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I am no longer giving advice on Advicenators, and have requested that my account be deleted.

I am now giving advice on Askville as ->Peter

If you're looking for good advice here, I suggest you ask YoungGrandma. She's the best.

I don't expect to be checking in on this site again, so if you want to ask me something, see you on Askville!

Good luck!
Website: The Diary of An Invisble Man
E-mail: pmaranci@gmail.com
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Location: Rhode Island, USA
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Member Since: July 22, 2005
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Last Update: May 14, 2006
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I am friends with my immediate supervisor, who answers to our manager. She is a single mom, 40, who dresses and often acts like something the dog drug in. She typically wears wrinkled, faded and baggy clothing, rather unprofessional, and she is the spokesperson for our department. She generally arrives to work late, with wet hair and her hair is cut in a little girl style with heavy bangs and straight to the shoulders - very unflattering. She is overweight and tends to wear shoes (clogs and sandals) that resemble slippers. Moreover, her office is cluttered, dirty, she often has food sitting out, and is decorated with years' old child art, past holiday decorations, cards, photos and lots of knicknacks and old paperwork and even stuffed animals. She basically has no clean space or desktop to work on and she often stacks work on the floor. She is very social, chatting with people to the point of them backing away from her and she often traps people in their work space, cornering them to go on and on about her daughter and television shows ad nauseum. We have spoken with both our manager and directly with her, but things only change minimally and temporarily. She takes pride in not having the money or time to dress appropriately because she is a single mom -- something she mentions anytime anyone else wears something new. Sometimes she is in direct violation of the written and posted dress code, but others also violate this -- however usually with better professional taste. Besides being embarrassed of her, I am also concerned because in many ways she might be promoted to a higher level, if she looked the part and was more professional in her work relationships and environment. What do you recommend? I don't want to go to her again and seem like I am trying to criticize. (link)
That's a tough one. I'll throw out some possibilities; maybe one of them will be right for you.

1. Do you have any mutual friends that might want to talk to her about it? Perhaps you could organize a group intervention.

2. If you see her socially, perhaps you (or someone you trust) could take some photographs of her. Those might be useful to show her just how poor her appearance is. Perhaps you could find photos of people in equivalent positions in other companies, or people in higher positions in your company, and point out the differences in appearance.

3. This is a bit crazy, but you could see if you could get her on "What Not To Wear". It's worth a try. She sounds like an ideal candidate! :D

4. Perhaps you could get together with some other friends and get her a gift certificate for a makeover for her birthday - or hire a fashion advisor. But I'd think that would be very expensive.

5. If there's a school of design or fashion near you, you might be able to find students who would like to take her on as a project.

Good luck!


ok i need some good advice here. every day i put on deorderant(soft&dri) and i still sweat perfusely and get large sweat rings. also i might add that i am allergic to the powder/white deorderant cause it gives me large rashes. Any advice on what i could do so that i dont sweat as much? -thanks (link)
You should check with your doctor; you may have hyperhidrosis (the medical term for excessive sweating). The good news is that if you do, there are a number of effective prescription treatments.

Good luck!


okay if you are on brown(heroin) is there a way you could get off it but not with proffesionall help like ya can do it by ya self.

i dont inject just smoke it but i dont want to do it no more so can anyone help any tips but please dont say go to meetings cus i dont wanna do that (link)
You might be able to kick heroin by yourself. You might also be able to get from New York to LA by walking on your knees.

But it would be a LOT smarter - and easier - to get professional help. This isn't something to take your time over, because heroin is an extremely powerful and risky drug. Smoking it may reduce (although NOT eliminate) your chances of ODing, but there are still some very serious risks.

You should check out the National Hotline Call Center for Alcohol and Drug Abuse at 1 (800) 784-6776. You can also read their website at http://www.addictioncareoptions.com/ . They're free, and they can help you find treatment options.

So far you've been lucky, strange as that might sound. You're not mainlining, so your chances of getting clean and staying clean are better. But don't get cocky, and please DO get help.

Good luck!


I heard that doctors put you on birth control to make your period regular. Other people said they just give you regular medicine to regulate your period. But if I get put on birth control, is that the same one that prevents pregnancy (so I can kinda kill 2 birds with 1 stone haha) and does ALL birth control make you gain weight cause that's a turn off. Thanks. (link)
Birth-control hormones will make your period more regular. They normally use a standard dose, so the answer is yes, if you're given birth-control pills (or the patch) to regulate your period, you'll also get protection from pregnancy.

