Health/personal issues and withdrawing from school

Hello Dopers.

<TLDR>I am a 20-year-old college junior who grew up enjoying school but has struggled in college. Not because of the difficulty of the work - I actually find most of it very easy - but because of life getting in the way.

I have been diagnosed very recently with depression and anxiety. I have already been treated for B12/iron/folate deficiency as well as hypothroid for two years, but none of these treatments have helped my memory issues, trouble focusing, or almost complete lack of creativity. For a music education major, that last one is especially worrisome.

My family is a whole mess of crazy and the situation has worsened in the past few months. Still, I will be returning to some family member very shortly as my academic advisor, my counselor, and my regular physician have all suggested that caring for my health is the main priority right now and that I’m asking too much of my body and mind to go to school right now.

I’m past the point of automatic refunds, but am applying for the hardship refunds. Even if I am denied, I see this as an investment one way or the other and feel I’ll better be able to pay back all the loans with a semester of Ws and then better grades upon returning (due to strict attendance policies in music, I have auto-failed several classes but I can get a W instead of an F this way).
</TLDR>

So after that probably unneeded backstory, have any of you ever stopped school/university even when what you wanted most was to stay there?

  1. why did you leave?
  2. did you return?
    3a) if you returned, after how long? were you more successful upon returning? did it hurt your career prospects any to explain away the Ws/Fs/empty period of time?did your family/friends support this choice?
    3b) if you didn’t return, why not? do you plan to return eventually? are you happy with how your life has turned out? did your family/friends support this choice?

I plan to come back as soon as possible; the goal is next semester, but I really want to get back to being the happy, healthy, creative young person I once was - plus, you know, with the grown up wisdom and stuff:p - and then finish my degree and have a successful career.

Thank you very much!

Completely diffferent educational system and social expectations, ok? Let’s clear that first.

Short version:

  1. Family pressure to abandon my studies.
  2. A year later.
  3. Nobody in Spain asks “how long did you take for your degree.” Well, I’ve had one person once ask that and she also had the gall to be offended by my response of “eight years”, her own was “what? what the fuck were you doing?” but that’s because she had no idea what a Superior Engineer degree entails.

Long version spoilered.

[spoiler]By the end of 3rd year (of 5+thesis), I had two Fails. In Spain you can’t graduate, at any educational level, with Fails. It is common, specially for the kind of majors that require that thesis (engineering and architecture) to take several years longer than the theoretical amount due to “cleaning up.” Specifically for my school, which was the fastest in the country as of a study performed when I was in the 1st year, the usual time was 9 years:
1st year
clean up 1st year, as it couldn’t be passed with Fs (actually what happens is that there are a limited amount of spaces in 2nd)
2nd
3rd
4th
5th
1 year of cleaning up until you had only 1 or 2 Fs, at which point you could start your thesis,
2 years of thesis.
For telecommunications engineering, the country’s average was 14 years. For mining engineer, 11 years.

Right before finals and with great delicacy, my parents had told me that unless I cleaned up completely I’d have to drop out and go to vocational school for something for which I had no vocation at all (or, alternatively, leave home and get unskilled jobs, eventually and with luck being able to pay my way through a “lesser” course of study than what I was doing). I’m convinced I would have done much better if I hadn’t been so completely freaked out.
I managed to convince them not to make me do that, but to stop for a year and, if I cleaned up, return.

So, that year we didn’t pay normal fees, just the minifee to go to the two exams. I spent it “back home” (it hadn’t felt like any kind of “home” for years) working my ass off both on house- and schoolwork.

And I cleaned up.

So, I went back for the next schoolyear.

4th year, which usually meant 3-4 Fs for any student: clean on first try; one of that year’s subjects gets passed on first try by a student every 4-5 years, doing so gave me 15’ of fame. 5th year, clean on first try; there was some help from a teacher convincing another one to round up my barely-fail as her subject was the only one I would have had left and I’d gotten high grades in related subjects; he considered that it was more a case of “incompatible styles” than of me not knowing the information, she gave me an improptu oral exam and gave me that pass. Yay.

Thesis, 9 months.

So thanks to that stop, those nice teachers, winning a peeing contest against the Algebra II teacher in 4th and not having either him or the Calculus teacher (who hated my guts due to a mistaken identity issue) until my thesis defense, I got the degree 1 year faster than usual.[/spoiler]

I have had a similar experience, one thing to tell you is, you need to get better before wasting anymore of you money at school.

