CAME TO BELIEVE

12 DAYS CLEAN

I can remember when I was younger we used to go to church with my mother. I can honestly say that I never saw the point in it. I actually hated going to church. When I got a little older my mother would send us to Sunday school. Again I could not make the connections necessary to understand any of it. I guess that I just didn’t believe. After a while my mother stopped making us go. Later in life I doubted all together that there was a god because if there was a god how could he let me go through all the turmoil that I had gone through. Plus with all the crazy things that was happening around the world, if there was a god why would he let those things happen. So I brushed off any belief in god. I remember my grandmother used to always say you better pray, I would say for what there is no such thing as god. My life was a living hell and continued to get worse year after year. I couldn’t understand why I had to be made to suffer the way I was. I became a very bitter person. I had no belief system what so ever.

Later in life someone told me to pray so I tried it on a couple of occasions and needless to say my prayers were never answered. That just made my belief that god didn’t exist even stronger. So I totally gave up on any idea of god. That is until I found myself in certain situations then I would call on god..You know “God if you get me out of this…I’ll do that”. I’m sure as addicts a lot of people can relate to that. But again my prayers where never answered. I totally lost all faith and by this time I was so deep into negativity that I was on a day to day basis with the devil. I was locked into negative behaviors and saw no way out of this destructive pattern. I was hopeless.

As time went by and things just kept getting worse, I began to believe that there was something out there. Some kind of power out there but I could not tell you what. I only knew that something or someone had been sparing my life. For some unknown reason something out there just would not let me die like I wanted to. I hated myself, my life and everyone. I was a miserable person. I have done a lot of bad things in my past that should have gotten me killed. I’ve been shot at, stabbed, beat on, kicked, stomped, locked up, let out and I survived it all. On top of all that I was heavy into drug use.

At first I thought this must be punishment for not believing in god. He wants me to suffer, he doesn’t care about me, look at all the shit he let happen to me. You know the blame game. Blame god for all the trouble I got into because of things I’ve done. That’s me never take responsibility for my actions. It was always someone else’s fault. That’s how I lived my life for a very long time (35 years to be exact) with no direction at least I thought I had no direction.

I have come to believe that GOD was talking to me and walking with me the whole time. All that time I spent thinking my prayers weren’t being answered he was answering them and guiding my steps and keeping me safe. I realize that the problem wasn’t GOD the problem was me. I was so busy being angry at GOD for not answering my prayers that I couldn’t hear him when he was giving me the answers. My thought process was so clogged with the residue of the drugs, the anger, the self pity and the negativity that I couldn’t or didn’t want to hear the solutions GOD was providing me.

I know this now because I came to believe. I just recently had a spiritual awakening. I am now in touch with GOD on a daily basis. I believe that he has spared my life for a reason and I am now practicing living his will for me and not my own will. I am finally ready to get the hell out of the way and let GOD direct my steps, my life. I am willing to do this because I can admit that doing things my way for the past 35+ years has not worked. I pray to GOD and I can hear his answers today. He is giving me knowledge to make it through all of my days since my awakening. I feel his presence in my life today. I have faith that THROUGH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE. I am truly grateful to finally be able to make those connections I could not make as a kid.

I thank GOD for my life. I thank GOD for saving me from the dispair and destruction that I brought into my own life. Ive learned to let go and let god. One day at a time I will get better.

Thank you for reading todays blog post. Feel free to join my blog or leave a comment below to let me know you were here.

Have a blessed day

SELF ACCEPTANCE

11 DAYS CLEAN.

The lack of self acceptance is a problem for many addicts. Many of the problems we experience in ongoing recovery stem from an inability to accept ourselves on a deep level.
FROM IP#19 SELF ACCEPTANCE.

BACK ON THE DAYS.

Accepting myself for who I am is a major issue for me. I have used drugs for a very long time and never accepted myself. But this goes back even before I ever picked up that first drink over 35 years ago. Growing up as a kid in Brooklyn I didn’t like who I was. I was a skinny, scared little kid. I was picked on by people because I was poor, skinny and had big eyes. I always felt like an outsider, I was constantly picked on and I hated it.

I hated certain parts of my childhood. I couldn’t understand why people didn’t like me so I cried a lot. I always wished I was someone else (anyone else) so I pretended to be anyone but me. As time went on I got introduced to alcohol and I noticed it gave me confidence (or so I thought back then) and that was the beginning of the road to destruction. I drank everyday.

