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“Drinking and Drugs Suck”- Manifesto #1

Posted By Princess Superstar! on September 28th, 2009

Time to Cut the Shit and Evolve: Manifesto #1

“Drinking and Drugs Suck”

———————————————————————–

`“You should be able to remember your zip code even as you drift into intergalactic ecstasy” –Ram Dass

What if there was a way to feel unbelievably high and amazing without using drugs or drinking? What if I told you that I am living that way every day and have never been more fulfilled or creative? What if I also told you that you will never TRULY experience this sustained bliss – a life filled with miracles – if you currently rely on mood altering substances to get you high? Would you want to quit?

Know the saying there is nothing worse than a smoker that quit smoking? Well there is – Princess Superstar quitting drinking and drugs.

I am on a high horse about not getting high and it’s hard to kick me off my horse, just like it’s hard to kick horse. (Do people even call heroin “horse” anymore? Or am I stuck in the 70’s?)

Drinking and drugs suck. All of it. Even occasionally. If you get wasted in excess, please, get your ass to Alcoholics Anonymous or rehab. Believe me, this stuff is too hard to do on your own, and getting support from AA will probably be one of the most incredible things you do for yourself. If you drink, or smoke pot from time to time, and don’t really care about health or have much of a spiritual connection you may want to stop reading and please go enjoy your Senor Frog’s Mojito. But, if any part of you is looking for a brighter way, read on. This may be just the dose you need to wake you up from the fantasy so that you can live your dreams NOW!

If you are on the path to enlightenment, seek the truth or have the courage to be the highest expression of yourself that you can be, well your eyes are exactly where they need to be. Keep them WIDE open!

And to all my yogi friends that think it’s cool to smoke pot, that somehow pot smoking can fit neatly into your quest for enlightenment; and to my “healthy” friends that think it’s okay to drink organic wine- you are fooling yourselves. Of course, this is my opinion. Everyone is entitled to one, afterall. I say in all humility that perhaps I am the one who is wrong. But since I detest being wrong about as much as I detest mind altering substances (as much as I once loved them,) I will be get by with a little help from some expert friends and guides who have discovered similar truths.

Many people think the Beatles made some of their most genius music because of LSD when it was really their travels to India and their exposure to Indian philosophy and mythology, chanting, meditation and yoga that informed their music and ignited all that creativity. In fact, George was totally against drugs:

‘He never considered himself an intellectual, but George was indeed shaken from his ordinary perception by the drug (LSD) and assumed at first that others were having the same insights as he. Then they’d open their mouths, and he found out users “were just as stupid as they’d been before” and concluded that chemicals did not provide a path to enlightenment. “You can take it and take it as many times as you like…but you get to a point that you can’t get any farther unless you stop taking it.”’

Many musicians think they need some kind of substance to create their art. I say that maybe these artists created their art IN SPITE of being fucked up. It was like the gift was coming through them, because it needed to for the world- but the artist suffered unnecessarily (at his very own hands.) I personally made some great music while I was getting high- however I was spiritually empty at the time and my personal self was miserable, disconnected and filled with future based fear. I also created a lot of havoc in the relationships I was in, and spread bad vibes all around. It was when I got sober that I started making the best music of my life AND got happy on top of it- and from that basis I could make the people around me happy too.

When you are sober you come to rely upon an inner strength and confidence that lies dormant in people that rely upon an outside influence. It truly is mind blowing because it is a whole other level of intimacy with yourself and with others. If you are high and you feel like you are being intimate it is just a fake expression of the real thing. The drug is simulating that which really cannot even be simulated – a deep spiritual experience based on being 100 percent present. When there is an outside crutch, there is limited development of the person. Ram Dass who wrote the highly influential “Be Here Now” says, “The goal of the path is to BE high, not GET high.”

The intimacy that occurs within yourself when you quit substances actually is the intimacy with the Divine- that I dare say absolutely cannot exist if you are high. By the way when I say the Divine, I am not referring to the man with a beard, unless that’s what gets you through the night, I am talking about a spiritual force that is bigger than you. If you don’t believe in anything right now, fake it. Call the ocean God and pray to it. See everyone you meet as God and love them. Spirituality is going to be necessary if you do end up quitting this toxic crap- otherwise you are going to be one angry resentful ex- drunky.