First of all, a lot of what you describe has nothing to do with any sort of mental problem. A lot of what your saying is simply because you’re 20 years old. Everyone goes through it. You probably just need to learn some “coping skills”

If you have a true thryoid issue that needs to be gotten under control. Unfortunately they often have to do this through trial and error, to get the meds and the doses correct. That can take awhile.

Anxiety can 'cause huge problems all by itself, so your first step is to get a major physical and rule out what you can.

Second of all you need to get a counselor. You probably don’t need anything more than a weekly visit with a therapist who will teach you behaviour modification to cope with the anxiety and “coping skills” for your life.

Third you need a job. It’s very and I mean very important that you don’t cut yourself off from the world. But your job can’t be stressfull, but a job will give your life structure and purpose.

So you need to look for a low level job that you can come in, do it bascially without thinking and then go home. Something like housekeeping in a hotel, or an assembly line or stocking at a grocery store. If you go to fast food, take the job where you make the food rather than having the customers yelling at you.

Granted you won’t get much pay but it’s the structure and the routine that is very important in teaching you how to cope.

You’re 20 years old you have YEARS and YEARS and YEARS to go back and finish school. And you know what even if you don’t finish, so what? There are millions and millions of people without degrees and they get along fine. Oh perhaps they coold get along better with a degree but that doesn’t mean their lives have no fun or no worth.

Lastly I would request a meeting with my professors and explain you are having some medical issues now and request that they give you an “Incomplete” for the course. Usually if you have a doctors note they’d be more inclined to do so. That way you can come back and make it up later on.

Dang, I wish I were 20! :smiley:

I went to college for a while when I was in my mid 20s. It was a revelation for me, because I didn’t go to any type of school after 7th grade and automatically assumed I was just not the academic type. I absolutely adored my college classes, kept a high GPA, and had a blast with the other students. Unfortunately, I ended up having to withdraw not once, but twice. So to answer your questions:

  1. why did you leave? The first time because I had an episode of cluster headaches for which I had not yet found an effective treatment. The second time it was because my father was diagnosed with cancer and the stress began to crush me.
  2. did you return? Once, yes, but not the second time.
    3a) if you returned, after how long? were you more successful upon returning? did it hurt your career prospects any to explain away the Ws/Fs/empty period of time?did your family/friends support this choice?
    3b) if you didn’t return, why not? I had a decent job, probably a new boyfriend, so I put it off, and then my father died and I became so depressed I could no longer move. do you plan to return eventually? I’m actually thinking of going back next fall–at the age of 50! are you happy with how your life has turned out? No. did your family/friends support this choice? I don’t recall, to be honest.

As a side note, nobody’s ever asked me why I didn’t finish college or even noticed the W’s on my transcripts, but I’ve always worked in pretty low-level jobs.

Um, you are basically me.

I have/had anxiety and depression, and failed/withdrew during the fall semester of my junior year.

I returned to school part time a year or so after I left, but I really wasn’t ready, and I had the same issues.

I returned again this past fall at the age of 28, part time again, but a bit more successfully. It’s a little more difficult as I’m a lot busier than I was at 20, but I’ve been able to fit it in. As far as career goes, I’m a musician, and have been advancing my career independently over the time I haven’t been in school. At this point, having a degree is sort of secondary to other career considerations, which is fine, as it’s going to take me a few years to finish at the pace I’m at now.

I worked my way through school and when I had to deal with each of my parent’s terminal illness I stopped taking classes. It took something like 16 years on and off to get a 4 year degree while I worked full time. I simply could not turn down the money as it was financing both school and my house.

What I would look into is the length of time between classes that a school will allow before you have to re-apply. The requirements for my degree changed over time and I would have had to add a number of new classes to my original load.

On a different note, I have to agree that your health comes first. People who are depressed do not handle the pressure of school in the proper frame of mind. From personal experience, that killed a friend of mine. She took on too much and couldn’t deal with it. Nobody new.

I just want to add that while you are off it might be helpful to develop a routine in your life. Routines are things you do without thinking like vacuuming every Tuesday or doing the dishes every night even if it’s only a single glass. It helps when you don’t have to think about this stuff and it’s just normal to do them. Then you’re not overwhelmed when there’s a stack of dishes and laundry piled up everywhere. At the end of the day it’s satisfying to check off what you did for the day instead of looking back and wondering where the time went.

