Home > Ana_ZackPack, Guest Blog, Straight Edge Lifestyle > Becoming Straight Edge – My Journey by Ana_ZackPack

Becoming Straight Edge – My Journey by Ana_ZackPack

After my article on Kharma, I had doubts about the theme I would choose for my next article. At first, as a proud member of the Zack Pack, I thought about writing a little something about the “Internet Champion” Zack Ryder, but with many people doing that lately I figured (especially after reading JCITY™’s opinion) that it would be more interesting to talk about a more serious issue and something that is changing my life for the better: my decision to become Straight Edge.

While I know that some people have chosen the path of abstinence, I wasn’t aware of this specific movement until CM Punk appeared in ECW back in 2006. At that time I didn’t smoke (cigarettes or weed) and I rarely consumed alcohol, but I immediately thought it was pretty cool for a talented wrestler to give such a good message about a healthy lifestyle, especially since a lot of kids watch WWE.

However, I was young and slightly stupid (just like everybody was at least one time in their lifes), so I didn’t care about doing research about the movement and later in life, I did what most teens do… I followed what others did and I started to smoke. Most of you are probably thinking that I was a fool for starting to smoke just because others did it and if you are thinking that, you’re damn right. I really was a fool. No one should do ANYTHING just because everybody else likes to do it. The problem is that when I figured this out, I was already an addict that couldn’t make it without her morning cigarette, or the cigarette after a class, or the cigarette before lunch, or whatever cigarette demanding moment my mind had created.  When I finally realized how dependent I was on my fix, I became sad with myself for allowing this to happen, but at the same time I was glad because I rarely ever smoked weed or got wasted on vodka.

What upset me the most wasn’t my dependence. What really made me angry at myself was the fact that as a kid I SWORE I would never smoke and that I would never drink. I loathed the smell of cigarettes and I despised alcohol because of a family member. That relative was an alcoholic when I was a little kid and sometimes when he was drunk he would hit on his wife.  He was the angry drunk type. Fortunately, he stopped drinking and became a lovable person. My mom says he stopped drinking because my five year old self told him that he was a drunkard. Apparently no one had the courage to tell him he had a problem and the shock of having this little girl yelling at him while she cried, made him wake up and stop drinking in excess. I don’t remember this, but I remember how hurt his wife was at times.  This ended after he became sober. However, this made me realize how alcohol can turn good people into monsters.

This relative passed away one year ago from brain cancer. Some say that his life of excesses when he was younger might have affected his conditions. I don’t know… I just know he died a slow and painful death at the age of 51 and I also know that he must be proud of me at this moment for choosing to be clean. Ending the story of my relative, who was beloved, but would gain a different personality when he had some drinks, I will admit that he wasn’t the only alcoholic in my family. In fact, most of my family had problems with alcohol for a while. Some of them even died with liver related diseases (including a grandfather who died before I was even born). Learning this information lead me to CM Punk’s Straight Edge lifestyle.

Earlier this year, I had a bad case of the flu that affected my lungs like never before, to the point where it was painful to breathe. I never had any crisis like this since I was a child and it was easy to see why I was in that state: I smoked too much, and this made me extremely curious about the Straight Edge movement and the reasons why CM Punk joined. I read in an interview (that might not be accurate) that Punk made that decision because he had an alcoholic family member, which made the possibility of him becoming an alcoholic higher than someone who doesn’t have any alcoholics in their family.

Checking some science and medicine articles about alcoholism, I found out that this addiction could be considered genetic and that people who have had alcoholic ancestors shouldn’t even drink. I didn’t need to be a math genius to understand that with the background of my family I would have a way higher percentage of becoming alcoholic in comparison to a regular person. So I decided to stop smoking for good (I had already tried to do it before) and stop drinking and smoking weed before I had a chance of becoming an addict with these substances as well. I’ve been clean for more than three months and I think I will be fine (but most importantly, my lungs won’t yell at me so much when I get sick, nor will I get liver problems in the future).

