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