Let’s get back to the fun part- BEING high instead of GETTING high, as Ram Dass puts it. According to Sharon Gannon, co-founder of Jivamukti Yoga, accomplished author, and a very important teacher of mine- our bodies are our own pharmaceutical laboratories. We can actually make the same chemicals that we look for in outside sources. Sharon writes:

“Any external drug that has an effect in our body works because it behaves like a similar internal chemical that is natural to us. Our body is able to recognize the external drug because our body already has its own receptors that were designed for the internal natural chemicals that we are able to manufacture ourselves. 
        One major problem with chemical addiction is that when you habitually rely on external means to feel good, your body’s own ability to manufacture those chemicals decreases, and you become more and more dependent on external means…Addiction suppresses spiritual, emotional and physical development  –retarding growth– keeping a person bound to staying the same. Addiction inhibits the blossoming of creativity, the potential for change and the evolution of consciousness. “

Highly prolific and 10 bajillion album selling artist Moby agrees:

“See, i like balance. And the human organism seems to do best when balanced. Pot and wine (etc.) push us out of balance, unfortunately. And for every action there’s an equal and commensurate reaction. As we know, we easily come to rely on things that do the work for us -drugs and booze are like our Smithers. *”

*In case you ain’t know, the Smithers reference is a sycophantic character from the Simpsons, who does everything for Mr. Burns to the point of ridiculousness, having no life whatsoever.)

Yes, I’m into the evolution of consciousness. I’ve noticed that the more you are willing to be “uncomfortable” the more you evolve and the more happiness you have. It was pretty uncomfortable for me to give up my whiskey, wine, my codeine, my liquid acid and diet coke combo- but when I did (and pursued spiritual and emotional growth, most notably with a 12 Step program, Jivamukti yoga and working with International Scherick) my happiness and my consciousness exploded. If you are attached to a substance (even that “occasional glass of wine” which I am guessing is not really that occasional if you really get down to it) you are attached to desires and your growth and therefore your joy is limited. Buddhism teaches us to be free from desires. Why? Life is a lot better that way. In case you haven’t noticed, all you do all day is go around commenting in your head about your experiences “This is great! This sucks! This is sorta great! This sorta sucks!” It may seem impossible to be desire free but what if you have your desires but are not attached to whether or not they are fulfilled? Can you imagine how free you would be? So guess one way of doing that- not giving in every time to the voice in your head that says “I need a beer. NOW” or “it’s a good idea to finish off this entire pint of vegan ice cream” and instead just observing those desires and not acting on them. Learn how to be comfortable in the uncomfortability. Swami Vivekananda, whose teachings influenced Gandhi and who is regarded as a key figure in introducing yoga to the western world, said, “A man who has attained certain powers through medicines…still has desires, but that man who has attained Samadhi (enlightenment) through concentration is alone free from all desires.”

“WHY DO I HAVE TO BE UNCOMFORTABLE, EVER?”

-Princess Superstar’s unconscious brain

This has been my unconscious operating system since I was little. It unknowingly ran my life entirely. It has led me to quit many things such as karate, Italian, and romantic relationships. It had me finishing a workout at 20 minutes instead of the 45 I set out to do, probably a thousand times by now. It has made me move out of countless yoga poses that challenged me; shortened hundreds of thousands of the meditations I have done in my lifetime, and made me eat many things that weren’t good for me. It led me to smoke a pack a day, be mean to people, and to drink alcohol until I threw up.

My experience has shown me that the willingness to sit through that discomfort held the key to life. Working with my teacher Greg Scherick and his team at International Scherick doing  The Process, I have learned how to  turn on the light so I can see these unconscious sabotaging patterns.  So now, instead of running from my fear  I say, “come on, give it to me, make me uncomfortable!” Because I know that is the key to true happiness and serenity, beyond what you can even imagine. If you are going through something painful, GREAT. Pain is the touchstone of spiritual growth. IF you use it that way. Now you can really start to shake shit up and change. Guess what substances do? They anaesthetize the experience- and not fully allow one to experience the unknown. Without the discomfort, very little change and growth is possible.

Joe Dispenza, who was featured in the movie What the Bleep do We Know?, says that change is uncomfortable because chemically the body feels threatened by unfamiliar firing of peptides and neurons in the brain.- “If you remember one thing about change, remember that it causes the “self” and the body to go into complete chaos because the self no longer has any feelings to relate to in order to define itself. If we stop having the same thoughts, feelings, or reactions, we stop making the same chemicals, which sends the body into a state of homeostatic imbalance…Therefore when internal order is altered by our change in thinking, we do not “feel” like the same person. As a result, our identity wants to return to the feelings of the familiar, and our body is trying to influence our brain to return to a recognizable state of being, so that the body can recalibrate itself with past feelings.” I believe that the degree of willingness to experience this uncomfortability/unfamiliarity is the degree to which you can grow as a person. And also the degree to which you can experience true joy and true bliss, which- as Sharon Gannon says- is our true nature.

