A Year Of Sobriety

It’s com­ing close to a year now that I end­ed my affair with mar­i­jua­na. As refresh­ing, pro­duc­tive, and lucid as it is to be sober, I’d be lying if I said that I did­n’t miss it.

THC has the delight­ful abil­i­ty to make every­thing bet­ter: music, food, girls, writ­ing, rid­ing the bus, doing the laun­dry. There are also things that can only be appre­ci­at­ed after a joint. You don’t see, hear, feel things the same way.

It turned into a lifestyle, a word I like to use because it sounds so much bet­ter than “addic­tion”.

Between 2004–2006, I’d only be sober for about nine hours on week­days.

Weekends were straight wake-and-bake, espe­cial­ly if there was a par­ty, a camp­ing trip, or some good old dim sum.

I was a com­plete light-weight too; it did­n’t take much to have me float­ing for a night. As a result, one ounce of BC hydro would last me more than a year. An added bonus was that I nev­er need­ed a deal­er; there was always some con­ve­nient source through a friend of a friend. O Canada, land of the free, the Inuit, and the plen­ti­ful bud. I’m sure that Pierre Burton would agree.

Sessions were a habit­u­al provider of great mem­o­ries (from what my brain was actu­al­ly able to retain). I still think of Darren at the wheel of the Civic, look­ing over at me and whis­per­ing “Vanilla Sky” as he’d taunt our mor­tal­i­ty by let­ting the wheel drift the car into the oncom­ing lane. It was at once ter­ri­fy­ing and invig­o­rat­ing, some­thing you could only feel after a ses­sion in the park. Even a few of my favourite entries were either inspired by weed or writ­ten under the influ­ence.

Food was also a big thing. Every meal was like nec­tar and ambrosia. I nev­er real­ly stopped eat­ing over the course of the day, as I’d have food around me at all times. Pretty soon, I hit a sat­is­fy­ing all-time high (no pun intend­ed) with my weight. Now that I’ve stopped, I lost it all. They won’t even let me donate blood any­more because I don’t meet the min­i­mum weight require­ments. This is what I looked like, cir­ca ear­ly 2005, and this is what I looked like cir­ca ear­ly week­end. How I miss the full­ness of my face.

Sobriety is dif­fer­ent. Everything is clear­er, but toned down. Life gets evened out.

As much as I miss it, I won’t go back to smok­ing weed again. I had a hard enough time stop­ping in the first place, and the risk of get­ting addict­ed again isn’t worth it.

Maybe I was just get­ting old­er, but near the end, the side-effects start­ed tak­ing their toll on me.

Instead of the rac­ing ideas and inspi­ra­tion from when I start­ed, I turned into a zoned-out waste. I’d be com­plete­ly use­less when it came to talk­ing or think­ing. I stopped lik­ing myself when I was stoned. My stom­ach felt like it was slow­ly digest­ing a sack of peb­bles, and my throat became sore and dry. Even now, I still come across the odd stash of hon­ey lozenges in the back of a draw­er.

It was espe­cial­ly scary in the last few months when I could feel my tol­er­ance build­ing up. I was con­stant­ly chas­ing after that head-trip­ping peak from the ear­ly days, smok­ing more and more, but it’d nev­er last longer than a half hour. The weed would help me sleep, and when I stopped I turned into an insom­ni­ac. For a while, the will to do any­thing elud­ed me because noth­ing was enter­tain­ing.

Now I’ve quit my vices alto­geth­er. No alco­hol, no caf­feine, noth­ing. Sobriety is under­rat­ed.

I know I’ll nev­er go back to that time in my life, but I sure do miss it.


  1. I was just think­ing about this the oth­er day
    Those good times are missed..
    A LOT

    Some of the music that I real­ly enjoyed while lis­ten­ing high, now allow me to attain the same “high” feel­ing when I lis­ten to it sober .. and it brings back such great mem­o­ries … that’s one thing that I’m hap­py about


    i can still remem­ber so lucid­ly where and what we were doing when you first played that song on your lap­top in my car… pulling up to the red stop light on the left turn lane of mavis and eglinton…hahaha

    oh and milk­drop on winamp.…wow.. haha­ha damn..

  3. it’s been a year already?
    i remem­ber read­ing your blog entries while you were still smoking…sheesh
    I’ve been stop­ping in to vis­it for a year now?
    time flies
    i loved the bit you wrote about your mom find­ing your stash..HAHAHA
    that was clas­sic.
    We’ll be quit­ting soon too.
    we’ve tried but it’s tough when you’re exhaust­ed at the end of the day from chas­ing kids round…
    we just want to relax, and that has become our habit
    but I do recog­nise the desire to quit and main­tain FULL sobri­ety,
    thats the best place to be, to be ful­ly present
    which is where I want to be.

    con­grats on a full year!
    herb free

  4. @Darren — The strange thing is when I hear a song like Sia — Moon, which I’ve only lis­tened to sober, I know I’m not ful­ly appre­ci­at­ing it. It’s an amaz­ing track, but I can tell that I’m miss­ing some­thing that I would see if I was stoned. And you’re total­ly right about still get­ting that high feel­ing when hear­ing cer­tain tracks. Explode by The Cardigans brings me back every time.

    I remem­ber Sensorium too, hear­ing it for the first time on the bus that week­end to Toronto, think­ing to myself, “Darren has to hear this”. I even wrote an entry about Milkdrop.

    @amy — Thanks. :)

    It does­n’t feel like a year at all, but at the same time, so much has hap­pened and I stopped rather sud­den­ly, so it feels like it’s been for­ev­er.

    It’s amus­ing to find out that you’re a pot-smok­er too. It just adds to the list of all the nor­mal, intel­li­gent, inter­est­ing peo­ple I know who do it. I always believed that I’d stop when I had kids, just in case an emer­gency hap­pened with them and I need­ed to be com­plete­ly con­scious. It does become a habit though, as com­fort­ing as a pair of slip­pers. Something that takes you away like noth­ing else, and it’s hard to give that up. Good luck, and let me know when you final­ly do.

  5. Perhaps the strains of pot they have now are more direct­ly plea­sur­able than many years ago (when I left off doing it at 19). I recall all the expand­ed think­ing as a delight that last­ed about 8 months, but then dropped off sharply. After that it was just a fog and wak­ing up emp­ty, and even the writ­ing and play­ing of music I did then, when taped, proved to be not at all what was going on in my drug-enhanced mind.

    And how lucky you are to be thin!!! It made me so over­weight so fast. Don’t wor­ry, once age slows down your nat­ur­al metab­o­lism, the full­ness will be there again and you’ll look great and all your white friends will be strug­gling with too much weight.

  6. Not a bad alter­na­tive to the sober real­i­ty. I am hav­ing trou­ble find­ing things stim­u­lat­ing enough to do.

  7. @Xibee — I hear that weed is def­i­nite­ly a lot stronger nowa­days com­pared to way back when. Something about how it’s processed. A lot of peo­ple I know how their “weed phase”, when they were heavy users, and then stopped sud­den­ly. It almost seems uni­ver­sal.

    Being thin isn’t so great, espe­cial­ly when you’re a guy. My doc­tor told me I’m right on the bot­tom of the aver­age (because the aver­age is a range) for weight. If I lose any­thing, I’d be con­sid­ered under­weight.

    @Causalien — Very true. There’s a lot to be gained from the expe­ri­ence. It’s mod­er­a­tion that’s the key.

Leave a Reply