DEAR ABBY: I am a friendly, happy, well-rounded student. I am president of my class in medical school, currently a 4.0 student and top-ranked in my class. I have a wonderful life. I am artistic, intelligent, attractive, very successful in work and at school. I have a lovely apartment, a new car, fulfilling hobbies, great friendships, and a fiance who is kind, loving and supportive.
I seem to have it all. In fact, I do -- and I feel guilty about it. I had an unhappy childhood coupled with a low-income household growing up, and now I feel as if this happy life is too good for me. I know I earned most of what I have -- I worked two jobs as an undergraduate and have been a dedicated student my entire life. Yet I still feel undeserving. How can I be happy about my happiness? -- DOESN'T DESERVE IT IN LOUISIANA
DEAR DOESN'T DESERVE IT: To use the vernacular, it may take some couch time and the help of a psychotherapist. If I had to take a guess, I'd say your feelings of unworthiness relate to your unhappy childhood -- or, possibly that you were able to overcome your background while others in your family were not. Please start ASAP because, for someone who has accomplished as much as you have, you deserve to enjoy the psychic rewards of what you have achieved.