MISSING BUT NOT M.I.A.

Good afternoon everyone, I hope that you all are in good health and spirits. As for me well all I can say is Thank you God.

It has been quite some time since my last post and for this I truly apologize. I have been preoccupied. Living life on life’s terms is not easy, suddenly I find that there aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything that I think I need to do. I must admit that I am amazed at how my life has turned out so far. The good, bad and the sometimes ugly of today are nothing compared to how I saw life just a short 4 years and 10 months and some days ago.

Ok Ok.

Let me catch you up on what has been going on in the life of this recovering addict.

As many of you might know, I’ve moved from NYC. I have been blessed to have the opportunity to start a brand new life in a brand new state. I have also been blessed to find a woman to spend my life with. We are making a new life together and it has been an amazing journey from the start. There have been many blessings along my journey in this new life in recovery. I have learned to stand up for myself, not accept anything, I do not need to people please to try to fit in. I have learned to love myself and treat myself with respect and to accept love from others. I am still growing and changing in so many ways. I am grateful beyond words.

I remember my beginning, back when I struggled to stay clean. I thought that I would die using and used to say that I wanted people to put drugs in the casket. Smfh. I mean who thinks like that. Just that alone should have told me that something was seriously wrong. I thank God that I was saved from myself. Yes God because left to my own devices, I wouldn’t have stopped until I either killed myself or someone else.

Coming from my active addiction into the recovery process was not a easy transition. I resisted everything and everyone that tried to help me. I was still caught up in the grips of my addiction and the false beliefs that I had developed over the decades of using. I couldn’t believe that anyone in their right mind could actually want to stop using drugs. I couldn’t grasp the slogan if you don’t pick up, you can’t get high. All I’ve ever known and wanted was to pick up. So I struggled and suffered in silence. As time went on and after several returns to active addiction I finally found myself willing to try a different way of doing things. I was ready and so I surrendered and my life began to change.

There are times in my Journey that my old attitudes and behaviors are active. I find myself wanting to revisit negative thoughts and act out on my negative behaviors. Those are the times when I have to remember what practicing those behaviors have gotten me. Jails and institutions are a part of my past and I have no desire to make them a part of my present. I have to keep my story fresh in my mind but not live in or become stuck on those thoughts. It’s Ok to visit my past but God knows I do not wish to live there. So I plug back in and stay connected.

Although my life is great now, it only takes one bad decision to startup a vicious cycle all over again. I am grateful to be missing because my life has changed and become full and not missing because I used and returned to the scene of my addiction. The work that needs to be done is ongoing, it’s never alright to think that I don’t need to stay in this process or that I don’t need it anymore. That is the biggest lie that I could ever tell myself and will only lead to the self destruction that I only have a daily reprieve from. I am only a strong as the program that I work. If I am not working on my recovery, then relapse will be working on me.

So I take action to

STAY CONNECTED, STAY PROTECTED

Peace and blessings.

Eric Ease

ALIENATION & ISOLATION

Feeling like I don’t fit in. I’ve been struggling lately with feeling alienated. Yet again feeling Like I don’t belong.

I remember all to well those feelings I had in my active addiction. Just wanting to feel like I was a part of something and the hoops that I caused myself to jump through, just to fit in. Those were some of the most painful days of my life.

This feels familiar, but different at the same time. Today I refuse to subject myself to the degradation and embarrassment of those antics. Today I would rather just be left alone. I know how to isolate. I know how to remove myself from the people, places and things. I also know that separation from the people, places and things that have and still are saving me from myself is a major mistake and a tragedy waiting to happen.

I at a point in my life where I am just tired of the nonsense. The games and all the BULLSHIT that remind me of my days of pain, suffering and misery. Recovery is supposed to be a life line and supposed to be about change. But if nothing changes, then nothing changes. The work has to continue to be a priority because when I start to slack off I feel it in more ways than I can count.

My addiction is very much active at any given time of the day and I have been allowing it to run rampant. Forgetting about the gratitude and complaining about just about anything and everything. I need to get back to the basics. Check myself daily. Hourly even. Remember why I am here and how I got here. God’s grace kept me from killing me and I will not allow it to finish the job now.

