Live and Let Live.

I don’t drink. At all.

The only time I’ve ever had alcohol was when I was a teenager and a friend told me not to drink something. Here’s how that conversation went:

Me: Can I try that smoothie?
Friend: No, you don’t want that.
Me: Um, yeah, I do. It looks good.
Friend: No, you really don’t want to drink that.
Me: Why not? It looks like a yummy smoothie. Smoothies are my favorite.
Friend: Well, not this one.
Me: Just give me some smoothie.

At that point she reluctantly handed over her smoothie and I tried it and realized it was an actual Strawberry Daiquiri. Not the virgin kind. This was the friend who I shared everything with. This was the friend who told me everything and I told her. Why didn’t she just say, “I know you don’t drink so I know you don’t want this smoothie because it’s laced with Vodka.” No, she just let me make an ass of myself and get pissed off at her for facilitating the only time I’ve ever had alcohol.

So that was my one experience with drinking. Mild and unfavorable.

There are lot of reasons I don’t drink. Or do drugs. I don’t actually like any drugs at all. I barely like to take tylenol when I have a headache.

I could go into all the reasons I don’t drink or do drugs but I’ll just share this: Alcoholism runs in my family. It is all up, down and sideways on my family tree. It’s in my blood. It’s in my history. It’s in my future if I ever want it to be. But I don’t. Want it to be.

My brother died of an overdose. Cocaine and amphetamines. So either heroin or prescription painkillers. We knew he was into amphetamines but the cocaine was a shock to my family when he OD’d. As was his death, since we thought he was getting better. He also an alcoholic. Alcohol didn’t necessarily kill him but it didn’t do him any good, either.

My biological grandmother was an art collector who left my dad and the rest of her family when my dad was maybe 8? I don’t remember. What I do remember is when she went crazy with dementia and came to live with my family when I was 12. She had hallucinations and memory loss and was legit crazy. She was also in her 60s. She had lived a crazy hippie lifestyle in France, where the art scene was. She was into all sorts of drugs. Had major alcohol problems. And died insane, alone and unwanted in a nursing home before she reached 70 years old.

Every week at practice the guys go through at least 2 beers each. Minimum. There’s a fridge in the studio that has cases of beer, wine coolers and hard lemonade for whoever wants them. I opt for water. They know I don’t drink and respect my decision. I know they do drink and respect their decision.

It’s funny how many people meet a person who doesn’t drink and assume all us non-drinkers are constantly judging people who do drink. I don’t care how you live your life. I think people assuming I’m judging says more about them than it does me. Do I think alcohol is good for you? No. That’s why I don’t drink it. Do I think drugs are the way to enjoy life? No. That’s part of the reason I don’t do it.

You have your life, though. Do what you want with it.

I hope I will have the guts to tell someone when I think drugs or alcohol have become too much a part of their life. I hope I will keep my friends from going the same way as my brother. But if that’s the way you party, who am I to stop you? And if I choose to not partake, who are you to belittle me?

Live and let live, my friends. You in your way and I in mine. I’ll love you just the same.

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