Alex's Answer

I'm struggling with low motivation and anxiety and considering smoking weed

Your Question

Hey Alex, I’m having a bit of trouble in school. I’m doing quite badly in irish and maths, even with grinds, I can never find the motivation or even find myself caring to study or do homework because I recieve the same results either way. Friends are stressful, the social aspect is terrifying, I’m scared of going to school because I don’t want to see the people in my class, and I can’t deal with the stress of schoolwork. I find myself thinking of ways to try miss out on as much school as possible, avoiding people at school, etc. Every time I hear someone laugh I think it’s about me, every time I accidentally catch someone’s eye i feel like they’ve been looking at me, whenever someone’s called out of the classroom I’m scared there’s trouble and somehow I’ll get involved. I’ve always tried my best, always done as I was told, and now I’m wondering, What’s the point? I can try my hardest and get nowhere, why try at all? I have friends who vape, who smoke, who do weed, and probably worse. I’ve never joined them, but after researching some stuff, and finding no way to relax, I find myself really wanting to just try some. Just a little weed, a little breathing time, a little bit away from the world. I’ve been raised to do my best, raised to try my hardest, raised to never do anything remotely bad for me or deemed socially unacceptable, yet all I’m asking myself now is why not. I care less about myself, and if i’m not trying to take basic care of myself and do well for myself, why do I draw the line at smoking? I can’t keep up with school, whether I try or not, I can’t feel okay in social situations, whether I try or not, and I’m just so sick of trying. 


Hi there, welcome to Ask Alex!   

Thanks a million for reaching out. We know how difficult this can be, but also how helpful it is for young people to release their worries and get the support needed so well done for getting in touch with us.   

From what you describe, you are having difficulties coping with school tasks, homework and socializing with peers. It also seems you are trying to maintain a high standard by always doing your best, working the hardest and doing what you are told – all of which can be exhausting. It makes sense that you are feeling overwhelmed with all of this on your plate.   

We are sorry to hear you are going through a rough patch. It sounds like you have a lot going on and it’s taking a toll on you. We can see you saying you are sick of trying and we can also see you made the effort to write all this down, so it seems like you aren’t ready to throw in the towel just yet, and that you could use some support.  

We are worried about your wellbeing and your levels of motivation. You might find this article on maintaining motivation helpful: as well as this one which provides tips on being the best person we can be in a healthy and consistent way: 

It is not uncommon for people who are feeling low to turn to substances such as weed to try to escape from or numb their feelings. Even though it can seem that this will help in the short term, it has the potential to increase one’s difficulties as weed can have a depressant effect. It may also impact on the motivation needed to make constructive changes to live a healthy, happy life. When things have been stressful and challenging in the past, what activities did you engage in that helped you feel better? Perhaps you could try those techniques again now. When we are going through a tough time, it can be very challenging to sort it out on our own. Have you tried to talk about this with an adult you trust? They might have gone through something similar and can give you suggestions about how to cope when feeling stressed, unmotivated and anxious, or they could assist you in finding professional help.   

We would also like to suggest you have a look at our website and check out the support services we offer: In addition, we offer the Space From Anxiety programme, an online/digital therapeutic service grounded in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy which is aimed at 14 – 18-year-old young people who experience anxiety. To learn more about this programme, you can ask a parent/guardian or a counsellor/teacher from your school to send an email to: [email protected]. Remember, to engage in these services, you will need parental consent. You don’t need to do this alone; we can offer a helping hand and an understanding ear.  

If you would prefer to engage in our Listening Service at this time, you are very welcome to call us for a chat on 1800 66 66 66; we’re here to listen to anything that’s on your mind. You can also use Childline’s text service by texting 50101 or to contact us online visit and you can register there to chat with us. All of these services are free, available 24 hours a day and are confidential and non-judgemental. We hope our answer helps and that you find the support you need. Please, don’t hesitate to write back if you had any more questions for us.  

Take care, be kind to yourself and keep in touch,  




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