Ask Dr. Salubrious Help! Their Divorce is Making me Angsty By Ally

Doctor Salubrious,
My parents are getting divorced. It really sucks because like I have two dogs and they both want them and everything is going to crap. I don’t want either of them to have to part with either of the dogs. As for me, like I don’t even know what’s going to happen with that joint custody thing or whatever, I guess. I can’t believe I’m having to deal with this. They haven’t gotten along for a very long time now, and it is depressing. I don’t really know what to do, like it is just getting worse. I mean I am trying not to be self-absorbed because I don’t want to be a self-absorbed angsty teenager but I just feel bad and like the world sucks.
Sincerely,
Parnicia

Dear Parnicia,
It is natural to feel bad for your parents in this situation, and it is also very natural to feel bad for yourself. Worrying about whether you are a self absorbed teenager is something that will only lead to feeling worse. However, the naturalness of this situation does not mean that you shouldn’t push yourself to feel happier! If you feel like retrieving the happiness of your parents is beyond your control, one of the best (and most difficult) strategies is not to worry about them! Worry about yourself! Parnicia, your problem is not so much that you are too self absorbed but rather that you are not self absorbed enough! Try to think about you own life, separate from that of your parents. Visit a friend, go see a movie, get out of the house, laugh. Distract yourself, worry about your own mundane “self-absorbed-teenager problems”, because the world only sucks if it sucks in your mind, and although of course it is great to think about others, and your parents are your parents, you must be able to hold your happiness separate from theirs.
Doctor Salubrious

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