I must be honest here, no matter how much I wish it were different: It was my parent's decision at first. I have been known to be a control freak, and I would love to be able to say it was all my doing. But really, when I was young, my parents told me it was wrong. Why it stuck in my head, I don't know. They also told me to do my homework, but look at me now.

The local "Don't Do Drugs, Instead Marvel At Our Cool Acronym" group got ahold of me in time, too, I suppose. My best friends soon happened to be in that crowd, too, solidifying my non-drinking status. To some extent it was easier to keep not drinking than it was to start drinking. Obviously by this time I knew of all the undesirable effects of drinking. Being a control freak, I was scared of having a substance interfere with my "mind over matter" pilosophy.

The longer I didn't drink, the more the decision became my own. There was this pride swelling from some feeling that I was better than everone else. "Look at all these poor saps drinking. I have so much more willpower than all of them. Aren't I cool?" I started seeking out others who I thought were as cool as me. If someone didn't drink, I wanted to know them.

Eventually, It was like running a marathon. Along the way, I would watch my friends bail out, and I would be saddened by the loss of another running mate, each one of whom I thought would be there until the end. But I'm too busy running my own race to stop, so I just keep running, going farther than all my friends just for the sake of the race, not knowing where it finally ends, realizing that eventually I'll be the only one left. Except...that won't happen. I won't be left running alone. Not when she's around. That's why we have this weird bond that will never break. I'm glad we met. I miss her. I think I'll call her

I try to remember now that I'm not really better than a drinker. We just chose different values and stuck to them. I like my values better anyways.

Note - In this particular node, drinking is shorthand for "drinking, drugging, and smoking"