FALSE IMAGE

Needless to say I became a monster. I became a bully instead of the victim. I became a viscious little kid and as time went on I moved on to harder drugs, crime and eventually prison. I though I was the man. I always put up this false image of  myself to fit in with whatever crowd I wanted to be a part of. I did things so people would like me. Ultimately drinking and drugging became my secret weapon. It made me popular. This went on for years and now as an adult I find myself lost, without and identity to call my own. I  feel like I have no purpose, like I’m just existing. I struggle with who I am and what I stand for and that’s when I start to get Irritated, judgemental of myself, depressed, confused and angry. ALL TRIGGERS FOR ME. I start telling myself the lies you know the lies, drugs will make me feel better or I am a failure anyway so lets go smoke something. etc, etc. Then the next thing you know sticking true to my nature I eventually relapse. I have been rejecting myself for years. I am unable to accept myself as anything other than a failure and not worthy of anything good. I am that little kid again. I  know self rejection all to well and I also know about being rejected by others. I used to push people away before they could reject me, so I would feel like I rejected them first. Insanity is alive and well aint it..lol

SLOW DOWN

I am aware of these things today. I know that change will not happen over night and it is a process. I am willing to give myself a chance. I want to get better. I want to learn to love myself and I know that I will as long as I don’t give up on myself and pick up. So I am doing some real work on myself this time. I am getting in touch with my inner self and with my new found faith. I am chipping away at the years of self neglect, self rejection, self loathing, self pity and selfishness and with the help of my higher power GOD, my sponsor, my home group and my network of recovering addicts, the basic text, the 12 steps and all the literature I have faith that I will begin to make some progress. As I stated before this is a process that will take some time. It is scary to think about sometimes but it must be done. I will not rush this process and get frustrated because I think I am not seeing results. I will take this one day at a time. One minute at a time if I have to. I will give myself a break and stop being so hard on myself.

Afterall I am a very nice person.  : )

Thank you for reading today’s blog post.
Please feel free to comment below.  Thanks again and have a great day.

Physical, Mental, Spiritual

10 DAYS CLEAN

Good morning, I wake up in the morning and I thank God for another day. I also ask my Higher Power to guide me on my day to day journey, to keep me safe and out of harms way. I also pray for the still sick and suffering addicts inside and outside the rooms.

Today I will be talking about 3 aspects of my addiction. Now I want to be very clear about this. What I post on my blog are my feelings and are no way meant to be a guide to recovery. I write how I see things and how they affect me. You might not agree with it, it might not be the way you see things and that’s cool. You can post your reply at the bottom of every blog post. Now with that being said.

Physical & Mental

Compulsive behavior is common with me. I have been known to go on binges for days unable to stop once I’ve started using. Chasing after that first hit and never quite getting it but continuing any way because I couldn’t stop. The uncontrollable urges were so powerful that I could not think about anything else. The desire to continue even though I knew the outcome of my actions. Every waking moment spent on the using and finding ways and means to use some more. Even after all my money was gone. I remember doing things to get more that I wouldn’t dream of doing if I were not high. I did 2 state bids and countless city bids because of this. I hurt not only myself but any and everyone who crossed my path. My destruction was of a major scale. It wasn’t enough to just burn bridges, I had to blow them up, napalm the debris and then wash the ashes away with a tsunami. The wreckage of my past has haunted me day and night for the last 30 years and I have to learn to let go of the past if I am going to ever be able to move forward.. So now that I can think a little clearer I am grateful today because I am learning new things about addiction. The first and most important piece of information is IF I DON’T PICK IT UP..I CAN’T GET HIGH..Priceless

Spiritual

Self Centered Me Me Me

Its amazing how what I used to think was normal behavior I am finding out it was part of the madness known as addiction. I used to think that the reason I like being alone is because everybody was a bunch of fake ass phoney mother fuckers. That I was better off alone at least that way I didn’t have to share with anyone. Plus nobody could ever hurt me again. That I was better than everybody  else. I was sick and tired of being around people in the end. I would be all alone just the way I liked it. (Or so I thought I liked it) My life turned into a very lonely existence. I remember crying myself to sleep on many occasion. I remember not having any friends that I could call if I was hurt or in trouble. My addiction caused me to think that everyone else was the problem so I isolated, I locked myself away into my own world. Everything was about me, fuck everybody else. I remember thinking that I can do what ever I want without anybody to tell me different. I also remember thinking how every time I went somewhere how I felt like everyone was talking about me or looking at me. I remember how I abandoned my family members. I just disappeared off the face of the earth. My mother, father, brothers nobody knew where I was and if I was ok. I didn’t care. I was locked in the self centered world of me. Nothing else mattered to me but what I wanted. Not even family.

