Sober on the Playa

All things outside of Burning Man.
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darren y
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Post by darren y » Tue Sep 06, 2005 4:21 pm

unfortunately noon/6pm didn't work out for me this year, so i didnt makeit to a single meeting, but was surrounded by supporting members in camp & only a few annoying drunks..., but i had a blast!!
aka: Mr. Mister

MrMullen
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Post by MrMullen » Tue Sep 13, 2005 12:24 pm

darren y wrote:unfortunately noon/6pm didn't work out for me this year, so i didnt makeit to a single meeting, but was surrounded by supporting members in camp & only a few annoying drunks..., but i had a blast!!
Same here. I kept the list of meetings close to me, but only once did I ever get the cravings! I was rather suprised since I thought I would find myself running to a meeting about Tuesday.

8 days on the Playa and stone sober! I think I had a better time than most of the drinkers!
--
Mr Mullen

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Lo5150
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Clean & Sober in BRC

Post by Lo5150 » Wed Nov 16, 2005 1:09 pm

I have been in recovery many years. Although it is tempting, you CAN stay sober on the playa! I am glad I did-I was overwhelmed as it was!! There are many theme camps-my favorite being the Hokey Pokey camp which is usually right by coffee hut-the recovering addicts new addiction. =) I know alot of folks who are not addicts, but go to BM sober just to take it all in. Look for theme camps, or just ask anyone-you will be lead in the right direction. Looking forward to seeing you all this year!!!
Guns don't kill people, burning couches kill people.
-Sign seen at BM in 20002-

EvadingTheFade
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New To Recovery, New to Burning Man

Post by EvadingTheFade » Tue Jan 03, 2006 8:21 pm

I am 26, pretty new to recovery, and hopefully, this year will be my first time attending Burning Man. I am looking forward to meeting other sober/recovering people this year. How prevalent are drugs at Burning Man? I went to Woodstock '99. It was literally an open air drug market. I'm hoping to have a mind-expanding week without the use of chemicals.
Here's to meeting some like-minded individuals..:)
The Less Full Of Ourselves We Are, The More Room We Have For Other People.

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DontPanic
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Post by DontPanic » Sun Jan 08, 2006 4:40 pm

hi my name is don't panic and i am an addict.

i currently live in a halfway house and im tryin to convince the manager that the house, as a group, should head out there this year and hook up with camp anonymous...wish me luck.

Remember! Above all else...

[size=24]Don't Panic[/size]

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DontPanic
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Post by DontPanic » Sun Jan 08, 2006 5:00 pm

ive been in and out of recovery for my entire playa career and tho i usually end up smoking, drinking, or getting dosed on something by the end of the week, i believe that doing drugs on the playa is totally unnecessary...between lack of food and water, exposure to harsh elements, the general ambiance of burningman is trippy enough...i remember waking up on a couch...true story... looking over at a midget in s&m gear sitting on santa clauses lap talking to a naked guy whose body was painted silver getting a backrub from a chick dressed up as a geisha (sp?) girl ... quite a sight to wake up to...makes you wonder wether one of your buddies dropped acid in your eyes while you were sleeping...but knowing i was 100% sober....

DON'T PANIC!

upriver
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a little follow up

Post by upriver » Sat Jan 14, 2006 11:09 am

Before last year's event I posted that I was hoping to do my first sober Burn instead of blacking out the whole thing like the year prior... Just wanted to put it out there that I spent ten days on the Playa in 2005 completely sober and had the time of my life. I am eternally grateful for the meetings on the Playa. I found a meeting a day left me fully charged to get through my day without temptation. It has been a hugely enriching experience in my sobriety ever since.
www.barefootboogie.net

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regionalchaos
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Re: a little follow up

Post by regionalchaos » Sat Jan 14, 2006 11:14 am

upriver wrote:Before last year's event I posted that I was hoping to do my first sober Burn instead of blacking out the whole thing like the year prior... Just wanted to put it out there that I spent ten days on the Playa in 2005 completely sober and had the time of my life. I am eternally grateful for the meetings on the Playa. I found a meeting a day left me fully charged to get through my day without temptation. It has been a hugely enriching experience in my sobriety ever since.
Sounds great! Good job :D
Participate! - )'( -

http://regionalchaos.net

PrincessCharming
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Post by PrincessCharming » Sun Feb 05, 2006 2:10 am