Thank you. I needed to hear myself and the insanity that was running through my head just now.

Peace and blessings.

Eric Ease

THE PAST. THAT NEVER ENDING CYCLE OF ANGER, RESENTMENT AND FEAR.

It’s been far too long since I have posted and for this I apologize. Living life on life’s terms can be difficult at times. Becoming a responsible and productive member of society has proven to me that there are definitely NOT enough hours in a day. Lol. I am grateful that my days are full and productive. For a long time that was not the case.

A lot has happened in the months since my last post. Some good, some bad and then there are the things that I cannot put a label on. For the most part my life is great. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. My worst day clean is still far better than my best day using. That’s a fact. Since coming back to recovery I have been doing some work on myself. I have grown and I am learning how to make better decisions and make better use of my time.

One of the greatest lessons I am learning is that the past is a memory. It is no longer valid, useful or pertinent. There is nothing that I can do about it, it can’t be changed or altered and I can call a do over. It can be a tool for learning or it can be a never ending cycle of anger, resentments and fear. It can be a road block and can cause me to block myself from receiving the gifts that await me today or it can be the motivation to keep me moving forward. It all about how I choose to see my past and what I choose to do with it.

IF I CHOOSE TO DWELL ON IT.

I can and will remain bitter, angry, resentful, depressed and stuck in a cycle that will only keep me from growing. That cycle will eventually take me back to the old attitudes and behaviors associated with those past events. I will spiral out of control and jails, institutions and eventually death will be the results.

IF I CHOOSE TO LET GO…

Then I will be free of the bitterness, anger, resentments, fear and depression. It will free up the clutter in my mind and allow me to focus on new things. I will be making room for new journeys, new experiences, new memories. I will be free from making the same mistakes and repeating the same patterns. The burden will be lifted and my spirit will be ignited. I will be able to enjoy all that life has to offer.

I AM CHOOSING TO LET GO.

Working my forth step helped me to sort through a lot of the confusion. I was able to distinguish between the truth and what lies I told myself that I came to believe to be the truth. I was able to see that a lot of the anger, resentments and even the fear that I held on to for years was not valid. I’ve allowed myself to create a life of isolation and bitterness based on resenting others for situations that I CREATED. I held on to these resentments for years and as a result alienated myself from my friends and family. I missed out on enjoying all that life had to offer me. I sat on the sidelines while my whole life was passing me by. Then I got angry and resentful because I let life pass me by. Placing the blame on you and any and everybody else. Never taking responsibility for my part in all those situations. The funny part is that no one remembers all those minor things but me. I’ve held on to grudges long after the expiration date. Long after…

Today I can own my part. Today I take responsibility for my actions. I see the harm that I caused. I can feel the pain I’ve caused by my actions. I know now that I was the cause of all those angry days and nights. I pushed people away. The very people who were trying to help me, when I was playing victim and saying that they were trying to hurt me. I believed my own lies, allowing myself to wallow in self pity. Me. It was all me.

I had to dig deeper than I ever thought possible. I had to become willing to push past what I knew to be true, and actually uncover the truth. I had to become brutally honest and really analyze the tapes. Go over the memories with a fine tooth comb. Writing over and over as more memories became clear. I had to surrender. I had to be open minded to the possibility that what I thought was true could possibly be false. Made up. Manufactured by the owner of a fractured personality.

The truth came to light and I am experiencing a freedom that I have never felt. But being the addict that I am. My mind still wants me to believe the lies. So with that freedom also comes responsibility. The responsibility of remaining vigilant, of continuing to do the work necessary to maintain. The responsibility to keep digging and uncovering the truth. The responsibility to keep recovering…

ONE DAY AT A TIME.

Peace and blessings.

Eric Ease

HAPPY 6 YEAR ANNIVERSARY FROM STRUGGLE TO STRENGTH

Wow. It’s been 6 years since I wrote my first blog post on November 17, 2011. Since that time a lot has happened. I can honestly say that I have grown. I have shared my journey from active addiction into recovery.

My struggle with staying clean in my beginnings has given me strength and a shot of hope on numerous occasions. I love to go back and read my earlier posts, especially when I am feeling down and my addiction is trying to rob me of my sense of accomplishment. I sometimes have to remind myself that I have come a long way and reading old posts helps me to see how far I have truly come. I remember vividly the tough times I had in the beginning and how I felt like I couldn’t stay clean. I often share how I thought that I was going to die a addict. I no longer feel that way and I think it is important for others to understand that they too can get and stay clean.

I was talking with a friend of mine today about my journey as a new comer and how I made my recovery a lot harder than it had to be. You see I used for so long that I brain washed myself into thinking that there was no way out. I believed the lies that I told myself for so long. I never in a million years would have thought that I could ever live the life that I am living right now.

My journey has taught me many things, but the one thing that I cling to is R. I. P. It stands for Recovery Is Possible. If you would’ve asked me all through my addiction I would have said the obvious. Rest In Peace. I wanted the latter so badly when I was using. I couldn’t take the pain anymore. I wanted a way out and contemplated suicide on many occasions. But my Higher Power saw fit to grant me a way out. I am forever grateful.

I started this blog as a way for me to vent and write my feelings whether good or bad. I never meant for it to be publicly viewed, to meet others in recovery or to make so many new friends, but I did. I am thankful to everyone who has supported me and encouraged me with their comments, suggestions, thoughts, opinions and advice throughout the years. You all have played a major role in my journey and am honored to have you all in my network.

My blog is 6 and I am 4 years clean just this past October 26 and I am blessed to still be here.

One day at a time.

Peace and blessings.

Eric Ease

WHAT I THINK & SPEAK WILL BECOME MY REALITY

It has been a while since I posted. I’ve been really busy between my getting ready for my wedding, physical therapy, trying to work, finding the time to make meetings and do step work among a host of other things. There is just not enough time in the day. Lol.

I have made quite a few discoveries about myself in the last couple of weeks. They say that when the pain gets great enough you will change. I have been feeling stuck and complacent. The pain of remaining the same has been causing me to feel a little depressed. Sadness and complacency are red flags. They are warning signs that I am heading into a dangerous place.

I’ve had the opportunity to to start a searching and fearless inventory of myself and I am getting some clarity on some of the things that I do and why I do them. A lot of the feelings and behaviors that I exhibit have been born in the struggle of my addiction and carried over to my life in recovery. I realize of course that they would if I am not doing anything to change them. After all nothing changes, if nothing changes.

One of the main things that I need to change is the way I think. Another thing is the things that I say to myself and others as a result of those thoughts. With some help, I am able to understand that what I speak will come into existence. I am the cause of my own results. I can no longer blame others for things that I am responsible for. If I continue to have a negative mindset, I will continue to have negative results.

Changing my thinking has been a challenge for me. I am so used to seeing life through the eyes of who I used to be that I am not giving who I am now a chance. The same mentality that has allowed fear to dictate my actions in my active addiction has been dictating my actions in recovery. It was easy to miss because I became accustomed to thinking and living that way. I settled once again for living in my comfort zone. Not wanting to try something new but sick and tired of living the same old way day in and day out.

I’ve heard it said that knowing is half the battle. The other half is doing something about it.

The journey and discovery continues.

Thanks for allowing me to share.

Peace and blessings.

Eric Ease

CUTTING THROUGH THE CONFUSION

I remember all the things I took for granted in my active addiction. Physical, mental and spiritual things alike. I also remember when the walls came crashing down and I lost all those things. I remember thinking that my life was no longer worth living because I had nothing and I could not stop using drugs. I blamed people, places and things for all my hardships. I was broken and didn’t think there was a way out.

All my life I focused on outside influences to make me feel. Whether it was happiness, love, friendship, compassion or just to be a part of. I always seeked approval from others. I needed validation and thought that it was other people that would give it to me. I thought I was supposed to receive it from everyone. I found out the hard way that no one gives a fuck about you or your feelings. I learned some very valuable lessons early on in reference to this fact.

I was very naive and easily influenced as a child and as a result I found out that honestly and kindness was a weakness. It was a sign that gave other people a indication that they could take advantage of you. So after a while I became the exact opposite. I learned the street rules and proceeded to not only master them but to make up some of my own. I became someone other than my true self. I became what I thought everyone else wanted to see.

As a result I got lost in the many different egos and personalities. I forgot how to be me. Actually I never developed a true me. I began my journey into hell at the early stages of my life. Before I was even a teenager I was already caught up in the grips. I never learned the basics. How to make friends and be a friend. How to genuinely care about people and show compassion. How to carry simple conversations. Graduate from school and move on through the stages of the process called life. I missed out on all that life had to offer and instead settled for the high cost of living the low life.

I wish I could say that no one warned me, but that would be a lie. I was warned over and over again. I thought I knew better so I brushed off the warnings with a minimum of concern. I paid for my arrogance a thousand times over.

I am not sure when I crossed back over the imaginary line but today here I stand. Starting from scratch. Learning things I should have been doing years ago. I am at a point where I feel like that 9 year old little boy again. Confused and frustrated. Unable to identify what I am going through and scared to express my thoughts. Step work has helped me to get to this point and I am grateful. I have fear of what lies ahead of me and at the same time I am excited and eager. I want to uncover the truth. Discard the lies. Put the past to bed, say goodbye and move on.

I am currently working on my 4th step with my sponsor. I write, ask questions. I often find myself crying as I am reliving some of my past. I am finding some truths where I held resentments and anger for years. Resentments that I now realize are not valid because I am required to look at the part I played in them. Resentments that I have held for decades. Now crumble to dust because I was the problem not them.

Cutting through the confusion is pain and pleasure at the same time. It is confusion and clarity, happiness and sadness, fear and courage. It is me and them (my egos and personalities) and in the end it will be me. I will rise from the ashes of that confusion a new person. They will no longer have a hold on me. I will slay each ego and personality one by one until they no longer exist. I will be free from the false pride, lies and images that I created as protection. I will be able to stand tall as a man no longer held back by the chains of my past or my addiction.

The truth shall set me free.

My gratitude shows in my actions louder than my words could ever say.

Peace and blessings.

Eric Ease

FINDING MY OWN WAY. 

I heard it said and truly believe that, If I forget where I came from. I will certainly be doomed to repeat. So I make it my business to make the necessary connections today. By doing so it allows me to see myself coming and stop my insanity before it becomes a problem. Before it becomes a resentment, before my thinking can try to convince me that I am wasting my time and that I can’t do anything right. Blah, blah, blah. So forth and so on.

My life has been a vicious cycle of never ending insanity for a long time and now that I am clean and living a semi-normal life I find that the insanity is still present. It manifests itself in similar and in different ways.

Take for instance my need..

-To belong, I am still feeling my way around and still at times feel like I don’t belong. My disease is still active in that area and is constantly trying to isolate me from the very thing that has saved my life.

-To fit in, I am still trying to figure out where I fit in, in the grand scheme of things. What’s my purpose, what’s my niche. What am I supposed to be doing with my life. Why have I been given another opportunity.

-To keep the peace, I am finding myself people pleasing, biting my tongue, not speaking my mind. Dumbing down. I am not being the blunt, abrasive and forthright person I once knew to be me. Instead I play small almost as if I am trying to be invisible or not take responsibility.

I don’t know. I’m rambling.

Anyway.

I am trying to find my own way. It’s time to fill the void. I no longer wish to live someone else’s way. Do what they want to do. I have to start giving thought to what I want. Find out what makes me tick. Figure out my purpose. Stop jumping from one thing to another and be consistent.

It’s time to create my world.

Peace and blessings.

Eric Ease

BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD

Failure-doesnt-mean-the-game-is-over-it-means-try-again-with-experience.

I have to admit. The old feelings of failure have been biting at my heels the last couple of weeks. The thoughts that I would never amount to anything and I am useless. worthless, stupid and a failure have been ringing in my head. I am reminded of my past constantly and I have been struggling with shaking those thoughts and feelings. I am sharing this with you because I need to. I need to share the good right along with the bad. I am human, far from perfect and I still struggle with those old thoughts and feelings at times.

