2014 MY YEAR IN REVIEW

As I look back on this year, I cannot help but be thankful for all it has taught me. I usually don’t look back because for a long time my years were all the same. Pain, misery and suffering. This past year has been a total transformation from old to brand new. I am grateful. I would like to share a glimmer of the hope that I have experienced in 2014.

My year started off in darkness and cold. I got clean on October 26, 2013 and on December 9, 2013 The electric company finally had enough of me using their services and not paying for it and cut my lights off. I had 43 days clean and I was living in darkness. On top of that I had not had gas service in my home for 3 years. I was using a electric heater to heat my home and on that day my whole life came crashing down. I remember feeling like I was using because the darkness reminded me of some of the crack houses I used to frequent. God kept me strong and I found other ways to maintain. I got a payment plan with the utility company and was able to make the first down payment to get service restored after only 3 weeks. I feel it important to say that through my down period I did not use and everything eventually worked out. I payed off the light bill and also payed off the gas company and I am comfortably living with lights and gas this winter.

Here is a rundown of the events of my year.

Lights and gas shut off
Lights and gas turned on.
I got a raise at work.
I suffered from back pain and was diagnosed with sciatica.
I met someone special and got into a relationship.
I brought a brand new car.
I got my drivers license.
I revived my blog and now have my own web address.
I celebrated my first year in recovery.
My relationship ended.
I made a bunch of new friends and now have a awesome network.
I have a brand new relationship with the God of my understanding who brought me to and through it all.

I went through a lot of ups and downs this year. Some happy moments and some not so happy. I made recovery my priority and I have learned that nothing that I go through is a reason for me to use. I have struggled and through my struggle I gained a strength that I have never experienced before. I have learned that I have choices today and I do not have to continue to do the damage that I have done to myself all my life. I will not allow anyone else to do it to me either. I have a stronger relationship with God and a spiritual awareness today like never before. I have changed for the better its amazing how much better my life has become and I know that as long as I do not use. There will be many more good years ahead of me.

So if you are new to recovery or have been struggling in your recovery, No Matter What we never have to use again. One day at a time. It does get better. Just believe in yourself and give yourself a break.

I want to take this time to wish you all a

HAPPY, HEALTHY, SAFE AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR 2015

PEACE AND BLESSING

ERIC EASE

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NEW YEAR EXPECTATIONS

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This is the last of the Holiday Trifecta.

This holiday is well know for wild uninhabited drinking and drug use. It is the one night when everyone across the world (U.S.) anyway gets together to celebrate the start of a brand new year. It doesn’t matter where you are from New Year’s parties are everywhere. I have been invited to attend several, some are sober parties and then there are those that are not. I plan on bringing in the New Year the same way I did last year. I will make a meeting. I will pray for a better year and the strength to carry out that mission. I will send text messages and posts wishing everyone a Happy, Healthy, Safe and Prosperous New Year and then I will go home. I will probably watch the ball drop in Times Square on television and then go to bed. It sounds so boring but It’s safe. Today I like safe. I do not take unnecessary risks with my health and do not wish to put myself in harms way just for the sake of fitting in.

That is big for me. I ALWAYS WANTED TO FIT IN. 

Today I am not concerned with fitting in, being down with the crowd or being popular. Today I am concerned with being alive, responsible and clean. I am concerned with living a new way of life and not the same old bullshit that has ruled my life for the last 37 years. I look forward to making more progress next year and am determined to do just that. I am learning to be honest with myself and with others so with that being said I plan on making more realistic resolutions this year and not the same unrealistic ones that I always abandon half way or better yet a quarter of the way through.

I WILL NOT SET UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS FOR NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS

New Year’s resolutions are often my way of telling myself what I would like to change or start new. Then I make a plan to carry it out. Usually I am all gun ho about it and will start off great. That might last a good 2 weeks or so and then reality sets in or maybe it’s fear or that I am just too freakin lazy. I’m too used to things the way they are and begin the process of talking myself out of whatever it is that I had started. That is how it usually works, this year I will try something different. I am not going to make any resolutions so to speak. I am just going to set a few goals that I would like to accomplish this year and work from there. At this point I do not know what exactly those goals are and that’s ok. No pressure to fit in. I will set them in due time. my time not because it is a new year but because I feel I am ready to start them. I am grateful for choices today. I am in a race with no one but the old me.

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A QUIETING OF THE MIND

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I can honestly say that I am at peace right now. For this serenity I am truly grateful.