Of course, the pill/patch doesn't protect from disease. And it's not 100% effective - nothing is (except abstinence, of course). So it's a good idea to have your partner use a condom, as well.

Not all birth-control makes you gain weight. Physical-barrier methods such as condoms, femidoms, and IUDs have no effect at all on weight at all, of course. Some women may experience modest weight gain from the hormones in the pill or patch, but this effect is minor at best. You can find a lot of information about the pill at the Mayo Clinic website: http://www.mayoclinic.com/invoke.cfm?retryCount=1&id=WO00098


no serously im male and like im bleeding like crazy when i take a crap is their something wrong with me or is it normal or something i ate i need to know it looks like my sisters peirod when she 4gets to flush its gross.... (link)
See a doctor as soon as you can. It could just be an irritation or infection of the bowel, or a torn hemorrhoid (which would explain the pain), but it could certainly be something more serious. And even something relatively minor could turn serious without proper diagnosis and treatment.

So I'll say it again: SEE A DOCTOR. NOW.


I had my period since I was 11 (5th grade) and now I'm 15 (10th grade) and my period STILL isn't regular. However I get it usually every 21 days/3 weeks instead of the normal woman's cycle - 28 days/4 weeks. But this time my period never came and it's been OVER 28 days which is unusual for me and probably other women too. Is it normal to get a period like over 28 days cause it's been 30 days since my last period. There's no way I'm pregnant, I did't change my diet and exercise, and I'm not stressed out. And say I go to the doctor/gyno. What can they do for me? (link)
The lunar month is actually 29.5 days long, so 30 is not a big variation. And at your age, some variability is quite normal.

Various factors can shorten or lengthen the time between periods. Stress, for example. Or weight loss or gain - but from your question, it looks as if those don't apply.

If you're living with another menstruating woman (your mother, for example), your period may be in the process of synchronizing with hers. Although I'd think that that would have already happened, since you've been menstruating for four years.

In any case, at 30 days it's much too early to worry. Give it a few more days, at least. If your period still hasn't shown up by next week, you can call your doctor or OB/GYN. They might want to take a look for you, but the odds are very good that they'll just tell you the same thing that I did.


Hi, I'm trying to get rid of my my unsociable, indifferent, freshman reputation, and hopefully make some close friends this upcoming year. I would like to know some ways I might be able to change people's perception of me. I guess I come off as withdrawn and slightly angry, so this may come off as a difficult question for those of you "popular people", who are able to make friends easily. My main purpose is to make friends in order actually look forward to going to school in the morning... For your information, I am 15 and male. (link)
Changing a bad reputation is tough; they tend to stick. But there are some things you can do. You probably already know most (if not all) of them, but I'm just covering the bases, if you know what I mean. :D

One thing to do, weird as it may sound, is to practice smiling. When I was about your age I used to frown a lot; I guess I was trying to look more serious. You should see some of my class photos! Unfortunately, months of frequent frowning pretty much built that expression into my face. Like many people, when I'm relaxed or asleep, I still frown (my wife does too).

The problem is that biologically, we're designed to have a bad reaction to frowning people. There are neurochemical changes that take place in your brain when you see someone frowning, and that's really beyond your control. It's also quite true that if you frown, you yourself are much more likely to feel angry or depressed.

On the other hand, a smile automatically makes you look more attractive. When I was in college there was one girl who always smiled. She wasn't grinning like an idiot, or anything, but she always had a gentle smile on her lips.

She was pretty heavy, and not the most beautiful girl in the world (although she was quite pretty), but I can tell you that there were an incredible number of guys who were totally in love with her - far more than could be explained by her looks.

You get the point, of course.

So practice smiling. Try to get your face to relax into a smiling position - not an insane clown grin, or anything, but try to look as if you're having fun, or at least a pretty good time.

Other things that will help: look people in the eye and use their names when you talk to them. Stand tall; people with good posture really do make a better impression. And be patient, particularly with the smiling and the posture. It could take months of practice for those to become automatic for you, but the benefits will last for the rest of your life.

