Someone very dear to me just hit 60 days sober. I’m so incredibly proud of them, and I think those thoughts are worth sharing.
My life has been impacted negatively by substance abuse many, many times. I’m fortunate that I never personally fell into the trap of addiction – fortunate because I certainly lived a life that could have led there in my 20’s. But I’ve had people that I care about, very close to me, whose lives were worsened, shortened, or even ended because of this abuse. I’ve seen children heavily impacted by a parent’s abuse. I’ve seen families destroyed by it.
I don’t think of myself as a puritan. I don’t tell people that they should never drink, or stand on a street corner proselytizing about the evils of some substance or another.
But I do advocate for freedom. Almost everything I write about, think about, or care about in some way centers around the philosophy of making yourself more independent, more in control – more free. I try to point out shackles people didn’t even know they had and give advice on how to shed those chains.
We aren’t robots. We have a million influences on us that we didn’t choose. We have innate biases and bad habits and unhealthy emotions and societal constraints and all sorts of other things we have to fight against every day. So the last thing we need is something else to weigh us down, shackles we don ourselves, things that weaken us against the others.
No matter what flaws we have, it is always worth examining them and seeking, if not to overcome them, then to craft a life where they do the least amount of harm. Exert the least amount of control over us.
So if you drink, I won’t judge. But let me give you advice – go sober for a while. Just prove that you can. Take the extra time to test your theory that you’re the one in control. If you are, you’ll gain a month’s clarity and a few extra dollars and then you can do what you want. Or maybe, just maybe, you’ll find that you don’t want to don those shackles again. This could be anything, really – drinking. Drugs. Facebook. Video games. Porn. Whatever. Just give it a rest for a while. And with a clear head, see if you’d actually choose to go back.
And for you, who did that and has not gone back – I love you and I’m proud of you.