Life Advice



Ask Amy: Alcoholic wants support to regain sobriety

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

I could speak to her husband, but I’m just not sure if that’s appropriate.

Should I mention my concerns or just keep my mouth shut?

– Concerned Friend

Dear Concerned: Given that you see your friend so infrequently, and that you don’t notice anything else about her behavior that concerns you, I don’t think it’s necessary to alert her or her husband to these perceived lapses.

She knows her father died of Alzheimer’s Disease. Her husband knows this, too. All the same, faraway friends can often perceive changes that elude closer people because changes can happen gradually, so if you see any other altered behavior or obvious memory lapses, you should revisit the option of reporting it to a family member.

Dear Amy: “Conflicted” recently wrote seeking guidance on how to pick college courses, was interested in both engineering and marine biology, and was curious about sticking to courses that were interesting or others that were out of the comfort zone.

I’ve been involved in college and higher education for over 30 years as a professor and researcher.

I agree with the “start broad” advice you gave, but I also emphasize the need to follow your heart and passion — regardless of where it takes you.


In all fields, you will face challenges and have opportunities that will stretch you intellectually and emotionally, and having a deep caring for the subject will be what sustains and energizes you not only through college -- but beyond.

– Rick Murray, deputy director and VP for Science and Engineering, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Dear Rick: Thank you for offering your wise insight.


(You can email Amy Dickinson at or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)

©2021 Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.




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