Ask Deepak: Too Many Responsibilities
— Sana A., Lake in the Hills, Illinois
I'm very sorry to hear you are being forced to take on adult responsibilities at such a young age. This level of stress is not appropriate, and the adults in your house need to realize that fact. You are being asked to do too much, and I sense that being a girl, your needs are given lower priority.
Here's a simple plan. Make a list of all the things you mention in your letter to me:
- My mother is struggling with cancer.
- My father works three jobs to support us, but we are struggling financially.
- I am having to take care of the household.
- School is very stressful right now, and the other kids make my existence difficult every day.
- I feel lonely and stressed from all of the above.
I suspect that you cannot show your list to your father without making him feel bad. Can you use your mother to talk to him? If not, is there a close relative? Or someone where you worship? What you need is a caring adult who can go to your school and ask for help so you are not constantly bullied. Social services may also need to be contacted, because they might provide help for your sick mother.
I know I am asking you to take a big step, but everyone is expecting you to be grown up, and this is the grown-up thing to do.
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Deepak Chopra is the author of more than 50 books on health, success, relationships and spirituality, including his current best-seller, Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul, and The Ultimate Happiness Prescription, which are available now. You can listen to his show on Saturdays every week on SiriusXM Channels 102 and 155.
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