My name is Jaehkoeb... I help people graduate to living aligned with the SoberAF values. Ask me anything about sobriety, addiction, & related!

Jaehkoeb Aarisenko
Aug 26, 2018

Jaehkoeb Aarisenko is the representation of a phoenix in human form, one that has risen from the ashes of his many addictions to become a soberAF graduate.

The time and money that he used to spend on substance abuse is now being directed in a creative manner to explore the many other and more fulfilling facets of life. His main life philosophy is that life is beautiful, and as such, he plans to continue living in such a manner that allows for the full expression of that.

Feel free to engage in conversation with Jaehkoeb on matters relating to his (and of course your) sobriety, addiction, and all related topics that are of interest!

To get a better understanding of his journey and as such his views of the world, you are cordially invited to read some related blog posts & articles on the topic:

---> The Three Stages Of Sobriety (Discussing the journey of becoming SoberAF)

---> Give A Sober As Fuck (A poem exploring the whole notion of being SoberAF)

---> The Obvious Benefits Of Drug Legalization (Fairly self-explanatory title here :)

---> Sober AF Shirt Design (Learn more about the thinking behind being SoberAF)

And now that you have a better understanding of Jaehkoeb, sobriety, addiction, and other related matters that eventually all boil down to becoming the best and healthiest version of yourself... feel free to share your voice & ask a question!

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Where do you see the most growth in substance addiction in today's time?
Aug 28, 2:55PM EDT0

My focus is on living aligned to the soberAF values, and helping others do the same... so the focus isn't on the substance or the addiction, but moving life forward in a positive light that is empowering & uplifting.

As such the substance that we all inherently posses that I see most growth in is authenticity, courage, compassion, self-love, empathy, generosity, kinship, virtue, and many more such associated attributes.

Aug 30, 9:26AM EDT0
Do you feel your real-life struggle of combating substance abuse can help a lot of people learn and get inspired by?
Aug 28, 12:35PM EDT0

Whether or not my individual story directly inspires someone to make a change and get their life moving in the right direction after addiction, I trust wholeheartedly that I am contributing to the overall sobriety movement which is helping millions of people realise their true potential...

Each blog post written and shared, each question acknowledged and answered, every word of encouragement on social media apps, etc, etc... all just as valid in the grand scheme of things :)

Even the simple act of staying sober could be more than enough to indirectly inspire someone to also stay clean and sober, and that my friend could quiet possibly be the greatest gift you may give yourself!

Aug 30, 9:21AM EDT0
What was the most dangerous time you were intoxicated or drugged?
Aug 28, 10:48AM EDT0

I'm what would be considered a retired blackout artist, as I don't really think it's a great way to be for both physical and mental health. The religious poisoning of oneself and being led to believe that is a great way to have fun and reward yourself is the danger unto itself.

I don't have any real stories of dangerous situations I've been in, although the whole mentality of the party scene can be dangerous... not to say I didn't have any fun, just that it came at a cost, for which I have since spent years to get myself and my life back on track.

Aug 30, 9:14AM EDT0
Do you think the way society handles addiction contributes to the biased and judgmental way recovering addicts are treated?
Aug 28, 3:54AM EDT0

Addiction has essentially been the curtural norm and as such it has been documented that those that choose to change and thus recover may experience both judgement & encouragement from their peers.

I don't necessarily feel there is a bias one way or the other, the way an indivdual or group treats a recovering addict is totally dependent on their attitudes, values, morals, education, wisdom, attributes, etc...

As more and more people choose the path of sobriety, I can only imagine that the whole approach to addiction and how recovery is handled will change over time to help people overcome their obstacles in much more refined, and thus efficient ways.

Aug 29, 4:57PM EDT0
What are you most thankful for in your life and why?
Aug 27, 10:58PM EDT0

I'm extremely thankful for life itself... and for my re-birth (#awakening)... for now that I have transitioned from being an addict to living life all soberAF, I have the greatest chance and opportunity to continue exploring life's greatest adventure and masterpiece: life itself.

Aug 28, 10:25PM EDT0
While you were still and addict, did you recognize that you had a problem or you were in denial?
Aug 27, 2:58PM EDT0

The most accurate answer is that I probably had one hand in each pocket... on one hand I knew I had a problem and on the other hand I was somehow in denial about the whole issue, or was just too scared to change and do anything about it... I'm just grateful that I eventually made that leap of faith to better myself and the world around me :)

Aug 28, 10:16PM EDT0
Is forgiveness a crucial part of recovery for an addict? Would you say you have forgiven yourself?
Aug 27, 2:13PM EDT0

I've heard that the feedback loop between shame and addiction is one way such nasty habits find a way to perpetuate themselves.