Yes, it's such an intense, dream-like experience anyway.. why trip? The world's such a beautiful place, and addiction really distorts our experience of that. You may see/feel beautiful things when high or drunk, but you end up having a synthetic or prosthetic experience of them, arguably somehow removed from them when really, we're naturally equipped to feel the most incredible things anyway, when we allow ourselves to be ourselves, and be moved. And for me, I think using and drinking was about trying to kill off this psychic pain I had. So I swallowed it, or it went up in smoke. Then I think what also happened was my ability to feel was deadened, so I'd use to feel something good, or something different. Ended up cycling through feeling nothing to FUCKING GREAT to downright shitty, etc.

I killed my first Burn by taking drugs in '03. I went along with the "party hearty" atmosphere of my camp, but really wasn't so used to using anymore, and I ended up on bad or too much E, with no knees, feeling like I was literally melting at the Man burning.. Had to stay in all night (our last), lying like a statue, listening to my heartbeats skip. And substances tend to deplete your capacity for joy after use, and over time. The aftermath was always sadness for me.

I still enjoy the odd drink or few sometimes but less and less as I get older (I'm in my early 30s). I have a good friend in AA. I have so much respect and appreciation for that org.. and NA. It really works, when people are able to trust it and give themselves over to it. I have my friend back.. and best of all, she has herself back.

Don'tPanic, good luck with your recovery. You can do it. You are worth it. The manager of the recovery house may not be able to legally take residents down there. Would be beautiful, but maybe really dangerous for some people? some might really need to stay the hell away from all substance scenes when life's on the line.

I'll have to stop by camp Hokey Pokey and say hi to you guys..

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Zhust
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Topical but not on topic exactly.

Post by Zhust » Mon Feb 06, 2006 8:06 am

HughMungus wrote:So here's something I've always wondered about: Why can't people just moderate themselves? If you know it's a bad idea to get hammered every night, why do you do it? Can't you just do what others do and just NOT get wasted every night? I don't get it.
Let me speak only for myself, so all this is just about me and may or may not apply to others.

Anyway, I've done some experimenting with drinking ...

Can drink 3-5 drinks average every night; a few more on weekends, a few less on weekdays? Yes.
Can quit for a week? Yes.
Can quit for a few months? Yes.
Can quit and go back to the same bars I usually go and still not drink? Yes -- no problem.
Can go on a plan to consciously limit myself to 6 drinks per week? Yes: I did that for 2 years.
Can go without a conscious plan but still end up limiting myself to 1-2 drinks a night? Not yet.

So why get hammered every night? Well, I think a number of factors contribute.

First is I'm kind of shy so if I have a drink I'm more willing to take a chance and talk with people I don't already know -- especially women.

Second is that I fall into a trap where I drink to pass time or when I'm bored (at a bar/party). I call alcohol the "magic time machine" because (I believe) it prevents my brain from storing "weak" memories like being bored, so I only end up remembering the interesting stuff in a night which makes nights when I drink appear less boring.

Third is to fall into the belief system of "bar culture". People who drink casually will typically have 2-3 drinks in a week, usually on a weekend, and feel that is "normal". Bar regulars, on the other hand, might drink 4-5 drinks in a night and feel that is "normal". If I'm not paying close attention, I begin to adopt the cultural norms of your peers, and if that's typically bar regulars, then I accept heavy drinking as "normal".

Fourth, since I have few friends, I end up going to bars a lot to socialize which exascerbates the bar culture problem.

Fifth is that I don't want to miss anything. I like to stay until the very end. I don't walk out of crummy movies just in case there's some clever thing that I'd miss if I left in the middle. Drinking heavily blocks my ability to sense boredom or tiredness so my physical endurance increases and lets me stay to the end.

