Today is six weeks of sobriety from all mind-altering substances—no marijuana (previously my recreational “buzz” of choice, alcohol (not that I ever drank much anyway), coffee, Adderall or Provigil for writing, psychedelics, or any kind of stimulant including green tea or dark chocolate–that last one has been the hardest, as for years dark chocolate was my main day-to-day “get up and go” stimulant.
I am doing this, not because I ever felt I used substances in a way I couldn’t control. I have always felt in control, and have never had a “problem.” I am doing this, because I desire mental clarity, and I felt pumping all these mind-altering substances into my brain, while fun, and while often leading to insight, creative inspiration, and motivation, was clouding and fogging my brain.
I also have been feeling a desire to know exactly what inspiration, energy, and motivation comes from within, and to be in touch with those cycles and rhythms, and learn to align with them and cultivate them naturally, rather than creating cycles (and cycles, and more spinning spinning cycles!) through substances.
This period has also coincided (non-coincidentally) with my first serious commitment to meditation. I’ve been meditating about 1hr per day, the most consistent run of meditation in my life, since I first learned over 20 years ago (previously, I have been the model of an inconsistent meditator.) I have even developed my own technique of meditation, which I call Immersive Awareness, which I find complements the particular experience of sobriety for mental clarity well.
After about 2 weeks of very unpleasant caffeine withdrawal (I slept almost nonstop for 2 weeks and couldn’t do anything productive during the days), I’m feeling way more grounded, clear, stable, and energized. And all cravings for caffeine and dark chocolate (the only ones on that list I ever felt craving for) are gone. I’m getting to bed earlier, sleeping more deeply, and waking feeling more refreshed.
From people who know me personally, I’m getting unanimous reports that I’m coming across as more grounded than I’ve ever been. (Coming across as “grounded” has not, in the past, been one of my strong points
The quality of my thinking is much sharper, I feel my writing flowing more easily (without the caffeine, which I felt I needed to write). My creativity feels more subtle, without the “jacked” or “manic” edge.
And, the benefit I’m most excited about- my meditation practice is going deeper than I’ve ever experienced. I am finally having meditation experiences that are as profound and life-changing for me as the many psychedelic journeys that have changed my life–without all the downsides of substances. A channel has opened up within me that I’m tapping into big time. I feel very grateful for this.
I thought other people out there might like to explore these benefits, so I’ve created this Facebook group called
I don’t know what this group will become yet, but let’s evolve it together! I intended it to be a gentle, non-judgmental place where you can get inspired and get support to explore sobriety, not because you have a “problem” with substances, but because you desire more mental clarity.
In general, in this group, I want to avoid the whole 12-step/substance abuse frame, not because there’s anything wrong with that frame for people who need it, but because I think it is overrepresented in the sobriety literature and community, and not everyone exploring sobriety relates to it.
This is a place for you even if you don’t have a “problem” with drugs or alcohol, but just want the mental clarity benefits of abstaining, or want to try it for a week or two and see for yourself. We won’t judge you, no matter what your circumstances or motivations are.
Welcome, and enjoy!