Respect my choices

My mother is a recovering alcoholic. Since I was young, I’ve promised myself that I will never drink alcohol. I am afraid of becoming like her, but I also want to be a responsible friend for my peers if they ever get themselves in trouble. I never thought I’d be pressured or bullied to change my morals, but this year I was faced with reality. My best friend willingly sought out and used chewing tobacco (which she had earlier deemed “pointless and gross”) with a group of boys she was trying to impress. Her mom had stomach cancer at the time. It made no sense to me that my friend would do this. When I expressed my disappointment, she, not the boys, harassed and bullied me about my beliefs, telling me that she hoped I got “drunk or high” someday. She doesn’t know about my mom. It really really hurt me but I know that in the long run, I’ve chosen the right path. I don’t regret any of my life choices and hopefully never will have to.

Colleen, New York