Episode 20: What Exactly IS Sobriety?


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What exactly is sobriety?Can you be sober if you smoke cigarettes but abstain from alcohol?Do you have to be free of any and all addictive substances to be considered sober?The true definition of sobriety is a little hazy for us all, especially when each of our vices can vary drastically from each other.Kaila and Kiki discuss the meaning of sobriety and how it applies to their recovery journey. They also cover different trends that toe the line of sobriety like Ayahuasca Retreats, “Cali Sober” and other “natural” drug usage.In this episode, they discuss:

  • What sobriety means to them both individually
  • Why it’s important not to judge other people’s sobriety
  • Different methods of sobriety


Kaila: Hey what’s up guys. It’s Kaila and Kiki and you are listening to from Hell to Wellness. This week we are talking about what is sobriety, and we just really wanted to go over Ayahuasca Cali sober, because people have been bringing up these topics. So we were all kind of drunk and high during this time, but when we were in the band, we once opened for this other band called the Sleigh Bells and I love that band.

Kiki: We were obsessed; they were such a huge inspiration.

Kaila: Why didn’t they get to the next level – why didn’t so many bands not get to the next level?

Kiki: Well I remember hearing a couple of their songs in movies and stuff. So they actually did pretty good but then just kind of faded out, I mean it sucks.

Kaila: So anyway we booked this show and we are super excited, because we are opening for the Sleigh Bells at I think it was the Glass House right, which is a super famous huge beautiful venue in Pomona. And yes we were prepared for it right?

Kiki: Yes.

Kaila: I don’t remember what shows we were playing before that.

Kiki: The Key Club I think was the one before. So we were doing okay, we weren’t great we hadn’t toward yet.

Kaila: The Key Club wasn’t great show it was bad. But yes we played at the Key Club again before we went on tour. So we were playing for the Sleigh Bells and we got there, and it was interesting because we didn’t have a manager at that time but there were these two managers that were super interested in us, so they came to check us out. Soundcheck was a little weird right. I can tell that I am telling the story and you don’t even really remember anything.

Kiki: Honestly I remember being on Soundcheck – that was a really patchy one for me.

Kaila: Where you drunk the whole time?

Kiki: I don’t know if it was full heavy because it was super earlier on right.

Kaila: Was it?

Kiki: That was earlier early days like Jen was still in the band. So I don’t know if I was still full blast drinking, but definitely – I think I was still in school.

Kaila: Jen was in the band I don’t remember – oh yes I remember Jen now. Okay so Soundcheck was a little bit weird, and the Sleigh Bells they have this crazy wall.

Kiki: 16 cabs it was insane; 16 full stock Marshall cab it was the nuttiest thing I have ever seen.

Kaila: How much is that?

Kiki: Each one is about $1,200.

Kaila: They must be sponsored because that must be expensive as hell. But massive [2:47] and amazing and the band is just two people it’s her, and does she plays – I can’t remember if she plays. She plays something right?

Kiki: I think she might be on keyboard sometimes, but mostly singing and he was just the guitar player and then they had tracks it was so cool.

Kaila: And the sound is fucking massive and the music is so good. So I think we saw them count Soundcheck and got a little bit intimidated.

Kiki: It was pretty scary I’m not going to lie. I was like well I going to listen to these people all day, and like suddenly they are here.

Kaila: And then we proceed to play the show and it’s not great it was a bad show. I am not going to bring up why it was a bad show just to save some people, but it was a bad show and I am not going to get into the details of that – but that’s not the point of the story. So then did we just go home after that, so we were all feeling pretty shitty about this. And I remember while I was on stage singing I saw the lead singer come out and watched us, and I was like this show is not going well. So we pack up everything and we are all like kind of depressed and like packing everything up to go.

Kiki: Yes, and we had Tyler there too I remember Tyler was helping us, and then there’s people that weren’t usually there that were helping us pack I remember this.

Kaila: Yes, and we like drove to our lockout I think.

Kiki: Yes, so we had a show like the next day after in San Francisco. So I remember that day we had the show.

Kaila: Was it The Pride or something?

Kiki: It wasn’t The Pride; it was like some random show in San Jose I think. It was San Jose I remember the picture from. That was a crazy oh my God, we have to talk about that too. So we packed up like really haphazardly because we had our blinkers on.

Kaila: So were you just going to drive up to San Francisco that night.

Kiki: No the next day, so we were going like drop off the van – it’s in a gated area so it was safe, and then we would be already packed up and ready to go to San Fran. And I remember a bunch of people were scrambling and it was a little bit chaotic. I get into the van and park the car and everyone goes home and sleeps. Then we woke up the next day and we get to the van and everything is great and we are about to go, we had like a 3-hour rehearsal. That was crazy and I don’t even want to say it, but yes we were dealing with some other drugs stuff too, do you remember that?