For the longest time I have been trying to sort through the noises in my head. There has been a steady stream of craziness ever since I can remember. The constant racing of thoughts and visions was enough to drive me insane. To top it off the paranoia from smoking crack for what seems like forever didn’t help at all. It really made me begin to believe that I was going bat shit crazy.

I never thought that I would live to see the day where I would be able to slow it down. To actually be able to make sense of the madness. I truly believed that all hope of that ever happening was lost. Especially since I seemed to attract people who have their own madness going on. You see my addictive behaviors runs so deep that I would get addicted to your madness and adopt it as my own. Double jeopardy. Double insanity.

I have been learning so much about myself in this past year I am astounded and somewhat amazed at how it has been helping me to be able to think just a little bit more clearly. I am gaining confidence and my self esteem is climbing. I am feeling so much better about myself and I have gained some clarity and direction.

My thoughts although still clearly not right at times have been a lot more positive the last couple of weeks. I am feeling a sense of peace that I have never experienced before. I know that I am going to to be alright. I truly believe that today. All I can say is if this is what being in recovery has done for me in just over a year. I cannot wait to see what else is in store. I’m Grateful to my Higher Power for everything that is happening, has happened and will happen.

THE SOLUTION IS IN THE STEPS.
IT GETS GREATER LATER.

I ONLY KNOW WHAT WORKS FOR ME.

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I am far from the go to guy.

Truth is I often wonder why people ask me questions about recovery. I need to let you know that I am still a sick and suffering addict. The difference is, today I am not sick and suffering from drugs. Now that the drugs are gone, the real issues start to surface. The issues that made me use drugs in the first place. The low self esteem and low self worth. The fear of success and fear of anything just fear in general. Not fitting in, not feeling loved or wanted, loneliness. You name it. I work very hard at finding out who I am, exposing my demons and repairing damage that I have done to myself. It is not a easy task but I remain willing because I want to become a better person.

I know that I have lived the life and by the grace of God made it out.

I am placed in a position to be able to offer my experience in the hopes that I can help at least one person. If I can help anyone I will be more that glad to do so. But I need to remember that I can only tell you what worked for me. I cannot get into telling anyone what they should or should not do. I know that being a addict I can easily slip into the all to familiar disease of CRS

CAN’T REMEMBER SHIT. (STUFF) Lol

I NEED TO KEEP UP FRONT THAT I ONLY HAVE A DAILY REPRIEVE AND IF I FORGET WHERE I CAME FROM, I AM DOOMED TO REPEAT. I CANNOT AFFORD TO PAY THE HIGH PRICE TO LIVE SO LOW…

I am just slightly different than your average blogger. I write my blog basically about me with a little twist. I give you the before and then how it is now. I write about my drug addiction to crack, alcohol and what ever else I used. I do not sugar coat it, I do not use too much profanity to make my point, I just try to be as honest as I can so you can get the real feel of how this addict and his addiction lived and is living now.

I appreciate all of my readers, your thoughts and comments mean the world to me. I get strength in the midst of my struggle from all of you. Please feel free to message me either here on the blog or go to the contact me page and send me a email. I love to hear from you.

Thank you for allowing me to share.

Eric Ease

REPETITIOUS

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For those of you that read my blog, you have probably noticed that I repeat certain things over and over. The reason being:

THIS IS A REPETITIOUS PROGRAM.

The reason being. In order for me to be able to change old habits that have been ingrained and have become second nature I have to keep doing the same new things so they become the new habit.

I remember all to well the repetition of my active addiction. The vicious cycle that I continued over and over for years. Have you ever seen a short video clip that plays for a minute and then automatically starts over immediately. That’s how addiction was for me. I would do the same things everyday. The same time for the most part with very little variation to my routine. Outside of the day to day routine of getting, using and finding ways and means to get more the bigger picture of my cycle went like this.

I USED UNTIL I WAS ALMOST DEAD, I EITHER GOT LOCKED UP OR WENT TO A TREATMENT FACILITY, CAME HOME, AND DID THE SAME THINGS ALL OVER AGAIN. THIS WAS MY VICIOUS CYCLE FOR YEARS.

I could never understand why I could not break this cycle. I always thought that I could stop when ever I wanted to, but the truth is I could not stop. I had lost all control over my actions and my thoughts were filled with using. Even when I didn’t want to use I had lost the power to do anything about it. I didn’t know this at the time but my life was unmanageable and I was powerless over my addiction.

