Today marks four years of continuous sobriety for me. I feel pretty weird sharing this, but I wrote this lil’ piece on the flight home from New Zealand. Keep reading if you wanna see your boy get mad vulnerable.
“It’s so boring without drugs.” – Amy Winehouse
I’m 35,000 feet above the Pacific flying back from New Zealand, and this quote is all I can think about. I’m trying to fall asleep, but my mind won’t shut off. Also, homeboy next to me on the flight won’t stop moving around and going to the bathroom, so that might have something to do with it (I hope he’s reading this as I type it out. You should probably get your prostate checked out if you have to urinate this often.)
This quote from Amy Winehouse is all I can think about because I just finished watching that film about her career, life, and unfortunate drug abuse. Allow me to put the quote in context for you.
Amy is at a Grammys viewing party back in her hometown in England, surrounded by fans, friends, and family. She’s been sober for maybe a few months at this point. After hearing that she won the Grammy for Record of the Year (her fifth Grammy of the night), the whole room erupts in applause and cheers for good reason. This is arguably one of the highest accolades a musician can be awarded. Amy’s friend, Jules, tells her how proud and happy everyone is for her. Amy shrugs and says, “Jules, it’s so boring without drugs.”
Normal people might’ve cried at this point in the movie because this was so shocking and sad for them to hear. I, on the other hand, almost cried because it was all too relatable for me.
You might or might not know this about me, but I’m in recovery. Just like Amy was. Just like many others that walk the streets with you. Some of my closest friends and mentors are in recovery, too. Some are public about their struggles with alcohol and drugs, others are more private.
I’m not extremely open about my past. I confide in people that I trust, but I usually don’t bring it up out of the blue. It embarrasses me, to some extent. So here goes nothing.
I could go into explicit detail of my partying days, but I don’t necessarily want that kind of stuff floating around on the internet with my name on it. So I’ll try to keep this short and to the point:
I used to not like myself. Not even a little.
I started drinking and smoking weed, (on that good kush and alcohol, shouts to Future and Weezy. Still didn’t have any down bitches that I could call, though).
Lo and behold, the drugs made me feel comfortable in my own skin.
But I started doing mean things. Really bad things.
The drugs stopped working. I found myself in a dark place, more fearful and resentful than ever.
My substance use got out of hand (0-100 real quick. Real fuckin quick.)
Friends and family members noticed it becoming a problem. My dad convinced me to start attending 12 step meetings.
Thanks to friends, family, and people I met at those meetings, I’m sober today.
I’m 23 and I’ve never had a legal drink. That’s dope as fuck.
Amy’s life reminded me of the power that one person’s story and struggle can have on other people’s lives. I remember how she felt, feeling bored and unhappy without drugs. But I can say from personal experience, as well testimonies from homies in recovery, that life gets way better the longer I’ve been clean.
I have real friends. My family doesn’t hate me. I can look at myself in the mirror and be happy with the man standing in front of me. I graduated from college, something that definitely wouldn’t have happened had I continued along the path I was on.
There are shitty days, sure. But the worst days now are far better than the best of days when I was getting fucked up. Life is worth living (if you don’t know that song by Bieber, do your ears and soul a favor by giving it a listen right quick.)
This isn’t me telling you that you shouldn’t be drinking or doing drugs. If you can enjoy substances in moderation, more power to you. Matter of fact, smoke a blunt for me. I just know that moderation isn’t something I completely understand, so today I’m choosing to be sober.
Hopefully something in here was of interest to someone reading. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna try to catch some Zs and cuddle up with the stranger next to me. I hope he likes being little spoon.