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Sobriety is defined as:  abstinence from or moderation in the use of alcohol or drugs; the quality of being serious and thoughtful; a lack of vitality or brightness.

I’m not sure I like the definition.  I know for me and probably you, too, there is no such thing as “moderation” when it comes to substance abuse, and that substance could be: alcohol, drugs, pornography, gambling, etc.  I certainly do not like to be considered as having a “lack” of vitality or brightness.  Perhaps while in the midst of my addiction this held true, but except for the loss of some brain cells, I am not brain damaged!  Now, the other definition: “quality of being serious and thoughtful”, that’s more like it but it doesn’t answer the achievement of what I have been able to do—to have clean-time or clean-living.  So, from this point on, you will only hear me refer to myself as having clean-time.  No more sobriety.  It seems the word itself is so associated with substance abuse it has been dirtied itself, just as I was, and I wish to separate myself completely from the past.

When I think of “clean-living or clean-time”, it visualizes a life where I am free from past contaminants, and life is being lived with all the beauty it does have to offer and only now I’m a participant and not a spectator.  It means I have something to offer instead of taking.  It means I’m worthy to be around instead of shunned.  I’m not abstaining from anything as much as I’m participating and making life wonderful and find no time to invest my money, life and efforts into something as disgusting as a life of addiction.

If I have given up smoking cigarettes, I don’t need a cigarette lighter.  Consequently, if I have given up addiction, I don’t need a tag which reminds me of such.

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