Now that I have some knowledge of my addiction. I say some because this is a learning process and I learn something new every day. I understand that I have to change my thought process which in turn helps me to change my actions. So if I do different things I will get different results. I took suggestions from people in the fellowship like

Make 90 meetings in 90 days.

I didn’t understand this at first. I thought why would I want to do that. I realize that it is so I can get used to making meetings, so I can give myself a break and practice something new instead of the same old routine. It has helped me tremendously and I still make meetings regularly.

Get involved with service

I have found out that doing service has helped me to get out of my head. It helps me to think of doing something for others rather than always thinking about me and my wants and needs. I also noticed that there is a sense of accomplishment that goes along with service and a good feeling of doing something nice for someone else.

Read Literature

Reading recovery literature is important. It helps me to realize that I am not unique nor am I alone in what I may be feeling or going through. I remember thinking that it was written about me. LOL I had so much identification with what I was reading that I was like reading a book written about my life. Literature is written by addicts for addicts. It helps answer some of those questions that I was afraid to ask. It helped explain some of the program and how it works. It helps me to uncover some of the things that I have kept hidden from everyone for so long.

I am in a process that is new to me and I need guidance so It is suggested that I read and write, make meetings, get a sponsor and a home group, get phone numbers and dial them don’t just file them in my phone. I need to reach out to others when I am feeling like using or whatever I am feeling. Making new friends and building a foundation is very important. Surrender, Honesty, Open Mindedness, Willingness and Acceptance are all tools of my process today. I have to practice them on a daily basis several times. This is a never ending process and its a new way to live but I must continue to stay vigilant and repeat what works. There are times when I get tired of doing the same things but I need to remember that I can either do the same things that are saving my life..Or I can do the same things that was killing me for years. So I just remind myself that…

It is repetitious for a reason. The reason is life saving.

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BEING BETTER THAN I WAS YESTERDAY.

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In life we will have our ups and downs.

I have learned that no matter what happens I DONT HAVE TO USE. I remember when I first came into recovery and I heard the slogan. If you don’t pick it up, you can’t get high. I couldn’t understand that. I didn’t know how NOT to pick it up. No matter what life tossed my way I used. I stub my toe, I USED, if it was raining, snowing, cold or hot I USED. If I was happy, sad, mad or glad I USED. It didn’t matter what the situation was I USED.

It took some time, some questions, taking a couple of suggestions, a couple of relapses and some more pain, misery and suffering but eventually I was able to not pick it up. It took some acceptance of who and what I was. That I had a problem and I could not do it on my own. It took some honesty to be able to admit that I had a problem, and some open mindedness to try something new, It took some practice of some principles, and commitment to continue to live this new way of life. It took some time and It took some surrender of doing things my way, and some trust in others who have been down this road before me. It took some courage to continue even when every fiber of my being wanted to give up. It took some strength to not pick up even when my world seemed to be crumbling around me.

IT TOOK SOME WORK. NO ONE COULD or CAN DO IT FOR ME.

It took me to make a decision on whether I wanted to live or die. I choose to live.

It is one day at a time process and it takes some time. It is not a race nor is it a competition. The only person I need to be better than is the person I was yesterday. I am thankful that I took the suggestion to give myself a break. It was the best thing I could have ever done. I know that I will never be cured and I will have to live in the solution for the rest of my life. I will continue to do the next right thing and live…

JUST FOR TODAY.
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CHECK IN, SO WE DON’T CHECK OUT

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Twas the day after Christmas went all through the hood. Checking for my people and they were all doing good.

Except for one. I am praying for you brother.

I hope that everyone had a very Merry Christmas. I pray that you all are happy, healthy and safe. That you used your tools to stay clean and today you are not suffering from the horrors of active addiction.

If you are not, if you made the decision to go back and do some more research. I pray that you come back home to recovery as soon as possible.

Some might think that I am being a little cold or callous. But the truth is relapse is a reality. It is also a decision and doesn’t just happen. Relapse happens way before we actually pick up the drug. Although it is a reality, It is not a requirement!
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I know first hand and in my experience things changed in my routine and my behavior before I actually smoked crack. I became cocky, too relaxed or confident. I stopped making meetings and checking in with my support network. I began to take my program and my addiction for granted. I relapsed in attitude and behavior long before I used.

So if any of this sounds familiar, I would ask you to please, please do something to change it. Please take the preventive measures to avoid the pain, misery, suffering and possible death that will without a doubt follow.

Check in with your network, get to a meeting and expose it. Secrets die in the light of exposure.

BETTER TO LET OUR SECRETS DIE
THAN TO DIE KEEPING OUR SECRETS.