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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Ask Maxy

Dear Maxy ,
I was recently diagnosed with high blood pressure  and my doctor  told me to stay  away from salty  foods . I have been doing that. I haven't  told  any of my  friends or  co-workers  because I want  to deal with my health  challenges  in my own way . I don't think it should be any of their  business but that's where I'm having  difficulty . I go out to eat with my co-workers  several days a week . It's a nice  ritual  that we have developed  over the years, except  what  where  we usually eat has really salty food . I don't know how I can change  my eating habits  and keep going  to these greasy holes with them . I want to keep my privacy, keep my friends and improve  my health . What  can I do ?
Blood  Boiling
Dear Blood  Boiling ,
Your  doctor  likely also told you  that in order  to improve  your  health  significantly, you  will have to change  your  habits . You already know that you cannot eat  out at those places  several times a week  and consume unhealthy food if you want to lower  your blood pressure .
Until  you feel comfortable, you do not have to tell your co-workers about your health condition, but you can tell them that you have decided to get healthier . Tell them you have made a pledge  to yourself and that includes eating better . Ask if anyone  is interested  in doing this, too . Suggest alternative places to eat out together . Change  your pattern  entirely  by preparing  your lunch  and bringing  it from home . This will enable  you to  control exactly what goes into  your  body .

Dear Maxy ,
I enjoy reading  your column  and agree with most of your advice, including your recommendations  when it  comes  to handling alcohol addictions  and binge drinking .
I do not work in this  field , but I've seen alternatives to AA that may be more palatable to some who  are seeking  assistance . Would you print  this  information , too ?
Austin , Texas
Dear Austin Texas ,
I actually  have  printed  alternatives  to AA in the past  and am happy to do so again . Whatever helps . I recognize  that some people  are not comfortable with 12-step programs  or those mentioning a "higher power," and others are searching  for something more specifically tailored to their needs . So here are a few suggestions .
Moderation Management (; Hams (Harm Reduction, Abstinence and Moderation Support) at ; Smart Recovery (Self-Management and Recovery Training) at ; Rational Recovery ( ) ; Sober Recovery (; SOS (Secular Organizations  for Sobriety) at ; LifeRing ( ); Women for Sobriety  ( ).
I realize this list doesn't  include everything ,  so readers  can find more resources through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration ( ) at 1-800-662-HELP (1-800-662-4357) .

Dear Maxy,
Every time I see my grandmother ... every month ...  she  gives  me a present . She is so sweet   and I really  appreciate it . My question is  should I be sending  her a thank you note  every time ? Since she's  been doing this  for years , I really haven't been writing  her notes . But then I  had  the thought the other  day  that she probably  would appreciate  a note  from me  and it  might even spark her  interest to write back .  It would be awesome  to have letters  from my grandmother  to hold onto.
What do you think ?
Should I write ?
Georgia Peach
Dear Georgia Peach ,
Since  you see your  grandmother  so  frequently, which is a blessing, and she always  gifts  you, you may want  to consider  your note to her differently . Yes  you can say thank you  for her  gift,  but more than that, share with her a few bits about your life . Tell her in regular notes  about experiences you are having . Write her in detail,  knowing that  she will likely use your  stories to brag to her friends  about your  experiences  . Choose to relay positive  stories  that she can  embrace . Keep your challenges and negative experiences to yourself to share with  your  parents, friends  or even a professional  when needed
Older people  tend to worry  more, and you have no reason  to  give her  something that will upset her . You can include  your thanks in the notes

Whenever you find  that you  really benefited  from something  your  grandmother gave  you ,  by all means , write to her and say so . She will surely write back  and then the two of you  will have a new  way  of interacting  with each other .
Cherish the time you have with her and build  memories to keep for the rest of your life.


  1. Maxy,
    What great depth you put in , now I am strutting around like a peacock . I told my friends you would get the right aanswers . I remember that question was asked at the first of the year , needing more information on AA . I give you credit Maxy you sure know your stuff . I know a lot of people that need that help , if not for themselves but for friends and family .
    What great advice you gave to the granddaughter about the little notes to her grandmother , just sheer genius . I am expecting a friend over to ask a question .
    Ardis Whittin

  2. Thank you so much Ardis,
    We always do research before we answer, take each letter seriously and, I hope, treat each person with respect.
    We appreciate your support

  3. Howdy Ardis ,
    You have a great memory .
    Now if you ask them to give me a raise , because you and I both know I'm a genius .
    Thank you so much for telling your family and friends , tell them to bring them on .

  4. Maxy,
    My friend told me to let you take a jab at this and I don't want to file bankruptcy so here goes my problem .
    I have been noticing commercials for companies where they can take your debt and basically make it go away . Like , if you have a bunch of credit card debt , the companies can help reduce the amount you owe and get the creditors off your back .
    I have a mound of debt and can't figure out how to get free of it I'm wondering if I should try one of these companies .
    Dump Debt , South Florida


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