Tell us about something you’ve done that you would advise a friend never to do

I know I’ve actually done lots of things I wouldn’t advise anyone ever to do. I don’t want to go into any of the particulars, except for the example I am bound to give, but I will much rather go into the nature of advice, or, in this case, negative advice.

Don’t confuse negative advice with bad advice. I know I’ve given that, too. But it does have something to do with bad. When I give negative advice, it is because I have made bad experiences. I have made lots of bad experiences. I am expecting to make many more. Bad experiences come from mistakes, mistakes from bad decisions. Negative advice is something I can give a person when I can identify the bad decision, or series thereof, that lead to the bad experience. One long series of bad decisions has lead me to where I am now. A lot of good decisions have, too, mind you. I don’t want to come off as Mr. depressed and melodramatic. Before I digress, I would like to get to my example.

It is an old example, not only for my standards. Remember how I rant on in previous posts on how I drink/drank a lot and I’ve got it under control and I’m not an alcoholic. Well, no, I’m still not one. But you wouldn’t know that if you had watched me for the past 10 or so years. The way I guzzled it down, like there would be no tomorrow. For me, there often enough wasn’t. And getting drunk, or not being able to get up the next day, that wasn’t the bad experience. I liked the one, and accepted the other. What I can’t accept is what it did to me long term. Not talking about my health, as far as I know, alcohol’s impact there was much less than what it should have been. The same reason why I drank was the thing I was losing. Popularity. Seems a little shallow, doesn’t it?

It is a silly reason to start. Drinking didn’t even make me that popular, and drinking more didn’t help. What made me popular was my wits, my humor, being friendly, understanding and passionate. The things that I did when I got really drunk, being a clown for everyone, that got old very fast. It got better again when I did some of those things sober. Before, it was drunken fun. After, it was courage, brilliance, genius. I digress. The drunken fun was getting old. I was getting old. I don’t mean in a physical sense, more like a passing fashion, though it did take a long time to realize that.

It is kind of funny how I say I stopped getting drunk for the sake of popularity. The really popular people are a bunch of phonys, to my mind. I am talking about respect, the kind of popularity that lasts. Winning drinking contests doesn’t win you respect, at least not with the crowd you would want respect from, unless you want to be a loser.

I still drink alcohol. As I said, I’m not an alcoholic, so there’s no need to go dry. My advice: find your limits, but after that, stay within them. If you want to prove a point, don’t do it for the sake of proving a point. Sounds a little vague, doesn’t it? Well, I got more advice for you: don’t try to simplify something this complex. You’ll just sit there for hours and not know what to say (or write). I’ve just made that experience right now.

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