Kaila: No.

Kiki: Maybe you weren’t there or something but we went there 3 hours earlier to do a music rehearsal, and the guitar player, she said she spend the whole night in a methadone clinic and she was going through massive, massive withdrawal, she was smoking cigarettes like back to back and we couldn’t even get through the 3-hour rehearsal because she was so like.

Kaila: I don’t remember this at all.

Kiki: That was the moment that stuck out to me so much because that was the first time I was like.

Kaila: It’s so strange the things that we remember.

Kiki: Yes, and we were all pissed.

Kaila: Not one single bit compassionate?

Kiki: No.

Kaila: Can you imagine we were not one single bit compassionate. I remember the who thing, we were not compassionate about sobriety struggles.

Kiki: That’s true and it is kind of ironic. But it happened and I remember I was fucking Furious, and I am like don’t get mad you know but I was like really, really mad it was unbearable. You can’t blame anybody looking back, but I remember all of that was going on and then right when we are about to leave. Right when we are about to leave and after all of that crazy shit was going on. Matt was there and he gets a call and he was like holyshit.

Kaila: Why does Matt get it?

Kiki: Matt was there.

Kaila: But why does he get the call?

Kiki: I have no idea. Or someone called and then he had to call back – the call of death basically saying, “you guys stole our guitars bring them back this is the Sleigh Bells manager”. And we are like what and the car was all packed up, we had fucking like [7:04] that so we could go all the way up to San Jose.

Kaila: And they were about to play Coachella.

Kiki: They were about to play Coachella and we are panicking and literally have to play – they are playing the next day and we were about to leave because we had to leave for our show.

Kaila: Can you imagine if we had went to our show already?

Kiki: Oh my God, I am so glad that they called us. So basically we are freaking out and Kath’s car was there she had a Prius, and basically we were like okay well we have to go and dig the guitar out, so we had to unpack the whole van.

Kaila: And of course it’s in the back.

Kiki: Yes, it’s in the very back, and then the old man grabs the two guitars which were gently placed and we were like fuck who the hell did that. I think it was maybe somebody that didn’t know, and they were helping but they just didn’t know. So Matt had to drive all the way out to India in Kath’s car and drop off the guitars, it was bad.

Kaila: Matt’s not down to do stuff.

Kiki: I don’t think he wanted to.

Kaila: I suppose he just forced through.

Kiki: He pulled through for sure.

Kaila: What else would we have done if we didn’t do that. Can you say mortifying on so many levels?

Kiki: It was so embarrassing. That was one of my favourite bands at the time.

Kaila: I mean we literally listen to them.

Kiki: Yes, like regularly – that was a bad day. Do you remember we played at this show up in San Jose. So I remember that show so specifically because we had, I don’t know but we had an investor come. Do you remember that investor guy and like he was going to come and he was going to check out the show?

Kaila: I don’t remember this at all.

Kiki: Oh my God, I don’t know if I have ever told you this. So I was pretty young I was still in college in my 22 or 21 barely. And we drove up after all of that shit show happened and it was very awkward.

Kaila: By the way it’s never fun to play a show after you kind of bomb the show.

Kiki: No, it’s a nightmare you don’t even want to get up on stage and you don’t want to look on anybody in the crowd, you feel like shit. Although to be fair that was a really good show in San Jose it was pretty good it did feel good. But I remember being there and then we were like okay we need to make friends with this investor and make a good impression.

As we are drinking, we are drinking a little bit here and there and then the guy got really drunk. He was standing around and being rude and then all of a sudden he started getting really fucking creepy. I don’t know if I told you this, he was like kind of touching me like this and I was like oh. Then finally at the end of the show when we were packing up he went backstage, and he flat-out and just went holy shit and just grab my butt like full blast.

I was like what the fuck. I literally said what the fuck, and then it got like really fucking weird and then I was just like dude – he was like oh I didn’t know and then he kind of like left. It was so weird; I don’t even remember who or what his name was. But I will never ever forget, that was the most full blast booty grab I have ever had in my life. I was like in rage, but it’s just like whoop. It was fucking nuts but it was a good show.

Kaila: So I guess you know what would it have been like if we were all sober and then we opened for Sleigh Bells. How could the trajectory of our lives possibly have change. But yes I don’t really miss being in bands, but sometimes.