This is where CM Punk inspires me the most. He makes me believe that someone can have fun and be perfectly happy and successful without using any substances, when I used to believe that I couldn’t be having a coffee with my friends smoking around me and not pick up a cigarette for myself to fit in. Nor did I believe that I could go to a club and deal with the crappy music without having some shots of absinthe or a joint first. Now as I read what I just wrote, I realize that this looks like one of those articles where people get paid to refer how said pill/exercise machine made them lose weight and how they will always be grateful because of them. I could end this like those people and say that I will be healthy for the rest of my life, but I would be lying to you.

While I am truly committed in changing my ways, I also know that I’m a human being, which means I’m not perfect. It’s going to be a hard journey. God knows how hard it would be for me to restrain myself at college, where everyone around me will be smoking. Especially with the type of “friends” who enjoy to offer you cigarettes when you have made it clear that you have decided to stop smoking for good. I also know it will be hard not to have a little champagne during a commemoration or a cold beer on a hot summer afternoon, but I will have to fight these temptations every day with the hope that I will make my family proud, but more importantly, myself.

Thanks for reading.

  1. Capt. Smooth
    May 12, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    What’s cool about Punk is that his real life way of looking at things is what his face character is about. He says why he is S.E., but doesn’t judge people. His heel persona judges. It shows that you can do the right thing and be cool about it.

    • May 13, 2011 at 6:37 am

      Exactly. And he is a dude. You guys have way more social pressure into doing those things.

      • Capt. Smooth
        May 13, 2011 at 5:46 pm

        I don’t notice much pressure. They just aren’t things I think about.

    • May 14, 2011 at 7:26 pm

      CM Punk runs a methlab in Detroit.

      • Capt. Smooth
        May 14, 2011 at 8:05 pm


  2. May 12, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    Good for you Ana. I can sort of relate becuase even though I’ve never drank or smoked anything, alcoholism runs in my family too, so I know what it’s like to grow up around alcoholics.

    • May 13, 2011 at 6:26 am

      Yeah, growing up with alcoholics can really traumatize someone to never drink.

    • May 14, 2011 at 7:31 pm

      You will be an alcoholic one day. Sorry about your damn luck. Lol just kidding. If you do anything do it in moderation and never ever ever suck a dick for crack.


      • Capt. Smooth
        May 14, 2011 at 8:05 pm

        It depends on what type of crack…or so I’ve heard.

  3. May 12, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    Thanks for sharing your journey with us Ana :). I have been cigarette free for almost 2 years now (well I’ve had one here and there, but daily smoking is a dead issue). I quit cold turkey because it was starting to be an expensive habit and I can’t walk down the street without everyone hounding me just to get a square. When it comes to alcohol I admit to getting drunk as fuck in the past, but now I drink when I’m hanging out with family and friends and its more of a social thing than an I drink just to drink thing. Now weed is a different story. I indulge in the herbals, alot. Maybe I over compensate my intake in order to make up for the no smoking cigs thing, but I’m not addicted to it. I can stop smoking for a week or two and be fine without feeling the urge to relapse, but I just like doing it. I love the smell, the taste, the high, the culture. If I could go anywhere in the world I would go to Amsterdam and never come back, for obvious reasons of course. It’s tough to let go and break bad habits so major props to you Ana. Hopefully you can stick to being straight edge and if you ever give into temptation then its ok, just try again.

    • May 13, 2011 at 4:50 am

      You don’t necessarily have to go to Amsterdam, there’s pretty much weed everywhere in the Netherlands. Go to Rotterdam and I’ll take you to a footballmatch (soccer) between Feyenoord Rotterdam and Ajax Amsterdam. (Huge feud between both city’s!!!)


      Okay ontopic:
      Thanks for sharing this with us Ana.
      My dad’s addicted to alcohol & cigarettes. I’ve tried everything not to become like him, he’s a mess.
      Unfortunately for me being a drunk is in my blood, I’ve been addicted to alcohol 3,5 years (from my 15th till my 18,5). A while ago I tried quitting, after 3 weeks my body started shaking and I turned into an emotional mess.
      After two months of psychiatry I was off alcohol. It was very hard for me, but I did it. I used to drink every day (even when I was at work or school).
      In 2 day’s I’m gonna celebrate my 19th birthday, I do drink sometimes but I haven’t been drunk for 5 months now and I’m not addicted anymore. In 5 months I made a transmission from a dronken mess to a sporter. Very proud of myself!

