Scared straightedge

September 1, 2011 § 2 Comments

Is there an opposite of Nar-Anon? Like a group I could go to to be more comfortable with the concept of drugs? This is probably coming off as facetious, but I sort of mean it. I may look like a chill, hyper-branchée, worldly person who’s worthy of being called a lady both un- and fully-ironically, but in reality I am very nervous about drugs. I don’t want to do them. I don’t really want to have to deal with them at all, frankly. But these things come up.

The problem, I suspect, is that I am a weird combination of a future old person and a Good Kid. I was always the child who feared doing the wrong thing above all (notably: burst into tears when I forgot my rough draft of a report on the Vikings in fourth grade, would not touch alcohol until, at age 17, my parents insisted because I was sniping too much and ruining everyone’s Bahamas experience.) I am also congenitally uncool, which engendered a kind of involuntary naïveté around recreational chemical use. I always had the feeling that drugs were like lightsabers or something: you can see them on TV, but no one you actually know uses them.

O me of little faith! Turns out everyone does it. DARE lied to me, even though I’ve never participated and don’t even know what the letters stand for! Even here in my Young Adulthood, when someone pulls out a joint* at a party, I get that pit-of-stomach dread and feel the need to wail guuuuuys, we’re gonna get in trouble! And harder drugs are harder.** When friends casually mention their experimentation with hallucinogens or ecstasy or Children’s Dimetapp, I nod and smile in what I hope is a knowing fashion while my heart explodes in terror.

You do that? But you’re not Luke Skywalker, you’re my friend!

This is the heart of the problem: I’ve got some awesome friends, incredible friends, that I’ve known the greater part of my life, but we’ve grown apart. There could be a zillion reasons why, that they moved away, that we’re still Finding Ourselves, something bullshitty like that, but I think there’s a tangible explanation. It’s because what they do…scares me. I’m not judgmental, I hope, because I don’t really care what they do to their own selves. I just can’t relate. I can’t not be freaked out. I stayed a geek who, still, wants to watch Monty Python and the Holy Grail and draw anime fanart of Legolas at sleepovers, and they got cool. It makes me sad, because even if I’m doing the Right Thing and they’re doing the Real Thing, I feel like I lost, and I can’t tell who’s outgrown whom.

*translation for my parents: doobie, reefer
**though not literally so, as I first misconceived

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