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I AM in Control.org Iowa Adolescents Making Choices to Control Their Future Teen:Health, Relationship, Body and Sexuality

Questions, Answers and Resources for Teens

Use this resource for questions regarding your health, your relationships, your body and your sexuality.

While this site is informative, it is not a substitute for talking to your doctor, parents or other trusted adult.

May 1

Follow us on Twitter!

Posted By iamincontrol | May 1, 2014

Want to find out when IAMincontrol has a new post?  Follow us on Twitter @IAMincontrolIA for tweets about our posts and events for teens.  Retweet to share your favorite posts with your friends!
Sep 11

Taking Control of My Depression

Posted By iamincontrol | September 11, 2014

taking control of my depression
By Jacob

Sometimes things are hard. For me, things were the hardest during my freshman year of college. I was in a city where I didn’t know anyone, starting a major that was very difficult and stressful, away from most everyone I loved and all my friends. I felt alone. It was at this time that I began struggling with real depression issues. Depression and social anxiety were things I had struggled with in high school, but the transition to college was very difficult for me. At times it left me wondering whether or not I was ever going to be able to get out of the loneliness and stress and be happy again.

I would stay in bed for days at a time, unable to physically or mentally get myself ready to go out into the world and interact with people who seemed to have not a care in the world or anything wrong in their lives. It was hard for me to watch everyone carry on with their lives and be involved and happy and busy and think about myself, feeling like I had nobody and nothing to care about.

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Sep 9

You Are Worth It

Posted By iamincontrol | September 9, 2014

you are worth it
By E

My name is E, and I am a college sophomore. I decided to write a blog post after I was given the opportunity to if I felt encouraged. I thought about it for a while, convinced I wouldn’t have time or would forget, and then decided to share my story. I am not sure if my story will relate to those reading it, but if it does, I hope you feel encouraged or in some way reassured that you are not alone, there are others going through life with you, and there is always a light waiting for you at the end of whatever tunnel you are going through. I am unsure, as I begin to write, whether I am writing for solely the audience of these blogs or partly for myself. I think writing your feelings and expressing the hurts allows you to finally close chapters. So as I write this, I write for myself and I write for you: I hope in some way this can help you, a friend, or maybe myself.

I have always loved people. Pleasing people, making them smile, laugh, or just making them happy. I always had many friends. I was the “goofy friend”; I liked to eat, I liked to laugh. I was never the most popular, most pretty, or most athletic- but I loved the positive attention I got from being funny and happy. Growing up I was heavier. Never to the point where I needed to be on a diet, but “healthy,” as my mom would call my extra weight I had over the other girls and boys in my class. I was overweight until seventh grade when all of a sudden I wasn’t happy with my body. The media became more of something I paid attention to. I noticed I didn’t look like the other girls in my class, and I definitely didn’t look like any of the females glamorized on TV or magazine covers. Within about four months I lost 35 pounds. I gained more friends. I gained more attention. I gained more attention from boys- and I loved it. The only thing I wasn’t continually gaining was weight. My friends and their parents would often comment how thin I looked, asking if I was eating. Some parents even contacted my mom to make sure I was alright. Truthfully, I was much thinner, but I finally felt healthier and I was. When I started to starve myself, limiting meals and calories and busting hundreds of calories in the weight room, that is when I became obsessed with “thinness”.

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Sep 4

Just Think Twice

Posted By iamincontrol | September 4, 2014

just think twice

Today we’re sharing a great resource called Just Think Twice.  This site is dedicated to giving you the facts on drugs and what their consequences could be.

Some of the cool features of the site include:

  • Facts & Fiction – Some of the things you may think are “facts” about drugs are actually myths, and they get busted here.
  • Consequences – Learn about what some of the consequences of using drugs could be, and read some true, tragic stories about their effects.
  • Teens to Teens – Members of the Drug Abuse Resistance Education’s (D.A.R.E.’s) Youth Advisory Board blog each month about a new topic.

Visit the site to find more resources and features.  Also, check out the IAMincontrol blog posts below to read about more real-life experiences with drugs and alcohol.

Alcohol: Not a Game
How Marijuana Affected My Relationship
Out of Control
DRUGS! They Determined My Life

Sep 2

More than One Word

Posted By iamincontrol | September 2, 2014

teenager playing guitar
The results are in!