Kiki: It’s pretty crazy, you know the whole idea of sobriety, like you said I totally and fully support that sobriety is a personal decision – like you know you have the umbrella of what sobriety means and sobriety means that you are clear mind, you know if you are functioning and you are not held the back by your substance use I think. And for people who are addicts they have to be fully sober. Some people still smoke cigarettes you know and some people may even smoke weed I guess.

This last Christmas I used to smoke a decent amount of weed in high school. It is funny this last Christmas my mom, I guess you know she’s doing some cleaning at home and she found this bag right. In high school I used to smoke weed and I put it in, like wrapped it in foil and then put it in a tin can, and then I put all of the stuff inside and wrapped it up in a sock and then put the sock inside of this little bag. It was like a Santa gag – it was like just a Christmas decoration or whatever.

And I always [11:42] because no one would actually look in it. Well this last Christmas my mom was still bringing out some gifts and she goes here’s a gift for you. And she pulls out the fucking Santa Bag and literally my heart dropped to my toes. This is literally like a couple months ago and I am like what is that. She’s like I don’t know what this is but I just wanted to show it to you because it was cute.

And I got really quiet and I was like did you find anything in there. She’s like no I just wanted you to look. So I opened it and I dumped it out and there was nothing in there, it was just like some toys from when I was a kid. I was like mom how did you know about this, she’s like I don’t know – I actually straight up just told my mom, it was like oh yes I used to smoke weed and that’s where I used to hide my weed.

She’s like wow I wonder why you actually were so scared when I show you this bag. But yes that was pretty ridiculous my mom found my old stash. Weed is a weird thing. It’s hard to delineate between like sobriety and especially when people are like it’s all-natural. So they say you know eating mushrooms is natural and stuff like that.

Kaila: I feel like just because things are natural they are good. I mean couldn’t I eat some insert poisonous substance; would that be good. Couldn’t I eat a deadly mushroom right now and wouldn’t I be like it’s natural.

Kiki: Well I literally have tried mushrooms before and thinking oh you know it’s all natural it’s all good and it’s all gravy. But mushrooms, okay so here is the thing about mushroom. You chemically cannot get addicted to them, so you cannot chemically overdose on them, so it’s actually relatively natural. The only real side effects that it has is that it would be like if you got bad food poisoning, and you’d probably get sick and stuff like that and have stomach problems. That’s the only negative effect. But mushrooms I don’t know if you have ever done them before?

Kaila: No but I’ve heard the terrifying stories.

Kiki: They are full blast terrifying.

Kaila: I would never try them just because of the stories I’ve heard.

Kiki: Okay so there is two different, like I mean you can have a full blast wonderful experience which I have had. I’ve had like happy and joyful like all colors and stuff, and then I’ve a had a nightmare experience.

Kaila: It’s like never-ending right because it’s a really long high.

Kiki: 100%. It lasts for 8 or 9 hours. I was just like, I remember I was crying and crying in the fetal position on the floor because I thought like people were dying or something – oh my God it’s so intense. I can’t even imagine somebody calling that sober because that is so intense you know.

Kaila: I don’t think anybody says they are sober if they do mushroom.

Kiki: I fully support that notion because I have heard some people that were like well I am sober now but I still want to do mushrooms. I am like what the fuck like it doesn’t make any sense I don’t know.

Kaila: Well I have an opinion on Cali Sober. So there’s this whole term in the world called California Sober, and it means that you don’t drink but you do weed. It’s a trending term right now, I don’t care if anybody smokes weed I have a lot of friends that smoke weed. I don’t know if it’s a good idea to call it sober. Because I feel like that’s confusing to people – I mean the marijuana is anonymous and it’s an active program and people have issues with it, you know like addiction issues. So I think it’s fine if you are practicing Wellness by smoking weed and not drinking, but maybe just don’t call it Cali Sober.

Kiki: That’s weird and I wonder if that term is coined by some of the people who are trying to sell weed and stuff – they are trying to like promote that. Honestly I liked weed back in the day, but you have a full blast experience when you are smoking weed and it’s not like you’re clear in mind at all.

Kaila: No, you are not one single bit sober. And aren’t you not supposed to drive.

Kiki: I don’t know; people always claim that they can drive. That is the craziest fucking thing because I remember when I used to smoke weed and I would drive. Like one time actually when we were still in the band I smoked some weed and then drove home. And it took me 15 minutes to parallel park, and then there is nobody in front of me or behind me, I just kept going and I am like I can’t do this oh my God.

Kaila: I have done weed a few times and I hate weed by the way, because for me it’s always terrifying. I have done weed probably dozens of times, and it’s never been good it’s always an awful experience. It’s not sober at all, I am not at all able to do anything and I just want to hide in a room and cry.

