I felt like finally posting this as it has been rolling round my head a few times now and I've mentioned it once or twice to the amongst us regulars in chat. I am Straight Edge, and i'm intrigued at to what other first of all think of my chosen lifestyle, the positives, the negatives, your attitude on the topic, and also just to find out if there are any other Tee-Total/Straight-Edgers out there in this community!
I will probably have to clear up what Straight Edge is first for the unfamiliar. So here is a very condensed history:
The Straight Edge lifestyle emerged in the 80's from punk/hardcore band Minor Threat, the message they wanted to communicate was apparent in more than a few of their songs. It was about keeping your body and your mind clean, and rebelling against the mainstream culture and media to fit in or conforming to peer pressure. These beliefs were abstinence from alcohol, smoking and drugs, along with promiscuous sex (i.e. sleeping around, respecting yourself) and keeping your business within a relationship. This idea still lives today in the hardcore punk community, but it is a very small minority.
SxE (the abbreviation of straight edge) takes many different forms. Some are vegan/vegatarian/pro animal rights, some are militant (the tiny majority who cause all the bad press on the lifestyle by stirring stuff up) others take it to stupid lengths and cut out any addictive substances (caffeine, sugar) or even medication! But the most common is posi-edge. The people who set out to lead a meaningful and positive lifestyle (what I am)
I know it seems like there are unnecessary subsections of the lifestyle, but that's the way it has evolved as people have included their own moral beliefs into the formula. Regardless, anyone who follows the SxE lifestyle has pretty much made a commitment for life.
These are not rules, there is no enrolment process, it is neither a cult or religion (many are atheist/agnostic), you can choose to 'break edge' anytime you want, but if you do, it pretty much means you weren't SxE to begin with.
The reason why I decided to take this route was because I was becoming unhappy with the crowd I was falling into. It was so easy to go out every other night and pissing money away and waking up the next day with no idea what happened. For me, I saw it to have no benefits whatsoever. I was wasting money, doing it for the sake of it, waking up with people i barely knew, the hangover
. I was just growing tired of the whole scene and starting to loathe what I could be turning into. So I decided to snap out of it. My best friend was SxE, I began talking to him about his side of things, and began researching...
I didn't make a decision for a good couple of months, over that time slowly cutting back on the drink and seeing my mood actually perk up, as i was focusing my evenings on more interesting things. Since last september, I have committed to the lifestyle an haven't looked back since. I don't even miss alcohol. Ironically, I'm a Bartender, meaning I'm around alcohol all the time
but I've never been tempted.
A few things I'll add before I let others chip in.
I am totally respectful of peoples choices and beliefs. What they do is their business and it is not mine to impose my views on them. I have many friends who smoke and drink. It doesn't bother me. I keep my beliefs to myself and get on with my life...unless someone brings it up! I know there is the idea of moderate/social drinking, but it is something I don't subscribe to be honest.
I still go out to pubs and bars, my social life hasn't really changed, except the amount of money i have in my wallet at the end of the night
I did this for myself, not for anyone else. The health implications were a reason enough to turn my back on all that. i really could go into so many things, but I'll begin to sound like a boring arse
This thread is just here to share my thoughts & opinions/enlighten you lot on a very misunderstood lifestyle/answer any more questions surrounding the topic and hear your views and retrospective thoughts on the subject! I'm in a very reflective mood at the moment and am up for a good discussion!