I hate being drunk. I haven’t had a drink in several years, and not because of any addiction issues or a program or a partner who prefers that I don’t. I don’t drink because I did it once, didn’t understand the appeal, and just never did again.

This is another example, along with non-conformity and marijuana, that was so allowed in my home that it held none of the alternative appeal that it does for many other kids growing up in America.

I was fourteen years old, primarily being homeschooled by my mother (on paper, not really in reality) and treating all of my parents’ friends like they were my friends. I wasn’t very we “socialized” with my peers because I didn’t have any. None of my parents’ friends had kids, we didn’t stay in touch with cousins, I never went to any type of traditional public schooling, and I was never sent away for adult behavior time. So when my dad brought home a keg for my fourteenth birthday, I indulged.

The first thing I remember was that I wasn’t having more fun than I usually had in large gatherings. I found it more difficult to speak correctly which made me extremely self-aware, I felt that I couldn’t relate to the struggles of those my parents’ age – in large part due to the progress they had made in society – and that made me, again, overly self-aware. Drinking, for me, basically meant being embarrassed and incapacitated enough to not know how to deal with it.

Plus, I ended up throwing up, falling asleep on the bathroom floor, waking up to my dad using the toilet and telling me how hilarious I was last night, not being able to remember what he was referring to, and spending the entire day in bed smelling like warm beer and cigarettes.

I wondered why anyone ever chased this feeling. So I stopped forever.

I was, however, and continue to be an avid marijuana-user.