You're 15, and male, so I should probably say this: I hope you don't take offense, and this may not apply to you, but a little extra care with how you dress can also be helpful in changing the impression you make. At least, try not to make any major mistakes.

I did, and I'll tell you about it: as soon as I was able to grow a beard, I grew a HUGE one. I had no idea how bad it looked. I just wondered why I could never get a date. :D

Now, as for finding friends: I'm like you. I had a hard time making friends with people in high school. But then something changed, and in college I had TONS of friends.

You can probably guess why. I found something I really liked to do, and I hooked up with other people who liked the same thing. That put me together with a large group of potential friends, starting out with two huge advantages: we all had something in common, and we all had a particular subject to talk about. In my case it was roleplaying games (yes, I'm a geek), but it could be anything for you. It helps if there's a club or something like that at your school for whatever activity you pick, of course. But even if there isn't, you might be able to START a club - assuming your group activity is something that the school comfortable with, of course. :D

15 is a tough age. Believe me, things are going to get better.

Good luck!


ok well my friend told me this:if your around alot of poeple who are on there periods, then your body reacts and thinks that its supose to be to and you have your period, even if its not the right time. is that true or what? (link)
If women live together, they're very likely to find their periods moving towards the same time (in other words, they "synchronize").

But it doesn't happen instantly; it usually takes over several months. And the women must be around each other a LOT, more than, for example, a bunch of girls in a classroom at school.

It works because of biochemicals that we all give off: they're called pheremones. You can read more about them and their effect on periods here: http://www.wonderquest.com/pheromone.htm


Well my exboyfriend and I decided that we wanted to go back out. But he found some one else..so he started rubbing it in my face that she is so much better than me. And it really hurts my feelings, him and I were together for over a year and im only 15. I cry every day, and everything that happens reminds me of him or a memory of us. And then last week when he was "hooked-up" with the other girl, he came over, and it was the first time that i saw him in a month. He said he wanted to make love to me, and i said if you love me then get rid of the other girl and be with me. He said i cant right now but when she calls me tonight then i promise i will tell her. So we had sex and then he said that he didnt want me right afterwards. Basically he used me. We still talk like every other day and i want to hate him so much but i cant. I am in love with him, and there is nothing i can do. Now he is going out with her, but hes always saying "I still love you" and crap like that. I just dont know what to do anymore im so confused and he is breaking me to a point where im so depressed. He was my best friend and now he wants to throw away a year for some girl. Please help me...Ill rate high
(link)
Right now, you probably feel as if it would be easier to cut out your heart than to cut him out of your life.

But that's exactly what you have to do. Cut him out of your life. Don't talk to him AT ALL. Don't look at him, if you can possibly help it. Don't talk ABOUT him to your friends. Just leave him totally alone.

You're right. He used you. He probably hurt you more than you even KNEW you could be hurt. And you're awfully young; at 15, your body and brain are still growing and developing.

Did you ever scrape your knee badly? It's almost irresistible to pick at the scab as it's healing. But that just makes it heal more slowly. It can start bleeding all over again, and even get infected.

That's how it is with him. Keep seeing him, and it's like picking at the scab. You have to make a clean break to give yourself a chance to heal.

And you *will* heal.

I won't lie to you. It's going to hurt a LOT. For quite a while. And then, slowly, you'll start to feel better. It might take months, maybe even a year, but the time will come when you'll find yourself smiling again. You'll find a boy who loves you for YOU, not just for sex.

In the meantime, there are some things you can do.

The best thing is to GET BUSY. If you don't have anything to do, you're going to think about him and suffer - that's totally natural. So you need to fill up your days with as many activities as you can. Volunteer somewhere, at a hospital maybe. Visit family, or friends. Do something, ANYthing. You don't have to pretend that you're happy, you don't have to be the life of the party. But FORCE yourself to be active. It really will help.

Another tip: in the next few months, there's a huge danger that you'll get into a rebound relationship. Right now, you're adjusted to being in an intimate, physical relationship. It suddenly disappeared, so you're likely to try to find another one as soon as you feel able. That almost certainly won't be in the next few weeks - you're still too hurt and have too many feelings for your ex-boyfriend - but as you start to recover, the next attractive boy who's interested in you is going to practically *glow* in your eyes.

