Written by Adrianne Franscini
People say a lot of stupid things when questioning why you would want to be straight edge. Most times I just blow them off because I am not trying to convert them and I know they will not convert me. But someone that I actually respect once asked why I would want to define myself by what I don’t do and I took that question to heart. When I thought about it, though, I realized that my definition of Straight Edge doesn’t just contain what I don’t do, but is very much about what I aspire to and actually do. Being Straight Edge to me is about respecting myself and others. It is about trying to make a positive impact in a world that all too frequently has negative stimuli coming in from every direction.
There was a time when I would let myself be pushed around and didn’t see why I should be confident. I was drug and alcohol free at the time but had not claimed Edge yet. Drinking a few times after I had allowed myself to get beaten down too far actually made me decide to commit to being Straight Edge. It was what I had done 98% of my life, but making being drug and alcohol free a decision and not a mood gave me certain amount of pride and faith in myself that has lifted me up immeasurably.
I decided to respect myself and not allow myself to be mistreated by myself or others. I decided to increase my momentum by trying to stay positive. I decided to forgive myself for past mistakes and focus on improving myself, remaining compassionate for myself and others. I still get stressed and overwhelmed, but inside there is something filling a void. It isn’t some god or some pill; it is me and the knowledge that I can depend on myself. Having a clear mind and the ability to handle life’s struggles on my own or with the support of my family and friends sets me up to challenge myself and achieve more.
Not drinking, doing drugs, smoking or having uncommitted sex, therefore, aren’t things that I don’t do but rather are logical results of what I want to do as a whole. And that is why I choose to call myself Straight Edge. That is why I want the Straight Edge.