First and foremost: you’re doing the right thing, and it’s going to be fine.

Second, while Markxxx gave some great advice, I wanted to comment on this:

That may be true for you, but it may not. You should certainly go to a counselor, but don’t just dismiss it if they feel you need more than just coping skills, and don’t let them dismiss you if that’s how you feel.

I have a long boring personal story about this:

[spoiler]I had been fighting depression my whole life, for so long that I thought that was just the way everyone felt all the time. Before college, I had always excelled academically, because not doing the homework and not attending class was simply not an option. But when I had to be the one making myself study, I became overwhelmed. I did great my first semester, but then basically slept through my second. I didn’t know I was depressed; I thought everyone else was just better at forcing themselves to face life. I *could *do it, although it was exhausting, and so I just chalked myself up as being lazy. Worse, I signed up for a grueling schedule, even talking my way into grad level courses I was in no way ready for, in order to make up for the “wasted” semester.

As a result, I slumped along through two more years, even transferring to another school and back again, getting so-so grades, never feeling like I was doing enough, and never understanding how everyone else managed. I was also working part-time throughout school, in order to pay for my living expenses. I was only able to get myself to work every day because I would have starved otherwise.

The whole time, I thought I just needed to learn to cope, or try harder, or get organized, or grow up. My friends and professors all thought the same thing. And of course, if I really pushed myself, I *could *do well. After taking a year off and working full time, I came back determined to just finish the goddamned degree. I continued to work full time (more than, actually - I had three jobs at one point) and took classes part-time, and finished over two years.

But that was probably the most awful two years of my life, and I felt I had nothing to show for it, because I didn’t end up working in my field of study, anyway. And I was still depressed. It took another five years for me to finally realize that merely living life is not supposed to be a struggle. I got on meds, and everything changed.

A couple of years ago, I decided to go back to school and get a second bachelor’s in something else entirely. I found a program that was partly online, and required only the courses for the degree since I already had a bachelor’s. When I started classes, I was working full time. I had to quit work halfway through the degree, to go live with my parents and take care of my dying mother. I continued my studies online while I was there. After she died, I returned home and took classes full time. I completed the degree in just over one year. And I got straight A’s.

I might have been able to manage this situation had I not been taking meds and seeing a therapist. And it was still hellish, even so. But it would have been exponentially more awful had I been dealing with depression the whole time. [/spoiler]Here’s the short version:
1) why did you leave?
Ran out of money and hadn’t applied for loans in time. And I was depressed (although I didn’t realize it at the time) and felt completely overwhelmed, so I took the time off gladly.
2) did you return?
Yep
3a) if you returned, after how long? were you more successful upon returning? did it hurt your career prospects any to explain away the Ws/Fs/empty period of time?did your family/friends support this choice?
I came back after a year. I was much more academically successful, but personally, I was still a wreck, because I wasn’t dealing with the depression. I didn’t have to discuss the Ws and Fs because I wasn’t applying for a job in my field of study. On subsequent jobs, all they wanted was work history. My family and some friends told me “If you drop out, you’ll never go back”. Other friends didn’t care one way or another. I was glad I completed school, and it was certainly worthwhile, but it would have been so much better and easier if I had just gotten treated for depression.

In short, your goal should not be just to finish school come hell or high water, but to be able to enjoy doing it.

I wish to hell I would have done medical withdrawal in my senior year - instead, I didn’t seek help for my depression and ended up with a .25 GPA for the semester. Not a 2.5, a .25.

  1. why did you leave?
    Depression, anxiety. Couldn’t leave the house, freaked out all the time, put under doctor’s care, etc. I didn’t officially withdraw from school, which in hindsight was a mistake. I should have withdrawn and taken a semester or two off to get my head back together, instead of trying to do a few classes and doing them badly.

  2. did you return?
    Yes, I got on a medication that worked for me and did what was necessary to get back on it. I finished my degree and I’m now in graduate school.

3a) if you returned, after how long? were you more successful upon returning? did it hurt your career prospects any to explain away the Ws/Fs/empty period of time?did your family/friends support this choice?
All in all, it took me about 6 years to finish my undergrad. To lower my stress levels, I stopped working, lived with parents and took out student loans to cover my expenses. I started doing volunteer work, which was less stressful and time consuming than a job, and I put that on my resume and in my grad school applications.

