Dear Annie: When coffee becomes an addiction
Dear Annie: Just recently, I started drinking coffee most mornings. I’d say that over the past four months, I’ve had coffee an average of four days a week. In the past month or so, I’ve noticed that I get headaches when I skip coffee for a day. I’m guessing these headaches are a result of my body’s missing the caffeine it’s used to getting. (This is really unfortunate, because I love the taste of coffee. But I guess I could always drink decaf.)
Since I noticed these headaches, I’ve started weaning myself off of coffee, but I need something else to get me alert (and keep me that way) throughout the workday.
What healthy substitute(s) could I turn to as I work to kick my coffee habit? — Clinging to Caffeine
Dear Clinging to Caffeine: The absolute best thing you could drink when you wake up for an energized morning is a big glass of water. And then another. Water will flush out toxins, kickstart your metabolism and, of course, rehydrate you. Dehydration causes fatigue. (And incidentally, coffee causes dehydration — so in the long run, drinking too much coffee will slow you down more than speed you up.) If you’re craving something other than water — something with a more distinctive taste — try naturally caffeine-free herbal teas, such as ginger tea.
So the good news is you’re over the hump. Symptoms of withdrawal from caffeine dependency typically are at their worst in the first two days after stopping consumption and will fade within nine days.
Dear Annie: I have to respond to the letter from “Stingy Dad and Proud of It,” about his battles with his ex-wife over finances and issues with the children. I agree that he should do what is in the best interests of his children, and it sounds as if he has been making an effort to do just that all along. Love is not displayed through monetary means. A bat mitzvah for a 13-year-old that costs five figures? Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I cannot imagine spending that kind of money on a party. Making this milestone special does not equal $10,000-plus.
If I were this dad, I would explain this to my ex and give my daughter my time instead of my money. The daughter may be difficult to get through to right now, but “Stingy Dad and Proud of It” owes it to her and to himself to use his energy to improve his relationship with her. When all is said and done, she won’t remember the amount of money spent on her when she was 13. She’ll remember who fought for her, took the time to knock down her walls and loved her unconditionally. She will also remember who roped her into her parents’ messy financial issues and who took the high road. — Anti-Material Girl
Dear Anti-Material Girl: You are very wise, and your advice is spot on. Thank you for writing.
Dear Annie: I read several advice columns and want to say how much I appreciate your being able to admit being wrong and learn from your readers. I see other advice columnists who are adamant that they are right and everyone else is wrong. They fail to learn from others’ advice. Keep up the good work! — Mike
Dear Mike: My favorite advice columnist was Ann Landers, and she never hesitated to tell her readers if she had made a mistake or thought their advice was better.
She coined the phrase “40 lashes with a wet noodle” as a way to let her readers know that she was not omniscient and was open to their advice. It was not unusual for her to write, “Boy, I made a mistake. Give me 40 lashes with a wet noodle.” My hope is to keep learning from her, as well as from our readers. Thank you for your comments.
“Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie” is out now! Annie Lane’s debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to firstname.lastname@example.org.