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Ask Amy: Since my divorce, I can’t stop humming. How do I quit it?

4 min

Dear Amy: I have a terrible habit and it’s getting worse: I hum.

It’s usually the same few notes over and over again. I try to silence myself, and I still hear the notes in my brain.

It seems to be most prevalent when I’m doing some mundane task such as brushing my teeth or housework, but it’s getting so I can’t even walk the dog or work at my computer without incessant humming.

It stops if I’m listening to music, watching TV, driving, reading or when I’m around other people.

I recently went through a divorce, where my husband of 25 years left me for a much younger woman, and I’m living alone for the first time in a long time.

The breakup was a traumatic process, and the humming definitely started to be more persistent over the past couple of years. Other than that, I’m a healthy, well-adjusted 62-year-old woman.

I have a good job, close friends and family, a new man in my life, and lots of fulfilling work and hobbies. The humming is exhausting.

Do you have any help or advice for me? Thank you.

— Constant Hummer

Constant Hummer: You should see your general practitioner, report this symptom and ask for a referral to a neuropsychiatrist, because this could be a neurological issue.

Review any medications you’re taking, which might be contributing to the problem.

You also might have success switching off the humming by learning meditation techniques. Meditation can help to reset some behaviors when you learn to “breathe” your way out. It’s worth a try.

Dear Amy: I am facing a dilemma with my roommate.

I am a senior in college and a member of a sports team. (So are both of my roommates.)

Throughout college, we have built these amazing friendships. We all connect on many levels, continuously have fun as a group, and get along in a way that seems super rare.

Throughout the years, six of us teammates have become very close, but one of my roommates, “J,” is less close than the others.

I now live with J, as well as one of my best friends, “Z.”

Honestly, J is a great roommate, but is definitely not as close as the rest of us are. J makes constant efforts to tag along with us, and her feelings are obviously hurt when the six of us besties do things without her.

We feel bad leaving her out, but also really enjoy doing things as a friend group. J is a genuine and extremely kind person, but she really doesn’t socially fit in with the rest of us.

Now that we are finished with our sport, it feels as if we should have the freedom to enjoy our last semester in college, but I also feel like a “mean girl” by leaving her out.

Is there a balance between having fun as a friend group and being inclusive?

— Wondering Senior

Wondering: Yes! There is a balance between having fun and being inclusive, and the balance comes from choosing to be inclusive.

Deliberately excluding someone who is not only a team member but who is also your roommate? Yep, that’s pretty mean.

Yes, it’s fun and easy to hang out only with your besties, but the world is full of diversity and interest, and college is the perfect environment to spend time with people who don’t fit exactly into your particular social mold.

Extending social hospitality toward someone who is “genuine and extremely kind” is good for your heart, good for your head, and good for your reputation.

What will make this worth it? When “J” thanks you at your 10th college reunion for being someone who was inclusive and kind.

Dear Amy: I disagree with your response to “Sympathy Deserved,” who didn’t feel sympathy for an anti-vaccine individual who had died of covid.

Being vaccinated is a responsibility to yourself, friends, family and the world.

I have no sympathy for anyone who refuses the vaccination and as a result suffers or dies of this virus or any other disease.

— Do Your Part

Do Your Part: Many readers took issue with my stance that any death should be met with sympathy for the survivors.

I see this lack of compassion as yet another unfortunate covid side effect.

©2022 by Amy Dickinson distributed by Tribune Content Agency