A Medicine All Its Own

Today's as good a day as any to say that I haven't had a drag of weed or a sip of alcohol in about a year.  Although today (420) is a day of celebrating that plant medicine that truly does have some magical powers, I have come to realize something so profoundly simple: sobriety is a medicine all its own.

When I began smoking weed, it was as if the magic of life itself was unveiled to me. It was right around the time I moved up to Berkeley, CA for school (go figure) and I felt a stream of consciousness, blocked by something, finally open. Water rushed through the channel. Everything - architecture, music, even ideas themselves -  came alive in my mind and the creative Renaissance I'd been waiting for finally began to flourish. But over time, a smokescreen, like the grey coastal fog overhead, began to bring with it paranoia and a feeling of dreariness that I could not shake.  It took some time time to recognize that ultimately, this was something I needed to do without in order to restore clarity in the landscape of my mind. 

 A view of the Great Salt Lake from Antelope Island, Utah

A view of the Great Salt Lake from Antelope Island, Utah

This past year, I've noticed I've been a little sharper, more articulate, more patient in stillness, more capable when I'm called to action. Less shy, less inhibited, less hesitant, even though we're told drinking helps you overcome those things. As far as I'm aware, my music has grown only more psychedelic - more visual, immersive, and journey-like. Perhaps it's clarity that makes me a better musical navigator than I was when I was stoned at the helm of the ship, looking for my compass.  

Yes, it is one of the many medicines available. But sobriety is a medicine all its own and a powerful one at that. 

Alex Simon