DEAR ABBY: I am a 13-year-old who has already ruined her life. I stay up late, eat tons of junk food and yell at my sisters. It may not sound that bad, but on more than one occasion I have stayed up way past midnight.
I'm known as the one in the family who can drink a six-pack of soda at one sitting and eat can after can of tuna fish. My sisters are so worried about me, I've driven them to tears.
Every week I put on more weight. I've got acne and my teeth are horrible. Please help me, Abby. Nobody in my family understands what I'm going through. -- UNHAPPY WITH MYSELF IN SALT LAKE CITY
DEAR UNHAPPY: It sometimes takes a series of "baby steps" to change patterns that don't work for you. Self-improvement cannot be accomplished overnight, so please stop being so hard on yourself.
There is help for each of the problems you have described. The first step is to ask your parents to schedule an appointment for you with your pediatrician to discuss your nutrition and anger issues. Your doctor also can refer you to a dentist and a dermatologist. You would sleep better if you began a regular program of exercise.
P.S. A final thought: If your parents are unable to help, talk to a counselor at school when it resumes in the fall.