alone
Self

My ex-wife left me in July. We had an arranged wedding last February in India. She was good for the first two months when we were together, then I left for Canada to resume my job. But when she came to Canada through spousal sponsorship, her behaviour changed and she always found reasons to leave and never made me a priority. I cannot get over her, what should I do? -Stressed out boy

Dear Stressed out boy, Your story is not a mere boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy finds girl and lives happily ever after. If it was as simple as this, I could suggest ways for you to help your partner assimilate better into Canadian culture and tools for you to build a more loving and trusting bond with her.…

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Dear Dr. Faizal
Self

I’m a female in my early 20s and I’m having a really hard time “knowing my limit” when it comes to alcohol. I’m not an alcoholic because I don’t crave it and I probably only consume alcohol once a month, but when I do, I always go overboard. It seems impossible for me to drink “casually” or just have one beverage… but I want to be able to socially drink with my friends! How can I learn to stop before I become completely inebriated? – One is too many

Dear One, Alcoholism, generally speaking, is a chronic condition that typically includes a history of excessive drinking, a strong craving for alcohol, continued drinking despite repeated issues arising from alcohol abuse, and being unable to control drinking. This is a disease, which it doesn’t appear you have. What you do describe, however, is an equally-dangerous condition called binge-drinking. Binge drinking,…

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Dear Dr. Faizal
Self

I struggle with self-esteem issues. People think I’m very confident because I’m a bit of an extrovert but I have huge abandonment issues. I struggle with body image, confidence, self-worth, etc. I wish I was as confident as people think but I feel very misunderstood. What do I do? – Faking Confidence

Dear Faking, You need to slow down. If you were a client of mine and expressed yourself in this manner during a session, I’d ask you to first take a few deep breaths with me and then, when you were more relaxed, we’d explore the various issues that are creating discomfort for you at this time of your life. As…

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Dear Dr. Faizal
Self

As I grow older, I’m losing the happiness and excitement I once used to feel. Also, I hate feeling stressed out, ever! I have many good things going on in my life right now – great job, great girlfriend, etc. but I haven’t achieved any of the goals I had when I was younger. I used to be so carefree, light and optimistic. I don’t know why I can’t shake the feeling that maybe something is off? Maybe it’s because of the heartbreaks over the years? I just want to go back to the innocence I once had. – Happy

Dear Happy, It’s wonderful that you have good memories of your childhood. Most children are carefree – partly because they don’t have real responsibilities. But you must realize that you are now an adult – with all the responsibilities that come with adulthood. This is natural; we all must grow up. Resisting one’s maturity and wanting to reclaim one’s childhood…

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Self

I am at that point in life where I don’t have anything to look forward to. I am 30 and single with an uneventful life. My social life is limited to work because I live alone and hardly have actual friends with whom I would love to hang out. I am feeling stuck. I know I need to change but I find it hard to break out of my routine. Where should I begin? – Stuck forever

Dear Stuck, It is true that some of us have felt, at some point in our lives, that we’re in a rut and doing the same things over and over with the same people and not feeling satisfied with our existence. It’s at this point that we must make a choice to either keep doing what we’re doing and hope…

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Self

How do I know if my perception of myself is accurate? In Canadian society people aren’t brutally honest with others because there is such an emphasis on manners and politeness. It’s hard for me to know if I view myself in the same way that others view me, especially when I can’t rely on others to tell me if I need to work on certain aspects of my personality. I just want to be awesome. Do you have any tricks or tips on how to get out of my head and assess myself in an unbiased way? – Who am I?

Dear Who am I, It seems to me that you are searching for your self (that’s good), but in all the wrong places (something that needs to be addressed). I mean, you could very well give all your family members, friends and acquaintances an anonymous questionnaire with questions like, “What do you like about me?”, “What do you not like…

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