I suppose it’s a little biased of me to write a piece on sobriety on the city I not only got sober in, but where I was also born and raised. Even still, I want to give a shout out to Los Angeles for being the beautiful backdrop of my story and how I have come to appreciate everything that has happened here; the good and the bad.
The person, not the place
After all I have learned about myself since getting sober, I am convinced I would have been an alcoholic no matter where I had grown up. But let’s just say, Los Angeles didn’t help.
Drugs were accessible to me long before I ever even tried them, as I am sure they are almost anywhere else in this country. But Los Angeles not only provided the drugs but a fun place to do them. A lot of my summer nights were spent driving up to the San Gabriel Mountains to drink, getting high and going on a hike in Eaton Canyon, or doing mushrooms at the beach. Who could ask for more?
I had an amazing experience with my friends during high school and college that I would not change for anything. Of course, that was before things got really bad.
The big misconception
My big misconception with all of this was that all of these things were fun without drugs as well. After a time, I had done drugs for years so consistently that I was sure that all of the “fun” things I participated in were only that way because of the fact that I was high.
I had lost sight of the fact that going on hikes, driving through the mountains and going to the beach were inherently fun, and it was my perception that was off. It took time and patience along with abstinence from drugs for me to give in to the fact it was the drugs themselves that were messing with my perception.
Los Angeles in Sobriety
I didn’t know that LA was going to be any different than anywhere else when I got sober. What I quickly found out, though, was that there were sober people absolutely everywhere. Even a few of my best friends, the same ones who I had partied with years prior, already had one or two years of sobriety. It seemed like everyone was doing it.
But that wasn’t just what pushed me. It was an incredible experience being able to go to young people’s meetings all over the southland, any day of the week, any time of the day. If I wasn’t feeling one meeting, I would simply try another. I eventually found an amazing men’s stag home group in the south bay, coupled with two regular meetings all the way back up in Beverly Hills.
I have also managed to redefine my idea of fun. All of those activities I used to think were only possible when I was high, I have rediscovered in sobriety. I have rebuilt relationships with the people I grew up with, some of whom now walk this path of recovery with me. I have found a career path that suits me, no more than 15 miles away from the hospital where I was born. I owe my life and my sobriety to the city of Los Angeles.