When we are finally sober; where exactly do we start. I suppose I’ve never really touched on this topic in my blog. If you were in the grips off addiction like I was, you more than likely feel like you lost a lot of yourself and a lot of years: your character, personal ideation, personality, life; all warped by years of abuse. It can almost feel like you lose yourself completely, and coming out the other side is like stepping into a blinding light; something that hasn’t been experienced in a long time.
You look behind you and all you see is the wreckage in your rear view from your addictions and standing on our tip toes the life before our addictions began. Depending on how long you’ve been an addict, the harder it is to see that previous self.
For me, I’m only 26 and am going to turn 27 in about a month, I was an addict for eight years; so basically from the time I was birthed into this world as an “adult”.
Although I was an actual addict for eight years, from the age of 13 I was smoking pot, by the age of 14 it was daily and I was also experimenting with other drugs; LSD, MDMA, Alcohol and your general pharmaceuticals like benzo’s and basic opiates. But mostly I was content with just being a lazy stoner.
Looking back now, with the knowledge that I have, my brain was so underdeveloped to be doing the things that I was. They say that a mans brain isn’t fully developed until round about the age of 25, and when they are referring to this they are talking about our frontal lobes. The center of the brain involved with learning, deeper understanding, and personality development. The plasticity of my brain during the ages of 13 and 17 was tremendous, and my mind was extremely underdeveloped; especially to be abusing it with foreign chemicals. I can’t help but wonder what my life would be like if I hadn’t chose this path.
But, I’ve come to the realization that this is my life. Thinking about the past for the purpose of wishing you had done things differently is simply moot; We will never know how things could have been different and there isn’t a point in putting any thought towards the subject, it will only lead to greater mental distress. We are here now, and our present is the only thing that is important.
So back to the topic of this post, I don’t have a whole lot to look back on; When I look back all I see is the makings of my addiction, the loss of a good friend at the age of 15, and poor choices that led me down the path I eventually took.
For some of you this may be very different and to some it may be relatable. Some of you may have had addictions begin later on in life, so maybe you have a little more to look back on; such as when you were a functioning adult prior to you vice. I envy that, but have little advice to give on the subject other than to try to reclaim what you lost; unless your former self wasn’t what you wanted to be and in that case you now have the opportunity to choose who you want to be.
No person on this earth is bound to any set of ideals, characteristics, vices, or virtues. We have the ability to choose who we want to be, only ignorance can stand in the way of ones personal development
So I suppose what I’m getting at is that after becoming sober, the world can seem like a completely different place; Our thoughts change, our perceptions, our entire life. I’m still not technically sober as I’m on a benzodiazepine taper currently (getting very close to being benzo free!!) but I feel sober, and my life has been tremendously different.
I can’t really offer advice for how to proceed with your sober life other than to try to reclaim some of what was lost. If you were an addict you likely experienced the filth in this world and I hope you came out the other side with a different perspective on the world. The many ways a person’s life can be changed by addiction is tremendous, and hopefully it gives you a deeper understanding of people and the world around you. Use these feelings, thoughts, and realizations to manifest a better life for yourself and love for the world around you.
Be kind to yourself and the world around you. Become the person that you want to be. The power to be what you want to be rests lightly between your own two ears; Use it.
As always, my love and best wishes to you all,
A Half Broken Mind