WHO’S IN YA CREW?

Do the people that surround you lift you up or bring you down? And don’t answer in one second, think it all the way through. Because maybe there’s a “spiritual” person in your life who actually is a complete asshole. Oh wait, I don’t mean asshole, I mean, a sick and suffering person I have compassion for. But that doesn’t mean you need to hang out with that person! This is going to be key because we have never really evolved past the school yard- if you hang with the stoners, you are gonna be a stoner, if you hang with the nerds, you will be a nerd.

There is actually scientific PROOF that your friends and even your friends’ friends can influence you to drink too much, or even to gain weight! Two social scientists, Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler have found that since people are connected, so health and habits are connected as well, even to 3 degrees of separation. They found that:

“A friend taking up smoking increased your chance of lighting up by 36 percent, and if you had a three-degrees removed friend who started smoking, you were 11 percent more likely to do the same. Drinking spread socially, as did happiness and even loneliness…<so> if you want to improve the world with your good behavior, math is on your side. For most of us, within 3 degrees we are connected to more than 1,000 people – all of whom we can theoretically help make healthier, fitter and happier just by our contagious example.”

Support and guidance is key, especially if you are trying to quit substances, and to potentially influence 1,000 people to do the same! Please go find people who are on the path to help you. Swami Satchidananda (who gave the opening speech at Woodstock and who is one of my most favorite Swamis) said the most important spiritual practice you can do is Satsang- the Sanskrit word for “Hang out with Seekers of Truth.” So surround yourself with people who lift you up and help you fulfill your highest potential on this planet.

“If 5 million do a foolish thing it is still a foolish thing”
-Chinese Proverb

Why does everyone do this thing? We all know drinking and drugs can give you liver disease, brain damage, stinky skin, the list goes on. I know one DJ who drinks a bottle of tequila almost every time he plays. How does the body take it? I marvel at the human body and the beating it can take. So imagine if you stop filling up this marvelous body with toxic crap. Then everything can function at optimal levels- from the immune system to the brain. Maybe you would even begin to use more of your brain, and maybe you could even develop the part that really knows how to be happy. We know that hard drugs like cocaine and heroine etc. have a devastating effect on the brain and body but what about the seemingly innocent Mary Jane? According to a Cambridge University Press article,

“The parts of the brain that control emotions, memory, and judgment are affected by marijuana.  Smoking it cannot only weaken short-term memory, but can block information from making it into long-term memory. It has also been shown to weaken problem solving ability.”

What’s the one problem everyone wants solved? How can I be happy??! So maybe without substances the brain can actually do its job. And you can make space inside for something larger than you to do its job. God, the Ocean, the Force, G-Unit, whatever you want to call it. Cleanliness is next to Godliness remember. Sometimes I don’t make my bed at home, but at least in my liver, my bed is always proper.

FAME! I WANNA LIVE FOREVER!

Let’s talk about health for a second. So, there are these people that eat only raw uncooked vegan food (I am one of them.) I believe that being vegan is a pathway to greater consciousness. As you clear your digestive system and your body from processed, crappy food (such as meat, sugar and white bread) one’s consciousness naturally expands. Some people eat this way because it makes you look hot (it is the most anti-aging way to eat), or the fact that is the most ethical way of eating (you are not torturing helpless animals,) and some people eat this way because it brings you closer to the Divine. Either way, if you eat this way and drink- I know a bunch of people that do- that’s pretty idiotic. This restaurant, I love it- Pure Food and Wine-but what the hell is with the wine? Why are you gonna eat the most clean beautiful diet and then poison yourself with toxic acidic wine? Wine is NOT good for you ok? Whoever made that up was a wine grower who paid off lots of doctors to say so. Alcohol totally dehydrates your body and makes your liver work overtime. Your organs have enough work to do living in this polluted land without having to clean up your mess. If you want the one thing in wine that’s good for your heart, take the vitamin that has it in it. I forget what it is but you probably don’t need it anyway.