Since I'm picky about my friends and that I'm not particularly desirable, it's not likely that I'm going to develop a new group of friends anytime soon. My current plan is to continue to go out, but to let go of that need to stay to the end, and to be more strict with myself to stop after one drink and determine if I really want to hang around. I've also been carrying around books which is a way to avoid being bored without drinking.

I very much like how alcohol affects me in moderation. I'm more relaxed, more social, and more patient. In excess, it dramatically slows my body's ability to heal and it is the catalyst for my absurd rollercoaster depression.

The trouble for me is that trying to drink in moderation is like balancing on a ball -- if I'm not paying attention, I'll tip to one side or the other very fast.

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Zhust
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There's a topic here somewhere

Post by Zhust » Mon Feb 06, 2006 8:17 am

Meanwhile, back on topic ...

Right now, I feel like I'd like to try being more sober than not this year.

In the past, I've spent most of my nights drunk. 2004 was my first year and I generally had a good time, but 2005 was drunken nights and depressing days.

Maybe I'll just walk around with some non-alcoholic beverage disguised as whiskey or something. You know, costuming. :)

Playa sobriety fascinates me.

FY,ILY,
---Jason

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ibdave
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Post by ibdave » Mon Feb 06, 2006 6:00 pm

Jay, Done the sober thing for 8 years now and plan on doing the same this year... Sober for 19 years... There are those that can and those that can't... I'm a can't person... Hope you you give it a try..... :D
I was Born OK the 1st Time....

Don't bring defaultia to Burning Man, take Burning Man to defaultia...... graidawg

PrincessCharming
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Post by PrincessCharming » Tue Feb 07, 2006 2:31 am

Yep, me too.. don't want to drink as much this year. I think it took a toll on me and my moods at times too. It is a depressant. I often ended up having a drink to feel better, I think. I drank every day down there, and I rarely do. I notice that I use it as a social lubricant too. I'm quite a lightweight as well.. Last year I had some jaegermeister one night and discovered the light harp, a beautiful laser light and sound installation. I was playing with it and goofing around, and attempted to toss myself gracefully through the light beams to see what sort of sound I would make, but I tripped and fell hard, and bruised my shin pretty badly. It was pretty stupid. And I might have harmed the light harp! I saw it the next day and one of the beam projectors was askew. Felt bad about it..

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PatternInterrupt
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Post by PatternInterrupt » Tue Mar 21, 2006 10:49 am

Driveway wrote:"Hey...listen, I'm going to this totally insane party out in the desert with 'bout thirty-five thousand total nut-jobs who're gonna pound themselves into mental, physical, spiritual, and metaphorical jell-o....and I was just wondering if there would be any AA meetings?"

"Yes, several each day."



I fucking love love love love this shit.

Seriously. Burning Man is for EVERYONE!


¥

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PatternInterrupt
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Post by PatternInterrupt » Tue Mar 21, 2006 10:50 am

ibdave wrote:Jay, Done the sober thing for 8 years now and plan on doing the same this year... Sober for 19 years... There are those that can and those that can't... I'm a can't person... Hope you you give it a try..... :D

So is it 8 or 19?


¥

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PatternInterrupt
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Post by PatternInterrupt » Tue Mar 21, 2006 10:57 am

PrincessCharming wrote:Yep, me too.. don't want to drink as much this year. I think it took a toll on me and my moods at times too. It is a depressant. I often ended up having a drink to feel better, I think. I drank every day down there, and I rarely do. I notice that I use it as a social lubricant too. I'm quite a lightweight as well.. Last year I had some jaegermeister one night and discovered the light harp, a beautiful laser light and sound installation. I was playing with it and goofing around, and attempted to toss myself gracefully through the light beams to see what sort of sound I would make, but I tripped and fell hard, and bruised my shin pretty badly. It was pretty stupid. And I might have harmed the light harp! I saw it the next day and one of the beam projectors was askew. Felt bad about it..

