DEAR AMY: I'm a freshman in high school. So far, my experience hasn't been that great. I've been so stressed out and had to go to the doctor several times because the stress is causing me to have bad headaches.
I've looked into home schooling/online schooling and learned it isn't bad.
Since starting high school, I've had breakdowns that I've never ever had before.
I'm afraid of asking or even bringing up home schooling to my parents because I feel they might laugh and say it's a very stupid idea since I'm just a freshman or that they want me to have the "high school experience" they did. What do I do? Please help me! — Stressed Freshman
DEAR STRESSED: Before dropping out of school entirely, you will need to notify all of the adults in your life about what is really going on with you, so that they can work together (and with you) to arrive at strategies for you to cope.
If you are too afraid to go to your parents, you should start with another trusted adult (your school counselor and/or another friend or relative). There might be ways for you to adjust your school schedule for this year so it's a little easier on you. After-school groups or activities might give you a needed outlet.
You should also have a thorough checkup by your physician to see if some physical problems might be at the root of some of your symptoms. A compassionate counselor could help you sort this out and give you tools for dealing with stress and anxiety in the future.
DEAR AMY: When I got engaged last year, my now-husband and I went to visit his parents. His mother was gracious enough to present me with a lovely 2-carat diamond ring from her safe deposit box.
She said she wanted me to have it because I love her son. I was thrilled because it meant acceptance into the family. I wore it every day, proud of the bond I share with my husband and new family.
Unfortunately, six months ago I took it to get cleaned by a jeweler, who informed me that the diamond ring I loved so much was a fake. I was shocked.
His parents are coming to visit next month. What shall I say when she doesn't see me wearing her ring? I don't want to seem like an ingrate and hurt her feelings, but at the same time I can't feel as proud of this ring as I once did and have stopped wearing it because I don't wish to go around accepting people's compliments on it.
My husband says we will handle it when she visits and that surely she is unaware of the problem. I'm disappointed with the situation (and in him too), but he doesn't seem to think it's that big of a deal, saying a happy marriage is what's important, not a piece of jewelry. Advice? — Disappointed
DEAR DISAPPOINTED: My first recommendation is for you to get a second opinion from another jeweler — and bring your husband with you.
His mother should be told about this — it could have ramifications for her in other ways (she might need to get other pieces of jewelry professionally appraised). She may be embarrassed, but be honest, calm and understanding.
Frankly, you do sound a little bit like an ingrate; this situation is no one's fault, and — real or fake — the ring still symbolizes (or should symbolize) the exact same thing it did when it was presented to you.
DEAR AMY: More on unequal wills: I was on the nonreceiving end of my mother's will because my husband and I were financially very comfortable and my brother was strapped for money with children to support.
You are correct, it wasn't about the money. Her siblings desperately tried to talk her into dividing her will equally between my brother and me, but she wouldn't listen. I hate that the wonderful woman who raised me now has left a bitter feeling in my heart. I do know that I will never do that to my children no matter what their circumstances are. — EM
DEAR EM: Wise solution.
(You can contact Amy Dickinson via email: askamytribune.com. You can also follow her on Twitter askingamy or "like" her on Facebook. Amy Dickinson's memoir, "The Mighty Queens of Freeville: A Mother, a Daughter and the Town that Raised Them" (Hyperion), is available in bookstores.)
By Amy Dickinson
Tribune Media Services