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Straight Edge Transformation: Maintaining Friendships After Choosing to be Straight edge

Originally Published: Wednesday, May 18, 2005
Written by: Niki Chavez  

Finding Balance: Friendships and Straight Edge Life Choices

The Past and Turning a New Leaf

I will be the first to admit that I used to do a lot of drugs. It’s a miracle I’m alive. I have been 100% clean for 4 years. And some of the people who have witnessed that part of my life that I’m not so proud of are still around, and I still talk to, and even fewer some I care about very much still.

The Challenge with Close Friends

My closest friends, this is not an issue. Although we still have different lifestyles, our activities never revolved around or really included partying. But friends where I guess a lot of our time was spent partying, I’m having a hard time allowing myself to be included in their parties, etc because I know there’s going to be drinking in excess, most likely pot-smoking, and possibly cocaine and although I am no angel and never was, I no longer condone or wish to be around this behavior.

Avoiding Situations and Their Repercussions

 I recently didn’t go to a friend’s birthday barbeque because of this. I’ve never been one to push anything on anyone and I don’t even wish all my friends were straight edge too, they can do what they want but I don’t want to be around it and honestly, it makes me a little mad because it puts me in a bad place too. If I were in a car or something with that, I would get arrested too and that’s something that just is not going to happen in my life.

Personal Growth and Changing Priorities

I’m 25, I’m married and I have a child and that’s not anything I need to be around. It just saddens me because these are good people and want to maintain my friendships but it’s hard when you can’t go out and support a friends show because you know it’s going to be drunken mayhem, half the band does coke, the guitarists wife is a swinger and has her tits out on the bar. Yes, we do other things. Go out to eat, get tattooed, but it’s a hard adjustment. For both sides.

Misunderstandings and Stereotypes

Some people that I’m not necessarily friends with anymore that are aware of my past see my being straight edge as meaning that all of a sudden I’m against everyone who drinks and does drugs and assumes I think I’m better because of it and that’s simply not true. Why because I don’t do something anymore does it all of a sudden mean I’m anti-people who do? I really honestly don’t care what other people do. This was something personal, for me, that I chose and I don’t think it should be any more an issue than someone’s religion, or whether or not they’re vegan/vegetarian. I have ties to neither but I can’t imagine thinking I couldn’t hang out with someone because of their diet, spirituality or whether or not they drink.

Being Straight Edge: Myths and Realities

I have found that most people who aren’t straight edge assume we feel superior and while some people are like that, it has been my experience that most are not. I mean, to an extent yes.I will say that yeah, I do think I’m better than some junkie. Maybe not necessarily “better” but stronger. I think the knowledge the majority have of straight edge, sadly is because of the kids who beat up people for smoking and other things equally as unnecessary.

The Desire for Acceptance and Understanding

Basically I’m feeling very misunderstood and am sad I can’t hang out with these people like I used to. Even as something as simple as going to a show, I know there will be pot smoking in the car on the way. And I don’t care if they drink while they’re there, but I certainly wouldn’t want them to bring me home.

The Core of Identity: Still The Same Person

I guess I just wish that people were more accepting and understanding, and willing to make an effort to try and do other things, be sensitive and respectful of those who have undergone a lifestyle change. I’m still the same person. I’ve grown up a lot, have different goals and interests, my priorities have shifted greatly and I don’t do some things that I used to. But I’m still me.

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