I have been a long time drinker and drug user. I never had to go into any rehab programs, I experienced a few over doses in my youth but nothing soul crushing that prevented me from doing it again. My friends and I stayed up for a long time huffing and puffing like it was going out of style. i've done it all except heron and only because i couldn't find any.
My decision to go straight edge was more of a personal dare than anything else, I just wanted to see if I could do it since drug became such an integral part of feeling good. I also felt that drugs opened my mind and put me in touch with aspects of my consciousness I could not reach through sobriety, also, I like to create art and I felt drugs opened the doors to my perception, to borrow from Huxley. There are people that can moderate drug and alcohol use, but I am not one of those people, i'm either all in, or all out, to both extremes.
Detox was hell. I spent a couple of weeks writhing in cold sweats in my bed, I had to change 3 times a night, and it looked like I had just come out of the shower with all my clothes on, I experienced vivid and twisted nightmares, which later turned to insomnia. I experienced flash backs and freakish paranoia, and it would hit me anywhere even if I was feeling calm. Suddenly my heart would start racing and the walls began closing in on me, people stopped looking like people and became freakish forms that made irrational noises, and i would feel pangs of fear just sitting at my desk, unable to breathe normally, i had to leave the room many times and just focus on breathing, voices were screaming in my head, i would often reply with head nods or just straight up tuned out. I continued to smoke heavy amounts of weed but decided to give that up as well.
The shit storm has passed and I feel comfortable in my skin again, the sweating, the paranoia, the freakish flash backs, it's all gone. I have noticed a few other things. i fucking love being sober. my senses are sharp and feel like burning hot flames, and i feel with such intensity and clarity and i feel like the entire universe is inside my body. in retrospect, all the mind expanding and perception bending experiences that i felt were putting me in touch with aspects of humanity not attainable through sobriety was a lie. i was dulling my senses, living with a handicap. i feel much more now, so much that i can hardly contain the love and confidence that is surging through me. i feel like i can run through a wall, i feel like this world is mine for the taking. my senses are sharp and vivid. i can hardly contain it.