      I do smoke, but only like 1 cigarette in 3 weeks. Never done drugs!

      • May 13, 2011 at 6:29 am

        Its stories like yours that made choose this path. I know that If I start to get wasted I will have those problems.

        Congratulations on leaving you’re addiction 🙂

      • May 14, 2011 at 7:39 pm

        One day I will take a trip out there and take a weed smoking tour. I can go to the club you DJ and get some bitches and bang the hell out of them then we could watch Raw at 2am lol. In America we don’t watch to much soccer. We only care when it’s the World Cup and we want to fit in with the rest of the world. I always did want to scream GOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLL!!!!!! though lol. Cape Verdians play soccer all the time at the high School footbal field near my house I should try to learn the sport.

    • May 13, 2011 at 6:36 am

      Smoked weed once or twice. The smell is really good. But it doesn’t affect me at all. That’s probably the reason why I didn’t smoke weed so much.

      However, I truly believe that weed is a way healthier choice than cigarettes. No one dies from smoking weed…unless they get to high and fall from a tree or something.

      • May 14, 2011 at 7:44 pm

        You gots to smoke Dro, Kush or Purple Haze. Other strands I’ve tried include Northern Lights (from Canada) and Blueberry Haze. It makes music sound better, sex last longer and elevates the enjoyment of eating hence the munchies lol. Don’t listen to me I’m a bad influence but hey its not like im saying to try crack or heroin. Stay the hell away from those lol.

  4. Mr.Redlight
    May 13, 2011 at 2:53 am

    hey city did i tell you i got my medical marijauna card a couple months ago? LOL! cops dont got shit on me now! sorry i felt this was the best place to bring it up. I not hatin on straight edge at all its all life choice in my opinion. good article good luck with all that addiction sucks i thought i was to Lean and that shit is expensive. Codiene is a very hot commodity right now and said nope i done with that. Its all natural for me goin forward now lol

    • May 13, 2011 at 6:29 am

      Thank you.

    • May 14, 2011 at 7:49 pm

      I need to move out there or they need to hurry up and legalize it in MA cuz I need that in my life. Lol, let me stop I said I wasn’t addicted to weed but I’m acting like an addict. Seriously though you are lucky cuz the cops cant fuck with you. I wish I was free to be myself in public, a pothead 😦 lol.

  5. May 13, 2011 at 5:12 am

    I’ve been straight edge two years now. It’s not really a big deal to me, just a personal choice. I used to party kinda hard but it was getting to the stage where it was gonna become a problem so I cut it out completely. In England there’s one hell of a drinking culture and people think it’s kinda weird if you abstain so I don’t really broadcast it – it’s no one else’s business anyways. Saved myself an absolute fortune, I was getting through £400-500 a month just on getting hammered, if I wasn’t working – I’d be drinking. I still have as good a social life as I did, I just don’t spend half my life hungover and feeling like crap!

    • May 13, 2011 at 6:31 am

      Congratulations 🙂

      In my country there’s also a big culture around drinking, especially since we can go to clubs, drink and buy alcohol at the mere age of 16. That’s why there’s a lot of people with my age that are already alcoholics.
      Its to easy to get addicted at that age.

    • May 14, 2011 at 7:51 pm

      Thats the only thing I hate about drinking is the hangover and feeling like crap part. I never puked though so I guess I either have a high tolerance or I just didn’t drink enough.

  6. Capt. Smooth
    May 13, 2011 at 6:05 am

    The odd thing with me is I’ve NEVER had the urge for drugs or drinking. They’re not something that appeals to me, but I can see where some might want them to take the edge off. I had a sip of beer when I was 3, but I just don’t see what the big deal is. My dad was a drinker(sober for 27 years). My mom smoked(hasn’t touched them in around 20). I feel like I’m in a support group. “Hi, my name is Capt. Smooth and I’m addicted to support groups.”.

    • May 13, 2011 at 6:34 am


      When I was a kid I usually would silently finish the martini shots some of family had. I love alcohol, but I always controlled myself in that aspect.

