Is Sobriety a Psychedelic?
This may seem like a strange question, but let’s consider the facts.
What are the primary effects of psychedelics?
The primary effect of psychedelics is to trigger non-ordinary states of consciousness. Psychedelics are known to cause mystical experiences and to help treat medication-resistant depression. Psychedelics change your mood and sensory experiences.
Now, anyone who has experienced long-term sobriety knows that being sober long term DRAMATICALLY changes your mental state. While the beginning may be rough, overtime sobriety from alcohol especially improves your mood, heightens your senses, and increases your capacity to experience joy. Sobriety also reduces anxiety and depression. What a great sounding psychedelic!
Why am I talking about this? In my chat with Haris Adele this past Sunday, we discussed my practice of SoberOctober, popularized by fellow psychonaut Joe Rogan, which I’ve done for the past three years. Haris mentioned that sobriety is one of the most-under-explored forms of consciousness exploration. She said, “Sobriety is often overlooked in discussions on expanding consciousness. We take loads of plant medicine, hoping for these transforming experiences, but we rarely stop to just experience reality at its fullest, through sobriety.”
We usually think of expanding consciousness as adding things to our mental state, but if we’ve been regularly dampening our experiences with downers and numbing agents like alcohol, benzos, or opioids, then subtracting these consciousness reducers will expand our capacity for mental exploration and creative expression.
Periods of sobriety are wonderful mental resets and can spark tremendous creative renewal.
How can sobriety be like a psychedelic or an entheogen?
Sobriety can also induce mystical or religious experiences and profound realizations about the nature of the self. Achieving a year or two of sobriety from alcohol or drug addiction can fee equal to the amount of self-growth that occurs in a lifetime.
Imagine your normal state of consciousness for years has involved drug or alcohol use. If this is the case, then yes, you can consider sobriety to be a psychedelic. Why? Because by not taking anything and by experiencing reality at your full, natural bandwidth, you are altering your regular state of consciousness.
What is it like to be a sober adult?
So many of us have been drinking and doing drugs our entire adult lives. We started in high school and never stopped. What is it like to be a sober adult? Do you know? How long have you gone in your adult life without ingesting mind-altering or addictive substances?
If you haven’t tried a #sober experiment before, I highly recommend giving it a go this #SoberOctober. You may be amazed by what you discover about yourself.
If you want to join me for my Sober October Recovery Writing Challenge this month, or grab my free Sober October Recovery Writing Workbook.
Happy Consciousness exploring!
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