And even though it's not necessary to receive an apology to forgive someone, I've also heard that the best apology is changed behaviour.

So I guess I've well and truly apologised to myself and the world for becoming addicted to the wrong things... and as such it would only be fair to say that my genuine and heartfelt forgiveness is an essential part to that, perpetuating a feedback loop that promotes sobriety :)

If I were to stay stuck and find it hard to forgive (if need be), then I may only feed self-loathing, which is far from the self-love that is required to resonate with the whole notion and lifestyle of being soberAF.

Aug 28, 9:14PM EDT0

How do you cope with the emotional events that may trigger addictive behaviors?

Aug 27, 1:31PM EDT0

Once upon a time I can't remember if I read an article or heard an interview about grief and other emotions, and how to properly deal with them... and the message that I got from that particular piece of information was that we must be present with what we are feeling and give ourselves enough respect to process and integrate what we feel.

So if you need to cry, then cry... if you need some time alone, go find a secluded bush track and enjoy a stroll amongst the trees... if you need to verbalise things, vent to your other half or book a session with a psychologist... etc... etc... just don't go drowning your sorrows as that never seems to solve anything other than reinforcing your addiction/s.

Aug 28, 8:31PM EDT0
How many drugs did you use when you were at your highest peak of consumption?
Aug 27, 12:54PM EDT0

If you are referring to how many different types of drugs at one time... then I wouldn't know, nor would I suggest such a cocktail.

I have tried many different substances over an extended period of time, and in my case I usually abused whatever I consumed.

Although it must also be remembered that any drug use is essentially self-abuse, as by doing so we are actively poisoning ourselves.

Aug 28, 6:50PM EDT0
Does sharing your story get easier over time or is it hard to keep reliving the past?
Aug 27, 9:12AM EDT0

I don't exactly have a particular story that I repeat over and over again and thus relive my experience/s... using my blog as a platform and other websites such as this one to share what I have learnt is a form of sharing my story without necessarily having to relive the past.

It's by focussing on the positives and building on the successes that allows me to share my story in ways that may seem abstract and indirect, although from my perspective simply help fine tune and develop a story that is empowering to both: self and others.

Aug 28, 6:45PM EDT0
Would you say shame is what causes some addicts to keep using drugs? Is it a way of not facing the harm their addiction has caused their friends and family?
Aug 27, 6:03AM EDT0

There are some very intelligent people out there that do suggest that,  with one article discussing that very issue being "Shame: The Core of Addiction and Codependency"... and that's probably why there is so much focus on sobriety being akin to self-love, because such a positive and uplfiting way to see yourself within the world may help subjugate the unconscious beliefs associated with the shame.

Aug 28, 6:37PM EDT0

I have a cousin who started taking drugs at a young age. Been in and out of rehab to no avail. Sadly, he committed suicide just over a year ago. So pls.tell me, how you can help yourself and be free of the addiction. 

Aug 27, 12:13AM EDT0

Firstly, sorry to hear about your loss, and I trust that you will accept my condolences. It's a very interesting question because you don't necessarily need to free yourself from addiction, just the harmful ones!

I, as many other people in active recovery have replaced extremely harmful addictions with less harmful ones and so on and so on until you may eliminate them all and are left with only the best addictions:

  • Such as fresh oxygenated air
  • The beauty of a sunrise or sunset
  • The joy of biting into a fresh piece of organic fruit
  • Etc, etc...

Just start putting one foot in front of the other and sooner or later you will experience more and more of the beauty that life has to offer, until one day you experience the mudane as the divine... and then you just know, you know the feeling, yet there is no way to describe it.

Aug 28, 7:16AM EDT0
What are your thoughts on the new trend of "risk reduction" youtube channels that teach people how to use drugs "safely"?
Aug 26, 9:26PM EDT0

I was one to throw caution to the wind and would recommend that if anyone decides to use drugs then it's best to educate yourself on risk reduction so as to partake in drug use in as safe and effecive manner as possible... it may very well help lower the damage done.

Using drugs whether illicit or not may have benefits as well as side effects and as such making sure you are consuming the substance you believe to be is of utmost importance.

Then knowing the different dosages and their effects, possible drug interactions, and so forth are all important if one is to use that information wisely... it may very well mean the difference between ending up 6 feet under versus safely at home in bed.

