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Living Straight Edge: 33 Years Drug-Free

Discovering Straight Edge

I’ve been Straight Edge for literally forever. Well, I like to be honest. In high school, I had 1 sip of vodka by itself and another sip mixed with root beer (I don’t even like root beer) in my friend’s house. Once behind an elementary school, I had 1 sip of Mike’s Hard Lemonade. That’s it. My life has been drug-free for 33 years. When I say drug-free, that includes alcohol. But it does not include caffeine or sugar. While being vegan isn’t a part of being straight edge, it’s often associated. For the sake of being honest, I am 50% vegetarian.

Staying True to My Beliefs

There was one time in high school that I thought about trying to smoke weed. I walked around an entire neighborhood with a (boy) friend trying to figure out if I wanted to try it or not. I didn’t. I never went into the house where my other friends were doing it. Peer pressure is a big topic during our youth, but I don’t feel like I was ever peer pressured. Maybe that is because I had made such a strong decision in being straight edge, I didn’t feel the pressure because I always knew the answer was no. I was confident in that answer. I am confident in that answer. No thanks, bro.

The Strength of Straight Edge

I always had these thoughts of “no thanks,” but I didn’t know the term straight edge until I was in the 11th grade. My friend Matt was explaining to me that he was straight edge and I had this huge moment of – THAT’S ME! There were people I encountered who said you couldn’t claim edge if you were under 21, but it was something I truly felt in my bones, in my heart, on my hands. I also encountered people who would ask – “why label yourself”? I think if the term was something lame sounding, then maybe I wouldn’t label myself. But it has a pretty cool ring to it, I think.

I claim edge for a few reasons. The biggest one being that I’m a control freak. For real, I hate the idea of losing control. I have an addictive personality. Have you heard that new Every time I Die song? Yeah, I’ve heard it 150 times today. I don’t want to tempt that addiction feeling. I don’t believe in forcing things. I want my body and my mind to experience things at face value. Want to get up the courage to talk to that person at the party? Want to get up the courage to go to the party at all? It feels amazing to do that without a substance behind it. I did that myself, with my own will power. We have strong bodies and minds, we can do anything.

I don’t like to take medicine often either. It mostly makes me feel like shit. But also, I want my body to do what my body wants to do. In extreme circumstances, I am open to medicines. When I decided to have a baby, I knew right away that I would get an epidural. I have questioned what that means to the X’s on my hands, but there is an exception to every rule in this life.

Over the years, everyone I knew broke edge, including Matt. What’s really cool is that we have an online community to find fellow straight edge people. I often come across people who claim edge now after struggling with addiction. I always want to high five right through my phone. I am so happy and proud of these folks. But I haven’t been an addict myself, I haven’t been there, I can’t relate. I can support, but I don’t share the same hashtags. Sometimes I wonder where I can find the straight edge lifers. I work in a company of about 20 people and 2 others are straight edge lifers. What are the odds?

I’ve got the straight edge.

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