Try to hold back. I think that part of the reason that you've been so badly hurt is that you went too quickly, too soon - at 15, you're really too young to be having sex, even if most kids are doing it. Try to take it easy, and wait. Believe me, you'll be glad that you did.

But right now it probably sickens you to think of being with anybody else but him. I understand. Give it time, and things will change.

Please don't go back to him. He'll only hurt you again. And you don't deserve that.


... ehhh

how do you know if you're dehydrated?
answers asap woul dbe greatly appreciated. (link)
You don't always feel thirsty when you're dehydrated (but when you DO feel thirsty, you're almost *certainly* dehydrated).

One easy test to see if you're dehydrated is to (gently) pinch the skin on the back of your hand into a fold. If it springs back into shape quickly, you're probably not dehydrated. If it stays in the pinch-shape for a while, you should probably drink something.

Some other signs of dehydration:

- Weakness
- Dizziness
- Palpitations (feeling that the heart is jumping or pounding)
- Confusion
- Dark or orange-colored urine
- Sluggishness, even fainting
- Inability to sweat

Remember that just because you don't feel thirsty, that doesn't mean you're not dehydrated.

It's also a good idea to remember that coffee, tea, and most soft drinks are diuretics. That means that they make you pee more, extracting moisture from your system. So when you drink a soft drink, you only get about 1/2 of the hydration that you would get from drinking the exact same amount of water or a sports hydration drink.

By the way, alcohol is also a diuretic. Which isn't surprising, since everyone knows that beer makes you pee. :D


what is a douche?? (link)
"A stream of water, often containing medicinal or cleansing agents, that is applied to a body part or cavity for hygienic or therapeutic purposes."

They're most often used by women to clean their vaginas.

"Douche" can also be slang for "douchebag", which is pretty insulting.

Just a tip: http://www.dictionary.com/ is a good place to look up words. Except slang words. It's a little quicker than asking here.


hey, im he same dude who asked about reformatting my comp. i was just wondering if that AntiVir is any good, because my old one expired and dosen't update anymore. (link)
AntiVir is excellent. It's free, and it's updated almost every day. I use it at home, and I've never had a problem since I installed it.

Now McAfee, on the other hand, was a HUGE problem. But that's another story. :D

I'm guessing you know that you shouldn't have two different antivirus programs installed on your system at the same time, right? They often interfere with each other.

Something else: you mentioned that you were going to back stuff up onto CDs before you did the reformat. If you think that your system is infected, you could easily end up re-infecting it from the backup CDs. So if you really have to do it, make sure you install and update all those protective programs BEFORE you even put the backup CDs into your CD-ROM drive. And then once you've copied the files back onto your system, run a full set of scans.

I'd also strongly advise setting a regular time to update all those programs and run scans with them, at least twice a week if you can.

Good luck!


I was just wondering if you reformat your computer, does it get rid of any registry problems you might have? (link)
Reformatting your hard drive is about the most serious thing you can do to your system short of replacing it completely.

EVERYTHING will be wiped out. Totally. Every single file, program, mp3, email, you name it. Your hard drive will be completely blank. You'll need to reinstall your operating system and all other software - which means you'll need the original installation CDs.

But you'll certainly lose any saved passwords and settings. It will be as if you have a completely new system.

There may be some alternatives to reformatting, but messing around with the registry is very tricky if you don't know what you're doing. I'd strongly suggest finding someone pretty experienced to clean your registry.

If you think that your registry is infected somehow, there *is* one other thing you could try. It might not work. But it wouldn't hurt to download and install these programs (they're all free).

Ad-aware from Lavasoft - http://www.lavasoftusa.com/software/adaware/

Spybot-Search & Destroy - http://www.safer-networking.org/en/download/index.html

SpywareBlaster - http://www.javacoolsoftware.com/spywareblaster.html

And if you don't have an antivirus program that is being updated DAILY, you might want to uninstall your old antivirus program and install AntiVir - http://www.free-av.com/

Once you've installed those programs, update each one of them. That's pretty easy to do, just look for the "Update" option in each program. You need to get them fully up to date. Then run a full system scan with each program (except SpywareBlaster, which doesn't have a scan option - it just blocks spyware).

This MIGHT save your system. I've used that combination of programs successfully on several systems (not mine, they belonged to some friends), and they've pretty much brought those computers back from the dead.

