introducing Day Four, The Return of Vision | Adventures in Sobriety

I have published the entry for Day Four in the series Adventures in Sobriety.

Day Four saw me make an oxymoron of myself by applauding “vision” in a post where i “accidentally” conduct a tirade against time. It is one of those long and sprawling posts, written under the weight of what felt like a hangover but was presumably actually withdrawals, which I guess are what hangovers are anyway.

Two months into this adventure I see that some of the inexplicable emotional pain I feel at times is probably the withdrawals from half a life spent on one ‘soft’ drug or another. I’m crying a lot lately – allowing myself to cry. They are old tears, unattached to any event in the present. And the feel good. Highly recommended.

Meanwhile, Day Four.

introducing Adventures in Sobriety

my face - happy, no?

my face – happy, no?

This is my face. In Turkey. It was around this time that i stepped onto the slippery slop that eventually became the spiral that fell into the despair of a three-month long rum and pot binge. I am only now beginning to face up to the fact i have some rather serious addiction issues. See me! Quite the happy chappy, apparently. Well, looks can be deceiving. Please be aware that your friends might not be as happy as they appear, and be gentle. I started this series of posts called Adventures in Sobriety, but then i got high. But then i got clean again.

It is from this place of sobriety + self-love that i begin to share my journey into sobriety and well-being with you, my beloved friends. I have a lot more of this in my journal, which I will type and publish when I feel able to do so. Thank you for all your love and patience over the years. I’m getting better through self-healing, and I love you all.

*weeps with relief*

Day Four, The Return of Vision

Tuesday 27 January
Renmark, South Australian

Day Four of my Adventures in Sobriety series, in which I make an oxymoron of myself by applauding “vision” in a post where i “accidentally” conduct a tirade against time.

the-persistence-of-memory-1931

Salvador Dali’s “The Persistence of Memory”, which I had hung in my room as a teenager and only just now realised is entirely appropriate for this post. At the time I just thought it was cool because I was a stoner, but maybe it came into my life at that time for a reason.

I can’t sleep. I haven’t tried, but i know. I’m in that state where my body is exhausted but my mind is inexplicably energised.

For the last two days i’ve been wracked by hangover symptoms (headache, nausea, mysterious aches and pains) and i joked with someone about how it doesn’t seem fair that i should suffer thus for not taking drugs.

But obviously i’m detoxing. And these are the consequences of a heavy month-long binge, and actually i’m more interested in seeing this suffering through than i am in seeing (as an experiment, of course) whether a small joint would alleviate the symptoms—thereby confirming that these are withdrawals. Now there’s an addict’s reasoning par excellence.

But it’s not the symptoms alone that are keeping me awake: it’s also the sudden influx of motivation, mental activity, hope, pride, self-respect and vision.  Continue reading

Day Two, THC Amputee

Sunday 25 January
Renmark, South Australia

Day Two of my Adventures in Sobriety series,
in which i look around to find a bong where there shouldn’t be one.

Today is better, and i have this feeling it may only get easier from here—

that’s probably an addict’s delusion, and more likely so because although an addict might one day [find staying] clean a piece of cake (that’s how my draft reads, so i’m going to roll with it), and another day find sobriety [read: reality] a seemingly insurmountable trial.

But surely the first day is hardest—or the third … eek! That’s tomorrow.  Continue reading

Day One, Adventures in Sobriety

Saturday 24 January
Renmark, South Australian

Day One of my Adventures in Sobriety,
in which i renege on the first day of my resolution to not smoke marijuana

I am reluctant to say this, but i’m calling today Day One, the first day of dragging myself away from the pot-hazed fugue my life has been for the last month or more.

I was tempted to use Ground Zero, because i do feel i have a clean slate, though nothing explosive or catastrophic has happened.

We read all the time about people who cleaned up their act after some disastrous event, usually by doing something drastic and out of their league—right now i’m reading Wild, the story of a 26-year-old woman who walked the Pacific Crest Trail after her mother suddenly died and her family imploded.

I don’t really have that, the whole drastic-premise thing: my experience has been more of a slow-burn of ever-increasing disillusionment with what is typically offered us as a way to live, and a growing sense that i need to do something to drag myself back to life, to find the alternative way of living that is most conducive to my wellbeing, and therefore least conducive to relapse.

It’s a long road, but i’ve never been one to take short cuts. Continue reading

Starting to Breathe, Part II

a rambling five-part exploration of how spiritual healing must complement lifestyle changes that will facilitate spiritual healing – Part I is here

After Southeast Asia

In 2011 i went to Southeast Asia for the same reason millions of other seekers have left the West, disillusioned from a culture that promises meaning in the meaningless: possessions, wealth, material well-being … all of it ephemeral in that mundane way – fleeting, impermanent. I am seeking the everlasting, our spirit.

I went on the uncertain hope that i would be awarded an arts grant that would support me to continue my career while i investigated Buddhism on the side. The grant came through, and i spent eighteen months in Thailand and Cambodia, three months teaching creative writing in Phnom Penh, the rest of the time writing a novel manuscript when i wasn’t struggling against the pull of my old self to escape into the above-mentioned external sources of so-called succour.

I feel like i’ve told this story a thousand and one times, to others and to myself. I don’t want to be my story anymore.

I came back from Thailand an alcoholic, stoned out of my brain. I had done all that i could to make the grant project a success in unfavourable conditions and, by the time i was leaving i finally made my way to a five-day stay in a Chiang Mai monastery.

There, i touched a sense of peace and calm that i hadn’t known existed within me, and that was a start.

Continue reading