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January 24, 2017

On the Subject of Getting High.

Human beings have been altering their consciousness from the beginning of recorded history. Through ritual, ceremony, communing with nature, fasting, cleansing, plant medicine, drugs, alcohol, sex, adventure, song, dance and prayer to name but a few methods, we enjoy shifting our perception and seeing things differently.

We love to get high.

One of the greatest fears I’ve had to face showed up on my way to drug and alcohol treatment. I’m not going to be able to get high anymore.

Unless you’ve experienced addiction, come to rely daily on a substance to change your experience of the world, you might have a hard time fully understanding just how terrifying that idea is.

It’s not only the rigors of detoxing off drugs and alcohol that keeps a person out of recovery, but also the deeper and greater fear that their medicine, their method of coping with the world and changing their state, has been stripped away.

For people on the brink of getting clean and sober, there is a real existential crisis. I cannot go on the way I have been, but I do not know how else to be. In this way, it is truly like stepping into a dark abyss. One imagines the worst possible fate—in a world devoid of fun, friends and partying, I will be in a church basement being “one of those people.” And If you have equated drugs and alcohol with freedom, what then is left to a future without it? A world where you will no longer be getting high.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

As a person on the path of recovery from addiction going on 26 years, I get high every day and I suggest you do the same.

In my book, Recovery 2.0, I define “getting high” as follows: “to engage in an activity of some kind that brings about a shift in consciousness, which is to the benefit of a person both in the short term and the long term.”

That right there rules out drugs, alcohol, and practically any other addictive behavior, most of which offer something in the short term that we end up paying for dearly in the long term.

Most of us can use a major upgrade in the methods we use to get high. Today, my methods are yoga, meditation, sports, diet, connecting with others and being of service. These things help me to get up above it all and tap into the immense joy of life.

Please grasp this piece of exciting news: It is simply not true that one stops getting high when one puts down drugs and alcohol. The party continues, but it gets tricked out with a whole new methodology.

In fact, getting onto a path of recovery from addiction is one of the most exciting highs you can have. Just putting down drugs and alcohol will result in a high. Your body, once it detoxes, is going to say, “Thank you!”

If this resonates with you, take the following challenge: without using drugs or alcohol, spend 30 days experiencing a natural high at least once a day. Get creative. Keep a “Shifting Consciousness” journal and write about your experiences. Do it together with others.

There is one more important thing: if you are stuck in addiction and reading this, please know that there is no way to move forward in your life without humbling yourself and asking for help. Choose a person in your life you love and who loves you and tell them the truth. Put the substances down. Heal.

You will soon find that a braver, newer world is waiting for you with gifts that had remained unseen locked away behind doors which have now flung open.

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Author: Tommy Rosen

Image: Flickr/Jimelovski Platano Macho

Editor: Travis May

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