After sneaking a few beers I decided at 17 that it was time to take the plunge and get drunk.

I went out with some friends in the woods, and we all drank rum. I disliked the chemical taste but it wasn't as bad as siphoning gasoline; not quite, anyway.

The first thing I noticed was that it was not affecting me as much as it was my friends. They became increasingly sloppy, with slurred speech, and, frankly, acting stupid. I could feel something but the amount of rum I drank on my maiden voyage into inebriation should have had me vomiting, comatose, or dead. I barely felt a thing (I had not aftereffects the next morning).

The sight of my friends turning more into idiots with each drink disgusted me; none of them vomited but I had seen plenty of others do that.

I wasn't interested in trying it again; my tolerance frightened me, I was afraid that if something changed and I came to like it that I would destroy my health quickly. I was in no hurry to repeat the experiment.

Six months later I still hadn't, but I tried marijuana and liked it a lot, I loved the clarity in music and the relaxed feeling, and my mind was unimpaired. It wasn't a difficult decision to decide to stick with one inebriant and never drink alcohol again.

I've messed up a lot of my life; made tons of money and spent it all, damaged relationships. But staying off alcohol and exercising regularly are two thing s I feel I did right.

It it touches my lips now e.g. politely taking part in a toast but not actually drinking, it tastes like a neurotoxin. Deadly.

American Software Developer living in Vietnam. Classical musician (guitar, woodwinds), weightlifter, multilingual, misanthrope • XY

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