!

About the grades, all I can say is stay after school and get some work done. That's exactly what I did! I went from a C to an A! If I can do it, I know you can!

About moving ... Moving is very stressful. I know how you feel. If you're moving far away, you can always call them. My best friend moved to St. Louis, and I live close to Chicago. It was very hard on both of us, but we still keep in touch after 2 years!

Fighting with friends ... I just got done with this whole drama crap too. I told my friend that she liked someone, and she got offensive and started spreading rumors. All I can say (and what I did) was just ignore all the crap they do ... pretend they don't exist. My mother tells me that seeing you cry makes them feel better. It's wrong, but true. My friends and I are friends again. And I held strong through it. Yeah. :]]

About bullying & crying at school ... girl, you sound just like me! I get bullied all the time. You can't stop being yourself - sensitive. Tell them to go away. Tell them to picture themselves as you, and how they'd feel like that. That might help. If that doesn't help, you should definitely contact the principal at your school to come talk to all of them.

What I did when my mother told me I might be getting depressed, I took a lot of deep breaths, and I got off the computer more often. I did better things and it made me feel better.

I will definitely pray for you, my dear. :]
God Bless,

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