Alcohol used to be the biggest part of me. Today I am 1000 days, or 2.74 years sober. The cravings have mostly passed. Moving to a new city was hard at first, because I had a lot of fear that would have been neatly hidden away with a few shots of vodka. But time went on, and I relaxed into Cleveland, loving it more every day.
Kratom, cannabis and the occasional psychedelic still play a large role in my life. I never had a desire to be straightedge, and I would still drink if I thought I could stop at 1 or 2 (or even 3 or 4) drinks. But now when I think about drinking, it feels like drowning. If I can't enjoy my life sober, alcohol is never going to help.
My life is so calm now. I don't worry about money anymore. I get my work done without dragging my feet too much. I sleep as much as I want. It's pretty easy to maintain my weight. I remember everything. And when I go bowling or play poker with people who are drinking, I usually win!
I always include the caveat in these posts that I may drink again one day. Any time I say to Kelly, "I want a drink!" She says, "So have one then." I could have one. But it always helps to imagine the next 12 hours after that first drink. It's fun for two hours... then it's just sickness and regret.
I know alcohol doesn't have to equal sickness and regret, but that limiting belief helps me stay sober. It's easier to work with it than try to change it. I love alcohol too much. That total loss of control, the complete shutting down of my mind... it's delicious. But the consequences are just too high a price to pay.
So I am gradually learning how to shut down my mind on my own. And I guess I don't usually have much need to lose control. A lot of my sober time was spent mourning my wild fun self, but now my fun is just more subtle... I don't need parties and hard drugs to have fun. A little meditation and making my art is more fun than it ever used to be.
And that's the true reason why I stay sober, to make my art. I have things to say in my time here, and alcohol kept that stuff bottled up in me. I have books to write and videos to record and photos to take. I want to enjoy the creation as much as the creations.
I do wish my voice was bolder. But that's a wish I couldn't have had drunk. I wouldn't have had the awareness to know what my voice was. I want to express myself as fully as I can, and have as much fun doing it as possible. I want to transform my consciousness with my art. I want to quiet my mind with my art. I want to be wild and fun with my art. All the things alcohol did for me, I now substitute my art. This is my intention, my calling, and my savior. It's easier to keep my word now.