My college graduation is a couple of weeks away, but I won’t be graduating. I was a complete mess when I left school several months ago, and was further traumatized by abandoning my goals. I had planned on skipping the ceremony altogether, but I have several good friends who will be graduating along with my former classmates. I worry that I’ll run into the staff and students that witnessed my meltdown (it’s a very small school) and ended up causing a scene. I am literally sick about this. I can’t skip my friends’ graduation, but I feel awful just thinking about going.

A: I would find a way to honor your friends’ achievement and make amends to anyone you hurt during the meltdown.

It takes courage to take responsibility for yourself, admit your error, and move on. You are not the first, nor last, person who has had a public struggle with coping. Learn from this and give yourself a chance to recover. This is an opportunity to heal, not to let shame rule you.

I would make a plan to correct the underlying issue and reclaim yourself and your goals.

If you do not have a therapist there is one available in your area. Check the find help tab above.

If you do choose to return to school (which I hope you find the courage to do) there are counselors there who will help. Often the greatest positive changes come from transcending our transgressions.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral