500 Words – Day 006 – Sober-minded – The light that guides the way -492-

Five and a half years ago I found sobriety of body through the program of Alcoholics Anonymous. It gave me a framework by which I could get to the point where I am today to realize that it was about so much more than just not drinking alcohol.

Today I find myself in a different place. Something I like to call being sober-minded. A state well beyond simply being sober-bodied. But one had to come before the other would even be a possibility. The former was the seed being planted, and the latter is the offspring of that union. An offspring that if properly nourished will eventually grow into a mature form.

But it wasn’t just one thing that happened more than five years ago that makes this possible. No, it has been a continual growth of better, more sober-minded decisions that will continue on until harvest whenever that may be and whatever that may look like.

I am beginning to suspect though that I should start seeing strong confirmation of each of these steps in about seven years. That, whatever changes are happening will not be fully appreciated for at least that long of a commitment.

I also consider my exodus from animal-based products another watershed moment in my progress towards a more sober-minded existence. Something changed at that point that I am beginning to sense with greater acuity now after a year free of consuming animal-based products. It’s hard to tell just what that is, or what it will become, but it is like a very dim light that was switched on somewhere off in the distance, and it is getting a little brighter every day.

And I believe that it has everything to do with the Gut-Brain Axis.

The gut-brain axis consists of bidirectional communication between the central and the enteric nervous system, linking emotional and cognitive centers of the brain with peripheral intestinal functions.

Strong evidence suggests that gut microbiota(micro-organisms) have an important role in communication between the gut and the nervous system. It regulates brain chemistry influencing stress response, anxiety, and memory function. Many of these effects appear to be strain-specific, suggesting a potential role of certain probiotic strains as novel adjuvant strategies for neurologic disorders. In addition, the effects of the central nervous system on microbiota composition are likely mediated by a disturbance of the normal luminal/mucosal habitat that can also be restored by the use of probiotics and possibly by diet.

Source: The gut-brain axis: interactions between enteric microbiota, central and enteric nervous systems

At this point all I can do is maintain my heading and continue to humbly adjust my course as new, better information comes to light. I know that I am on the right path. I have never felt so sober-minded in my entire life and it just keeps getting better every day with more time and distance between me and the things that were making my vessel(body) unclean.

Thanks for listening.

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