I am about five and a half months sober and I'm just finally start to get real with myself about what exaaactly weed means to me / does to me and how it fits into my journey. I know FOR CERTAIN that I cannot fuck with alcohol (today. right now. for the foreseeable future.), but I don't know FOR CERTAIN that I have to totally abstain from weed.
So here are some factors to consider. 1) It's illegal where I live. So ya know. There's that. 2) Me after smoking weed and me after drinking are two different things. The worst thing I've done after smoking weed is... fall asleep. The worst thing I've done after drinking is... too fucking terrible to type on this blog. I firmly, deeply, truly believe that alcohol is my demon. So, why not leave it at that? I don't necessarily think it's that simple.
3) Oh, and... what about other stuff that alters your brain? Like... caffeine, sugar, sex. Is the goal to moderate all things? Or to engage in whatever feels healthy? Whatever doesn't feel like a form of escapism? To live each and every moment with full intention. To be rid of all vices. It's an overwhelming thought.
This article from 2013 Secret “Sober” Pot Smokers - from a site called The Fix - gives a little insight that I appreciate. It mainly talks about people who were totally abstinent and then slowly started to reintroduce weed into their lives. This particular anecdote talks about it in a way that's like... yeahhhhhh it's pretty bad. You don't want to alter your mind in any way. Here's the excerpt:
"After mulling [whether or not to smoke weed with a medicinal card] over for a couple months, Annie decided to try pot, too. Now she smokes every few weeks when non-AA friends have it (she avoids buying it because she fears getting addicted).
“Pot doesn’t affect me the way alcohol did,” Annie says. “It doesn’t make me act out—it mainly just makes me chill and tired.” She hasn’t told her sponsor or her program friends, and she sometimes feels guilty for harboring such a major secret. But her main concern? What other AAs would think if they knew. “I have no interest in doing anything other than smoke every now and then. But I know people would judge me for the weed thing and say my sobriety is null and void.”
In a way it is, claims Dr. Scott Bienenfeld, CEO and medical director of Rebound Brooklyn, a Williamsburg recovery center. “Changing your mental state with a chemical goes against what we talk about as sobriety,” he says. “There’s a difference between sobriety and abstinence.” Bienenfeld says he sees clients like Annie—sober alcoholics who eventually try to embrace “manageable marijuana” use—all the time. “It’s considered part of the harm reduction model,” he explains. But the doctor finds pot “the hardest addiction to treat, because when people stick needles in their arms, the cavalry comes running. When people drink, it’s loud and messy. But pot isn’t associated with precipitous dysfunction; instead it’s a very long, gradual burnout.”
So, this excerpt is pretty straightforward. Pot is addictive and changes your mental state. And ya know. That gives me a lot to think about. I don't want to "reset my sobriety clock" - I am proud as HELL of my five and a half months. This is the longest I've gone without alcohol in 9 years. I am still HUGELY proud of myself and where I am right now. The deeper I get into my 12 step program and the IG recovery community – the more I compare myself to others and look at my sobriety against others' sobriety. And I wonder... am I doing it wrong? Am I cheating? Does my abstinence from drinking count?
My buddy who is also alcohol-free told me: "If you say "sober" and it means no alcohol to you then that's what it means. Don't have to answer to anyone." Which I really appreciate. I will think more about this and talk with my therapist about it (who is a certified addiction counselor). And then I'll process more. I know for a fact that I wouldn't be able to think about a complex issue like this without LOADS of self-loathing without sobriety (from alcohol). And I'm grateful for the reprieve from alcohol.
Sorry to ramble but this has been on my mind a lot the last few days.