How did everyone find the strength to make it through being 17 and 18?
By dragging myself out of bed every day, even if I didn't want to. Talking to people, being around people even if you felt like doing anything else.
You alright, Megan? You seem down. If you need to talk - there is an email you can get any of us on in our profile (it sends to our email without giving it away at the start to the person who is emailing). Am happy to chat if you need to.
I know for me, 17-18 was a while ago but very much something I recall easily
I had a great time. Nothing special about 17 and 18. No bills, went to college, had good friends, partied every weekend. When I left college and entered the real world, that was another matter. A lot to learn. A lot of growth. Fortunately there was always great information available in bookstores to overcome whatever happened. Without that information, it would have been tough trying to figure out all the childish games people play with your life. The main thing is never get too serious. Keep laughing. And drop everything that has nothing to do with you. Don't take on the problems of others or the world. The world problems never end. Enjoy your life regardless of the world. Love yourself.
For me it was knowing I was heading off to college. I knew I'd be free from parental control as I lived on campus. I did my best not to rock the boat at home and silently counted down the days to "freedom"
Once I got to college the first year I came home for Thanksgiving and Christmas but after that I chose to stay on campus or with friends who had an apartment just off campus. The toughest thing to adjust to is coming home for a holiday visit after being treated like an adult and having the freedom to make all of your decisions on campus only to have your parents treat you like you were a child. After I left college I moved 2000 miles away to California.
A lot of kids at 17 and 18 make life harder on themselves by trying to "fight/rebel" for independence with their parents. If you have plans to go away to college that's your "light at the end of tunnel"! Con your parents by giving them whatever they ask for and not only will life get easier but you're likely to enjoy the countdown to freedom because they will cut you more slack for being so "good".
If you don't have plans to go away to college then you might want to make plans to get a job and an apartment. It's the feeling of being "stuck" that makes it harder to endure the late teen years. Simply knowing "the end" is in sight makes all the difference in the world!
17 to 18 was a hard time for me too. I put my mom into rehab after basically kidnapping her from church to get her away from my abusive step-dad, we had to disappear until the divorce was final because he threatened our lives, I had to transfer schools and stop talking to all of my friends that I grew up with, plus I ended up in my own abusive relationship. I continued on for those around me though. My mom fed off my strength, otherwise she would have ended her life right after the move. I learned to smile and pretend that everything is ok for her. I worked my way through my senior year in half the time because I had no friends distracting me. I didn't care what classes I was in to be with who, I just wanted out. I started college right away so I could get closer to being on my own and not depend on anyone to take care of me. I set two goals in my head, work towards being completely independent, and never become so codependent that I end up like my mother. I love her with every fiber of my being, but I never want to end up in her shoes. Being strong for her made it so that she's now completely clean of all drugs, she even quit smoking, she's taking wonderful care of herself, and she married the best man I've ever met for her. I am now independent, but married with children, very happy to be out on my own, but with someone who compliments me and doesn't tear me down, and have never touched a drug in my life. Just know that being strong for other people is an emotional drain, and every once in a while, you need to take a weekend to yourself to hibernate, cry, sleep, do whatever gets you to recharge and be able to do it all over again, because breaking in front of the person or people you're being strong for, is a horrible spiral of self loathing on their part and extreme guilt on yours. Don't give up though! If you don't want to be strong for someone else, be strong for yourself! Everyone deserves to be able to strive for that one huge dream that we all have. Be strong for that! You can do it, and you're almost there!!!
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