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December 21, 1998   CONTINUED e-mail e-mail to a friend in need


Dear Breakup Girl,

I really don't know where to start..I have had many bad relationships in the past few years, nothing that would last a couple of months..I have never had any relationships during the holidays. I have always been alone. I am always put down by everyone -- am told I'm too ugly or not good enough...

I'm a SWM, age 31, brown hair (bald on top), brown eyes, well-trimmed moustache and beard,with a few extra pounds, but not many...

I am very well-educated, employed full time, own a home, and live well. But something is missing. I don't think I can go on like this too much longer. I live in West Virginia, and there are few dating services in this area. Most are for much older people. I have tried the dating personals on the web and I have met a few people -- most have rejected me, and others were handicapped in some way.

I have no friends or family in this area and live alone like a hermit. I would often work out at the gym to meet people -- but have been shunned wherever I go.

Somehow I get this feeling my Christmases are numbered. I'm having bad thoughts about taking my life. I have no more tears, and no more smiles left. My dreams are all but gone. Please help me. Who can I turn to?

-- Tim

Okay Tim,

We're listening.

First of all, if you think you are truly in danger, please click here immediately. And/or here.

Now remember, Breakup Girl is only a superhero, not a trained psychologist (though there is one -- our own Belleruth -- who helped her with this response). I'm not directly qualified to talk you all the way down from this ledge. But in my capacity as defender and champion of healthy relationships, I will say that where you need to turn is not to the personals, not to the gym, but to: The Timster. To yourself, my friend. I know that the holidays are hard, and it seems that the rest of the year is no picnic for you, either. I know that being alone is hard, trying not to be alone and being rejected is hard, feeling unattractive is hard, feeling like you have "everything but" is hard. But, Tim.You need to find a way -- and there are folks who are qualified to help you with this -- to step away from this self-pity spiral, from this pendulum that swings, paradoxically, between "I'm not good enough" and "They're not good enough." Not helping.

Belleruth recommends, perhaps, some kind of group therapy, where you have the ears of understanding listeners, but also the voices of support, feedback., and companionship. Maybe try calling the West Virginia Psychological Association (304/523-8252 ) for a referral?

You can do this, Tim. It's not easy, and it won't be. Take it slow, take it baby step by baby step, like an advent calendar: open up one teeny little window at a time. Watch "It's A Wonderful Life," if you can get yourself into the mood. 'Cause listen: it matters that you're here. It just does. You don't have to, like, believe me right now. Just do your absolute best, for now, to take it on faith. Which is an excellent -- and very Christmasy -- way to start.

Breakup Girl

P.S. Peppermint-red Alert from BG: If anyone has any words of support for Tim, been-there or otherwise, bring 'em on and I'll pass 'em along.



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