Okay then. Your letter is the first step in reclaiming yourself and turning your life around. Actually, the first step was deleting the games from the computer. So you’re really on step 2. Now let’s get to steps 3 and beyond. . .
Sometimes students act like this because they are so afraid of failing that it’s better to not even try. If you don’t try, you can always tell yourself that you could do well if you only make the effort. It’s a tactic that may save your dignity but it does so at the price of your future. I think you can do better than that.
Another possibility is that you really are depressed and need some focused help to get out of the depression.
It sounds to me that your parents are just as frustrated with you as you are. They are suffering from their own problems and don’t know what to do to help you with yours. Parents who cry are parents who care — deeply — but you know that. Since they don’t know how to help, it’s time you found someone who does.
Please consider talking to a school counselor or your doctor or someone else you trust about how to go about getting an evaluation from a mental health counselor. You’re stuck. If you knew what to do, I think you would have done it long ago. You strike me as a smart, decent guy who is as mystified by his own behavior as his parents are. A counselor will help you understand why you are so self-defeating and will teach you some strategies for getting back to the business of realizing your potential. A counselor can also provide much needed support for your whole family if you are willing to have some family sessions. Since you and your folks do care about each other so much, it would probably be a great relief for you all to learn how to be more supportive of one another.
I wish you well.
This article has been updated from the original version, which was originally published here on November 26, 2010.