I have a habit of always looking for the doom as some people would say, but I don’t see it that way. I have lived the doom all my life so I know a thing or two about it. I know that shit happens. I have caused shit to happen, (self sabotage) witnessed it happen and know for a fact what can happen. I don’t like to always think negatively but I do like to be prepared for it because it does happen. I am not sure if you can understand that. It has nothing to do with trying to always be positive or what you think will happen will happen. It has to do with not being naive, unrealistic or rocked to sleep because things are going well. When life is good and everything’s going my way I can forget sometimes that there will be bad days too. Murphy’s Law. Whatever could go wrong will go wrong.

Anyway. I am drifting off subject.

I have never been much of a risk taker. I lived pretty much in the comfort zone. Believe it or not I was comfortable in my misery in my addiction for a long time. I expected nothing and as a result I got just what I expected. In recovery however I am trying to live a different life and as a result I am taking risks, trying new things and making myself uncomfortable in the process in order to grow spiritually, mentally and physically. I am enjoying this new way of life and would not trade it for the world. I have accomplished many things in the last 3 years and 8 months that I have been clean. I owe it all to my higher power, the fellowship and a willingness to change.

With that being said I have attempted many new things in this time frame and not everything that I took a risk on paid off. I have stumbled many times. I have failed at some of the risks I have taken. I am learning how to deal with failure and not to look at it as a negative thing. I am learning to look at those attempts as a learning experience and not a complete failure. By doing this I have learned that it doesn’t mean that I should give up. It just means that the way I did it didn’t work out at that time. It allows me to have a choice. It allows me to go back to the drawing board and rethink my method, replan my attempt. It allows me to gather more information to add to the information I already have. I already know what didn’t work because I now have the experience from trying. Experience I would not otherwise have had if I did not take the risk in the first place.

WOW

This is mind blowing for me because I never looked at failing at something as a good thing or a learning experience. I used to just give up and be depressed, frustrated, angry and defeated. I would allow the negative self talk to talk me right out of trying it again or trying anything else for that matter. I would allow it to keep me stuck in my comfort zone slowing dying from the unsatisfied, unworthy, useless feelings. I have been in that rut for years. I no longer choose to live in my comfort zone of complacency. Today I choose to move forward with my life no matter what.

I have recently took a risk.

I was sick and tired of the work I was doing for quite some time. I was unhappy at work and it was spilling over into my personal life at home. It was affecting my spirit and I was feeling like I was drowning in my sorrows. I stayed on this job, in this field way past the expiration date and it was beginning to take it’s toll on my well being. I knew I had to do something and I had to do it quick. I decided to end my relationship with the company I worked for. I have been with them for 7 years and I felt it was time to part ways. I resigned and wrote the post – RETIRED FROM THE BALL AND CHAIN WAS SCARY. STARTING ANEW IS ALSO SCARY. BUT STAYING THE SAME IS THE SCARIEST.  That post was written 2 months ago.

It’s funny how time flies, but even funnier how some things remain the same. I am still very excited about becoming a real estate investor. I have been putting in a lot of work. Searching properties, learning how to contact owners, write contracts, make offers, deal with realtors, sending out direct mail campaigns, creating websites, posts, flyers and listing the company in online directories. I have learned a lot in the last 2 months since retiring from my 9 to 5. I am proud of myself for taking the risk to do something to make my life and my families life better. But with all my efforts and all the hard work I have still yet to buy my first property. I have hit more roadblocks and obstacles than I anticipated and as I stated in the beginning of this post. I am starting to doubt myself. I am starting to lose hope and I am starting to feel like the failure that my disease will have me think that I am. Now I know that these are just feelings. I know that better things are just around the corner. I know that if I give up now that I will be selling myself short. I know all this but that doesn’t mean that I do not feel the things that I am feeling. The difference is what I do about it. I could give up and allow the negative thoughts to once again dictate my life or I can dig deeper and strap in for the ride.