Last month’s poll question was:

Do you feel like people just group you into that one thing you’re good at? (i.e. jock, band nerd, artist, goth, etc.)

You guys overwhelmingly said:

    • Definitely. People don’t realize there’s more to me.

Here’s how Hayley learned how to embrace feeling more than one word.

We all have that one thing we feel defines us. You could be an athlete, a musician, a mathlete, or a dancer. We often use this one word to describe us and measure our worth. However, we are much more than this one word.

In high school I was the cheerleader. That is until my junior year when I got cut from the squad. I was super upset knowing that all of my friends would be cheering without me. Although I missed cheering on my boys to a victory in football or basketball, not making the squad didn’t turn out as bad as I thought. I was able to get involved in other activities, and it was during this time that I met some of my best friends. I had fun in the stands at sporting events, and I was able to find new passions.

Although losing that one thing you identify with may be hard, it doesn’t always have to be bad. So yes, be the athlete, musician, or dancer, but know that there is more to high school and much more to life.  One door may close, but countless others will be opened. Branch out, make new friends, and remember you are more than just that one word.

Aug 28

Don’t Be a Bystander

Posted By iamincontrol | August 28, 2014

teenage girl
By Kathryn

Within my group of friends, there was this one friend who seemed to have it all together. She excelled in the classroom as well as in sports. She was involved in various clubs and organizations. She was very outgoing and responsible; our classmates and teachers liked her as well. At one time I would have considered her one of my best friends.

During the fall of my senior year of high school, my friend began to date a guy the grade below us. He seemed like a nice guy, a farm boy who caused some trouble, but nothing terrible. My friend seemed happy about her new relationship, and she quickly began to fall in love.

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Aug 26

Getting though My Parents’ Divorce

Posted By iamincontrol | August 26, 2014

By Anonymous

My parents got divorced when I was in the seventh grade, and my world was forever changed. I woke up one Saturday, and it seemed like a regular morning. When my mom woke up, I could tell something was wrong. She asked me to come talk to her in her room; she sounded so sad. She told me that “Dad was gone.” I was really confused at that point. I wasn’t sure what she meant; was he dead? She then told me that he had left the night before, after I had gone to bed. Some of the news that my parents were getting a divorce started to sink in at that point, and I started to cry. My mom and I laid in her room for most of the morning, with her adamantly telling me that the divorce was not my fault. It wasn’t, but somehow it felt like it was. She also told me how much both her and my dad loved me. I remember how shocked I was because my whole life would change from that point on. My dad wouldn’t be living with us anymore. I went to school the next day and told my friends at the lunch table.

Now when I look back on that time of my life, I remember how strong my mom was for me throughout the divorce. I think that would be my biggest piece of advice to get through a big life change: find a person who can be your “rock.” Find someone who can support you and who you trust.

 

Aug 21

Living with a Chronically Injured Parent

Posted By iamincontrol | August 21, 2014

By Anonymous

I grew up in a pretty typical family: mom, dad, a brother, and a sister. We always had a dog and had a couple cats along the way. My mom worked at a high school, and my dad was a construction worker. Seems like a typical American middle class family, right? Well we were, but then at the end of my sophomore year of high school my dad got hurt at work. His machine had jerked and had hurt his back. He was in a lot of pain, and the doctors told him he needed surgery. Everything was fine, he’d have the surgery and the doctors said he’d need a couple days of recovery and then he should be able to walk out of the hospital. Well that’s not quite what happened. After about a week in the hospital, they wheeled him out in a wheelchair and he came home. He was still in a lot of pain, maybe even more than before the surgery.

This began a time in my life where my dad, tough, strong, and involved, became very distant. I had a lot of questions and no one to turn to. I’m the oldest, and I took on the role of doing as much as I could for myself. It was disappointing that he couldn’t come to my activities, but there wasn’t much I could do. People would ask how he was doing often and I would tell them, “Oh, he seems to be getting a little better,” or “He’s had a quite a few bad days recently.” In reality, he wasn’t getting better, and each day seemed just the same as the last. I’d go to school, sports, work, and then come home and nothing was different. He was still sitting there, maybe playing Xbox or sleeping. Distant. No one in my family talked about it much, and we definitely didn’t talk about how we were feeling. Depression. It seemed like a cycle in a bad story, and it was never going to get better. The way that I dealt with this was to try to do everything right and hold it all together, even though I was a wreck inside. Five years later, my dad is still in pain a lot of the time and still can’t be very active or go to many events, but he’s better than he was. He’s more present in our lives, but parents from the recliner.