But if that doesn't work, try finding an expert to personally work on your system. Reformatting is usually the last resort.

Good luck!


should a person with diabetese drink any kind of alcohol beverage? (link)
It would be smart to avoid drinking, unless the person has their diabetes well under control. Alcohol tends to lower blood sugar, and can lead to hypoglycemia.

So if they're monitoring their blood sugar levels regularly, maintaining a good weight, and have the approval of their doctor, a diabetic can drink safely *in moderation*.

Otherwise...things can get pretty bad. I had a friend who had diabetes and didn't control it properly, and he lost several fingers and toes before he died - of complications arising from diabetes. He was only in his 50s, but he looked about 90 on his deathbed.

Here's a website with some more information about diabetes and alcohol:

http://www.health.ri.gov/disease/diabetes/alcohol.php


ok. here's the deal. I loved my boyfriend sooo much. we went out for 3 years. I went to flordia and one of my friends asked him out and he said yes and dumped me. I know...harsh..right?! well...we're still really good friends and him, my bf, and me went swimming bout a week ago and we ended up making out and I almost lost my virginity. He told me that we would go back out. The next day I saw him and his girlfriend making out. I asked him why and he said he was drunk yesturday(of course I didn't believe him) and that he didn't remember a thing. but he really was drunk cause my friend went to a bar before we went swimming and she said he was hammered. So..he said he was really sorry for what we had done and we made up and all that crap. yesturday, he said he was seriously considering goin back out with me and then his gf left and we hung out and he was laying on my lap and and holdin my hand and he kissed me (only a peck) once. Shoould I believe what he says? I really need help! PLEASE HELP! =(
(link)
Did you and your (ex)boyfriend break up before you went to Florida? It didn't sound like it. So unless you did, or unless you two had an agreement that you could both date other people, then he cheated on you while you were away.

And then he dumped you, and yes, that's harsh.

If he loved you, why did he dump you? I'm guessing he's young, that you're ALL young, and young men in particular are, well, almost all so horny that there's not much room in them for anything else; faithfulness, for example.

(I know because I used to BE a young man. :D)

Maybe I'm wrong. But it seems to me that twice now he has basically shown you that he'll be with other women if he gets the chance. If you need more proof, he cheated on his new girlfriend with YOU - even if it was only a little peck, did he really think that that couldn't go anyplace?

Have you heard the old saying? "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on ME!".

You've managed to keep your virginity, and that's good (not that there's anything wrong with losing it, of course). You obviously know that you're someone special. It doesn't sound as if your boyfriend appreciates that, because if he did, he would never have left you to begin with!

There are boys out there who WILL appreciate you - so take your time and choose right. I think you'll end up much happier if you do.

Best of luck!


this is so weird! i have the biggest pimple you could ever imagine, on the back of my thigh! i have no idea why its there, but it hurts, what can i do to make it go away? i have to wear shorts on friday for cheer practice! how can i make it go away? and why is it there? (link)
Teens get pimples because their bodies are changing at such a rapid rate, and hormones are flooding your system. In other words, it's completely normal, and nothing to worry about.

If the pimple is just a pimple, there's not a lot you can do about it. Don't pop it if you can help it - that will make it take longer to go away, and increases the chance of infection - but keep it clean with soap and water. You CAN use rubbing alcohol to help dry it out, but if it has a big white head that looks ready to burst, the alcohol will probably dissolve the head and pop the zit. That would probably increase the risk of long-term scarring.

Now, if the pimple DOES hurt more than usual, and doesn't have much of a head, it's possible that you have an infected sebaceous cyst or some other infection. Most of those are nothing to worry about; at worst, you might get a shot of novocain while they lance and drain the cyst, which really doesn't hurt much. But if the pimple doesn't go away on its own in a week or so, or if the pain really bothers you, have a doctor or nurse take a look at it.

None of that helps you with cheerleading practice, of course. So how about just putting on a band-aid? You could have CUT your leg, right? So put on a band-aid! You might even want to consider putting on one of those colorful band-aids, rather than a flesh-colored one. If it doesn't look like you're trying to hide it, people will be less likely to suspect that you're embarrassed by it. Heck, make it a fashion accessory. :D

And if someone should ask, or if the band-aid falls off, you can tell them that you were bitten by a bug.