I never thought that I would change. I always thought once and addict always an addict. I am beginning to see that I can be a different person. I am beginning to experience a new found hope. I have faith and I pray all day. I never used to do that. I know that I still have a very long way to go but I am open to this new way of life. I mean after all I have to do something.. I am also beginning to like myself. I cannot say love just yet but I am getting there. Thank God for change. I am learning to move out of my own way and let my God drive. Who would have guessed…Thanks for reading today’s blog entry.  Have a wonderful day.

RELAPSE AND RECOVERY

9 DAYS CLEAN

Good morning, I am grateful to God for waking me up clean this morning.
I want to talk about relapse and my triggers today. I relapsed 3 times this year my first year trying to get clean. After using and being used by drugs for over 30 years. After taking a serious look at why this keeps happening I’ve come up with a few reasons.
1. I stopped working my program.
2. Self doubt / Self pity / Selfishness
3. Forgetting the pain and misery
4. I was no longer Honest, Open minded nor willing.
5. Isolation

1. MY PROGRAM
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. I could keep going but I want to focus on these right now.
I’ve come to realize how important making meetings and doing step work is to my recovery. I know for a fact that the minute I stopped working my program my addiction started to go to work on getting me back. So I know that I must make my meetings share what I am going through and continue my step work. After all why go to meetings if you are not going to share to me that in my mind is like having a reservation.

2. LOW SELF ESTEEM

I have a low self esteem which played a major part in my relapses. I begin to doubt that I can do this, that I cannot stay clean. Its impossible I would tell myself. Then the pity sets in. I am a loser, I am not good enough, I have failed at everything so why even bother to try. I have never accomplished anything. So my mind played me right back into using. I might as well go ahead and use because it will make me feel better. That I am never going to amount to anything anyway so stop kidding myself. After all that then the I can do this without making meetings, I don’t need these people telling me what to do. They don’t know me how can they help me. I can control my usage. I am better off by myself anyway. ALL LIES. I know better than that today. I know that I do need the people in NA. I know that I CAN DO THIS. I know that I AM SOMEBODY, I AM SMART, I AM NOT A LOSER, IT IS NOT IMPOSSIBLE, I AM GOOD ENOUGH. So now I am on a positive affirmations habit. I tell myself good things, that I am whatever I want to be. And its all good.

3. CRS
 I suffer from CRS. Can’t Remember Shit. That is one of my biggest problems. Forgetting the pain and suffering and only remembering the so called good times. Now here’s the crazy part, the good times don’t even exist anymore. So trying to relive something that you know doesn’t exist anymore is crazy. I have to play the memory tapes all the way through because in the middle of those tapes are the horrors I went through, the shame, the embarrassment, the degrading moments I need to keep up front. All the disappointments, all the misery. I MUST REMEMBER THE PAIN.

4. HONESTY
Honesty play its usual role, it wasn’t there at all. I had a little clean time but wasn’t being very honest about my life. Even after I relapsed I lied about clean time and my feelings and just about everything else. I had myself believing the lies I told. I began being closed to suggestions, ideas about staying clean were replaced with thoughts of using. Willingness to stay clean no matter what didn’t exist anymore. I became willing to do whatever to get that next hit. I didn’t care about going back to prison or anything else. I was back in the full swing of my addiction.

5. ISOLATION
The biggest lie of all is I CAN DO THIS ALONE. I remember thinking that to myself on several occasions. The problem with that is my thinking is what got me here. When I am alone in my head its not pretty. What’s worse is believing I really could do this alone. I have been a liner almost all my life. I never felt like I belonged anywhere. In my active addiction it was even worse. I would sit alone using, paranoid all the time, slipping further and further from reality. I don’t like being lonely and don’t know anyone who does. But addiction has ruined every relationship I ever had do to my self centeredness. Today I look forward to being around people like me. I finally feel like I belong somewhere. Thanks to the rooms of NA.

WEEK ONE

8 DAYS CLEAN

Well I am happy to say that I have been clean now for 1 whole week. It is a good feeling I must admit. I know that it is Gods will for me to live a better life and with the help of NA, my home group and all of you guys out there in recovery I now believe it is possible. I thank you all. Your struggles equal my struggles.
I have to say that yesterday didn’t go by so easy though. I had a lot of cravings and last night the drug dreams were there too. I haven’t been sleeping good the past week and I am very tired but I know that is because of withdrawls from using. I know the cravings too shall pass as long as I don’t pick up. You guys taught me that in the rooms. Well I’m at work so I will be posting off and on throughout the day as usual.
I’m outside taking a break so I figured I check in. Nothing going on though. Work is great as always. The crew that I work with are the funniest guys on the planet. We crack jokes on each other all day long. Lmao. It makes the day go by so much faster.
I m feeling really good, no cravings, no dreams. So its a win win so far today. Ttyl.
Now that all my co-workers are gone, I can post freely on my office computer. When the guys are here I use my cellphone outside because first and foremost they are not in recovery and my business is just that. I do not talk to them about it. They have no clue about my personal demons and I prefer to keep it that way. It’s 8pm here in NY and I am ready to go home. I am tired I need some sleep. I look like hell with bags under my eyes (I’ve always had bags they just look more puffy today..lol) As I stated earlier I haven’t been sleeping good lately hopefully I will go right to bed when I get home. I wish I could take a nap right now though…lol

