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Nobody's life is Facebook perfect

Dear Abby: "Unsure Out West" (July 26) felt inadequate because she had no upbeat messages to put on Facebook. Please tell her she's not alone.

I attended a prestigious college, but 35 years later I also find myself with no job, in debt, battling depression and dealing with a host of phobias.

When my FB friends ask how I am, I reply that it's a difficult question to answer. I then ask about THEM and let them know I'm glad they're doing well.

-- Understanding "Friend" in Massachusetts

Dear "Friend": Thank you for writing to support "Unsure." Many people identified with her feelings. Read on:

Dear Abby: While everyone brags about their kids, careers and wonderful lives, don't forget that they too have put a "spin" on things. Nobody's life is perfect. We've all had our share of hardships.

I have been in "Unsure's" shoes for several years (minus the great hubby), but Facebook has given me confidence and enabled me to meet people who share my interests. Accept yourself for who you are. You don't have to hide the truth. Problems with alcohol or depression do not define you.

-- Amanda in Illinois

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Dear Abby: "Unsure" should get rid of her Facebook page. If she doesn't, she'll continue reading about the lives of her old acquaintances and feel bad about hers.

-- K.V. in New Jersey

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Dear Abby: I, too, was well-liked, active and graduated with honors. After college I became sick with a debilitating chronic illness that leaves me mostly homebound. When an old friend reaches out on Facebook, I ask how she's doing, we discuss common interests and I reveal my health struggles. If she wants to know more, she'll ask.

Yesterday I spent the afternoon with a friend I hadn't been in touch with for 17 years until Facebook reunited us. She accepted my limitations and showed incredible compassion and empathy. We caught up on mutual friends, hobbies AND my health. While not everyone will respond that way, it's worth finding those who will.

-- Emily in Pennsylvania

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