My family supported me, but almost every person in my family has dealt with depression so I think they were predisposed to being understanding. I didn’t tell many friends. Most that I did were supportive. The ones that weren’t aren’t my friends anymore.

Like others here, I withdrew from college due to depression.

  1. why did you leave?
    Was failing classes left and right. Wanted to stay, but I realized it was a waste of time. Eventually, counselors convinced me that it was the best idea both for my personal well-being and my academic future – a few "I"s were better than a few more years of scattered Fs and Ws.

  2. did you return?
    Haven’t yet, but plan to. Maybe. Someday.

3b) if you didn’t return, why not? do you plan to return eventually? are you happy with how your life has turned out? did your family/friends support this choice?

It’s really hard to get back in “school mode” without any momentum. I don’t know if I can face the full brunt of academic stress on top of a job on top of social issues, so I’ve been hiding in a cave (so to speak) trying to get over it. I hope this never happens to you because it’s a really (psychologically) messy place to be, directionless and lost.

On the other hand, the break from school gave me time to pursue a temporary job that turned out to be the single best experience of my life… but ultimately I couldn’t finish that either due to the depression.

Every case is different, of course, and your mileage WILL vary, but I hope you get better first. It makes everything else THAT much more manageable… I say that as a person who’s gone through many up-down cycles, and during the up phases everything, even college, seems ridiculously easy and even enjoyable; during the down times, I can’t even summon up the will to wake up and go outside.

Not much to add in terms of advice, I’m afraid… but good luck :slight_smile:


And Heart of Dorkness, it’s awesome that the meds worked so well for you! I’m glad to hear a success story for once.

1st time: Dropped out to start a company my Junior year. Epic failure. Came back the next term.

2nd time: Left my university to attend a cheap community college for two terms and earn some cheap transfer units to graduate. All that matters is the primary diploma, not where 25% of my units came from (the maximum allowed for transfer the way I was doing it).

Good luck to you. Go home, get your self together, and try to get back into the swing of things. Look for some work experience, and try to take a single class at a local community college that will transfer back to your school. Use that as a stepping stone.

I dropped out of college for a year. When I returned I was definitely more committed than I had been before. And it didn’t hurt my prospects at all.

You might be more interested in my wife’s story though. She suffered from depression as an undergrad and dropped out for a year and a half. She had a hard time of it too, returning to a not-so-rosy family situation and working some miserable temp jobs.

But she returned, finished her degree, then a few years later applied to graduate school in a different field, got in, wrote her dissertation, got a job as a professor, and is now making her case for tenure. Through it all she has continued to fight depression, although these days she’s mostly on top of it.

Don’t despair. Sometimes backing off and taking a breather is the right thing to do. And if you work hard, you can still accomplish everything you want to.

Definitely recommend withdrawing. I wish I had withdrawn instead of wasting money sleeping through classes.

I want to thank all of you for your stories and advice - was about to start quoting people, but then I realized I’d be taking something from almost every post!

All of my withdrawal papers are signed (by eight thousand hundred million people, it felt like) and turned in, and my refund papers are almost done. I feel pretty good about this decision.

I’ve been going to a counselor weekly here. In just 5 weeks I feel I have learned so much, and I want to keep progressing, so I will definitely be searching for somebody to go to when I move.

My usually unsupportive parents have been pretty okay about all this- but I still feel that I want to get to the grandparents’ house ASAP to avoid bitterness and fighting and just be able to work on myself.

I’m going to check in with my usual doctor to make sure my Synthroid and birth control pills are at acceptable levels (but before you ask - all the problems were there before I started either of these medications, so they’re at least not the only cause), see what else she recommends, and keep trying to exercise and eat better and keep to a normal sleep schedule.

I do feel confident that, while some of this is probably just being young and inexperienced, that something is Very Wrong outside of that. I shouldn’t be constantly tired, achy all over, craving carbs every few hours, prone to catching any cold, etc that I come in contact with, crying all the time, being confused and forgetful and moody and feeling like a giant rain cloud’s just following me all the time, and beating myself up in my internal monologue and constant worries.

I do hope to find a job as part of a routine, as well as keep to my journal, practice my music and study the material being covered in the classes I’m leaving (two of them go in a four-class sequence, each only starting once a year, so I can come back and test out of them and not get behind).

