Dear Amy: I am a 35-year-old man, happily living in my hometown after about a decade away.
I’m writing because this past weekend, I had a realization: I don’t really like my friends.
Post-pandemic, I’ve been hanging with some of my friends from childhood and high school. Don’t get me wrong — these are salt-of-the-earth people, and I don’t want to judge them. But, speaking honestly, I have grown tired of smoking weed and playing Grand Theft Auto.
I guess I’m looking for validation, as well as some ideas about how to branch out.
Looking for Distance
Dear Looking: First, let’s stipulate that it’s not that you don’t “like” your hometown friends, but that your interests have expanded beyond hanging out on Randall’s couch, getting high and pulling video heists.
Expand your world — without dumping your friends.
Start hiking, biking, volunteering for Habitat for Humanity, and going to concerts and clubs.
In short, I suggest that you “get a life.”
Getting a life can be challenging, even if you’re young and unencumbered. It can be even harder in your hometown because you are pigeonholed into friendships and habits by other people.
One of my favorite depictions of this sometimes aimless dynamic is the movie “Swingers.” Watch it — and let it inspire you to plan your next move.
Dear Amy: I just had a baby two months ago. I have two other children from a previous relationship. They are 18 and 20, so I’m basically a “new” mom.
My boyfriend and I decided it would be best for me to be a stay-at-home mom, and being that I did that for many years with my other children, I was ecstatic.
He found a new higher-paying job to cover my lack of income. I was so proud of him!
Everything seemed to be going great until a few days ago. He started acting distant and we’ve gotten into some pretty bad arguments.
I have no idea what has changed. He now says he needs space, and my heart is broken.
He says he’s tired of me making him feel like everything he does is wrong. l definitely don’t think that. I do get upset over his phone usage, especially around the baby. He has a problem with addiction and has been using kratom.
I feel like he’s hiding something from me.
How do I fix this?
I’ve been an emotional mess and feel like it’s affecting my new baby.
It Takes a Village
Dear It Takes A Village: Your question’s signature provides a clue into what I urge you to do in the short term: Let the “village” help to take care of you. Reach out to friends, family members and other new or “redux” moms.
See your physician right away to be screened for postpartum depression.
Because I don’t believe it is in your power to “fix this,” you must take your new baby’s life — and yours — one day at a time. Or one hour at a time.
I’m speculating, but it is possible that the stress of this extreme lifestyle change may have triggered your partner to relapse.
Kratom is an herbal supplement sometimes used to counteract the effects of addiction withdrawal. According to an article published by the Mayo Clinic (mayoclinic.org), “Kratom is believed to act on opioid receptors. At low doses, kratom acts as a stimulant, making users feel more energetic. At higher doses, it reduces pain and may bring on euphoria. At very high doses, it acts as a sedative, making users quiet and perhaps sleepy.
“Depending on what is in the plant and the health of the user, taking kratom may be very dangerous. Claims about the benefits of kratom can’t be rated because reliable evidence is lacking.”
This herb is also extremely toxic to babies.
If your guy “needs space” I suggest that you give it to him, because he does not seem to be in a stable place right now. Your and your baby’s emotional and physical health and safety is paramount.
Let your “village” lift and hold you up until you gain your strength back.
Dear Amy: Oy vey, your answer to “Bothered” really bothered me.
This poor guy writes about his extreme frustration standing in a very long line to “punch out” after his work shift when people cut in front of him.
You went on about “equanimity”?
He should go to management!
I Need your Job
Dear Need: “Bothered” specifically did not ask how to solve this but about “adopting a new mentality.”
You can email Amy Dickinson at [email protected] or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.