(SOME) REASONS WHY I'M STRAIGHT EDGE
Almost five years ago I made the choice to dedicate myself to the Straight Edge lifestyle. Obviously, as the first sentence suggests, I haven't always lived my life this way. Here's some of the reasons that informed/inspired my decision.
- •Confronting Myself & My PersonalityI have an addictive personality. My parents divorced when I was young, leaving me with a slew of insecurities and empty places in my heart that I try to fill with things I love or things I use to escape. Most of those outlets are healthy, but with my tendency to latch on/get lost in the things I love, being Edge helps me not get lost in the wrong things.
- •My Little BrothersI have two younger siblings. Logan, the middle child, actually introduced me to Hardcore and SxE. It was one of many times our roles were flipped and I was looking up to my younger brother. His choice to be Edge inspired my choice, and afterwards I realized he'd set an example for me that I wish I'd set when we were younger. I use my Edge now to try and set a better example for both of my brothers.
- •My FatherAccording to stories I've heard from family members, immediate and extended, drinking is a bit of an issue on my dad's side of the family. My dad has definitely had his share of problems stemming from his drinking and the person he becomes when he's drinking. "If your father and his father before him were fish out of water you must break the cycle." - Illogic on Aesop Rock's song "One Brick"
- •HardcoreI was introduced to Straight Edge via my younger brother and the Hardcore scene in our community. A lot of my friends who drink or smoke tell me they do it to "check out" or "get away from life" or what have you. I don't knock them or anyone else for those reasons. To each, their own. Hardcore (among other things) is how I "check out". The aggression, the energy, the camaraderie, the anger, and the thought-provoking content are all positive ways Hardcore functions as one of my outlets.
- •Negative Personal ExperienceDon't let this fool you, I had some good times back when I did drink and smoke. I also had some bad times. The instances that upset/worried me most were the times I was having fun at someone else's expense. I would get faded and be an asshole to my friends or girlfriend. That's something that plagued my relationship with my dad. He'd get drunk and become someone else. I aim only to be me.
- •CJ Walk & Cystic FibrosisMy friend CJ Walk had Cystic Fibrosis, a terminal disease that attacks your immune, digestive, and respiratory systems. He didn't live to see 30yrs of age. CJ's struggle and his perseverance through it made me realize that I was taking advantage of and destroying something I was fortunate to have - my body.
- •Being DifferentIn a day and age (and city) where drinking is not only common it's actually kind of expected of you, NOT drinking sets me (and others) apart from the crowd. In a culture where your judged by the brand of your t-shirt, and in a society where your manliness is judged by your beard; Straight Edge helps me be me.
- •Making a DifferenceIt doesn't happen often, but every once in a while someone who finds out I'm Edge and what it means will compliment me about it. I'm not in it for compliments, but it's cool to me that they think it's cool. Drinking and drugs are pushed in our faces by almost everyone and almost everything. If I can offer up an alternative that people appreciate and respect, that's cool with me.
- •Counterculture AttitudeIt's my understanding that the Straight Edge movement was (partly) a retaliation to the idea that being "Punk" was about destroying everything including yourself. That seems relevant today seeing as how drinking and drugs are so prevalent in pop culture. All the junk is unbelievably popular, so NOT doing drugs is the new doing drugs. I like going against the grain.
- •FinancialThis is an easy and maybe even lazy reason, but I like spending my money on things I don't literally piss away. Do y'all know how expensive it is to drink at bars and clubs? Do y'all know how pricey drugs are? There's too many comic books out there for me to be wasting time and money with that stuff.