Well, this is the start of my 6th abstinence experiment, and as Mongoose said, this time it will feature caffeine and that's it. I will be trying her suggestion of 80% dark chocolate, but not all the time. I might try it on one of my "off-caffeine" days. For the most part, I save my caffeine days for Friday, but on occasion I do need a small pick-me-up during the week. When that happens, I usually have half a cup of coffee for the day and that's it. Maybe on one of these days, I'll try Mongoose's suggestion.
So starting today, Jan 1 2017 (Happy New Year everyone!!!
), 'til Feb 28 2017, I will only be consuming caffeine as my choice of drug.
And now an aside: I think these experiments I've been conducting on myself since December of 2013 have been working. At the beginning, I started with the attitude that this was just going to be an experiment, nothing more, and that based on the results I'd decide whether or not I wanted
to get off the drugs. Now it's become more than that. I actual do
want to get off the drugs--even before the experiments are over--and I'm sure of that. I'm even looking forward to it.
The experiments must continue if they are to be successful at all. But so far, they seem to be working. They're having the desired effect.
That means I have to go through two more rounds after this--they will include 2 months of alcohol only, and 2 months of cannibinoids only--and in keeping with prior ideas, I'd like to keep them 3 months apart if I can. That means the next round after this will be June/July of 2017 and round 3 will be Nov/Dec 2017. However, like last year when I didn't want any of my stints to overlap the office Christmas party so I pushed it 'til now, this time I think I'm going to do the same for 2017. So the final stint will probably be Jan/Feb of 2018. I'll give myself 3 months of usual intoxication after that, and then I'm going to go a full year, if not more, completely alcohol and drug free. I feel I need a full year (at least) because these 2 month stints don't seem to be providing enough data. If you look at the chart, they are averaging between slightly positive to moderately positive.
I figure a full year will not only provide more data, but will really
give my body a good chance to adjust and start adding more meaning/excitement to my life on its own rather than depending on the drugs for that. It will also provide me the opportunity to try seeking out other substitutes, things that might add a richer spiritual dimension to my life--Moreno suggested taking up some extreme sports, Mongoose suggests OBE's (btw, Mongoose, if you're reading this, this is why I said I'd get back to you about that after roughly a year), might get into meditation again--but something definitely has to replace the drugs, and starting in the summer of 2018, I'll start trying these things. <-- This is part of the reason I'm looking forward to it.
And at the end of this (at least) one year stint, I will, once again, give myself the option of making a choice right then and there. This would be opposed to giving myself a short period (like a few months) of intoxication after the (at least) full year before deciding once and for all. My decision, of course, will be what I want to give up and what I want to keep. I feel at least the caffeine will have to go because it has the most noticeable effects on my energy levels, and I know from past experiences of abstinence, after a while without caffeine, my body's natural energy levels do come back. <-- That was the plan all along. But I feel that if this (at least) one year proves fruitful, and indeed spiritual, then it will provide more incentive to give up all the drugs. I think this has to be an option since it surreptitiously allows me to look back and say: I really
quit summer of 2018.
The fact that now I know
I want this gives me confidence that I will
make the choice right then and there and that I will
choose abstinence. Even if all the new age spiritual mumbo jumbo junk turns out to be a farce, I'm confident that having a whole year (at least) behind me of experiences without drugs or alcohol will tell me that my life is indeed better now.
That being said, I do want to continue exploring alternate mind states but without becoming addicted to the drugs. I know I can do that. For example, what if I got my hands on some DMT? I'd allow myself maybe 4 or 5 sessions with it and then dump the rest. I have absolutely no doubts that I can do such a thing without becoming addicted. The problem isn't physical addiction. It's my attitude and values--this whole thread being an exercise in reprogramming them. And I know that I can tell myself "4 or 5 sessions and that's it" and commit to that. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I've always had a knack for carrying through with the things I say I'll carry through with. Trying new drugs for the sake of exploring new experience won't be a problem. <-- And this is really
what I wanted all along--to be able to delve into these mind states for the sake of knowing them without becoming addicted. That's
the practice I want to keep. And who knows--with any luck, all the spiritual mumbo jumbo shit I get into might introduce me to some alternative, healthier, drug free ways of doing it (Moreno did hint that he's able to see God).
Now I keep saying "at least" one full year. Why? Because the full year that I want is going to be about more than just abstinence from all drugs and alcohol, it's also going to be about letting go of all the major things in my life that are dragging me down. This includes the drugs, of course, but it also includes my book. I want to be done publishing it, and for that I *might* need a deadline later than the summer of 2018 (if I were to guess, I'd say maybe an extra six months). <-- Those are the two "anchors" in my life that I feel are weighing me down, keeping me from full spiritual freedom. (There's also my children, but I don't want
to let them go). So it might end up being a year and a half (and that's a good thing... more data).
But that's all for the long term. Right now, my focus is on the next two month: no alcohol or drugs except for (chocolaty) caffeine.