I am at peace for a minute. I am learning to get out of my own way and let go and let God do the driving. It is comforting to know that I don’t have to have all the answers and that I am not always right. Doing service yesterday opened my eyes to the fact that I need to do more service. I have to find an outlet to help others so I can in turn help myself.

Thank God for another day clean, for getting me home safe and for everything he continues to do for me. I am truly grateful today. Good night and God bless.

FRIDAY NIGHT

I just want to say that this week was really great. I was worried that because I just came back from a relapse (my new clean date is November 19, 2011)that I would not be able to stay clean for Thanksgiving. I was off from work on Tues, Wed and Thurs. and really didn’t think I could do it. I wanted to stay clean but doubted myself do to past history. Well first and foremost I have to say that my higher power GOD had a different plan, by doing his will and not mines I made meetings all day Tuesday and Wednesday by going all over the city and thanks to NA Thursday was the Gratitude marathon so I was able to stay in one spot and have meetings all day. I have to share my gratitude for the fellowship. I finally have the belief in God and in myself. I am becoming much more spiritual as each day goes by. I have a new outlook and truly believe that I can do this. I am telling myself positive things instead of talking negative and I am not allowing any negative thoughts to control my actions.

I am about to get off from work and I just finished talking to my sponsor and another recovering addict. I had to call someone because this is Friday and its a normal get high day. I am not feeling like getting high, but in past experience it can pop up on me in a split second. I am keeping track of my feelings and am becoming more aware of attitudes an behaviors. I am making notes on triggers that I already know and new ones when they appear. And believe me after using for 30+ years they appear out of thin air. I am using the tools more than ever and using the phone is something that I wouldn’t do before so I am breaking old patterns as well. I am learning myself and how to survive one day at a time. I will keep you posted everyday because that is what I use this for. This is also a tool for recovery for me.

I Just wanted to share that today. Thanks for letting me share.

DAY SEVEN

Good morning,
I am up and ready to start my day. I am excited because today is my home groups 27th anniversary. I love my home group and can’t wait to participate and do service. To give back. My home group, especially my sponsor has helped save my life. When I was lost in my addiction my sponsor never turned his back on me and when I came back my home group welcomed me back and made me feel that I was still a part of. I was overwhelmed. Unconditional love is a powerful thing and I am so grateful.
I thank God for waking me up this morning. I pray for knowledge of his will for me, strength and courage to carry it out. I love my God and am grateful for the life he has planned for me.
I am here at my home group helping to set up for the anniversary and waiting for the meeting to start. I feel so good this morning I can’t put it into words. Gratitude in my attitude. It’s so good to see everyone here and having a good time. Food, Fun and Fellowship that’s what I’m talking about.
Alright the meeting part of the celebration is over, now its time to help serve the food. Overall it was a success. I am grateful to be a part of something so much bigger than I could ever imagined. The love that was in that room was amazing. The food was great too. I LOVE NA, ESPECIALLY MY HOME GROUP. All I can say is thank you for letting me be a part of. I feel like I finally belong.
Gratitude for the fellowship and all the love I received all week along with my new found faith in my higher power God helped me make it through this holiday clean. Let’s me know I don’t have to ever use again. I feel that. I believe that.
Well now I’m at work taking it easy. Still high from this mornings festivities. Nothing will steal my thunder. Poof be gone negativity.

DAY SIX

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

I want to wish everyone a Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving. I plan on making a few meetings today because the holidays have always been a reason to use. I thank God for waking me up this morning. I pray for strength, courage and knowledge of his will so I can carry out and live his will and not mine.

I am at a marathon meeting and will stay here the majority of the day. Unfortunately I am not with my family today guilt, embarrassment and shame are keeping me away. I know that they think I’m probably using somewhere but that’s ok today. I am more worried about getting my life together right now.

Good meeting this first one was about egos. I shared about how my ego (Kazoo) keeps me thinking I am still some big time somebody and how that leads me to believe that I can do this by myself and I don’t need to be in the rooms. All bullshit.

