What sober means to me

I chose the word sober over sobriety because I liked the sound of it. It’s an adjective and I am not using it correctly according to proper English, but for the case of my story, I think it can be justified.

One week ago I decided to stop smoking weed. I started a few years ago because it helped calm my nerves, relax me and took the place of brown liquor. It also helped me sleep which was the main reason why I resorted to the natural herb.

Surprisingly enough, the sleeping part has been a smooth adjustment. The nerves part — not at all. That’s where I run into a wall everytime. And more so than this, it is how I discovered what being sober means.

I feel everything now. I feel rejection. I feel pain. I feel funny when the joke is really good. I feel love when it hurts. I feel the warmth of a hug the way it should feel, seldom as they come. I feel like I could feel the inside of me, if that makes any sense at all.

I feel everything. And I’m not sure how I feel about that. But it’s okay…

I don’t know how to explain it. It’s a decision that was overdue. If I want to write my book, I need to be focused. If I was having a bad day, I’d smoke to relax and then I would forget my goals. Not a good thing for me if I want to accomplish something I’ve wanted to accomplish since I was a teen — when I wrote my first book that never went anywhere.

I want control of life and I didn’t really have it while I was under the influence. I am not knocking the substance that I do believe is more natural inducing than alcohol, but I knew my time was up. I knew something had to be done.

I had visited my mom shortly before I quit. She doesn’t know I smoked. We were in conversation and I was looking at her with so much admiration. It made me realize she’d be so disappointed in me if she knew I let something other than myself control the outcome of my life. Then I thought about my kids. I know you’re thinking if I have two teenagers they probably already figured out what mom does in the basement. Maybe they know, but if they do— they haven’t said anything to me. And I’m glad I quit before they did.

It’s not because it’s currently illegal in Illinois. I am not against it. It’s just not for me. It took me a long time to realize it, but I am happy I finally did.

Earlier in the week I had an argument with my daughter. Man, did that hurt. If you read my story, you’ll hear my pain in my words. But I would rather feel that hurt, what real love does to people when they fight, than numb it to avoid reality.

And that’s what it came down — I needed to face reality. I needed to get my shit together. I needed to finally say, “Hey, if you want control of your life then do something about it.”

I admit, I was apprehensive about writing on this topic. I am still new to the Medium community and I didn’t want to be judged. But when I saw it that way, it made me realize that I only hoped I could be trusted for being real.

So here I am, being real. And now I know what being sober means.

It’s a long road ahead of me, but I will not be afraid. Everything is real to me now. More real than it ever has been. In the end, being good to my soul is the best present I could give myself. And so far, as raw as it feels, I have never felt so right about anything like I do now.

I will survive (my first vanity license plate)