The Truth About My Relationship with Drugs & Alcohol
I realized I was different when I started attending high school. I don’t recall ever feeling like I fit in. I don’t recall ever feeling cool, pretty or popular.
The struggle was real.
I was bullied. A lot. I was teased and ridiculed for the way I walked, talked, dressed and who I chose to hang out with. And at such a tender age I could’ve easily been influenced by my surroundings or felt obligated to follow the crowd and participate in certain activities in an effort to numb the pain and feel “normal.”
But bruh, this doesn’t mean I’m claiming to be innocent by any means. I’ve bravely aired out my dirty laundry in my novel Everything I Couldn’t Tell My Mother. We all know that I’ve fought with temptations of all kinds and continue to battle with a few that still linger. But if there’s one thing I’m proud, it’s this….
I’m 28 and I’ve never tasted alcohol or have done drugs in my life.
(saaaaaaay whaaaaaat yo!)
Yes. You heard right.
(not even socially?)
Not even socially.
It’s a personal choice that I’ve committed to ever since I can remember. Don’t get it twisted. It has not been easy because it’s all around me and pretty hard to avoid. Even as a grown ass adult, I still get teased and awkwardly looked at whenever I order water (with lemon, always with lemon) at the bar. Just the other day I went out on the town and while my friends were throwing back shots, the bartender filled up little glasses of water because he thought I was feeling left out. Everyone thought it was hilarious. Whatevs.
The struggle continues.
Taking a stand for something is never easy, but to me it’s worth it. I’m often ziggin’ when everyone else is zaggin’ and I’m cool with that. If you’re reading this post and feeling the frustrations of temptation, I want you to know that it’s okay to be different and don’t ever be afraid to build boundaries.
Listen, learn to say no without explaining yourself.
Sometimes you gotta vibe alone to really understand and see the bigger picture. Learn to do your own thing and stay in your own lane. Don’t let anyone pressure you into anything. This not only goes for drinking and drugs, but sex too. It’s your body. You have to look out for you.
Bruh, my growth game is strong. Over the years I’ve developed discipline and because of this extreme focus, my blessings will outweigh my problems. Lord knows I’m not perfect and this post was not meant to make anyone feel bad. I simply want to encourage you to have standards — whatever that looks like for you. Because the secret to living an abundant life is to make yourself a priority. Detach and protect your mind and energy.
Peace & Love,
First published at pauleannareid.com