Are you Sober? Am I? What is Sober?
Is Sober merely abstaining from mind altering substances such as liquor and street drugs, or, is it also being in a rational mental state also abstaining from anger and rage and silly frivolity? Is Sober avoiding (if it can be avoided) the depths of melancholy and self pity? How many people are actually Sober in your state your country, the world? Not so many.
Most of my life, I believed I had been “Sober”. Actually, I was only “Sober” on paper since I did not drink nor do street drugs with a few backslidings with alcohol and teen experimentation with pot. I also smoked for a few years. There was also that time I did the diet pills….For the most part, I did not drink, smoke, or use recreational drugs for almost 50 years. Still, I drink lots of coffee, eat lots of sugar and bread, and take psych drugs, including benzodiazepines. I’m a junkie, really, if you get down to it. I have also indulged myself emotionally in anger and ranting and cursing and long periods of self pity and depression. My Sobriety comes in moments, maybe hours but never for even a day.
I think I have used this “sober clean living” thing as a facade. It’s a platform for sinful pride. I’m prideful that I do not indulge in cigarettes, alcohol, sleep with men, gamble, etc…makes me think I have an “in” with God. It’s all a lie. God looks at the heart. Maybe some of His favorites are junkies sitting in alleys. Mine is a hard fisted miserable sobriety done more for self preservation than to be “good”. White knuckles could describe it. If I had a buck for every time I’ve wanted a cigarette these past four years….
There are many actions and attitudes in today’s society that although they do not include beer, cigarettes or cocaine or even an innocent cup of coffee, are not “Sober” activities.
Giving way to anger and rage puts one in an altered state that is ungodly. People who used to do various drugs and drinks and tell happy stories of those days or linger on those memories or still act immature are considered “dry drunks” by organizations such as AA. People who indulge themselves in jealousy are taken over by a demon that can lead to murder. If your cup of tea is melancholy it can lead you to living a “dark” lifestyle where the negative and even gross aspects of life gain importance and God loses out. Some people use incredible amounts of legal supplements to get a sort of “high”, like the kind you get drinking Red Bull or Five Hour Energy. Those substances are good in a pinch when extra energy is needed and there is little time for rest. God knows I have had Red Bull and Five Hour Energy, I just avoid the occult looking Monster drink.
Some people get a high off of starving which some people say is the reason it is so hard to get anorexics to eat. Some hallucinate on long fasts and keep going on them to get enlightenment or not. Some people eat until they get sleepy enough to block out the world. Some people use pornography for a temporary high. There is a hypnotic state achieved by watching a movie or even TV. Between the constant ads, brainwashing and flicker rate TV and movies are a drug. I used to feel a lot “better” when I used to watch TV for hours every evening. Some people use compulsive and extravagant shopping trips to get a high. Some people play video games for hours on end. Even poor people like me buy stuff we don’t need but want just to “feel better”. NO one is totally “Sober”.
Most of us delude ourselves into thinking we are living “clean and sober”. With our laundry list of little habits and emotions we retain a sort of high, just enough to get through a day. If we were to be truly sober or all substances or media including starving, overeating, and shopping, it would be unendurable to most of us. Were they more “Sober” in the old days without all the psych drugs and TV and coffee on every corner? Maybe not. People consumed a lot more alcohol than we do now and there was not a “drinking age”. Alcohol was served at least once a day in an average household that was not overtly religious. People smoked more, too, especially men. Overall, they were “more Sober” than we are in this techno-controlled society. Shopping was limited, there were not restaurants on every corner, no easily available porn, or psych drugs. People were grateful to eat and did not worship “skinny”. For some, they did not even get needful medication for their ills, living in constant pain.\
Could people live “Sober” today? If one was willing to live without the TV, the Internet, Coffee, Sweets, any psych drugs, movies, drugs and alcohol and cigarettes, and even shopping except for necessities, you could be sort of “Sober”. What about books? Do some books make people high? Would people have to live without novels or sensational journalism? What about puzzles? Where does it end? Would we be hunched over a candle in a small room reading a Bible Commentary for hours or be like Lincoln reading Law by the fire?