Ask O: The Advice Column (April 15, 2021)

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Dear O:

I don’t want to burden you with my problems but I’ve been reading your column over the past year and you dish out some good life advice so I was hoping that you could pass on some of that knowledge to me. I’ve been having a hard time lately and my situation is becoming dire. Beginning in December of ’20 my mother died from cancer and my father and I are on the verge of losing our home. Because of my mother’s death, my father has turned to alcohol to the point where he is always intoxicated. And to make matters worse my grade point average plummeted to the point where I lost my scholarship. There is no way that I can continue my education without that scholarship. (I am a Junior at an Historically Black College/University in Mississippi.) I’ve never had this much pressure placed on me before. It’s like I have to take care of my father, maintain a household, and keep my grades up, which in my estimation for me, is not feasible to do all three. O, I’m to the point where I’ve had suicidal thoughts but I know I can’t be selfish and leave my father in the condition that he’s currently in. I’m just not that strong to handle everything that’s being thrown at me right now. HELP ME! What can I do?

Standing on the Ledge

Dear Standing on the Ledge:

Thank you for contacting me about your situation. I realize that you’re going through a rough patch in your life currently but you’re much stronger than you realize. I’m not certain how religious you are but according to the Bible in 1 Corinthians 10:13, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as man can bear: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation make also the way of escape, that ye may be able to endure it.” This basically means that God will not put you in any situation that you can’t handle. You’ve already reached out to me which is a start for you to begin resolving your issues. I would suggest that you talk to a therapist that deals with the aftermath of family crises. There are numerous therapist within Mississippi who will be willing to speak with you and your father free of charge due to certain government programs. Your father has to come to the realization that as the head of the family he has to be strong for the both of you and that he can’t solve his problems in the bottom of a bottle. I realize that people handle grief in different ways but that is definitely not the answer.

As far as losing home, have your father speak to the mortgage company and explain to them your current situation. I’m certain that they will be willing to work with him on the monthly payments for the home. And lastly, go speak to your Instructors about your grades and see if there is any way that you can salvage them for the semester. Also, look for other scholarships on the internet. There are a plethora of available ones that can fit your needs. Sis don’t give up. You can get through this. I’m rooting for you. I hope this helped. Keep me up-to-date.

Always Love,

O

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