Aug 28, 6:44AM EDT0
What are the SoberAF values and how do you align your life to them?
Aug 26, 5:20PM EDT0

For me it was to simply become a better (or best) version of myself. As you step into that role you may find that you refine what that means as you make progress, although the core and fundamental 'fuel' is that which is in italics as the first sentence of this response.

Because other than getting and then staying clean and sober... the AF could be any number of things based on your individual journey and experience here on Earth. The fuel is universal, the adventure personal.

Aug 28, 6:32AM EDT0
How did you recover from your addictions? Did you go to rehab, therapy, AA?
Aug 26, 5:02PM EDT0

At first when I decided on cleaning myself up I could only manage to keep drinking which wasn't so promising, and then slowly but surely after a rollercoaster ride like none other... I graduated to being soberAF.

I didn't go to rehab or any therapy or any meetings, although did spend time online reading and researching things of interest for a while that related to alternative news and lifestyles.

Eventually I started exploring sobriety in more detail which in hindsight is probably what I should of done first. I think that at the start of my journey I didn't even know the meaning of the word of sobriety lol

I guess when we choose to improve ourselves we never really know exactly where to start and somehow for me that has been to align myself with the soberAF values, for which I am extremely grateful.

If there was a visual representation of my journey, then this would be it:

Aug 28, 6:24AM EDT0
Do you have any special mantras or sayings to help in moments of weakness?
Aug 26, 2:27PM EDT0

If you are referring to possible relapse as your weankness... then I did have certain coping mechanisms to get me through to a point where it was no longer an issue. I tried and did many different things such as:

  • Listening to music
  • Going for a walk
  • Interacting with nature
  • Planning for the future
  • Meditating
  • Eating
  • Watching documentaries and short films
  • Etc...

My personal philisophy is that LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL and as such I endevour to focus on such matters and activities the hold true to that vision. That is the foundation that I am building my life upon, and because life begets life, I only expect and deserve that which is beautiful :)

Aug 28, 6:01AM EDT0
Do you find yourself working on not relapsing even after being sober for some time? Is this a life time challenge for people trying to overcome addiction?
Aug 26, 2:02PM EDT0

As you practice simply rejecting any and all harmful substances, and as you further educate yourself on the different sobriety topics that may be of interest, and as you witness other success stories... there is a gradual shift in mentality that moves you from being an addict in active recovery, to being a human living life soberAF.

You become a new person, a new version of yourself that has seen and is now experiencing the fact that being sober is actually quiet alright, with the only thing you're missing out on being a hangover and diminishing health... so much so that relapse would become the challenge because you have mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually made that shift to health & wellness. Bravo!

Aug 28, 5:49AM EDT0
Do you think that being properly educated in the multiple uses of drugs can actually help in avoiding becoming an addict? How so?
Aug 26, 10:21AM EDT0

Remove the sigma, remove the taboo, and what do you have? People that now feel safe to explore what is of interest to them, which would more than likely lead to getting better educated on the options that they have... and that would probably require legalisation of drugs for access to the proper dosages of the substances that people desire.

Marijuana is a great example because we already know that there are different strains all with differing effects and depending on the mode of consumption and the THC/CBD ratio, you will get a different effect.

So someone with social anxiety that simply wants to feel at ease at their friend's birthday party for example, but doesn't want to get wasted may choose a strain that has a 1:1 ratio... or a strain with a much higher CBD component where the THC psychoactive component is counteracted with the CBD antipsychotic component, and thus not experienced... giving one just a nice and gentle relaxed feeling that one may get similar to consuming kava or another similar smelling and widely used herb damiana.

Although this would be just a temporary fix, and the only real way to overcome social anxiety would be to experience life unadaltered. The same kind of transition rings true for people changing diets and so forth, so I don't see why it would need to be any different here.

Aug 28, 5:34AM EDT0
What is the role of discipline and self-control in overcoming addiction?
Aug 26, 9:16AM EDT0

There is a saying that says: "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink!" - some would consider that the single most important thing to overcoming addiction is to just say NO!

Everytime you get a thought to buy a bottle, or to accept that drink from a friend, or to simply have that one glass of wine with dinner... simply don't do it... everytime you exercise that muscle it get's stronger and stronger to the point that you no longer have any cravings.

It could take a while, even years, although you don't have to do it alone and can get the right encouragement and tools from both online and offline sobriety groups... although at the end of the day if you don't pick up that glass and take that first sip... it was all you: CONGRATULATIONS!

Aug 28, 4:54AM EDT0
What’s your best advice for those sinking into addiction that need to get help?
Aug 25, 7:02AM EDT0

Get help :)

Aug 28, 4:39AM EDT0
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