I’m a little scared, but I do have hope for the future and I know that somewhere inside of me is a happy, healthy person who is more than capable of graduating - and enjoying every semester - and building good friendships - and giving a little something back to the world.

Again thanks everyone.

{{Tess}}

This is excellent advice. Also, if you can handle it, get a very easy part-time job.

I went through this struggle as an undergrad due to severe PTSD. I was too depressed to even climb out of bed and on days I made it out of bed, I was too anxious to go to classes. I easily missed a month of classes during some semesters. My sophomore year I was hospitalized due to suicidal ideation, very close to the week of final exams. I ended up withdrawing for the Fall term (after completing 90% of my coursework) and then jumped right back into classes starting in the Winter.

I struggled along that semester, and then another Fall semester, and it was sheer hell. I wasn’t learning anything, I was just half-assing my way through the courses and I was absolutely miserable. Because I’m good at cramming, I managed to pull As and Bs, but I really wasn’t engaged at all. Nothing really mattered.

Finally, the Spring of my junior year, I made the decision to withdraw for good. I wasn’t really thinking the bureaucracy of it through, I just realized that I had expected all of my life to just go to school and succeed academically, but my true needs weren’t being met. I knew that at that point I had missed so much class I was probably going to fail unless I withdrew. I think it’s the first time I realized that I was in control of my life, that I was allowed to make the decisions, and that I was going to be okay.

So, I withdrew. I got a part time job as a catering delivery driver, I started a new kind of therapy (CBT) and I just worked on very basic things. Getting up in the morning, feeding myself, taking a shower, brushing my teeth… honestly I felt like I was learning how to be human all over again. My self-esteem was so low at that point I didn’t believe I was capable of anything. I had to prove to myself that I could do it.

Six months later, I was doing MUCH better and was ready to return to school… but because I had just left without notifying the school, I had a bureaucratic mess on my hands that took another 9 months to sort out. I had to petition the school board for a retroactive medical withdrawal in order to have my student loans forgiven. I succeeded in doing this (which was very hard work and also really increased my sense of competence), then I had to pay another $3k and FINALLY I was re-admitted.

I had only two terms left, and I nailed them. In addition to acing my courses I garnered some volunteer experience and co-authorship on a research project. I did things the right way, took advantage of every opportunity, saw my environment clearly and relished every moment of it. My GPA my final year was a 3.9. (I had one A-.) I graduated With Honors 7 years after I started, probably one of the most triumphant days of my life.

I am now a graduate student at one of the country’s finest universities, and I am doing extremely well. I have learned how to cope with PTSD and I continue to work on improving, but for the most part I am extremely high-functioning. Most importantly, I am happy.

I will never forget how terrified I was when I applied to graduate school that my medical withdrawals would be held against me. The interviewer told me right off the bat it was a ‘‘non-issue.’’

So take it from someone who has been through this. There is life after depression. And school will be right there waiting when you’re ready for it.

Yup. My grandmother had just died, and I went home for Christmas break to be with my grandpa. My mother and step-father were living with him and (supposedly) taking care of him. Grandpa had taken my old room and he told me to sleep in their old room. When I went in there, I found all kinds of receipts where my mother and SD had bought cigarettes and beer with my grandpa’s Social Security money. Grandpa used to smoke, but he had quit by this time: he had emphysema and was on oxygen. I also found credit card receipts for the same things. After taking a look at his finances, I found his credit card had been maxed out and his checking account was seriously overdrawn. He had two copies of the credit card: I had one at school for emergencies (which I never had to use) and he had one. Apparently, she got hold of his.

I went back to school, packed up and withdrew. I went back home and took over his care. I would love to go back now, but I simply cannot afford it. But by no means do I regret dropping out. My grandparents raised me, and it was my turn to repay that.

I work at a college. You might be able to have your withdraw backdated by the Registrar of the college to keep it from showing up as an actual withdraw. Sometimes they do this when you have a medical issue come up, so your transcript doesn’t show that you withdrew from a semester.

Good luck.

Not really the same thing but since you asked:

1) why did you leave?

