Wednesday, 25 March 2015

LIFESTYLE WEDNESDAY - STRAIGHT EDGE

It took a while to decide where to focus my first Lifestyle Wednesday post, but I've settled on my straight edge life. I don't brag about it or feel superior because of it, but it IS an important aspect to me and is something I'm incredibly proud of.

I haven't always been straight edge and actually ended up drinking excessively by the time I was finishing uni. I've never touched a drug or a cigarette in my life, so alcohol is the only thing I quit, but I'm really glad that I chose to take this path a little under 5 years ago.
To me the feeling of being drunk was always great but drinking itself was always a chore.
Growing up it was the 'normal' thing to do, especially once college hit and we'd all get drunk every weekend. Moving away to uni I saw drinking as a way to bond with people. Everyone drank and every social event was geared towards cheap alcohol; not only that but I enjoyed being drunk for the confidence it gave me.
Looking back I can see that drinking was my way of fitting in because that's what the culture was and I didn't have the confidence in myself to think that people might just like me sober.

So what changed?
In short, my boyfriend; we met in April 2009 and now we're looking at 6 years together!
He was straight edge before we met and having someone around who could chill without booze, go on a night out with nothing more than a few pints of Coke or visit a restaurant without washing the food down with beer was refreshing. I didn't immediately stop drinking upon meeting him but I did cut down a hell of a lot until one day we realised it had been over 6 months since I'd had any alcohol.
Time progressed, as did the relationship, and I'd still been alcohol-free. In summer 2010 I made my dedication to a straight edge lifestyle.
As of now it's been so successful and I'm confident that it's for life.
I don't miss any aspect of having alcohol in my life; I still go out and have a social life, I don't get disgraceful hangovers and, strangest of all, I have a confidence that I never thought I'd have. To go out and feel comfortable without any kind of liquid courage is a concept I'd have laughed at 7 years ago.
It's very liberating.

The only downside I've experienced is peoples' perceptions of what not drinking means.
Living for the weekend and getting as drunk as possible is heavily engrained in British culture so I've had my fair share of incredulous responses. To the majority of people it's weird, it's crazy, it's impossible, it's a 'what, not ever?!' kind of thing.
There have also been times when I've been hurt by being forgotten. I've found it's widely assumed by people that choosing not to drink = choosing not to be sociable. There have been birthdays, celebrations and general gatherings that I've missed out on for simply choosing soft drinks over liquor.
But then there have been plenty of inclusions and brilliant times with folk who don't care what's in my glass and choose to spend time with me regardless. They're the ones that matter.

So that's me. Straight edge and proud but in no means preachy!
Are any of you straight edge? Let me know!

A.W.
xo

2 comments:

  1. I love this. It's the same in America, with the mentality that you like, have to drink, so I know exactly what you mean. Sometimes I get the feeling that, just because you've made a completely personal choice not to, people assume that you're going to judge them for doing it, which is kind of silly. Then in turn, they ask a million questions like "well, why don't you?? that's weird" when it really just boils down to not wanting to?? I don't think it should be as complicated as people make it. ;P

    xx Alyssa — fragments of memories

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  2. I agree 100%, it seems like a bigger deal to people because it's not 'normal' when in reality I'm like...yeah, normal, just minus alcohol! It's a choice I think people struggle with because it's so instilled that drinking is cool and so is trying recreational drugs.
    And while that's good for some I'm so happy I'm not on that path :)

    Thanks for commenting honey,
    A.W.
    xo

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