What is sobriety? Does the image of a once unkempt man now in a button-up shirt and slacks come to mind like it does to me? If you are to probe your own mind to see what your mind sees as the definition of the word sobriety, what do you find? Perhaps you see a heroin “junkie” shooting up under a bridge downtown but now she’s your civil and polite neighbor next door who is getting her life back on track. Of course these are all true scenarios, but I want to explore this thought further down the rabbit hole . What is it about sobriety that scares the living hell out of me?
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to have fear of sobriety due to memories of past drug use that I will never be able to forget and thus, never be free from knowing how good I felt while using them.
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to have urges for chemicals to alter my mind, to change my biology, and to induce euphoria because nothing else has proven to feel as good as certain drugs feel.
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself worry and stress about writing this article specifically about drugs, even though it has played a huge role in my life and also in the lives of many people, and should not be afraid of talking about for the betterment of myself.
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself not to live in a decriminalized country like the Netherlands so that I could actually work through my process faster to get to the point of no use.
Drugs are chemicals, legal and illegal. Weed, nicotine, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, SSRIs, benzos, opioids, psylocybin and DMT are all the same to me – drugs. Further, they really are just chemicals that interact and change the systems in our body, which could be said for dopamine and serotonin too. So in that regard, I will refer to the collective bunch as mind-altering substances (MASs). Good, now that that is out of the way, back to the point of the post: sobriety.
We as a totality of humans are far from sober that I have to wonder if anybody is really sober at all. The fluoride in our water is virtually unavoidable according to the Center for Disease Control and there is ample evidence that effects the brain. Lately I have been going to the doctor for medicine to control my tics and anxiety and just recently threw away a bunch of pill bottles, some empty, some still full. We have been trying new drug after new drug to find one that works for me, and nothing is working. I was receiving a pain relief medicine from a different doctor for my plantar fasciitis and it has been wonderful as I expected. But as my supply dwindles and my options fade, I again have to face the reality that I am all too familiar with: where am I getting my next fix?
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to be on prescription medicine for my ailments which I have convinced myself are too painful or too obnoxious or too difficult to live with without a MAS.
I realize that I am just simply at a point in my process that I have come face to face with my need for these things in my life which is opening up the question: why?
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to try so many MASs in an effort to alleviate my pain in my life and to find a pill that will solve my problems that will not really go away unless I take directive control over my life.
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to be afraid of being sober because I am so accustomed to the highs and lows, the ups and downs, that I am not sure how to live in a constant state of levelness.
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to feel like I need a MAS to keep me calm in a busy world because my breath does not seem like enough support, or rather my attention is unable to stay focused on my breath for longer than 5 minutes and thus I do not get the full effect as if I focused on it all the time.
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to require coffee most mornings, planning on it the day before even, sipping on it for a few hours, and having never missed a morning coffee at work in the past 2 years.
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself worry, stress, anxiety, and fear over wondering what I will do if my vape breaks and I have to go without it for a little while, probably to go get a new one the first change I get, but still, I would be panicking internally until I went to the store the first chance I could.
Currently I have been prescribed 2 new medicines that I have already decided I will not take again, after just two days. The side effects were too awful to bear. I’m talking massive, unrelenting headache, terrible stomach pain, dizziness, seeing light swirls, jaw clenching… just awful shit. On top of it all, it can cause a Serotonin Storm which I have already experienced once in my life and that is the only time I have gone unconscious and been rushed to the Emergency Room. Now I am back to where I started again, which is still in pain, still have tics, and wanting illegal drugs because all the legal drugs aren’t working. Except the Tramadol, it works, but my doctor doesn’t want to keep prescribing it.
Maybe it is a wake up call that I need to focus harder on breathing and grounding myself, maybe I should wake up tomorrow and go out in nature to watch the sunrise. Maybe I need to get good enough at web development that I can work for myself and make enough money for the life I dream of. Perhaps I just haven’t found a good MAS yet to get me through this point in my process to being sober. Is it possible to being completely sober, without external influences? I think so, if we take directive control over our entire life than external influences will be something we allow or deny. The difference is, that if we deny them and then we let them effect us still, that is not having control. That is not being sober.
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself for not having complete and total control over my life which is evident by my dependence on MASs in the past and in the present.
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to allow MASs to enter my life and enter my bloodstream by choice and disguising it as something I just had to do or as something that I didn’t want to do but came up with a reason to allow it anyway so that I could feel good about myself for doing it when I knew I shouldn’t.
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to think so much about MASs and their effects on me, the memories I have made with them, my desire for them and for new ones, and what their significance is. I find them fascinating in so many ways and I want to explore them even more, and I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to be so interested in them.
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to not be free of the grasp of addiction to MASs, of the feelings they provide, or the experience it gives.
I commit myself to just being more aware of my self directive principle in all moments, but especially in regards to MASs. I will be extra careful to understand where my starting point is when I begin a new MAS or with existing MASs. I will love myself and I will do what is best for me.