      My major problem was cigarettes. Well…it still is…because I’m stressed as hell because of the lack of nicotine.

    • May 14, 2011 at 7:53 pm

      Lol, the first step is admitting that you have a problem.

      • Capt. Smooth
        May 14, 2011 at 8:08 pm

        It’s really bad when you’re so wasted, that you can’t even make it through one step without falling over.

        • May 14, 2011 at 8:27 pm

          Thats why you should drive instead duh….on second thought…lol.

          • Capt. Smooth
            May 14, 2011 at 8:28 pm

            Fly! All impaired people can do it!

  7. May 13, 2011 at 10:53 am

    This is a very important topic to me. I lost my father to lung cancer six years ago. I will have a drink once in awhile but I never smoke or do drugs and I currently have no desire to ever do so. I have never fell victim to peer pressure because my health always comes first.

    • May 13, 2011 at 11:10 am

      Sad for you’re lost. Cancer is an awful disease.

    • May 14, 2011 at 7:55 pm

      Sorry for your loss. I quit cigs because I didn’t want lung cancer. I smoked for 10years straight from a very young age.

  8. Max
    May 13, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    This was a great motivational story. I hope you stay on track. Imagine if Stone Cold was your role model though. You would be writing about how drunk you was lol.

    • May 13, 2011 at 2:58 pm

      Love him as a wrestler. Not exactly a role model in real life xD

      Not only I would be drinking, I would also be beating on whoever I dated.

      • Capt. Smooth
        May 13, 2011 at 5:48 pm

        Stone Cold’s only good quality to take from him was to stand up to evil bosses.

      • May 14, 2011 at 7:56 pm


        • Capt. Smooth
          May 14, 2011 at 8:09 pm

          It’s true. Oh, it’s damn true!

  9. The Modern Native
    May 13, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    Ana, that was amazing. My dad was a horrible drinker when I was growing up, and he almost killed himself in a car accident in 2001. He’s sober now, and the change in his personality is remarkable. I started smoking cigarettes when I was 7 (my dad was always drunk and never noticed if a pack was missing). I started weed at 11, and drinking at 14. I was a full blown alcoholic and heavy drug user by the time I was 17. When I was 19, I accepted God into my life. I’m not going to get preachy on here, but most people who know me closely know that I’m a very religious person. The long story short, I’ve been drug and alcohol free for four years and eleven months. It’s an amazing feeling, knowing you don’t need a chemical crutch to stand with. My mind is clearer, and my life has meaning now. I have a wife and three kids (one on the way), and I work in the ICU at a hospital. I’m a full time student, and I know none of it would be possible if I still had addiction problems. Do I still think about those days? Yes. But it’s better not to lapse, or you start the fight over again.

    • May 13, 2011 at 4:04 pm

      That’s an amazing story, since you were so young. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • May 14, 2011 at 8:06 pm

      Damn cigs at 7? That’s hardcore!!!

    • July 14, 2011 at 6:36 pm

      Smoking at 7!!!!!! WTF someone call the cops. It’s amazing that you pulled through that!

      Someone should make a movie about your life.

  10. Mr.Redlight
    May 13, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    lol dang you guys started hella early i didnt even think about it till high school. Im on off about it. Right now i am on obviously

  11. Capt. Smooth
    May 13, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    The Modern Native :Ana, that was amazing. My dad was a horrible drinker when I was growing up, and he almost killed himself in a car accident in 2001. He’s sober now, and the change in his personality is remarkable. I started smoking cigarettes when I was 7 (my dad was always drunk and never noticed if a pack was missing). I started weed at 11, and drinking at 14. I was a full blown alcoholic and heavy drug user by the time I was 17. When I was 19, I accepted God into my life. I’m not going to get preachy on here, but most people who know me closely know that I’m a very religious person. The long story short, I’ve been drug and alcohol free for four years and eleven months. It’s an amazing feeling, knowing you don’t need a chemical crutch to stand with. My mind is clearer, and my life has meaning now. I have a wife and three kids (one on the way), and I work in the ICU at a hospital. I’m a full time student, and I know none of it would be possible if I still had addiction problems. Do I still think about those days? Yes. But it’s better not to lapse, or you start the fight over again.

