DR. WALLACE: I just broke up with my boyfriend of nearly a year last week. I did so because he simply would not stop taking what he called “recreational drugs.” He told me that he was not addicted and that he could stop using them whenever he wanted. The problem was that he never wanted to stop.
Any time we attended a party or other event, he would take one substance or another. He also always had a group of shady people that hung around him.
I don’t really have a question for you other than to ask you why you think it took me so long to wake up and leave him. I guess the other reason I’m writing to you is to tell other girls to take note of my story and my experience. Guys who use substances regularly are very unlikely to stop this usage no matter how many times they tell you they will or how many excuses they give you for their behavior. — I Took Too Long to Leave, via email
I TOOK TO LONG TO LEAVE: Good for you that you made the decision to move on. That was a wise move given the story you’ve related about your boyfriend’s behavior.
Too often we fear change, and this keeps us subconsciously going with the flow in many areas of our lives — not just relationships. Sometimes changes are thrust upon us, while other times we make proactive decisions that seemingly were long overdue, as was the case in your situation.
By writing in and sharing your experience you may help other individuals in the future who find themselves in a situation like yours. Thank you for sharing your experiences and best wishes for a happy future. The good news is that once you’ve made a decision like this, it increases your ability to escape any other poor situation much sooner in the future.
I’M WORRIED ABOUT MY EMOTIONS
DR. WALLACE: I’m a football player and a baseball catcher at my high school and I’m lucky enough to be a pretty good athlete. I’m a junior in high school this year. I’m physically growing up fast and I’m already the size of a typical adult man.
You could say that I’m a “tough guy,” but I have a secret that I don’t share with anyone. I don’t tell my girlfriend, my parents or even my friends about this: When I watch sad movies I get really choked up! I have to do all I can to not cry out loud right then and there.
This makes me feel very self-conscious and uncomfortable, and sometimes I even feel slightly ashamed of myself. What can I do about this? Is this normal or do I have a problem? — Multisport Athlete, via email
MULTISPORT ATHLETE: You are indeed normal and have nothing at all to worry about. Human beings have emotions of many types and getting “choked up” as you put it often can indicate sadness, empathy, sorrow, pain and even at times joy or triumph. Who can forget Hall of Fame basketball player Michael Jordan’s reaction to winning the world championship with the Chicago Bulls on Father’s Day after the passing of his father? Jordan’s tearful reaction was raw, one of the most heartfelt ever seen in a sports environment. Jordan is human like the rest of us, and his emotions were visible to all that momentous day. Everyone understood and respected how he felt.
So, take note that you are human as well and that you are in tune with your emotions, which is a very good thing. Being able to experience and emote in this way is very important to your mental health and demonstrates that you are a caring individual at your core. There is absolutely no shame in that, and in fact, this is a trait that you should be proud of.
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.