I stayed at the marathon meeting for 6 hours. There was some terrific topics.
Ego
Self Acceptance
Relationships in Recovery
Serenity
Honesty, Open mindedness and Willingness I really enjoyed all of the meetings got to eat some great food, talk to people, see friends I haven’t seen in awhile. I am so grateful that there is a place to go on the holidays.

This was the first Thanksgiving that I was clean in 30 years. I was scared I wouldn’t be able to maintain but thanks to God, NA and the people in the fellowship I can say today I am clean 6 days. I am truly grateful and thankful.

Tomorrow is my home groups 27 year anniversary. I am glad to be able to do service for my home group. I am going to help set up and help serve food. I am happy to give back what was so freely given to me. I love my higher power God and my home group.

I thank God for guiding me, giving me the strength and courage to make it through the holiday and for getting me home safe and clean. Have a great night. Until tomorrow peace.

JUST FOR TODAY…I DON’T GET HIGH, I IDENTIFY.

DAY FIVE

I woke up this morning thanking God for keeping me clean, waking me up and guiding my steps. I ask for his strength and courage to carry out his will today. I am getting ready for my morning meeting at my homegroup. I love my home group they are the best. I love making my morning meetings again it always starts my day off with a bang. Today’s topic was from the 12 Steps. Step 6 to be exact. We spoke about character defects, the willingness to have a god of your understanding remove them, recognizing them when they show up in our daily lives. I have a lot of defects to work on but I know that I cannot do it alone so I am letting go and let god and the help of my sponsor guide me thru my recovery process. I have a problem with taking my will back, thinking I know whats best for me when in actuality I haven’t got a clue. I have anger issues with myself that I need to address as well. My ego..the big i am. the giant of my dreams also needs to be address so when I get to this step I have some idea of what I need to work on. I can still try to monitor these defects before I reach this step and I will keep that in mind. I am working to internalize all that I hear today so as to become a better me.

I am at the library killing time until my next meeting so I will talk to you guys again soon.

DAY FOUR

Good morning
I’m up and getting ready to go to a meeting. I’m having trouble sleeping the last couple of days. I know it’s because I am not using and it shall pass. I feel great, but also scared but I am strong and I will get thru this.

Home Group

I had a very good meeting today. The speaker touched on a lot of good points and I made a lot of connections. I like the way he came across and touched on things. A couple of things stood out.

1. How he refered to his addiction. He called the voices Kazoo. I have to use that one. Yea its ok to do just one dumb dumb..lol priceless.

2. I like when he said that he lets his higher power do the thinking because of how fucked up his thinking is. Thats me I can’t think for myself because when I do shit always gets out of control quick. Like how I always listen to Kazoo. Yeah he’s talking to me. I was that dumb dumb for a long time.

He spoke about a lot of things that made me nod my head in agreement. Like when he said to get numbers and use them. (Something that I MUST get better with) He said even if you just call to say Hi.. I like that. I have to get used to using the phone again. I like the way he spoke and got his number after the meeting. I actually got 2 new numbers today. But they are useless if I don’t call when I need help. I’m good for not calling and isolating myself then feeling sorry and pitiful after the fact..SMH. Over all the meeting was great. I got with my sponsor and I gave him my work that I have been doing on the steps so he can read it and we can discuss it at a later date. I am ready to do this man. I will not let Kazoo run my life any longer.

I went to the library to kill time. Now I’m at my second meeting the 1 oclock on the eastside. Meeting makers make it so here I go. The meeting was a good one. I heard things that I was able to make connections. I got to share and I was happy about that. I spoke about my addiction (Kazoo) and the lies he’s been telling me that keep me out there. Believing that bullshit almost killed me. It felt good to speak. I love NA. Now I’m in my way to the 3 oclock meeting Recovery off the Wall.

MARATHON

Today has been a marathon of meetings for me. I’m at the 3 oclock meeting now waiting for it to start. Today is a good day.
The topic of this meeting was self acceptance. I can relate because ever since I can remember I always wanted to be anyone else but me. I never liked who I was. I never fit in so I pretended to be everyone else. Even now I don’t know who I really am, and when ever I find out something new its uncomfortable. I tend to run away and use. That stops now. I will learn all I can and learn to accept me for who I am.

Well I’m off to another meeting. Tell you about this one when I get there. Well this meeting topic was from just for today. We talked about creating a solid foundation and how important that is in order to maintain a solid recovery. Good topic good meeting.

Well I really got my recovery on today. I’ve been out making meetings all day now its time to go home.

Well I made it home. I thank God for another day clean. I love God and all the things he has done in my life. Good night.