By KRS Edstrom



Dear KRS, I'm a 26-year-old male and for most of my life have felt a certain emptiness. Growing up I never went without the basics but suffered from bad relations with my parents, and at school spent a lot of time unhappy and distraught.

I have always had to deal with the inner demons of having physical imperfections such as minor deformities of my arms from arthritis and the memory of someone trying to interfere with me at the age of 12 (which came back to haunt me during my teenage years).

I've never been able to have enough self confidence to establish a romantic relationship, instead seeking sexual relief with prostitutes on the odd occasion. The fear of rejection is my main worry and I seem to fail whenever I attempt a relationship. Despite this I have no problems interacting with people and manage a successful retail business dealing with many people on all levels everyday.

But I never feel "settled" and have feelings of paranoia frequently. I cannot simply be happy with myself and feel that I never will. I tend to look for obstacles and get fixated on minor occurrences. I have been taking Zoloft for 12 months and don't particularly feel any better. I would appreciate whatever advice you can offer me. What can I do to find inner peace and get on with living?
Fighting Childhood Demons

Dear Fighting,
Congratulations for wanting to change things versus trying to numb out and escape with addictive substances. You are young and there is so much you can do to help yourself.

1) Seek private counseling for the haunting memories. Getting it out in the open with a professional can then help you release it. Your unhappiness, paranoia and negativity may all very well be related to this. So many people are admitting to similar memories these days that counselors are quite well prepared to handle such problems.

Interview many and find one with whom you feel comfortable. In some communities you will find counselors who work on a sliding scale. Arthritis is often said to be a result of holding resentments, so once you deal with the resentments of your abuse, you may also find that your arthritis improves!

2) Do some writing about your memories - get it all on paper:  all of your angry thoughts, resentments, fear, depression. Scribble it all down for several nights in a row. Each morning, read it over and then burn it as you resolve (aloud) to release this along with the memories, anger and resentments. This can be quite powerful work. Keep writing until you feel you have no more to say.

3) Spirituality - Happiness is an inside job, so I would prioritize your spirituality. Again, some experimentation may be in order until you find the thing(s) that work for you. I use meditation work with clients and get good results (you might enjoy my guided meditation CDs - or those of other experts you can find online such as at:

Hang in there. As Joan Baez said "As long as one keeps searching, the answers come."

KRS Edstrom, M.S., is an author, lecturer and columnist. She offers private sessions (by phone or in person) and seminars on meditation, stress, pain, weight loss. For free soothing guided meditations and more information, visit Call (323) 851-8623 or email:


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