    My dad once ate Play-Dough due to drinking. He never gave a recipe or anything. Honestly, I can’t fathom what you went through. Humor helps me work out my issues, but it’s good to see how different people cope with things.

    • Ana_ZackPack
      May 14, 2011 at 10:07 am

      Yeah, sometimes joking about stuff is the best thing. I’m kinda bipolar on that aspect. Sometimes I just laugh my problems off, other times I stay pissed for a long time or just sad.

      • Capt. Smooth
        May 14, 2011 at 10:13 am

        I guess this has turned into a support group. I will be taking donations for a new water fountain.

    • May 14, 2011 at 8:11 pm

      Your dad could have easily taken a play doughy shit and re-gifted it to you for Christmas, lmmfao.

      • Capt. Smooth
        May 14, 2011 at 8:15 pm

        I feel bad saying it. He hates talking about it.

        • May 14, 2011 at 8:32 pm

          Lmao. Note to self: Stay away from brown and green playdough.

          • Capt. Smooth
            May 14, 2011 at 8:37 pm

            The only way you can tell is if it has chunks of corn in it.

  12. The Unusual Suspect
    May 13, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    I too am straight-edge. Nice to have you on board Ana. I hope you enjoy and maintain the lifestyle as much as I have so far.

    • Ana_ZackPack
      May 14, 2011 at 10:09 am

      As for now, I’m feeling better, because I feel stronger for giving up my habits. It was also good for my self-esteem.

      • May 14, 2011 at 8:15 pm

        I will try being straight edge tomorrow. I will even draw an X on my hand 🙂

        • May 15, 2011 at 11:32 pm

          You also need to yell “It’s clobbering time!” as soon as you leave your home.

  13. Capt. Smooth
    May 14, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    But Carlito told me it was and he’s the expert in everything thats cool. Now thats cool.


    • May 15, 2011 at 1:56 pm

      Lol, I thought it was hilarious when I put it up, not to sure it would have gone over.

  14. July 14, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    I am touched by the stories I’m reading on here. I wasn’t going to write anything at first but now I’m inspired to share my story. In my late teens I began smoking weed with friends from my G.E.D school, prior to that I’d only smoked cigarettes starting at age 14. By 1989 I’d gone from that to smoking joints laced with crack. I hadn’t even turned 20 yet and I was destroying my life. I sold bicycles I’d rebuilt to help support my habits. Believe it or not, it was a bicycle that saved me from drug use. I found a rare Schwinn Krate in the trash one day and took it home, with the intent to fix and sell it for my goodies. But there was something special about it….the more time I put into the bike the nicer it became and my focus shifted away from the drug use and my money went into restoring the bicycle. That helped me quit cold turkey and as of July 8, I am oficially 21 years clean. I did continue to smoke cigarettes long after that, quitting on and off until September 28, 2010 when I vowed to my 10 year old son I would quit for good. Been straight edged ever since. And yes I still own that bicycle, she’s not going anywhere!

    • July 14, 2011 at 6:42 pm

      My God I didn’t realize so many people could come back from addiction like this. No one in my family ever bothered to get help or quit, my dad just drank until it killed him, my great uncle did the same.

      • Capt. Smooth
        July 14, 2011 at 7:21 pm

        Yeah, terrific story! *claps*

  15. Anonymous
    July 27, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    This is the kind of conversation i have been looking for. I have been researching the straight edge lifestyle for a little while now. I used to be a “partier”. Drugs and alcohol ruled my teen years. It has been over 10 years since i smoked weed. I started drinkin even heavier for a while. Stopped that about 4 years ago. I just pasted my one year cigarette free mark. Feel very good about myself for getting rid of all of them. Been trying to decide if i should be able to call myself sXe or not.

    • Anonymous
      July 27, 2011 at 6:56 pm

      Just realised that i was in a big enough hurry when i posted this comment i somehow used the word pasted instead of passed. made myself feel stupid.

  16. Rodrigo Str8 Edge 4Ever
    December 16, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    Hello! I’m brazilian…
    Eu sou brasileiro e so straight edge e como tenho visto o cenario Punk, Hard core Str8 Edge vem crescendo muito em nosso pais ^^

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