When I originally hired my fiance Andrea 6 months ago to help me cleanse my body of toxins and transition onto a mainly plant based diet, I knew I was in for the ride of my life. While I had experimented off and on with a vegan and many other diets for over 16 years, none of them were actually very healthy. Just because potato chips don’t have meat or dairy in them doesn’t mean they’re actually good for you.
Beyond just the dietary changes it was crucial for me to once again attempt living my life clean and sober of all drugs and alcohol. For 20 years I’d been a fairly constant user of some sort of mind altering substance. Usually those substances consisted of herb and alcohol.
Despite being entrenched into a life of substance abuse, and being genetically at a disadvantage for addiction, I somehow have always been blessed to know where to draw the line. Yes I’ve partied like a rock star, done way more than my fair share of recreational drugs and have at times been a bit reckless. However, I always knew when to stop. I wish others had the same ability.
Every few years I’d force myself to do a 30 day sober stint just to prove that I could easily do it. When I put my mind to it, it was never a problem, but I’d always revert back to what I knew after the month.
Well, it’s 6 months into this new journey and I thought I’d blog about how I’m doing. I’m a bit hesitant to share some of the following, but I’d rather be upfront and honest rather than internalizing everything and misleading many of you.
The reason I’m a bit apprehensive of writing this blog is because during the last six months I’ve received so many emails from subscribers and fans telling me heart wrenching stories about their struggles. At the same time, I’ve received an equal amount of letters from people sharing wildly successful tales about how their lives have turned around and if it had not of been for them witnessing my transformations, they may of stayed on their same destructive path and may even be six feet underground right now.
I have to admit, I don’t really like the pressure of having people look up to me on this issue, and I’m not exactly comfortable being any type of role model when it comes to sobriety, health or well being. However, since I did blog about my journeys I sort of put myself in this position so I’ll grab onto the reigns and continue to steer this ship.
I made it about 4 full months of complete sobriety. I’m not exactly sure how many days it was, and to be honest I don’t care. The idea of reiterating every day…. “it’s been 67 days since my last drink” is not motivating to me in any way. In fact, I hate even brining it up. I know people in 12 step programs deal with things on a day by day basis and their last date of use has a big importance for them, but for me, I’d rather just forget and go surfing or do something worthwhile.
I also can’t stand the idea of sitting in a recovery group with a bunch of people talking about being sober. I’d rather just join a softball team and play ball. I know it works for some, and god bless them for it, but any type of rehab is not for me.
Because I honestly know I don’t have a problem. Personally, I have a bigger problem with imposing rules and limitations on my life and making myself feel like I’ve done something wrong if I want to have a simple beer after a long days work.
Yesterday I had 2 great surf sessions, then burned the shit out of the bottom of my feet, toasted the clutch in my car and was a bit irritated. I mumbled a few obscenities and parked the car, walked into a old cowboy saloon and tossed back a Sierra Nevada while watching the movie True Grit. After that one beer, I left. I didn’t feel like drinking more. I also didn’t feel bad for having the beer. I did want to stay and watch the rest of the movie though.
Was it the most healthy thing I could of done? No. But neither was the oatmeal cookie I ate the other day while sailing with all my buddies on the bay. But guess what? I didn’t have a drop of booze that day and there was an entire open bar for the 6 hour trip. Clearly I don’t have a issue with drinking.
The biggest problem I was running into during the sobriety stretch was the guilty feelings I was having about wanting to consume at times. It had nothing to do with me and everything to do with letting other people down. One thing I’ve learned over the years is… You have to live your life for you. If you’re not happy, you’re going to be of little good to those around you.
Another thing I learned is that I really dig being healthy. I love waking up and not feeling hung over. Being alert, aware and ready to tackle to world is a tremendous feeling. And I’m so grateful for adapting my lifestyle to mostly raw fruits and veggies.
I say mostly because at times I may want to eat a bit of wild salmon or some raw goat cheese. And if I feel like it, you better believe I’m going to do it. Heck, if I want to eat an In & Out Burger, I’m going to do it. Thankfully that urge is pretty much gone.
What I’ve found is this…
When I give myself the freedom to do something, I actually don’t feel so tempted to do it. It’s usually when I label something as “Taboo” or “Forbidden” that I start to have non-stop thoughts about it. And those thoughts combined with the guilt drive me fucking insane.
Therefore, I’d rather just live my life like Cartman from South Park and just “Do What I Want”. I’ve found that when I don’t restrict myself, I end up wanting much better options for myself. And when I derail myself a bit, I pay attention to the aftermath and focus on whether or not that really served me and make corrections along the way.
I can honestly say when my back is hurting me like crazy, taking a couple of puffs off the vaporizer does wonders. When I’m wicked stressed out, herb is a great tool.
The reason I didn’t want to post this is because I know many people can’t live their lives this way, and they’ll go overboard with trying to justify their usage. I’m not trying to justify anything. I’m simply doing what I want. What I want overall is combination of better health, more love, and less stress.
I can still see myself going weeks, months, and possibly even years without a single drink or puff. Who knows, maybe an entire lifetime. But the bigger picture for me is not even caring about it, and just doing whatever feels right today. And today what feels right is a big green vegetable juice and some sunshine. Time to get off this computer and get outside.