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Defining Sobriety

Discussion in 'General' started by StrwBerry, Oct 17, 2011.

  1. StrwBerry

    StrwBerry Well-Known Member

    Hello All

    The idea for this thread began as a discussion in an NA meeting last week. I've been contemplating this ever since & so I'd really like to hear some of your personal definitions of sobriety.

    What defines sobriety for YOU? Is sobriety being clean of all drugs, or maybe only alcohol? Perhaps its staying away from just the substances which have caused trouble in your life. Do you think of sobriety as a relative state of mind, a way of life, a science?

    I spoke with someone who said he believes total sobriety can't be acheived without giving up any & all mind/mood/behavior altering substances, including cigarettes & caffeine. What about prescriptions such as anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, or stimulants for ADD/ADHD?

    At first that seems like a ridiculous notion; we all know what sobriety means, right? But it appears to mean different things to different people. I'm very interested in discussing this further & I figured what better place than here. Thanks.
  2. AumuA

    AumuA Well-Known Member

    This is certainly fertile ground for 'discussion'. As a member of NA, I hear things such as 'We're not sober, we're clean'. I don't really know where I stand on that, and I don't know where the line should officially be drawn as to what drugs are ok for addicts to take. I do know where I draw the line, for my self.

    More than anything, I think of sobriety as a state of mind, and a way of life. It's just being who I am in the world, unaltered by drugs. For me, that means drugs that I used to get f*cked up on. Any of them.
  3. StrwBerry

    StrwBerry Well-Known Member

    AumuA, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I love your line "Its just being who I am in the world, unaltered by drugs". That's a great perception of sobriety. Maybe that could be your next signature quote. :)
    Although I'm somewhat disappointed in myself for not having stronger convictions, I don't really know where to stand on some of these issues. I don't feel that sobriety is compromised by caffeine & nicotine & sugar; but I can't deny that they are addictive substances. So where does that leave me? Slightly confused lol.
  4. Parachute

    Parachute Well-Known Member

    Sobriety for me is being able to deal with whatever comes along in my life, internal and external, no flight from reality. Sobriety is having been restored to a sanity where I KNOW that using or drinking is not a solution for me. It does not solve my problems, actually makes them substantially worse. Prior to the changes that recovery brought, even though I knew that drugs wouldn't "fix me" not even for an hour, I did em anyway cuz I flat out needed a break from my reality. I was on break for 25 years!!

    I get to be myself unencumbered by drugs, by the instinct of flight from what is real. Staying present, being conscious and clear of and with self. The rewards for this presence continue to mount as time goes by. This is accompanied by fully grasping that the world and all that is in it does not revolve around me! Sobriety is the move from entitlement to gratitude. Sobriety is the ability to accept what is, not ***** and moan that it isn't the way I want it. Sobriety is not needing to change everything to suit me!

    Sobriety is that change that occurs that creates sanity out of addict insanity. The insanity, in part is thinking that drugs will solve my clattering, racing, clanging industrial kitchen mind. Sobriety is learning to process and deal with feelings and emotions in the present, as they come. I am ok to say how I feel, instead of hold it back and build negative feelings or resentment. It is amazing how much easier life is when I don't pile on myself by not dealing with what needs to be dealt with. Sobriety is the realization that I don't get to decide how others treat me. I do get to decide if I want their company or not.

    As far as coffee, nicotine, sugar......I don't know anyone who bottomed out and wrecked their lives over these items. Cigs will kill ya eventually, but, well, you know what I mean. People don't show up for recovery from too many coffees.
  5. Bonita