I left after my second year of law school, after being in school continuously since kindergarten with no breaks excepts summers. I left because: (a) I was sick of school and therefore not applying myself and therefore not getting the grades I needed to (I don’t mean I was flunking out, but in law school I needed to get mostly A’s and a few B’s, not a few B’s and mostly C’s); and (b) I had had a bad experience interning the summer before the fall I didn’t return, and I was no longer certain I wanted to become a lawyer anyway. I knew I needed a break.

I should also tell you that my parents were completely unsupportive of this. I told my mom I was taking a year off from school and she said “I’ve never been so disappointed in you in my entire life. I only hope that someday I’ll be able to forgive you.” My father, who had been paying my tuition and who owned the condo I was living in, told me that if I left school he would no longer pay for anything (including tuition if I went back), and he would sell the condo – both of which he held to. He sold the condo, which was fair since I wasn’t living in it, and he never gave me another dime for academics, also fair since it was his money. I went to the East Coast for a year to be a nanny. I couldn’t take my dog, so I asked my parents to take care of her (they had two dogs of their own). They said “No,” and I had to find a friend to take her. All of this was extremely distressing for me because my parents and I were and are very close. But they did not support me in this, and they made that very clear.

2) did you return?

Yeah, I went back after a year off. I loved the family I was nannying for, but it was obvious “nanny” wasn’t a viable career. I thought about what I wanted to do with my life and decided that even if I didn’t want to be a lawyer – which at the end of the day, I did, I am one and I love it – I would at a minimum go back and finish the degree since I only had one year left. After a year off, I was looking forward to the intellectual challenge of law school – the very thing I had run away from. But a year of changing diapers and discussng Barney with a four-year-old can make you reconsider the value of intellectual challenges.

3a) if you returned, after how long? were you more successful upon returning? did it hurt your career prospects any to explain away the Ws/Fs/empty period of time?did your family/friends support this choice?

My family was extremely supportive of my coming back, but by that time I didn’t really care. Making the decision to do what I thought was best for me, in the fact of parental opposition, was one of the first truly “grown-up” things I had ever done. And I found that for me it HAD been the right decision, that I DID know better than them what was best for me. I found that I could survive and thrive without their support or even in the face of their opposition, which believe me I would never have dreamed of before I packed my car and headed off alone for New York. As far as the explaining the year off to employers – when I was asked about it, which was only a time or two, I just very frankly told them that I had been burnt out and needed a break. Fortunately, I didn’t have any F’s or W’s to contend to, but honestly I think that’s just because I was lucky enough to walk away before my academics declined any further. And they would have – I honestly didn’t give a shit about anything I was doing that last semester before I left. If I had had such marks to explain, I think I would have just said, I was struggling at that time but I couldnt’ reconcile myself to just giving up and cutting my losses because that felt too much like failing.

Which is I guess the one thing I would want you to know: Cutting your losses and leaving a situation that is not healthy for you – That is NOT failing. It’s too easy to fall into a vicious cycle of doing poorly, thinking you have to do better but not being able, so doing worse, so thinking you have to do better but not being able to . . . . The whole situation is inherently deeply depressing and demoralizing, even for those of us lucky enough to not have depression issues generally. Life is like swimming across a river. We carry our personal, professional, and academic goals with us, but sometimes they become burdensome, a stone we are carrying. At some point, if you don’t just give up and let go of the stone, it will drown you. It’s not failure to let go at that point: It’s smart. It’s survival.

I’m a bit unusual, but I hope my story helps anyway.

  1. I left University at the end of year 1 because I failed all my exams. I had done almost no work. :frowning:
    It was mainly a reaction to having been at a strict school where all your decisions were made for you, then going straight to an environment where you were responsible for yourself. I’d never failed academically before either. I wasn’t thick - my tutor didn’t notice anything because I bllshtt*d him successfully.

  2. No. (They offered to let me resit the whole year, but I left.)

3b) I didn’t return because I don’t like failing.
I’m now 56, so I probably won’t return. :wink:
I’ve made a real success of life (worked hard, saved money, found jobs I like) and been lucky too! For the last 20 years, I’ve taught chess, roleplaying and computer games at a Private School. :cool::smiley:
My parents were incredibly supportive. They were sad that I failed, but helped me find a job initially.

I’d like to add that I didn’t ask anyone for help during the year :rolleyes: and that I was a classic ‘avoidance’ case - I just hoped something would turn up.
I’ve used counselling since then and found it very helpful in sorting out problems.

Good luck!