Not that I really recommend lying about it; lying is generally a bad idea, because you usually end up having to make them more and more complicated as circumstances change. Eventually lies almost always get discovered. So it's a good idea to avoid them as a general rule.

But this is pretty minor, and you seem to be upset about it, so if you really feel that you have to lie, do it.

By the way, in ten years you'll probably laugh and laugh if you happen to remember how bothered you were by all this.


well my boyfriends coming to visit me here in pa and i really want to get in shape for him. the rest of my body is fine but my tummy is a problem lol i need a flat tummy! well i wanted to know if there was a way that i didnt have to sacrafice my eating habits and lose this tummy in three weeks! please help thnx! (link)
You need to know that as a woman, your body needs to have a certain amount of fat. For example, your breasts are almost entirely fatty tissue. And you, like all women (and most men) are biologically *designed* to have a layer of fat underneath your skin.

That fat serves several important purposes. It's a reservoir of energy. It pads you, protecting you from damage. It's important for reproduction. Chemicals that your body needs are manufactured by fat. And it also helps to keep your temperature steady. All of these are good things.

Just because magazines and TV constantly feature really abnormal women with almost no visible fat is no reason to think that you can, or SHOULD, look that way.

By the way, almost every normal man finds a gently rounded female tummy *really* attractive. Take my word for this: you will never be able to see yourself as men see you. You see fat, they see beauty. That's just how it is.

That said...sit-ups will only tone your abdominal muscles, they will not target abdominal fat. If you have extremely slack belly muscles, you might get some effect from three weeks of sit-ups - but to be honest, it's not going to be much. And your belly probably isn't that slack, unless you've had a baby within the past year or two and never got back into shape.

Full-body cardio is your best option right now. Work out with your arms and legs at the same time, if you can; for example, speed-walk while holding or wearing weights. Or try a cross-training machine at a gym. By building muscle across your body, and boosting your overall metabolic rate, you'll burn more fat all over your body.

You'll also have a lot more energy and will feel generally healthier.

Add sit-ups to the routine, if you like; they won't hurt (as long as you don't overdo it), and they may help a little by toning up your belly.

Depending on what you're eating and drinking now, a small change in diet could help you quite a bit. I know you don't want to sacrifice your eating habits, but there are ways to make positive changes in your diet that are actually pleasant, as well as healthy.

Simple example: soft drinks. If you drink a lot of that stuff (even the diet versions), try this instead: partially squeeze a lemon wedge into a glass of ice water, and then drop the rest of the wedge into the glass. It's zero calories, and it's much more refreshing than a soft drink. You'll be amazed at how quickly you'll actually come to *prefer* that to soft drinks. And you'd save hundreds of calories a day. Not to mention a few bucks. One lemon costs much less than a six-pack, and you'll easily get more than six wedges out of it. Not to mention that you'd be giving yourself a little extra vitamin C, which is always good!

There are lots of other small changes you can make. Even something as simple as having a SMALL piece of fruit or a few vegetables before every meal, will make a big difference as time goes by. That sort of change isn't painful at all, and you'll probably soon find that you actually *enjoy* the changes.

Good luck!


hi,ive looked at your column and you give such good advice...well i have a column of my own, but i really would like your advice.Well, im 15/female and im dealing through alot.ive never really been the popular one one so i got started to get got up on drugs and alcohal, and now everyone likes since ive gotten up to highscool, i guess now i am lil miss popular since ive started to take care of myself and got my braces off,im beautiful(not to be conceded)but now i love the way i look. but now im dealing with quitting pot and it is so hard,the alcohal thing isnt a big deall to me but the pot is, i havent smoked it for 3 weeks but b4 that i smoked it everyday...and now it is getiing to me and im really craving it but it has already fucked up my life so much and my friends arent making it any better, they doubt me and tease me and shit and they are all potheads, ive tried smoking ciggarettes and i like the feeling in my lungs but i jus dont get a high feeling i get a buzzed feeling where im dizzy an dthat is nothing, i guess i like the high cuz i forget my problems but after the high i get more problems...and i have no clue what to do and your advice would be very appreciated.thanx much and love always... (link)
I haven't been doing this long, but this is the hardest thing I've had to write yet.