    Bonita Well-Known Member

    I have to admit that the definition of sobriety has been evolving for me. At first it was just important for me to get away from opiates. Was my doc and seem to take over my life from the first time I ingested it on my own. I struggle for way too many yrs and know I don't have another run in me. So that was my goal. The longer I am free of active addiction the more important my sanity has become.. or maybe the more sane I have become.
    I know fine that I like my body to feel clean...the only habit I have left that is a negative for me is ciggs and I am planning a detox soon... having the time for the experience is all I am waiting for.
    I don't mind today that I am addicted to coffee.. it has not presented any problems for me. I can go without and not even get a headache. I have gotten away from smoking pot at all. I use to join my Mom if we were in AC or she ask me to join her.. but now when I smoke I feel it for too long, tired the next day and notice how it "dampens" me spiritually. I am uncomfortable now when under the influence of pot so I just don't do it.
    I am not a purest.. I do think there is a place to mj. When or if my MS acts up I will smoke it.. just have been very lucky and have not had the need.
    For me.. I would never take antidepressants.. I think they are useless and don't really work. What I have read as far as research on them... other then what the pharm companies put out they just don't work. I have work so hard and been thru so much to get my receptors back to pre addiction stage that I don't want to mess it up with anti-depressants, would never ingest another benzo. I don't need anything to help me sleep these days for the most part.. if I do have problems and it goes too long a dose of melatonin does the trick.

    I feel very blessed for where I am at today...I never thought I would ever get the zest for life back as I had 30 yrs ago.. I did and it precious to me. Not that I never think about dope but it really doesn't have the control over me as it did two yrs ago. I am able now to look pass the craving and see more clearly what I am trying to excape from.

    Thanks for asking.
  6. StrwBerry

    StrwBerry Well-Known Member

    Parachute I really like your thoughts on sobriety being the movement from entitlement to gratitude. You are dead on. When we're using we so easily justify deserving whatever it is we might want. I hope you don't mind if I repeat that statement. It really sums up a lot of things.

    Bonita your thoughts really touched on something with me. Feeling clean & natural is something that I know I crave; & I think most ppl do on some level, whether they realize it or not.

    I didn't think it was even possible to return receptors to their original state. How long have you been clean & do you feel like you have reversed a decent amount of damage?
  7. Bonita

    Bonita Well-Known Member

    I have been clean over two yrs now. I cant say that I feel as well as I did pre addicted. I used opiates over 35yrs. So I feel a hell of a lost older. Yes, I do think that my receptors have been repaired. I know the treatment I chose to get clean reversed a decent amount of the damege.. I am sure of it.
  8. snapper

    snapper Well-Known Member

    I think anti depressants have their place. My wife is on 60mgs of prozac daily, max amt prescribed. She goes through phases when she doesn't think she needs it and of course there is behavorial changes almost immed. After a failed attedmpt to swap to wellbutrin, SHE discovere she was a happier person with it. Yes it makes for monotone emotions, but Howl O Scream still scared her good and proper tonight.
    I honestly don't know if we would last or if she be as productive and calm. Its a tough call. I've been on her bad side while she was on prednisone for crohns and that was during the a/d swap. It wasn't pretty.
    Come to think of it, there are very few women in my family that haven't been prescribed prozac...makes you consider the other side of the coin
  9. StrwBerry

    StrwBerry Well-Known Member

    Wow 35 yrs is a loong time! I've been in pain management for 4 years & before that I was buying opiates on the street pretty regularly for probably a year. 5 years is long enough for me! I'm really interested in hearing what treatment you chose & how do you know when the repairing begins?

  10. StrwBerry

    StrwBerry Well-Known Member

    Snapper I feel ya on the a/d's. If that's what works for your wife then she's smart to keep working it. I've had personal experience with prozac twice. Both times it was what I needed to restore my sanity. The second time around was prozac & wellbutrin together. I dropped the prozac within a few months once I felt more mentally & emotionally stable but have remained on the wellbutrin. I guess I rationalized that as wellbutrin is a lesser drug & therefore I'm more naturally me. Same reason I got off of hormones (birth control pills). Don't know if there really is any rationale to that lol.
  11. Bonita

    Bonita Well-Known Member

    My Mom has been on prozac for yrs and I would never consider taking her off.. just for me, not a option. Now that I have time away from dope I am glad I gave my self a chance for the healing to take place. Not saying they are wrong for others, just not for me.

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