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I am a 25 year old working girl. My best friend is a lesbian, but I was not aware of it until I spent a night with her in her house, when I experienced some uncomfortable behavior. I don’t want to break my 10 years old friendship with her but at the same time I am not comfortable in her company. What do I do? 


Dear Anonymous,

Since you are straight, you don’t need to worry. You can keep your friendship and let your friend know what you feel. If she is really your friend, she will keep her desire to herself and if not, you know what to do.

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My family and friends have recently discovered that I am bulimic.  My mum took me to see my doctor, who has referred me to a counselor.  My mum wants to be present at these sessions as she feels my bulimia is her fault, but I don’t feel comfortable talking about it with her, let alone in front of her.  I don’t want her to know the reasons why I do it.  I have pushed myself away from my friends and have no one to talk to, and due to my extreme mood changes I have attempted suicide several times.  I don’t have the worst life, but I just don’t know how to sort things out.  Help me please? 


Dear Emi,

Well done for recognizing that you’ve developed a problematic habit!  You can overcome it and work out how to address the emotional difficulties which led you to those self-destructive behaviors.  That way you won’t need to adopt bulimic behaviors or suicidal thoughts anymore because you’ll have learned good emotional management techniques that help you feel better about yourself and other people and your life.

Of course your mum cares about you and so feels guilty and responsible for your choices.  But you’re not responsible for her problems, though your behavior will have some impact on her as well as on yourself. Please be aware that bulimia isn’t some germ that swoops in from outer space.  It’s a pattern of beliefs, thinking, feeling and behaving which you have developed.  A set of habits which are intended to have a positive outcome but actually have painful consequences - but you can change the habits as you find more constructive ways of achieving your goals.

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I am currently in my first serious relationship in a while and have had to acknowledge to myself that I am completely addicted to it.  Time spent away due to holidays etc. is completely torture: I find myself sobbing at the thought of my boyfriend and I being parted for the next two weeks.  I want to spend as much time with him as possible but then I have had my heart broken before and always look at my relationships with a pessimistic approach.  I am constantly thinking that he doesn’t love me as much as I love him.  I want to stop and get a grip of myself but I can’t.  I have a constant lump in my throat and am breaking out in cold-sores because of how stressed I let it make me feel.  I really feel I need help as I am crying myself to sleep too often.  I really need help.  Please will you give me advice?


Dear Iba,

There’s love and then there’s desperation.  You’ve become aware that you’ve slipped into the latter and you’ve been making yourself desperately unhappy.  Here are some thoughts which will help you - if you have the courage to apply them. A two-pronged approach is best.  You need to deal both with the physical stress you’ve inflicted on yourself and with the thoughts that have triggered this.  I hope you’ll go and talk things through with your doctor.