DEAR ABBY: I have huge expectations for myself, but I never achieve my goals. For example, I want to be a straight-A student, but even though I study and study, I still get B's.
I want to be beautiful. I eat right, I work out, I get enough sleep, but I've never been able to lose the extra 10 pounds I carry.
Plus, I look in the mirror, and all I see is disorder. I want to be happy and surrounded by friends and family. In reality, every time I start to get close to a man, I get scared and ruin it. And if I spend more than an hour with my parents, I'm climbing the walls.
In short, how do I change so I can finally accept myself as I am, and begin enjoying life? -- FRUSTRATED PERFECTIONIST IN OAKLAND, CALIF.
DEAR PERFECTIONIST: You're already on the right track because you realize your unhappiness comes from the tint on the lenses through which you view your situation. Counseling is the answer. Once you get to the root of why you have such high expectations for yourself that nothing you achieve is meaningful, you'll be able to forgive yourself, and get on with your life.