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Self-Love, Sobriety and Straight Edge

Self-Love: Rediscovering My Values

During my second year of graduate school for Sociology & Social Justice, I took Quantitative Analysis with a professor, who insisted we call him “Rich.” Rich was not only a great professor but awesome in his demeanor. He was covered in tattoos and we joked that he looked like a bouncer at a club. In one of our classes, Rich told us how he was part of the Straight Edge Community. He explained, “I do not drink alcohol, consume drugs, smoke cigarettes or engage in promiscuous sex.” My classmates and I, who were mainly in our twenties, thought about how such a boring life that must be and how none of us would ever be able to live like that!

Lost and Rediscovered: A Journey to Sobriety

I thanked Rich recently for being the one to plant the seed in my mind and remind me of the path I was destined towards. Not only was I meant for this life but I was derailed. When I was in high school, I used to always talk about how I would never engage in any of the activities listed above, mainly because of what addiction did to my family. I did not want to be part of a society that led to so much pain and distress, but I did.

Rich told us how he was part of the Straight Edge Community. He explained “ I do not drink alcohol, consume drugs, smoke cigarettes or engage in promiscuous sex.”

I went through hard times myself and looked for anything outside of myself to fill the void. I do not think drugs and alcohol are the only forms of dependence or ways to escape reality. Yung Pueblo once said, “I was never addicted to one thing, I was addicted to filling a void within myself with other things other than my own love.” You could use food, people, social media, technology, gambling, shopping, plastic surgery, tanning, risky behavior and the list goes on. After a bad breakup and years of complacency, I found myself falling into the trap myself and feeling so disconnected from myself and reality. Drinking so much, feeling invincible, to wake up the next morning feeling empty and alone but repeating that pattern with other behaviors. It is just like eating an entire pint of ice cream, some cake, half a pizza etc. and feeling sick to your stomach but not feeling the effects until the last bite. Then, wondering why you did something so stupid but then repeat two days later. Albert Einstein is known for his definition of insanity, which is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”

A Path to Wholeness: Embracing Sobriety and Self-Love

My first step for embracing reality and giving up self-sabotage was through sobriety. I took my last drink on April 21st, 2016, took the straight edge pledge and have not looked back since. I was tired of ending up in the same situations with the same yet different toxic friendships and relationships. I was tired of having regrets and the vicious shame cycle. I felt like I was reliving re-enactments and they always ended the same. I am a firm believer that nothing changes if nothing changes, and something needed to change for my own well-being.

“I was never addicted to one thing, I was addicted to filling a void within myself with other things other than my own love.”

Yung Pueblo

When I reclaimed my power, I no longer needed to fill voids. I became whole as I filled the void with love and compassion; I learned about who I was and other interests I had. I did not look towards people, food, or other means to attain happiness. I met other straight edge sisters and people who embraced their sobriety. I am grateful for those around me who do not judge or question my decision just as I do not judge them. Addiction and alcoholism are both crippling diseases and when I see someone struggling I remember the quote by Yung Pueblo. I have compassion for them and what struggles they have gone through and hope they find self-love and happiness.

I celebrated three years in April of this year. Rosa Luxembourg said “Those who do not move, do not notice their chains.” I am forever grateful for having the awareness to recognize the cycle and the courage to break it.

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  1. Strawberry Fields gives us all a great gift in this testimony of her recovery. We should listen and learn.

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