DEAR AMY: I have had an especially horrible week.
I received a low performance appraisal at work, which blindsided me because I’m extremely dedicated to this hard (and, apparently, thankless) job.
The same day I logged on to Facebook to see that my boyfriend is in a relationship with someone else. After more than a decade together, this is how he voices his desire to “see other people.”
Then one of my best friends declared she doesn’t want to be friends with me anymore because I’m friendly with a woman she dislikes. I’m not completely surprised, but I am hurt.
Oh, and I’m also turning 30. It’s supposed to be a huge milestone, but what do I have to celebrate? I’m a wreck! How do I even begin to get my life together? — Worst Week Ever
DEAR WORST WEEK: No question about it: Any one of the items on your “worst week” list could take down a rhino. This is “bad things happen in threes” to the max.
I prescribe giving yourself some time to self-medicate with soft-serve ice cream while binge watching “The Mindy Project.”
After you crawl out from under the covers, you should take another look at the one thing you can do something about: your job situation. It’s important to follow up on this job appraisal. Stay calm and focus on discovering what things you can do differently. A second look at your evaluation may yield information that you didn’t understand fully at the time because you were hyperventilating too much. A mentor at work could help you strategize on how to turn things around.
Write yourself a mission statement. Turning 30 is the perfect time to take a long and broad look at your future. Other than rewinding the past week and having it play out differently, what are your larger dreams and goals? What is your vision? What is the big picture?
Every successful person has a “worst week” story, and many look back on these tough times as important turning points. Your worst week is in the past. What you choose to do next is the only important thing.
DEAR AMY: I’m a concerned uncle. My beloved 20-year-old niece “Molly” visited my family over a recent long weekend. Following her departure, my wife said she suspected that Molly was vomiting after eating.
She had no direct evidence, just the observation that she visited the bathroom following meals, seemed to linger and coughed after exiting. Molly is a normal weight but perhaps somewhat thinner than when we saw her last at Christmas.
She was careful about her eating and wanted to join me with my regular running regimen while she was here.
Please offer your advice on whether I should bring this to my sister’s (her mother’s) attention. My sister suffered from an eating disorder during her college years. — Appreciative in Suburbs
DEAR APPRECIATIVE: Do not hesitate to talk to your sister about this.
Uncles and aunts are in a perfect position to offer loving but slightly objective observations to parents about how their kids seem to be doing.
Simply tell your sister, “We loved having ‘Molly’ with us. We are concerned that she might have been purging her meals while she was at our house. I wasn’t quite sure what to do but thought you would want to know.”
DEAR AMY: “Almost Frayed” was an aunt who called her teenage niece “a devil child.”
Your response was so on the money, and I hope the family members follow it. I am frustrated and have lost all patience with adults who point the finger at the child, smugly believing it’s all her fault and believing that it is her who needs “fixing.”
What upsets me even more is that a teen is put on antidepressants without insisting that the adults in her life are participating in therapy as well. — Sad for the Kids
DEAR SAD: This teenager had been through a lot, and the adults in the family couldn’t seem to understand why she was acting out. I felt very sorry for her.