I Am One Year Sober & Now Living a Wholefoods Plant-based Lifestyle

This is meant as a journal entry, which means it’s more personal, less treated like an article traditionally, so no pictures or anything meant to entertain or make the word on the page more palatable to an audience. It’s a record of my experience and thoughts, period.

Both my sobriety and veganism have evolved over time. I haven’t consistently drank since before the pandemic. As a vegan I’ve been plant-based for a few more years than I’ve been sober, although some of that is foggy to me because I was homeless and in a bad way for a time.

Being sober refers to alcohol. I used level one narcotics, but booze is my demon. I had two relapses from alcohol in 2020, but that was over a year ago. Those two days were the only times I drank that year.

I had that feeling that addicts feel so often. The dreaded feeling of finality that so many drug addicts and alcoholics wrestle with once they stop. My relapses were devastating. I’m lucky I came through.

I recent stopped smoking marijuana. That’s so huge. You could say I was addicted, but it’s not a heavy narcotic by any means, just a mental addiction more akin to gambling or sex. I used it as medicine to treat my PTSD & bipolar disorder. I was smoking close to an ounce a week, and that might sound like a lot, but it just kept me even.

I’ve made a lot of progress and still have some challenges, but as someone who wants to move forward in sobriety, emotionally, and even as a vegan, I know that using that much and wasting that much money and time was very flawed.

As a survivor of multiple types of trauma, you become you’re own worst enemy. Even in really simply senses. Your perception becomes arrested and twisted. Over time, if trauma is not dealt with, it can become really bad, and it did.

I want to get help, but financially it’s not realistic, so instead I’m studying cognitive behavioral therapy. As a disclaimer, I have to say I’m not trained as a therapist in any discipline or way. Most professionals would recommend not to say this or do this, but, honestly, I take their advice with a grain of salt.

Like the United States Presidential elections every four years, if you have to be rich to access something I refuse to acknowledge it. Tell your story walking. I am not open to discuss this issue. This matter has been a personally humiliating and pride swallowing hell for me.

I’m just getting over the fact that I felt like I was abandoned repeatedly by that entire industry, as well as by the world, and no one cared if I lived or died. I don’t have the ability anymore to allow someone with that much privilege to dictate anything to me.

That said, I’m not giving up on therapy, I’m just changing my tactics. I have for some time known about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). My amateur understanding of CBT  is that your thoughts inform your feelings which, in turn, informs your behavior. It seems ridiculously linear, almost deductive in it’s reasoning, but I’m no Sherlock.

The practical application of this method is short term and cost effective, so I’ll try it myself, sans professional help. One form of this particular treatment that piqued my interest involves attempting to write out my triggers and/or negative thoughts, and replace them with positive thoughts. 

I’m not going to go into detail, because my method of learning involves deep research where I have to scrutinize every piece of data I come across until I can dig myself down to a solid foundation of understanding. A method of learning that is rooted in trying to prove everything wrong instead of right. Skepticism and empiricism is my religion.

The other part of my life change from a year ago is my ‘going’ wholefoods plant-based. I recent finished reading ‘The Plant-Based Athlete’ by Robert Cheeke & Matthew Personname. My review of the book is not complete, as an aforementioned skeptic and empiricist, I need to cross reference their scientific data and studies, which is the crux of what I think makes their book so valuable. 

They collated a massive amount of data through gained experienced and knowledge, and have put together an impressive guide for athletes that want to to safely transition from an omnivorous diet to a vegan lifestyle. I’m already pretty much entirely wholefoods, which basically means no animal products (obviously), but also no refined or processed foods, which takes my macro & micro nutritional journey to a WHOLE new level.

This is a severe reduction of the message the book sends, which is a dynamic and involved piece of writing. Starches and complex carbohydrates are considered, by the authors, experts, athletes, and studies therein, to be the bodies preferred form of energy, aiding in muscle growth and repair for all forms of athleticism.

I’m writing this out very frankly, very cut and dried. Not trying to be witty or funny, it’s just meant to be a journal entry, but not like a teenage girl with a hello kitty notebook, more of a log that expresses a starting point of major change. An important milestone from which I will continue and record.

I drank to die, and almost did repeatedly until my mind and body were stressed to the point of needing to stop. I also realized that veganism was reshaping my physique and helping me to cope with life in a different, healthy, profound, and positive way.

By cooking and embracing that vegan lifestyle, I was able to change my outlook and goals. As a member of both the recovery community and the vegan community I want to take my journey to next level.

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