I sing in a band and we're gonna play on the playa this year at our theme camp http://eplaya.burningman.org/viewtopic.php?t=12400 (and hopefully a couple others...) so I'm gonna have to cut way back compared to last year, too. We also drank every day.... I was hanging out with the Irish. :roll: Drinking every day is far too easy when alcohol is free -- just a wobbly bike ride away! :D

I have some scars on my back from an after-party several months back... we played an awesome crazy show in LA and threw a party at our rehearsal studio afterwards. People didn't leave until dawn and as I was locking up the gates (I was the last one to leave) I lost my balance and fell on some bricks. {sigh} I found a sweater that someone had left and slept in it... it was bloodstained the next morning.

Hi, I'm Dave and I'm an alcoholic. Luckily I have self-control when I want it... 8)


¥

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Chai Guy
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Post by Chai Guy » Tue Mar 21, 2006 11:13 am

Some people can use chemicals without problems, other people can't. I think I'm one of the people who can. I rarely take any chemicals during the other 51 weeks out of the year, but for some reason, I was almost never sober at Burning Man.

(I agree, I think the fact that it's free contributes to my difficulty in saying "no thanks").

Last year, I experimented with sobriety and was amazed to find that I had more energy, more fun, and more TIME (my most prized possesion on the playa!). Oh, and no one was offended when I declined their offer of free alcohol.

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ibdave
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Post by ibdave » Tue Mar 21, 2006 6:37 pm

[quote="Chai Guy"]Some people can use chemicals without problems, other people can't. I think I'm one of the people who can. ]

I Can't................. Been doing the sober thing for 20 years..
I was Born OK the 1st Time....

Don't bring defaultia to Burning Man, take Burning Man to defaultia...... graidawg

alienfry
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Post by alienfry » Tue Mar 28, 2006 7:27 am

in 2004 i got super ill from drinking and walked away from BRC remembering very few of the adventures i had. yes it was fun, but when i returned in 2005 i moderated myself and had the best year ever. this year i hope to spend at least one day completely sober. we'll see how that goes.

year #6 for me. i wont set the bar too high for myself; although i'm planning that single day of sobriety, i will also be getting crunk 2 or 3 times out there.
awesome oppossum

dph55
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sober on the playa

Post by dph55 » Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:08 am

Last year was my first burn. I was 21 years sober and it was an overwhelming experience. I went to meetings at anonymous camp and visited Hokey Pokey camp once and was grateful for them being there.
I didn't want to drink, but got a little uncomfortable with watching my campmates consuming varying quantities of all different substances without regard for the amount or mixture.
I plan to be there again in 2006 and already have my ticket. I will locate the sober camps on my map about the first thing when I get there so that I know where to go if I want to at any time.
I was overwhelmed more by the enormity of the city and all the new and unusual sights. I can understand why some of the people I observed under the influence seemed to be totally lost. It is just such an overpowering experience. I think I only saw 20 per cent of it and I was wide awake and alert almost the whole time.

dph55
dph55

Whelp
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I Have No Problems With Drugs or Alcohol...

Post by Whelp » Tue May 16, 2006 10:07 am

In fact, I have enjoyed both, in various quantities, over the years, and I still go on the occasional bender. Having said that, I feel that <B>no one</B> should be doing those particular substances on the playa. There are a lot of people here who've said that you miss out on a lot if you get twisted at BM, but the best reason to stay sober out there is simple safety.

Burning Man is an extremely stressful environment on the human body, and there are a lot of different things that can kill or injure you out there (dehydration, rogue mutant vehicles, uncovered rebar, flamethrowing sculptures, etc.). Altering your perceptions can be great, in a safe environment, but if you hurt yourself at the Burn because you decided to fry, you have no one to blame but yourself. Also, although BM has a medical facility, I don't believe that it's on par with the care that you can get in a more settled area. In other words, if you get hurt really badly, you'll have to be transported from the event, and that takes time. Time you might not have.

Stay safe; stay in control of your head.