Gabriel Cousens, pioneer of the raw scene, 20-year raw food eater and MD says, “Live the Garden of Eden diet- an organic vegan 80-100% raw food DRUG FREE diet.” Gabriel quotes a spiritual text supporting this (I think it’s Judaic but I am too tired to Google it) “The Lord said to Aharon ‘ Do not drink wine or strong drink [any form of mind altering drug], thou, nor thy sons with thee, when you enter the tent of meeting, lest you die; it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations.” –Leviticus (Shemini 8-10)

Look, maybe I am being annoying and preachy and possibly elitist. Not to mention that I cannot even BELIEVE that I just quoted Leviticus- let alone something that said “Lord” in the quote. A lifelong atheist, I only became spiritual when I became sober a bit over 5 years ago, and I learned to see where religions are helpful instead of hating them. All religions at their core have the same beautiful principals- Truth, Love, Peace, Service- I am sure you can at least get with that. If you are on the fence about being spiritual, you can use the word “Love” instead of “Lord”- for me it’s the same thing.

You know, I only want the best for you. Whatever you are doing I have compassion for it, believe me. I have been there partying my ass off and thought I would never ever EVER quit. But by some miracle I did and now I am so happy beyond my wildest dreams in my life. I just want to spread this love and happiness to you. I want us all to evolve into our highest expression. I want heaven on earth. I welcome all discussion because as I said in the beginning, it’s possible I am wrong. But only just tiny corner of an acid tab of a possibility. 🙂

I really really look forward to your feedback.

All my love,

Princess Superstar


Footnotes:

Joshua Greene, “Here Comes The Sun,” page 55

Ram Dass, “Be Here Now,” page 94

Sharon Gannon, “Jivamukti Focus of the Month-Addiction,” June 2009

Ram Dass, “Be Here Now,” page 92

Joe Dispenza, Evolve Your Brain, page 331

Clive Thompson, The New York Times Magazine, September 13, 2009

Nadia Solowi, Cannabis and Cognitive Functioning, Cambridge Univ. Press, 1998.

*special thanks to Shana Kuhn-Siegel for editing this paper!

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  • LukeAgius1

    Your biggest post ever!!!

    Very interesting read and I think its amazing how you quit every thing and are still high on life but how do you have so much self control?? I cant even stop myself eating junk food all day long let alone cigarettes, alcohol and pot. And I agree with all your point on being Uncomfortable but when I am uncomfortable I seem to just say random crap and embarrass myself. I will def take some of this on board, You are very inspiring Princess

    xox

  • HomeboySandman

    word wiggy word em up! . . . caffeine.

  • Anxy

    After a week-plus into quitting smoking my own damn self, I agree with the heart of your fantastic rantifesto. We need to be better to ourselves, and we need to quit putting crap into our bodies, especially when that crap clouds our judgment and keeps us from functioning to our best potential. Still and all, I dunno…I’m also a big believer that a person has to take their own path. If someone needs to go through a drugs or drunk phase to get to a particular destination in their life, then that’s what needs to happen. I think the key is knowing when it’s time to step off the train. As gung-ho as I am about being a non-smoker, I’d never lecture any of my smoker friends to quit; however, if they were to quit and wanted my support, I’d be pleased as punch to help them.

  • LukeAgius1

    well spoken Anxy 🙂

  • you are right it’s good not to lecture anxy, the best thing is to lead by example!

    • Anxy

      And now it's been almost 6 months and I'm still a non-smoker! Yay me!

      As to whether “drinking and drugs suck”, I think for some people they do. I think if you have the ability to know when to cut yourself off, and if you are good with keeping everything in moderation, it's one thing. Some people have addictive personalities. Some people have poor self-restraint. I know lots of people like that, and they're smart enough to know it's all or nothing, so in order to lead a sane life they choose nothing – no drinks, no drugs. I think that's wise. I'm more of an “everything in moderation” guy myself, though I know enough teetotalers that I have nobody to party with anyway, so I guess I'm virtually straightedge by association, ha. But if I wanna chase the white rabbit someday, I will. Then I'll have my experience and be done with it for another few months/years. I guess I'm just trying to say it's all relative.

  • shelly

    wow my sista!

    love all your quotes and energy. i think your strength in leading the clean revolution is how happy you are with your current choices!

    i also LOVE the part of who we surround ourselves with plays a huge role in our choices…it’s good to be in your circle!