Kiki: Yes, it’s pretty creepy and I even remember one time when we were smoking – oh that was Salvia never mind. But Salvia too – Salvia is like we talked about it in an earlier episode. Salvia is a natural plant and you smoke it.

Kaila: I don’t subscribe to this naturalistic thing.

Kiki: No it’s garbage, and some people try to justify it, but you can have some of the craziest hallucinogenic experiences that are Beyond sober, that you wouldn’t be able to operate any type of mechanical Machinery, or really function or even sometimes have a conversation. But yes the ayahuasca.

Kaila: Yes, trending right now like crazy right.

Kiki: I mean it’s shocking because back in the day, ayahuasca was one of the strongest hallucinogenic like weed that was like herd of. So if you done Ayahuasca you were like, you are a badass.

Kaila: I have never even heard of it before.

Kiki: I had a friend that was talking about his ayahuasca experience, and that he went and did like Shaman, it was like [18:05] not in like anywhere crazy. But he signed up for this experience and the Shaman was like okay here is your ayahuasca.

Kaila: I am curious what a Shaman means and what qualifications, like how in-depth is the training needed to become one?

Kiki: I honestly think there are literally no limitations. I could stamp on your forehead I am a shaman and then call it a day, or just wear enough bells and whistles to make your lock apart.

Kaila: Can you die from doing ayahuasca?

Kiki: No so again it’s not like chemically addicted, but you can die doing something stupid on all of these hallucinogenic drugs.

Kaila: They are there to watch you.

Kiki: Yes, they are supposed to be. So this is what happened, so this guy he signs up for this experience, and as the shaman’s there. The Sharman is like administrating the experience – but it ends up he gives my friend too much because my friend doesn’t have a high tolerance.

Kaila: I mean you better trust them if they dosing you.

Kiki: Exactly, like he should have known. And then this poor guy he tripped out for 3 days.

Kaila: Is that possible?

Kiki: Yes, he was like blasted off for 3 days.

Kaila: And then he can’t sleep I’m assuming?

Kiki: No he couldn’t sleep he was completely fucked up.

Kaila: He didn’t take something to sleep?

Kiki: I don’t know he probably should have but he was in such a crazy state that she couldn’t even think.

Kaila: Was he not buying anyone anymore like the guy wasn’t with him?

Kiki: Yes, so what had happened was they had a time period and usually it goes over after like 8 to 10 hours.

Kaila: Yes, but if the guy is still high you are under like, you shouldn’t be required.

Kiki: They should be, but they kind of just feel like well okay good luck – he had to somehow make his way home.

Kaila: And then he was not with friends either?

Kiki: Apparently not, so the whole thing was completely fucked up and bunk, and he’s like I’m so scared he’s like I have never been that scared in my entire life, and like trying to get home when I was all fucked up still and everyone had gone home and left and he was just like fuck. So me and I Ayahuasca that scares the shit out of me. It shocks me that it’s become like a very trending Wellness thing for regular people.

Kaila: Yes, it was on the Goop Netflix Special they went and tried it and thought it was pretty Wellness, it seems like they were for it.

Kiki: That’s crazy, I don’t know if I could support that because it’s just too intense.

Kaila: Well here is my thoughts on it. It just seems like you are getting high like I’ve done on Acid or K but there’s a sober person that guides you through it so that helps a lot. But I don’t feel like, I mean I feel like I have been in the K-hole and have some magical experience or whatever, but I just got high it’s a different experience.

Kiki: It’s 100% high, and also micro dosing, that’s really big in like the Silicon Valley area.

Kaila: I can’t comment on it because I don’t know so much about it. But it seems a little more scientifically studied than ayahuasca.

Kiki: Maybe so, I know a lot of people – you see I think that’s not sober I can’t get down on it, because like even if it doesn’t like you are still taking the drug. Like MDMA microdosing.

Kaila: Nobody who is microdosing is saying they’re sober I don’t think, they are not like Cali.

Kiki: That’s true you are absolutely right but I mean it blows my mind. I guess it could work in certain environment.

Kaila: I’m sure he just does it because it’s supposed to make you so much more creative. I mean I don’t know I am like such a huge Tim Ferriss fan. [22:00] but he talked about it in his podcast so I imagine he’s okay with it or has tried it.

Kiki: Is he sober?

Kaila: No he’s not sober.

Kiki: A lot of those Silicon Valley guys they like to do that huge, huge, huge.

Kaila: And then I’m like well they’re smart.

Kiki: But see me a microdose would turn into a megadose.

