Dear Annie: My 18-year-old cousin, "Rick," has been seeing a friend of mine for some time. Now I am in an awkward position. My friend "Joanie" told Rick she liked him, but he told her he didn't feel the same way about her. They were together for a short time, but even then, Rick was talking to other girls. He now has an actual girlfriend. But it seems that Rick and Joanie still have something going on.
Do I ignore their weird relationship, knowing he has a girlfriend? Do I tell them straight up to talk things out because I'm confused about their relationship? Joanie is my friend, and I don't want her to be heartbroken because my cousin is leading her on. How should I advise my friend? — Confused
Dear Confused: You need to stay out of this before you are blamed for everything that goes wrong. It sounds as though Joanie is well aware that Rick is seeing someone else. That means however she chooses to handle it is up to her. Your confusion is not her problem. You can tell her you don't think she and Rick are good together, but you cannot protect her from her own poor choices. You can listen and sympathize, but that's it. And it's OK to say directly that you have no intention of getting involved in her love life. So please don't.
Dear Annie: Every year, my husband and I host a couple of family holiday gatherings. We exclude two family members because they are not pleasant to be around. One is an obnoxious alcoholic, and the other has psychological problems and is antisocial. I decided years ago never to have them in my home again.
The problem is, my great-aunt, "Betsy," insists that these two be included and, against my wishes, invites them herself.
I'm outraged by this rude behavior and have told her repeatedly not to do this. But Aunt Betsy recently informed me that she has invited them again this year. She's determined to have it her way, and I'm at my wits' end. What should I do about her? — Fed Up with Family
Dear Fed Up: You have three choices: Tolerate it, stop inviting Aunt Betsy or stop hosting family events. We understand that she wants the entire family included, especially for holidays, and we sympathize. Normally, we recommend tolerating the relatives for the few times a year that this happens. But it's your home and your guest list, and, right or wrong, no one else gets to make those decisions. For the next gathering, you might suggest to Aunt Betsy that she host the event and invite whomever she wishes. Or perhaps one of the other relatives would be willing to take on this responsibility. Then your choice is simply whether or not to attend.
Dear Annie: I found the letter from "Fed Up" to be heartbreaking, partly because I, too, have suffered from depression and anxiety most of my life. I went from one doctor to another, being medicated with "the latest thing out there," only it didn't work for me. More than once I was put on multiple medications that rendered me unable to function properly. I felt like I was walking around in a daze.
My life changed the day I saw a psychiatrist/pharmacologist. The added knowledge of pharmacology is remarkable. These doctors know about specific medications, their side effects and what medications don't mix well. The wrong medications cost me my career, and even though I am back to "normal" now, my career cannot be restored.
Seeing the wrong doctors nearly turned my life into a total loss. The right one changed my life in a fabulous way. Please pass along the information to "Fed Up". The right doctor just might help him find the quality of life he so desperately needs. — Been There
This Classic Annie's Mailbox column was originally published in 2014. To find out more about Classic Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Creators Syndicate at www.creators.com.