  • melbushman

    i love the “pink cloud” cuz you come out the door fighting for your life! i hope you never come down.

    if i was still in the place where i was drinking/druging/everything-bad-for-me-ing, i would be very intimidated by this post. it is super duper inspirational, and i love reading it b/c it reminds me that i continue to do the right thing by staying sober. but, it is a long journey to feel this way, for most folks. just want to let all that want to get sober know that it IS hard and it IS scary and you are welcome to do it at your own babysteppin' pace.

    i'm trying to write this w/o sounding like i am criticizing you, PS, cuz i'm not. i'm just sayin that not eveyone is an “exhausting extrovert” performer who have the power and confidence to burst into sobriety.

    ok, now please release release your record, i'm really excited to hear it. and tour… the last time i saw you for My Machine, i was less than a week out of rehab. i enjoy shows a lot more than i did back then

    • princesssuperstar

      hey i am really glad you bring that up- it is and was one of the hardest things i have ever done and by no means want to imply that it was easy or not completely terrifying. i wanted to say that those things that are hard and scary are usually the things that bring the most change and the most growth!! also, while i am generally an “exhausting extrovert” (love that!!) believe me i was anything but when i hit my “bottom” and knew i had to give up- i was totally miserable and defeated. anyway mel i am so glad you are sober – you inspire me! thanks for writing about your experience, this stuff keeps me going.!

  • I only drank once and that was on my best friend's 16th Birthday. Decided then that I don't like the taste of Alcohol, doesn't matter how you mix it and what other flavor it might have. In the end it all tastes like Alcohol and I hate that.
    Drugs? Never did them. I don't even smoke. Why? I don't see the reason for it. “Being high” looks too scary for me and to say it in the (paraphrazed) words of Terry Gilliam: “I can do everything without drugs, what other people need drugs for.”

  • Anxy

    Also, another thought on this – being trashed out of your mind might look all cute and sexy when you're 25. Not so much when you're 45. And when you're 55 or over, then you're just David Hasselhoff rolling around on the floor poking a cheeseburger with a stick. SO NOT SEXY.

    • princesssuperstar

      ha ha!

    • omg. that's so accurate.

  • Hi Superstar,

    My drug of choice is caffeine in all its delicious forms. I want to wean myself off of it. Would you suggest a gradual phase-out, or just a cold turkey approach? I get bad headaches so I'm a bit hesitant to try the latter approach.

    D

    • princesssuperstar

      well, david, i am in the same boat!! i did manage to quit coffee for a year and it was so incredible. my skin cleared up, i had so much energy- it was FANTASTIC. but somehow i got hooked right back in-it only starts with one 🙂
      I definitely recommend weaning off, not cold turkey because of headaches.
      so how I did it back in the day was, I weaned off with something called Tecchino which tastes delicious- do half coffee and half Tecchino for a week. Then just the Tecchino. And take it easy and pamper yourself while you are doing this! And most of all pray to the universe for help and courage! Good luck. Keep us all posted. maybe I will be inspired to quit too!!

      • Thanks! I ordered a sample pack on their website so it should arrive any day.

        Hope you had a great birthday!

        P.S. Been listening a lot to the My Machine album a lot lately. I think “On Top Bubble” is my favorite for the time being. But it changes a lot.

  • joeysanchez

    Wow! Unreal Concetta…I think my youh was a factor of my use of drugs an achohol.. not gnna lie tho..I do smoke
    ButI Hope I see you gain…xoxoxo
    wise words baby!

  • Thanks for sharing this. I've read it before but now I'm really takin' it as I should have cuz I'm tryin' to quit alcohol after some bad experiences
    I've had some blackouts and I'm through with that. I wanna stay sober and not waste one more second high and out of control.

  • Kiokeisan

    hi princess superstar wow you seem to know alot about drinking and drugs err yea

    oh yea must your song bad babysitter is awesome do you still rap now

  • love all your quotes and energy.

  • Carbuynow

    sober vegan yoga rocker , same here………r u a water guzzler ? w/sea salt ? watercure2.org

    usana.com

  • Katiejeanarnold

    incredible.

  • noelle

    Thank you for your insight, it is truely touching… i am going threw some things and have a time coping. So it nice to see someone on the other side…. I have been a fan of yours for a while.:) I think your wit and frankness is much need in the music industry. Please dont stop. we all need some art to help us through our lives. Again thank you.

    NRL

  • 7MonthsNow

    90's Raver, 20 year user, retreader friend of Bill's. Finally working a good program, have amazing friends, and God's doing for me what I couldn't do for myself. Stumbled upon the Sober Bunch article from the Voice and came here. Thanks so much. I am in a little sobriety rut. Needed this. To another 24. Peace!

  • 7MonthsNow

    90's Raver, 20 year user, retreader friend of Bill's. Finally working a good program, have amazing friends, and God's doing for me what I couldn't do for myself. Stumbled upon the Sober Bunch article from the Voice and came here. Thanks so much. I am in a little sobriety rut. Needed this. To another 24. Peace!

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