DEAR ABBY: I recently found out I am pregnant. I'm only 17 and scared I won't be a good mother. I'm also anxious about giving birth. I'm due in three months, so I know time is going by fast.
My mother never taught me right from wrong, and having to raise a child at my age is really scary. I don't want to give my baby up for adoption because I know God does things in mysterious ways. I feel like this is an obstacle he is putting me through to make me stronger in life. Can you give me some advice on how to be a good mother or guide me on how to give my child the necessities? — CONCERNED TEENAGE MOTHER
DEAR CONCERNED: You will be facing challenging circumstances. Consider talking to a social worker at the hospital where you will give birth for advice on how to get the necessities for your baby. It is more important now than ever to complete your education by getting your high school diploma or a GED, so you will be able to better support the child. A trusted teacher or counselor at school may be able to guide you. If there are older, more experienced family members who are willing, they may be able to offer emotional and practical support. And, if possible, the baby's father should be involved.
DEAR ABBY: I recently quit drinking because it was clearly becoming a problem for me. I was hiding alcohol, putting it in water bottles, drinking it like water, etc.
I struggle with anxiety, which makes AA not a viable option for me. I looked online and was able to find SMART Recovery. So far, it has been a valuable resource for me. I am sticking to the program and find the people online to be supportive and helpful.
My struggle is, because I had been drinking for so long, people judge me by my past. Even at home. How do I get to a point where people take me for who I am now and stop dwelling on the past? — SOBERING REALITY
DEAR SOBERING: I applaud you for recognizing you had a problem and doing something about it. You mentioned that you "recently" quit drinking. I wish you had mentioned how long ago because it may have something to do with how you are being treated now.
All you can do to change people's perception of you is sincerely apologize and try to make amends to anyone you may have hurt or offended while you were under the influence. It may take time for them to trust that you are no longer the person you were, so be patient and continue to work on your sobriety. With time, you WILL be respected for the person you are now.
DEAR ABBY: Can you think of any way to tell social-media friends that I am not interested in their political views? I respect everyone's political beliefs, but I am very tired of politics, and there must be something else they can post. Should I "unfollow" these people until after the elections and hope for the best? I suspect I am not alone on this. Any help would be much appreciated! — "WAR" WEARY IN ARKANSAS
DEAR WEARY: These days it does seem like everyone's a pundit, but you cannot dictate what others choose to post. Because the posts are not entertaining, I see nothing wrong with "hiding" their posts until the election season is over.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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