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unjonharley
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Post by unjonharley » Tue May 16, 2006 11:04 am

Whelp said: <snip>
.
If your an addict as I am. If I start to use, I would be passed out, blacked out and compleatly fryed for the whole event. I would be better off saving the money for bail. Than spending it on a event that I would miss altogether.
I'm the contraptioneer your mother warned you about.

darren y
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Post by darren y » Thu Jun 01, 2006 7:51 pm

unjonharley wrote:Whelp said: <snip>
.
If your an addict as I am. If I start to use, I would be passed out, blacked out and compleatly fryed for the whole event. I would be better off saving the money for bail. Than spending it on a event that I would miss altogether.
I so agree!! been sober for 12 years, plan to keep it that way!
would hate to be blacked out & miss the whole experience @ the burn...
aka: Mr. Mister

we0ne
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Post by we0ne » Fri Jun 09, 2006 11:04 pm

As a side note: If your travelling around and want a fun, high energy place to stop and enjoy without the worry of being asked if you want to "partake" squeeze in a visit to kidsville. It's awesome, high energy during the day, with lots of fun stuff happening for all ages, not just kids. While there are parents there who may drink or consume chemicals, they tend to do it at night, when it's their "Night off" from the wee ones. Kidsville is very safe and no one's offering there, for the most part, especially not during the day.We're always wanting other burners to visit kidsville. Just thought I'd offer another clean and sober fun space to check out.

Peace.
" Isn't it wonderful that no one need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world" Anne Frank

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unjonharley
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Amends

Post by unjonharley » Sat Jun 10, 2006 7:08 am

(Side note) I have found that amends have to be taken care of. No matter how long ago. I'm leaving my home on the west coast to fly east acouple 1000 mile to make an amend that is 54 years old. I told this young girl that I would be right back. But I was head injured in a car wreck. My family moved me to another place in the state. It was'nt that I did'nt remeber. It was I could not put two years of my life in place. Like a jig saw pozzle thas been bumped hard. So I went on into my life of drugs. That only made things worse. Now she is 70 years old and woundering what the hell happened to me. We have made contact. She wants to see me. Has worried all these years about me. If my math is right we have a 53 year old son between us. I have just now figured out what had happened. She was trying to tell me something. I was drunk and heading out to another town to make a conection. We wrecked 20 min later. Now at 68 years old and a clean date of 6/22/62 I'm still cleaning up the wreckage of my past. Each step I take Has made my life better. Living the steps of recovery has made a full life for me. Some days are bette than none. jonB in Salem Or.
I'm the contraptioneer your mother warned you about.

dph55
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John

Post by dph55 » Mon Jun 12, 2006 10:19 am

I give you much admiration for doing what you need to do. When the time is right the time is right.
Do your best and let your higher power do the rest.

Superdave
Houston, TX
8-22-84
dph55

KrisDemeanoR
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Post by KrisDemeanoR » Wed Jun 21, 2006 3:16 pm

Wow, I can't wait to go now that I see how many sober peeps there are!

This will be my first year sober at BM; I've gone two other times and been too wasted to really see or experience anything. My boyfriend is a normie, as are all of our friends, so it will be nice to see some sober faces there.

8-15-2004
KrisDemeanoR

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Post by MrMullen » Thu Jun 22, 2006 5:05 pm

KrisDemeanoR wrote:Wow, I can't wait to go now that I see how many sober peeps there are!

This will be my first year sober at BM; I've gone two other times and been too wasted to really see or experience anything. My boyfriend is a normie, as are all of our friends, so it will be nice to see some sober faces there.

8-15-2004
Here is the big shocker too, you will have 10x as much fun as the drinkers.

You will feel great in the morning!
You will remember everything!
You will have energy all the time!
You will have an amazing time!

Last year was my first year sober, and it was much better than my first year drunk all the time.
--
Mr Mullen

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mojo
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Post by mojo » Thu Jun 22, 2006 6:12 pm

Unjonharley -


HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!
Cum catapulte proscripte erunt tum soli proscripti catapultus haebunt.

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unjonharley
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Post by unjonharley » Fri Jun 23, 2006 2:29 pm

mojo wrote:Unjonharley -


HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!


/
Tanks mojo, These white knuckles have worked well now for 44.
I'm the contraptioneer your mother warned you about.

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