You see, I've never smoked pot. So I don't know what it's like from the inside, if you know what I mean. And I think that it's really important that I get this *right*, because right now you have so much ahead of you, and maybe I can help a little bit.

My wife used to smoke pot a lot, so I talked to her about it. And I've thought about it a lot. So this is the best that I can do.

First, you'll need to start work on finding new friends. As long as you're stuck with the old crowd, you're going to have a serious problem not getting high - maybe not IMPOSSIBLE, but you'd be making it incredibly hard on yourself. It would be like running a marathon with a hundred-pound weight on your back; you might finish the race, but it would be a lot less likely, and MUCH more painful.

But don't dump all your friends immediately unless they're really making you miserable.That could lead to problems for two reasons: one is that you'd be lonely, and stressed out, and that's hard to deal with. Another is that your friends might get mad (which is natural, in a way), and try to pull you back into that scene.

So I'd suggest starting out by widening your circle of friends. You might look for things you like to do, and spend a little time hanging out with the crowd that likes to do that stuff. Over time, hang out with the new group (or groups) more, and the old group less.

It's great that you love the way you look now! That's a huge step towards valuing yourself as a person, and it's not conceited at all - not as long as you don't think your looks make you *better* than other people who aren't as lucky as you are.

But once you value yourself as a person - not just for your looks, but for your mind, for *who you are* - you're much less likely to be tempted to get high. The functioning of your mind is an incredible thing, and when you realize that pot can damage not just your brain, but your thoughts - your actual *self* - I think you'll be very unlikely to be really tempted again by pot.

Or by anything else, for that matter! I know it doesn't seem like a big deal, but alcohol does more damage to people all over the world than pot ever did. Physically, it's much more harmful. I'm not saying *never* drink - not at all - but you need to be careful; by getting kind of hooked on pot, your body and mind have given you a warning that it might not be hard to get addicted to other things. Listen to that warning; it's valuable.

Here's a link to Google's sites about teens and pot: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=teens+marijuana&btnG=Google+Search

And I'm sure you know about tobacco. It's almost corny to say it, but there's no way to avoid the fact that it causes cancer and heart disease. I don't know if you've ever seen either of those up close, but cancer in particular is really horrible. I can't imagine a worse way of dying.

But at 15, that probably doesn't mean much to you. Most 15-year-olds simply CAN'T believe that they will ever "really" die. Or rather, you know it, but you can't *feel* it in your heart. That's natural.

But you'll learn differently; I'm sorry, because that sounds depressing, but it's true. And when that time comes, if you've already put yourself far along a path of drugs or alcoholism or tobacco, you'll probably hate your 15-year-old self for putting you there.

I hope this isn't as depressing for you to read as it is for me to write.

There's one other thing I have to say: you're proud of your looks now, and (I'm sure) rightfully so. Have you ever looked at someone in their 20s or 30s who is heavily into drugs, or alcohol, or smoking? They look TERRIBLE. The truth is that all that stuff isn't just bad for your health. It makes your skin, eyes, teeth, and hair look worse - and after a while, a LOT worse. I've seen quite a few leathery-skinned women that you'd swear were 50. They were actually in their 20s. But they were heavy smokers and drinkers.

And it may seem that 30 is a lifetime away. But here's something that you might have already heard: as you get older, time *speeds up*. Incredibly. The time between 15 and 30 is NOT the same length as the time between 0 and 15. It goes by much more quickly, and the rate keeps increasing.

You've probably experienced that for yourself, if you think about it. When you were little, I'll bet that it seemed like forever between birthday parties, or Halloweens, or other big holidays. But your last few birthdays have seemed a lot closer together, right? Please take my word for it - time will pass MORE quickly, not less. 30 is sooner than you think it is.

Okay, now comes the more positive stuff.

First of all, the craving is almost certainly not going to last. Pot is not as physically addictive as tobacco, you know. In fact, the primary way in which it addicts is precisely what you said: it helps you forget your problems for a little while. That's mental addiction, and it's tough, but not as hard to deal with as physical addiction.

If your problems are bothering you that much, there are definitely resources out there for you - more right now than there will be in a few years, when you're older. If you can talk to your parents about things that are bothering you, great. Many kids can't do that (I couldn't), but there are sympathetic teachers, school counselors, perhaps clergy...if your problems are serious enough, you could even talk to your parents about arranging for you to see a therapist - which, I have to say, is absolutely *nothing* to be embarrassed about.