Although I have been struggling with getting my business off the ground. I refuse to throw in the towel. I realize that first of all. I have not been doing this for long. 2 months is not enough time to evaluate my success or failure in this business. Secondly I have to realize who is doing the talking, my addiction, those thoughts have always tried to sabotage my efforts and I always believed them. NOT TODAY. I am determined to succeed. So I will go back to the drawing board. I am grateful for the knowledge that I have gained and will use that to my advantage. I will start my day over as many times as I have to. I will shake as many trees, call as many sellers, knock on as many doors as necessary. I will keep the focus where it belongs on moving forward.

Nothing worth having comes over night. I will use my tools to get me through this. One day at a time.

Peace and blessings

Eric Ease

 

 

PLANTING THE SEED.

First and foremost. I thank God for saving my life and giving me another opportunity. I know that it was devine intervention that planted the seed of recovery in my life and that same devine intervention allows me to be able to share my experiences with all of you. 

Knowing what I know. It would be not only selfish of me but a down right waste if I didn’t give back what was so freely given to me. I would not be able to keep it, I would have simply squandered it away. I would have taken this gift for granted like I did so many other times. Not realizing the blessings that were bestowed upon me. 

My self centeredness and egotistical self would have me believe that I did all of this on my own. It would have me believing that I was owed this and I deserve it because of all the hard times I have been through. But that’s not true. Nobody owes me a damn thing. In fact it’s the other way around. I owe. I owe a debt that can never be replayed. The only way I know how to attempt to at least make some amends is by giving back. Showing the still sick and suffering addicts that recovery is possible. By letting the family members of those addicted know that recovery is possible. There is a way out and you too can get clean. 

My hopes with my blog from the start was that I, by writing my story and sharing my experiences would be able to reach those that were still affected. By reaching them my dream was to give them the hope that I had received when I was caught up in the grips of my addiction. The hope that one day I would be able to stop using and live a semi normal life. The hope that one day the pain and suffering would stop. The hope that one day I would have my family back. The hope that one day I would be able to experience love. 

I have been afforded the opportunity to experience all of those things and for this I am very grateful. I owe my life to my Higher power and the process of recovery. 

That seed that was planted many years ago, that took several years to cultivate and finally began to produce some results. I remember thinking that I could never get clean, that I would never stop using. I remember the feelings of utter despair and hopelessness. I remember wanting to end it all. I remember it well. But I also remember the people who believed in me. The people who helped me to believe in myself. I remember those people who kept telling me that I could stop using and one day I will get clean. I remember them actually wanting and telling me to keep coming back. 
I am grateful to those people who loved me and prayed for me. Those people who helped cultivate and shape me into a person who began to believe. I remember beginning to believe that I could and would get clean and guess what. I did. 

I look back and I am filled with gratitude for all those that took the time to plant the seeds. Because I was able to overcome those lies planted in my heart by those who tried to bury me. 

So for anyone that may be reading this and thinking like I used to. Thinking that you cannot stop, that you will never get clean. Trust me when I tell you. Don’t believe those lies. You can get clean. You can get your life back. You can. I believe in you. I know you can. If I can do it so can you. Give yourself a break. It won’t be easy, it doesn’t happen overnight. But it does happen. One day at a time. Please don’t hesitate to contact me. I will be more than happy to help you any way I can. 

In recovery there’s hope and the promise of freedom. That an addict, any addict. Can stop using drugs. Lose the desire to use and find a new way of life. 

Peace and blessings. 

Eric Ease 

SUMMER MEALS PROGRAMS NEAR YOU. 

Just thought I would share in case some of you know families that are stressed about feeding their kids now that they will be out of school.

If you have or know of a school-aged child in need of breakfast and lunch this summer, simply text “FOOD” to 877877. You will receive a message back with a location closest to where they can get free summer meals. This is a NATIONAL program so anyone can benefit no matter where you’re located. (Please copy, paste, and post! Even if you aren’t in need, someone else’s kids might be. No child deserves to go hungry.)

Thank you

Peace and blessings.

Eric Ease