My advice to anyone dealing with a parent who is chronically sick or injured or a parent who is just not all present: talk to someone, preferably someone older, like a school counselor, a teacher, a family member, or a family friend. Be honest about how you are feeling and how your situation is affecting you, because it does affect you or it will. I am still dealing with the effects of that time in my life five years later. It’s tough and it hurts, but I have to come to terms with the effects it’s had on me. I’m learning to accept that there are things that I might miss out on doing with him and that there has been time lost in this process. Time I can’t get back. I have friends and mentors now that I can talk to about that time in my life and sort out my grief for how things were “supposed to be.”

Aug 19

Food is Fuel

Posted By iamincontrol | August 19, 2014

healthy food
By Clancy

My freshman year of high school I was involved in many sports, but it wasn’t until track season that I thought I needed to lose weight. The other girls on my relay team were not the same size as I was. I thought that because I was bigger than them, it was slowing me down. I began restricting what I would eat and when I would eat it. I wouldn’t eat lunch on race days because in my mind, there was a correlation between my weight and my race times.

I was frustrated when my times weren’t improving and thought the only explanation was because I needed to lose more weight. I had already lost around 15 pounds in 2 months, and my coaches began to notice my lack of energy. My race performance actually began to worsen.

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Aug 14

Self-Esteem & Cheerleading

Posted By iamincontrol | August 14, 2014

cheerleader
By Anonymous

My sophomore year of high school I made the varsity cheer squad. I was the youngest on the team. This meant my close cheer friends were not there with me anymore, and I was with the older girls. I didn’t know much about them, and I was not included like I was on the other squad. As if this wasn’t hard enough, I was given a nickname calling me fat. I only weighed 100 pounds, so it was meant to be a joke, but this label caused me to have body image issues.

I did not have problems with weight because I was always active and ate a well-balanced diet, thanks to my parents. But being called such a name really upset me. I began to think my size was not socially normal and that I needed to gain weight fast. I did not want to be picked on anymore. I didn’t like the attention, so after practice I would go home and eat large quantities of food. It made me so uncomfortable, and then I would freak out because I was emotionally and physically overwhelmed.

I knew what good nutrition was, and I had a healthy relationship with food until those girls, who should have been role models, made me feel bad. Letting others shape me through their actions is something I am ashamed of. This caused me to have a poor view of my body image, leading to reduced confidence in myself and not wanting to be different within my social groups. This one name did not just affect me when I was with those girls; it affected my everyday life and my everyday decisions.

My self-esteem and health were affected, and this is something I never wanted anyone to destroy. Because I laughed and didn’t stand up for myself, this joke seemed acceptable to them. The harm of words is not temporary; it leaves an everlasting message with the individual. Through being a positive role model and a good friend to all, I aspire to be different and encouraging. Check out this website for fun, helpful information regarding a positive body image!

Aug 12

Having the “Chicken Pox” from Ages 7-15: A Journey to Loving Myself

Posted By iamincontrol | August 12, 2014

teenage girl
By Anonymous

Growing up, I had a lot of health problems. My biggest issue was a skin problem. I was itchy all the time, covered in sores from head to toe. People were always asking me, “Do you have the chicken pox?” Some people just stared, and others just blatantly asked what was wrong with me. Since I always got these questions and weird looks, I began to hide my body by wearing sweatshirts and jeans all year round, even if it was 100 degrees outside. I could not handle the looks and questions I received from people. It would cause me to break down crying.

No doctor could figure out what was wrong with me. One dermatologist said it was eczema, another said it was atopic dermatitis; others said it was allergies, and some believed I just scratched myself because of anxiety issues.

Since no doctor knew what was wrong, I just told people I had the chicken pox. It seemed easier to tell them I had the chicken pox than say, “No one knows what’s wrong with me.” Otherwise I would scare people away. I told everyone that from the ages of 7 to 15.

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