In any case, that will help you really *work* on your problems, work on ways to deal with them and end them. Pot and alcohol just temporarily dull your *awareness* of your problems, and end up making them worse in the long run.

But my gut feeling is that you're pretty smart and capable. I think that you're going to be able to handle your problems; maybe with help, maybe without, but either way, you'll make it work.

(But TAKE help if you think you might need it. That's better than not taking it, and realizing too late that you DID need it.)

I really wish you the best of luck. There are a lot of years between you and me, but let me tell you something that I would tell my 15-year-old self, if I had a time machine: Time is the one gift that you can never replace. Make every moment of it count. And value yourself, because you're the only one of *you* in the world - and the only one that there will ever be.

This is YOUR life. Please make it the best one possible. For your own sake, and for everyone else's.

You really can do it, you know. Good luck.


anything to make me loose about an inch in my belly by saturday would be awsome! ... it's monday today (link)
I'm afraid everyone else is right on target with this one. You might lose an inch off your belly if you do not eat or drink ANYTHING for the rest of the week, but the odds are much better that you would end up in the hospital first, seriously ill - quite possibly even DEAD.

Just to be perfectly clear: DON'T TRY IT.

Six days without water would probably kill you. Even if you survived, you'd certainly do serious and lasting harm to your body. Harm that would last the rest of your life. It's simply not worth it.

Losing weight is a good idea of course (assuming that you ARE overweight), but that takes time and sustained effort. There are no magic cures or weight-loss remedies; anyone who tries to tell you different is selling something.

It would help to know why you have such a specific deadline, and what the event will be. Not knowing that, I'll say this: Changing your attitude and your posture makes a MUCH bigger difference in your looks (particularly when it comes to first impressions) than an inch around your waistline. Look people in the eye, smile, talk in a friendly way, and no one will whip out a measuring tape to check your belt size.

If it's a matter of fitting into a particular outfit, you have three options:

1. Try to suck in your stomach for the entire event. That would probably hurt.

2. Get some sort of shape-controlling undergarment. There are lots of types for sale. But DON'T rely on them for more than one or two events - you could end up with circulation problems.

It's a much better idea to set up and stick with a long-term plan of healthier eating and exercise. That doesn't have to be torture. In fact, it SHOULDN'T be; if you don't enjoy it, you're not going to stick with it.

3. Buy new clothes instead.

Good luck!


Ok well i went over to my friends house the other day and we smoked a cigerrette. It was my first time ever b/c i was to scared to do it before. But at first i took a rele small breath and rele didn't taste anything, and then after i got use to it i took bigger breaths. I kno usually when sum1 first trys a cigerette they cough, feel dizzy, or wanna throw up. But when i first tried it i rele liked it and wanted more. So my friends lit another and i helped smoked that and i still wanted another one..but thats was ebough. So now it's the next day and i wanans moke again. im rele scared bc/ i wanna do it again rele rele bad but i don't wanna get addicted or get lung cancer. What should I do.. please help? cna't i smoke for like a couple more weeks then stop..i mean i'm a teen and wanna hav fun and not always be good. thanks (link)
I'm sorry, but there's no way to smoke without increasing your chances of lung cancer, heart disease, and other long-term bad effects.

As for addiction...nicotine is very addictive, and cigarette companies carefully adjust the nicotine content of their cigarettes to make them as addictive as possible. WILL you be addicted? Probably; you may already be feeling some of that effect (it sounds as if you are). But people vary in how vulnerable they are to addiction.

That said, you know that there are a lot of good reasons not to smoke. And smoking ISN'T the only way to have fun as a teen, right? It's just one of the most dangerous ways.

Please believe me, there are incredibly fun things you can do without increasing your chances of heart disease and cancer. If you've ever seen cancer, you'd know: it's something that ANYONE would do ANYTHING to avoid.

So this isn't a matter of being good or bad. It's a matter of having enough self-respect not to do something really harmful to yourself.

Self-respect is probably the most important thing you can learn as a teen. You're the only one of you that there will ever be. This is the only life that you will ever get. There's no reset button, no "GAME OVER - PLAY AGAIN?" option. Take care of yourself while you can.

Sure, have fun.

But be safe.




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