Free of Addiction for 6 Months- My Longest Record Yet
This feels like and edge, but fuck it. I finally reached this milestone after learning some important things about Addiction. The insights are simple yet powerful. Never be fooled by simplicity; it is often the most simple principles which build the solid foundation. First, I will share the basic details of my addiction. My drug of choice was smoking cannabis, often mixed with tobacco. My usage looked like this: Smoking daily for one to three months, then quitting for one to three months. Then picking it up again for one to three months, and back and forth I would go. This occurred from ages 20-26. I would often have the idea of smoking in moderation; say once per month. But whenever I would end my clean streak by taking a hit, it would start the slippery slope back toward the addiction cycle. This leads me to the first major insight. With addiction, there is no moderation, only abstinence. Addictions have a gravitational pull, they suck you in. Trying to play with it, dance with it, control it, all in the name of moderation, only makes your job that much harder. Abstinence is much easier. You simply decide you won’t touch it again. You stay away from the gravitational pull. Then you are free to pursue the life you want without the hassle. It was six months ago I chose abstinence rather than moderation, and I haven’t looked back. Here’s my second major insight: problem substances. We all have a different personal vice, which exerts a greater gravitational pull than the others. Some people can smoke weed in moderation, it is no problem. Yet give that same person alcohol and they dance with the devil. On the other hand, I struggle with weed yet could always drink in moderation; though I prefer not to. Alcohol, among other drugs, never had a strong gravitational pull on me. It's important to identify your problem substances, for that is what you must abstain from. Everything else you can do in moderation if you like. There is a third step I would like to add: replacement habits. Addictions help you meet a certain need. Usually, it is to quell feelings of depression and anxiety. When you pull this crutch out from under you, it is necessary to fill the void with something else. For a lot of addicts, it is exercise. This is one of the most powerful anti-depressant and anti-anxiety treatments out there. It gives you a natural boost of dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins. It enhances your mood. Yet unlike drugs, it increases your vitality and brain power long-term. You are able to lean into life, rather than running away from it. Meditation is also a top-notch replacement habit, among others. The main thing is having healthy habits that fill your cup and leave you feeling whole. Does this mean we should never do drugs? My current view is this: Sobriety is optimal, occasional use is optional. Occasional use means it happens once in a blue moon, when the opportunity is ripe. You need to discern which occasions are worthy of you. To be offered a herbal elixir from a Shaman in the bush is very different from losing a game of beer pong at a hostel. Drug experiences vary in their potential for harm and for healing. The longer you stay sober, the greater your spidey senses will be for this. Always remember though, you must abstain from your problem substances, whether that be one, several, or all drugs. You are wealthy not based on what you have, but what you can live without. Freedom from attachment creates new opportunity. Cleanliness is Godliness. And when you clean your temple from top to bottom, in through the windowpane shine's God’s heavenly light.