Jan 7: No Peer Pressure

Tell us about a time when you didn’t bend to peer pressure, and you swam against the stream.

Ahhh, another one for high school.

I remember being at a friends place for a video night or something and I remember this one night we were all sitting around talking and my friends were drinking and I wasn’t which was fine, but then as the night got later, one person decided to bring out a small bag of pot, rolled themselves a joint and started to smoke it.

Now, back then we were generally pretty cool and open mined about stuff, but I think for a few of us, this was the first time any of us had been somewhere where drugs were present. I was one of those people that was so anti-drugs, I didn’t want to be around it, nor did I want to be around anybody who was doing drugs. It was a line that I simply wasn’t prepared to cross.

The parents of the person having the party were away for a couple of nights, and trusted their child and their child’s friends to be responsible enough to look after ourselves when we were 14 / 15 years old, and generally, we were. The person who brought the drugs was not part of our circle.

I remember when they started rolling the joint, the conversations all went quiet and there was a few quiet gasps and private whispers behind hands. Was this happening? Was this person really rolling themselves a joint?? I was a bit shocked because I had never been around drugs, and I instantly felt uncomfortable and had a sudden urge to go inside and hang out instead.

I was quite happily laying on a beanbag under no blanket in the loungeroom and watching a movie with a couple of others when everybody was called outside to try a bit of pot. There was a slight reservation about trying something like this, but when they were told that everybody else was going to be doing, or already were doing it, they were suddenly fine with it and any hesitations they had suddenly went right out the window.

I, on the other hand, remained solid in my views. Just because everybody else was doing it, didn’t mean I was suddenly compromise what I felt just to please the others. They hounded me and hounded me, even going as far as coming inside, kneeling around me in a circle and simultaneously all blowing smoke in my face, thinking that it was funny. That was the end of the night for me.

I grabbed my bag, and put on my runners and my coat, and even though was still in my pj’s, said goodbye and walked out the door. As soon as I announced that I was leaving, the room went quiet, and one of my friends tried to reason with me, and apologies and talk me out of going, but I’d had enough. I felt bullied and pressured to do something I really didn’t want to, and I wasn’t going to stand for it. I remember as soon as I closed the door, I stood on the front porch and then heard this eruption of laughter.

That really hurt.

I tried not to cry as I walked out the gate, around the corner and down the road to start my journey home, when I heard one of my friends calling out to me behind me. Then, one by one, a few more people came running after me. They tried apologising, but by this stage I’d just had enough. I couldn’t go back to the party now, I’d just had a big diva fit and stormed out… I can’t go back on that. They apologised and I apologised and I continued home and crawled into bed and then slept for most of the next day.

I think I woke up about 1-2pm or something ridiculous like that, and I had at least twenty missed calls on my phone and even more text messages from everybody, but as I propped myself up in bed to read them, there was this overwhelming stench that began to fill my nostrils… It was the smell of the smoke from the pot. It’s all I could smell. It was on my skin, on my clothes, and now my bedding reeked of it. Ugh. So gross.