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Why I Don't Drink

Recently a comment was posted where someone asked why I don't drink. I do seem to mention it in a number of posts, mostly those where I'm complaining how hard it is to find a girl who also doesn't drink, but I suppose I've never explained why. I also don't do drugs, smoke, or take medicine.

I've never had a drink in my life. I went to a private school in Andover, Massachusetts for middle school and I don't think anyone there drank. Maybe they did and I was blissfully ignorant. I remember one kid got caught for smoking and it was a huge controversy.

After middle school my family moved to Austin, Texas and I went to a public high school. My first day there I got lost and happened to have wandered behind the building. to my surprise there was a huge mass of kids smoking cigarettes and pot. One such kid, a Junior, picked me up and put me in a trash can.

I saw Matthew Perry from Friends

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Matthew Perry came to speak at my school, and I was lucky enough to get a ticket. As cool as it was to see one of the stars of Friends, and the man who played my favorite friend (sorry Jen, Lisa, Matt, David, and Courteney), I thought he had a great message.

The room was packed. Could I BE any more excited? As they announced his name, everyone cheered. A few girls cheered a bit louder than everyone else. He took the stage, and the crowd went silent. He began to talk. He's a pretty funny guy.

Humor aside, he talked about alcohol and drug addiction. All addiction is the same. Drugs or alcohol, doesn't matter, it's the same. He talked about his personal struggles with addiction, before Friends, during the filming of Friends, and now. He talked about how a normal person sees a glass of wine sitting on a table and maybe wonders who it belongs to, but forgets about it quickly. He sees that glass of wine and thinks about it for the rest of the day.

That really hit home for me.

Not because I personally struggle with addiction, I don't, but because I know several people who have dealt with various forms of addiction. Matthew said that addiction is something you don't really learn about unless you have to. Unless you yourself have struggled with it or someone close to you has. This couldn't be more true. We skim over it in health class, but that is nothing like having to learn about it while someone you know deals with it. You learn a heck of a lot more, and quickly. You come to understanding. Addiction isn't a weakness. It's a disease. Our society doesn't see it that way. That needs to change.

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