HAPPY BIRTHDAY

I thank God for allowing me to see another birthday and even more important a birthday clean.  It’s only through God grace that I am clean and living his will for me. I know this and I do not take that fact for granted.

I first came into recovery in January of 2011 after a long battle with addiction.  I lost of course but you couldn’t tell me that. I hung on to the bitter end and still refused to let go. I came into the rooms with the same mentality. I didn’t take suggestions, I was seeking feelings from the women, I lied and didnt believe the things people were saying.  I was judgemental and as a result I kept going back out.

My relapses happened long before I actually picked up and smoked crack. They started with my attitude and then my behavior started to change. Then I started putting things before making meetings or just made excuses for not making them until I wasn’t making them at all and then I was gone. Off to the races.

This time back I made a commitment to myself and God that I would live his will for me and not my own,  that I would take suggestions,  and learn to listen to others who have done this successfully. That alone was a challenge because I hate people telling me what to do. But I committed myself and it has been paying off. I have not only stayed clean for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years but also for my 47th birthday this past Sunday January 20th.

This was the first time since I was a child that I didn’t use some kind of mind or mood altering substance and I am proud of myself. With God’s guidance, the Fellowship of NA and my new found network of friends I have been clean for 99 days today. I feel great.

This was the best birthday ever. I went to 2 NA functions and a group anniversary. I partied like it was 1999 and I didn’t use. Its the beginning of my new life and I am excited. I feel alive again.

Its been too damn long.

Peace and blessings.

Eric

PRACTICING PATIENCE

Good morning and God bless.

I always start my day with thanking God for waking me and praying for guidance and knowledge of his will for me. I have been blessed to have made it back to recovery and for that I am truly grateful. 
There are times though that I take my will back and become impatient when I feel that I am deserving of something and it is not happening on my timetable. I begin to get frustrated and display attitudes that are less than positive.

I thank my higher power and the knowledge I have gained from the NA fellowship for being able to recognize this. I know that this is a process and I should not expect to change everything over night.

Its just not a reality that after years of using and actively practicing negative attitudes and behaviors that have become a way of life that I can change over night to being all positive all the time.

I want what I want when I want it was a way of life for me. The self centeredness, the impatient attitude, the non caring was how I lived for years. I know this now but had no clue in my active addiction.  I know there will be times when I fall short. Times when I will take my will back. Times when I will think its all about me. But I also know that its not the way I choose to live today. I know its NOT all about me and my wants and needs.

I am grateful today that I can recognize this character defect. That I can and will choose to correct it once I realize my behavior.  I am grateful also that just for today I dont have to beat myself up because I made a mistake or because I am living my will again.

All I have to do is continue to practice patience and continue to practice correcting myself when I fall short. I do not have to get upset and bent out of shape. Just take a deep breath and pray that I get better at it.

Change is not easy. Change does not come overnight.  But as long as I continue to practice patience,  Change will come.

Peace and blessings.

Eric

HAPPY HOLIDAYS

God bless you everyone. I hope you had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Wow I didnt even realize that I’ve been having so much fun I forgot to post my weekly blog.

A lot has happened since my last blog post. Most of was good but I also suffered a battle with the flu and I am just starting to feel better from that.

Christmas was great. I went and spent the day with my Mom. She is doing good and was happy to see me still doing good. I never realized all the pain I caused her until I became a member of a group on Facebook call The Addicts Mom. I am so grateful to be a part of that group. All the women are amazing and have strength and endurance unlike anything I have ever experienced. They help me more than they will ever know with their stories and the support they give me and each other is phenomenal. Thank you T.A.M.

I love my mother. In my active addiction I did not show it or ever say it at least not with any sincerity.  In my active addiction I was unable to say it or show it to anyone. I was incapable of emotion or affection. I was numb, a walking dead man. I didnt know how to love myself let alone love anyone else. I know that this sounds unbelievable to some and maybe a little harsh to others but it’s true. I didn’t know this at the time. I also didn’t know the power my addiction had over me either. I didn’t realize how powerless and unmanageable I was until I became a member of Narcotics Anonymous.

I say this because I realize there are a lot of people who have family members who are suffering from the disease of addiction. I just want to offer a little hope. There will come a time when they will be sick and tired of using. They will realize that trying to control their using is useless and it cannot be done. They will see the destruction they are causing themselves and their families just like I did. I realized I needed help. Ive been to treatment centers, jails and other institutions but never wanted to or even thought about stopping using drugs.

When the time came that I wanted to stop I couldn’t and began to believe that I would use drugs for the rest of my life. I gave up trying. I gave up on myself and eventually I gave up on life. God had other plans. I tried but he would not let me end my life. I suffered in my own skin for years and felt I couldn’t do anything right. I couldn’t even die right.

Thats when the voices in my head started to change there tune and started telling me of other alternatives.  Alternatives I already experienced but wasn’t ready for at that time. It was time to try them again. I refused to go back to treatment or jail. I thought about it but decided against it. I remembered making meetings in prison and went online to find a NA meeting.  It still took a couple of months after that but in January of 2011 I made my first NA meeting on my own without being mandated by parole. 

I went back out a couple of times since then and it is all documented here in my blog. I started this blog when I started my journey and have been posting ever since. I am not only grateful to be alive but I am thankful. My life is still a mess at times but one day at a time I am working towards that freedom from active addiction. Since coming back from my last relapse in October 2012 I have been following the program to the letter. Taking suggestions, making meetings daily, working with people on my steps and staying connected.  I have 82 days clean and I am not ashamed to say it. I am a addict.

Recovery is not easy. Its also not for those who need it. Its for those who want it. No one can get me clean or keep me clean but me. I have people in my life today who really care and help me make it. I love them.

I love you too. If you are reading this and have a addict in your life just remember that once they decide they had enough things will begin to change. Until then all you can really do is pray and try to be supportive without enabling them. My prayers go out everyday for the still sick and suffering addicts inside and outside the rooms. May God be with us all.

Peace and blessings

Eric