So, my name is Liz. I’m 18, and I used to be straight edge. I’ve gone to catholic school since I was in the first grade. I was always taught to stay away from drugs, alcohol, and sex. I loved being able to tell people that i don’t smoke or drink and that I’m “straight edge”. I never really knew what it was to be straight edge other than you didn’t drink, smoke, or do any mind altering substances. I just thought it was cool. I’d heard of people being straight edge and how it made their lives so much better than their friends who used substances to get away from the world. All the way up until my senior in HS, i’d done a very good job at hanging out with the “clean crowd”. All my friends and i didn’t go to parties, we didn’t drink, smoke cigs or weed; we didn’t do anything. Then the beginning of senior came around. I was pursuing music more, and wanted to start a band. I started hanging out with this kid who was going to potentially be my drummer. He smoked weed and drank and had sex and did all the things i had been taught not to do all my life. I soon became interested in smoking weed, drinking, basically living the rock star lifestyle. I started talking to my drummer about smoking and how to do it and everything you needed to know. Not too long after wanting to do it, i started trying to find people who sold weed. I wasn’t having trouble finding them, just getting with them to make a deal. It took me 4 months from wanting to smoke, to actually smoking. The first night i smoked, i was with one of my good friends, and a bunch of her friends from her new HS. I didn’t know anyone but her, and i was scared as hell. They were using a pop can to smoke out of, and i didn’t know what i was doing. The person next to me yelled at me because i dropped the weed. I had a so called “party foul” my first time smoking. We found the nug and everything was alright. But from that point on, the entire night went down hill. I bought my first bag of weed, which was very good by the way, and i had smoked for three hours straight with my new “friends“. It was a scary thing going in to meet my friends’ parents blazed as hell. That night i didn’t sleep one minute. I was so wired from smoking and doing all the crap we had done. The next morning the guy who we had been smoking with the night before called my friend and wanted to do a “wake and bake“. So we picked him up and went about our business of smoking weed. That day i bought my first piece, a lovely blue Sherlock. That’s when i could see everything getting really bad. After that weekend, i started buying from a local dealer in my area. The weed was alright, but it got me high, so i really didn’t care. Before i knew it, i was smoking everyday. Then i got caught. My mom found a roach of a joint in my room, and called me out on it. I was terrified, and not to mention high as hell. I was so scared and didn’t know what to say because i was so blazed. Seeing my mom holding the roach of a joint killed me inside. I didn’t know what to say. I just wanted to hide under a rock and die. After that night, i stopped smoking for 17 days. Then i decided i wanted to start smoking again. Made a few phone calls, and had a new bag in my hands within 45 minutes. I smoked. It was fun. Called it a night. Then the next night i went to a party. Got trashed as hell. I not only smoked, but drank on an empty stomach. I took shots of rum, and i don’t usually drink, so it hit me really hard. I was freaking out because i had to go home that night and had to sober up before i went home. i couldn’t eat because i had cotton mouth from smoking, and drinking water made me pee, and i was so trashed that i couldn’t really see straight or walk. It was a scary night, and a wake up call. I continued to smoke. I smoked that next Tuesday, and Thursday. On Tuesday, i had a bad high. I was anxious, scared, and unable to sleep. Then Thursday it hit me (while i was blazed), that it really isn’t that much fun. I didn’t like it. After the experience Tuesday, i told myself that i didn’t want to smoke by myself again. But by the next week, i was smoking, by myself again, but this time as a self medication. My mom had left our house at 12AM to go to the bar and drink. It scared the hell out of me, and i just needed to leave. So i went outside, took a few hits, went back inside, and went to bed. I slept like a baby, but then saw that i needed to get rid of this shit that was making me into a monster. I called a friend and told them to take my weed. There wasn’t a lot left, about a nug, but he took it for me. Now I’m here. I’m stopping until the musical at my HS is over, but when that’s over, who knows what’s going to happen. I have three pipes that i love dearly and couldn’t imagine getting rid of. I really hope that my story can help people see that straight edge is a way of life, not a title. If you don’t know what you’re standing up for, you should sit down, or do some research. My lack of knowledge on the subject led me to want to smoke weed. I didn’t care about being “straight edge” because i didn’t know what it was. Now that i’m fully aware of what it is, i wish i had never smoked weed. Smoking pot has made my relationship with my mom, dad, sister, and best friends awkward and weird. They can’t trust me, and i give them every right not to. I told everyone who loved me that i wasn’t smoking weed, and that i would never smoke. I broke that promise, and i lost their trust. Now to all my friends, i’m known as the stoner, and that hurts, because i used to be “the virgin mary”. people looked up to me because i was clean and had never used mind altering substances to do exactly that, alter my state of mind. Now that i think about it, i wish i had never smoked weed, but there is no way for me to take it back. I smoke weed, but now i use it in moderation. I try not to smoke so much that i forget my nights. Those were the days when my life was spiraling out of control, and i pray to God i never get back to that mindset ever again. It hurt my family, my grades, and my friends.