Gay/Lesbian/Bi Teens/Too much going on

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Question
I'm afraid this might in fact be quite a long question, but I'm willing to try and explain everything. Perhaps typing out my problems instead of mulling them over in my mind will help me think better of them.

I'm 14 and I'm fairly sure I'm gay. I have gone beyond the stage of being unsure whether it was a phase or not but now I'm wondering if I might like girls as well as boys (nothing yet but I don't know what might come in the future).

I recently came out to my parents via a letter I wrote and it all went well. However, in the time leading up to coming out, I had thought this would be the pinnacle of my teenage life. I've had quite bad depression for quite a long time, mainly due to my crushes being straight, and I had assumed that by coming out, my depression would go away, or at least be slightly alleviated.

However, I have found this isn't the case. My life is exactly like it was before and I find I'm making new crushes on more and more people at my school almost day-by-day. Most of these are unrequited, which just proceeds to make me more depressed.

To add to the dismay, I recently found out that one of my closest female friends had/has a crush on me, which just made me feel really bad that I was inflicting the pain I had felt on someone else.

I'm afraid I'm not sure what the question I'm trying to ask here is. However, I hope you can at least give me some advice on how to deal with this situation.

Thanks!

Answer
Dear Samuel,

Thank you for getting in touch. Your message was clearly heartfelt, and let me commend you on how courageous it is to come out to your parents at your age. Clearly you're a considerate and mature teen. To accept your sexuality at 14 - an integral part of your identity - is a testament to you.

I'm not formally trained in anything that would make me an expert on depression. However what I do know of relevance, I will share with you here.

I'm not certain whether your depression is a clinical issue (an actual mental condition) or if it conditional on your circumstance. Even if it is not apparent, I think the big steps you've taken in coming out is a burden off your shoulders. Maybe you'll feel its effects later down the line but don't be too hard on yourself about feeling these depressive emotions.

I think whatever you're feeling, for however long you feel it, you must accept that in this moment, this is you. This is how you feel and be at peace with it. Just like you are making peace with your sexuality, make peace with your feelings. When you reach this stage then you can make changes to lift yourself out of these flunks.

I am a firm believer that a lot of emotional lows can be alleviated by an active lifestyle. This is not limited to physical activity - although I recommend pursuing an activity that will envigor you. Have a rounded life. Keep your mind stimulated outside of school and involve yourself in social engagements. Spend quality time with people that make you feel better. Indulge in music that makes you want to sing and dance. Watch a movie that will make you laugh.

As a person who is admittedly very introspective, I think internalising feelings too much and brooding over them opens people up to melancholic spells. I have a sense that you're a deep thinker too. Whilst this is a credit to you and one which you'll want to cultivate over the years, remember that everything should be in moderation. Allow yourself to 'let go' of thoughts sometimes.

I appreciate the guilt you must feel over your friend having a crush on you. I'm afraid this is just part of growing up. I went through a stage where, like you, I had unrequited crushes everywhere. Then the tide turned and I discovered people who felt that same towards me and for various reasons I could not return the feelings. It's just a part of life you'll have to accept and relinquish control over. We'll all experience both sides of this equation but keep a good heart, be kind and don't be reckless with anyone's emotions. That's the best and only thing you can do.

Finally, I recommend a couple of things to read. "As a Man Thinketh" by James Allen is a good short about the power of thoughts on character and circumstance. Ignore the religious overtones if that's not your thing but it's still full of wisdom. "Oh! The Places You'll Go" by Dr Seuss is another really cute and wonderful book. It's quick and I find quite inspiring in Dr Seuss' charming style. I find these two reads really motivational and uplifting. More than that, they're full of ideas and thoughts about life which I think you'll not only appreciate but will be of value in your situation.

All the best,

Chrissy

Gay/Lesbian/Bi Teens

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Chrissy S

Expertise

I can answer questions relating to coming out, relationships, dealing with men/women in romantic contexts and general anxieties about dating. I can also answer questions with self-confidence and presenting yourself well i.e. "love coaching" to make yourself as eligible as possible. I've also had a lot of examples when things have gone 'badly' and can advise how to make the best of things and get back on your feet.

Experience

Being openly bisexual I have experience in dealing with men and women and the nuances of being in relationships with both. I also am a bit of an old-fashioned romantic so have ideas and suggestions for dates and surprises, romantic etiquette and fun tailored to both men and women taken from my own experience (good & bad). I've also had many interesting adventures in the dating world which have given me a bit of rounded perspective with things. And having graduated from Uni I too am experiencing a transition from college to 'real world' dating which shapes my view on things. I've gone from a sofa Romeo to a real one (matter of opional!) which has taught me much about applying oneself to romance.

Organizations
University LGBT Society.

Education/Credentials
University and Masters graduate in Literature and Film Studies so I am well-read which gives me somewhat of a grounded 'academic' view on things. I've also read many books on Love, dating and related subjects. Likewise with movies. I'm also a bit of an old-fashioned nerd so am quite into a good date and know some hotspots in London, not to mention a good love poem which never went awry. Avid believer and reader of personal development materials so can help people with self-improvement or at least refer them to a useful book.

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