Kaila: That’s the thing with alcoholics or addicts, like there is no microdose to anything. But I have to say sobriety itself is a very personal decision and there are a lot of people who are really militant about it, and I think that’s like totally not okay either. You know I have said and I speak pretty publicly about the fact that I take Prozac and I am all for it – it has worked for me. I drink kombucha but some people would say that’s not entirely sober, there are people who are that hard core. And sometimes I will take CBD oils to sleep.

Kiki: The thing is CBD has – like certain ones they have a tiny bit of THC in it, but it’s hard to extract all of the THC. So if you take a fuck load of it, like you could drink the whole bottle you might get a little high because there might be some THC, but I mean it’s so minimal it’s kind of like the kombucha thing. But you know it’s funny that you say that because I won’t drink kombucha just because it gives me the anxiety of having, or any chocolates with like rum in it, or any dessert or food with it I get freaked out.

Kaila: Well it’s because alcohol wasn’t my thing.

Kiki: For you it’s totally fine because you didn’t like it and it doesn’t bother you. But for me I would be like, oh fuck get it away. One time I ate this cheese oh my God it was so embarrassing. It was at my parents’ house and they had this cheese and they are like here take a bite and I am like okay great. Then I took a bite and instantly I tasted pork wine. I spit it out so fast and I was like oh my God. For some reason my anxiety just went off the wire – like I never do that and they are like what’s wrong with you and I was like there’s alcohol in it – they are like no it’s old fermented [24:23] and I’m like oh my God like it freaked me out for some reason. But that’s just because booze was like my Jammy-Jam.

Kaila: Yes, it’s funny even though alcohol wasn’t my thing I don’t drink alcohol. If I accidentally drink a drink with alcohol, I will spit it out that’s like the natural reaction.

Kiki: I 100% agree. I think that sobriety is really a very personal choice because everybody has different addictions. I mean you can have like sobriety, like if you are a sex addict you can be sobriety from sex in some kind of way. And it’s very important to understand what sobriety means to yours and not be deterred away from it. I mean I have had friends that were diagnosed with schizophrenic – this is a little bit extreme but like when we were discussing earlier that some people were saying taking medication isn’t sobriety, and not really like it made me mad and I actually get like an emotional reaction to that.

Kaila: It’s like unethical.

Kiki: It’s unethical and it’s medically incorrect because if you were supposed to be on medication. If your doctor prescribed it for you, you should be on it. Not necessarily pain killers of course sometimes those are gnarly, but you know my friend who has a severe mental disorder with schizophrenia, dropped his medication completely because he wanted to be cleared of mind, and then was found 80 pounds in his apartment with no food and almost dying, because he was like not healthy and not taking the medication properly.

So I think to make any bold statement like that and to impose that type of mentality that sobriety is clean, clean, clean only. It all just based upon what works for you. A lot of the times because people saw me as such a crazy alcoholic which I was. One thing that’s kind of like, and it is kind of like the opposite but a lot of the times everybody has a different mind-set of what sobriety is or what their norm is. And a lot of people would always ask me so when are you going to drink again.

They always saw me as [26:27] and that they kind of just thought I was taking a break – and would constantly and it’s like so you are going to drink again right, are you going to go back to it? I am like no I’m clean I am done. But because of the reality of their sober mind-set in a sense, if you would think of sober as just a Clean and Clear mindset, they think that it’s okay to drink once in a while.

And that could be their sobriety, that could be them not drinking like five drinks in the night it could just be one. But they were kind of like imposing it on me and mine is completely different. So anyway like I think it’s important to respect people and what their perspective of sobriety is for sure. Know what works for you – but if you are still struggling also get help and figure out what works.

Kaila: Well here is the thing, you shouldn’t decide what your sobriety is by yourself you’ve got to run that shit by somebody. Because I know that my head will rationalize that I need Vicodin. But if I had called somebody they would be like no, no, no. And I think don’t run it by just one person because that person can become, you know run it by a couple of people that you trust and talk about it, write about it think about it and then figure it out.

Kiki: Definitely, but I really do like CBD. I wonder if you guys, leave it in the comments like what you think about CBD as a sober person. Do you take CBD or are you against CBD? I am just curious because it’s a very new thing and especially here in California – now that the legalization of weed has happened there is all of these new products, like CBD mask and CBD this and that. Topical creams and all kinds of stuff. So do you guys think that’s sobriety because I personally think it’s okay, you are not getting high it just makes you kind of just fall asleep.

Kaila: Yes, we would love to hear from you. And as always share this episode with anyone that you think would be entertained by it or could learn something. And subscribe it really helps us, and if you love the podcast please give us a five-star rating please.

Kiki: All right take care you guys, bye.



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