THE PHYSICAL

This morning I have an appointment with my Dr. I am here for a routine physical. The last time I had one was in 2012 so It is definitely time. I am eager to get it done because I need to know where I stand. I will have every test done that I can. I just got weighed and I am at an astonishing 221 lbs. That’s crazy, I can remember when I weighed a measly 145 – 150 lbs soaking wet with bricks in my pockets. Lol

I am grateful that I have medical insurance even if they are robbing me blind every week from my paycheck. Don’t even get me started on copays. Regardless of that I have medical insurance and can see a doctor and that is huge for this recovering addict. When I was using I didn’t have any coverage nor did I have a care about seeing any doctors.

Today I know how important it is to get check up regularly. Today I care about getting healthy. Tomorrow February 1st is my quit date for stopping smoking. I have been praying and preparing myself for this day. I have a support network in place and I believe that this time I will be successful.

Thank you to all those who are on 5his journey with me.

Peace and Blessings

Eric Ease

I QUIT

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Thats right I QUIT.

Well lets just say I am planning to quit.

I have been smoking cigarettes since my pre-teenage years. I wanted to fit in with the big boys. I thought that smoking was cool and I wanted to be cool.

I always wanted to be a part of something no matter what it was and smoking cigarettes was just one of the many things that I did. I smoked and still smoke cigarettes daily some days more than others. In my active addiction I smoke a pack or more a day sometimes.

Its funny, I have smoked for decades but I still cannot stand the smell of them or smoke in my face. Go figure. Cigarettes have been an addiction that I have struggled with off and on for a while. No matter what I tried I always found myself back lighting up.

Now I feel the affects of my nicotine addiction. I get short of breath going up stairs or running. I smell it on my clothes, hands and breath. I’ve seen the commercials on TV for years and they are finally starting to sink in. Smoking is a very bad habit that I need to quit..

IMMEDIATELY

I have tried to quit several times and as you can tell I was unsuccessful. I have heard it said that for some people it takes several attempts. When I think about it so did my attempts to stop using drugs. So I am going to try again. February 1st is my quit date. I am going to apply the simple process that got me clean to help me quit. Plus there are a few friends in my network who are going to quit with me. I also joined a quit forum. Support is very important and I have a foundation.

I will pray for myself, those quitting with me and all those who quit before me.

Its time to drop the cancer sticks.

Peace and Blessings

Eric Ease

SELFISH TO BECOME SELFLESS

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I am noticing that I am again becoming selfish in my recovery. In the beginning I came into recovery selfish, self centered and self indulging. I didn’t care about you or anyone else. What you did, what you talked about or even what you looked like. I couldn’t think past me. Although I am not resorting back to that kind of selfishness, I am putting the focus back on me.

As time went by I began to lose the obsession with self and began to be able to communicate with and relate to others. I developed a conscience and began to have empathy. I was finally able to think about someone other than myself. For me that was a beginning of something totally new and definitely different. It was difficult but the more I showed up the more the Ice began to melt and the wall began to come down.

Today I have a genuine concern for others and I try to be there for people. I try to be someone that others can depend on. I feel that I have found my purpose and I practice exercising it to the best of my ability. Sometimes I get the feeling that people don’t really care about me though. I feel like I am being used by some and taken advantage of by others.

It can be difficult some times to tell whether my feelings are valid or just a figment of my addictive mind. If it’s my disease trying to find a new way to penetrate my defenses. Either way thats is how I have been feeling. I will continue to monitor those feelings and not allow my disease to disrupt my process.

I also feel that I have been spreading myself a little thin. Although I know that I cannot keep it unless I give it away. I know that I cannot give it all away before I recharge myself. So I will become a little selfish and keep some for myself so I can grow and become the selfless person that I am striving to become. That does not mean that I am going to stop helping others. NO WAY. I am just looking to find a balance so I can continue to help others while I also help myself.

Peace and Blessings

Eric Ease

THAT STRANGE CALMNESS

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Hello everyone

I hope that while I am writing this you all are well. I have been very busy this week and have not had time to really do much of anything other than work. I have not made a meeting since Sunday but I have been reading my literature and in contact with my network all week. Even though I had Tuesday off because of snow, I am really tired and will be glad when this week is over. Due to people who had family issues and then the storm we are short staffed and some of us that are able are making up the difference. I have been working some very long hours. I will say this though I am not doing it because I am running from my feelings or anything else. I am actually doing it because I can, and I can use the money. It’s a win win.

I haven’t really had the chance to write anything lately due to the long hours at work but strangely enough I have been so calm lately that I am suffering from a sort of writers block. I have not been able to really think of anything to say. The last couple of weeks have been really good and have charged my battery so to speak. I am in a good space and other than being a little tired from work I am great. All is going well at home and on the job. I am not stressed out or overwhelmed. I feel healthy and happy. I love my job and my life right now. I have to admit that this calmness is a bit strange compared to what I have lived for so long but It is a good strange. I don’t know if you can relate to that. It’s kind of hard to explain.

I know that this too shall pass and I will be right back to writing again as soon as this week is over. I miss you all and look forward to catching up on your blogs and whats been going on.

Today is Throwback Thursday so I will post some of my earlier blogs from 2011 or 2012. I hope you enjoy reading them.

Have a wonderful day.

Peace and blessings

Eric Ease

BLIZZARD IN NY

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Good morning. Its 7:15 am and New York City is under a travel ban on the roads and the subway is shut down. As I look out my window I don’t see nowhere near the amount of snow we was expected to get. I live in Brooklyn  but Long Island really got hit hard. I guess better safe than sorry applies to this storm. Last year we had a storm that basically shut down the city because they weren’t prepared. Emergency services couldn’t get to emergencies because cars were stuck on the roads everywhere. So they actually learned from that and enforced the travel ban.

I am grateful today that I pay attention to things like this. That I have a roof over my head, heat and hot water and food in my refrigerator. I remember  plenty of storms in the past when I was in active addiction and didn’t have any of the above. I remember walking day and night in blizzards to go get my drugs. I remember standing in freezing cold weather waiting to cop, or trying to scrape up that 2 or 3 dollars I needed to get 1. Yes I am grateful that I no longer live that life. That I am no longer suffering in that hell hole.

I am praying for the still sick and suffering addicts, those who are homeless, those who have no heat and hot water, no food in the refrigerator. I am praying for anyone and everyone who is in need.

God bless you.

Peace and Blessings

Eric Ease

TODAY’S RANT..KNOW IT ALLS

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Good morning. Today I rant about know it alls.

Im sure everyone knows someone who thinks they know everything. Its like a contagious disease. Diarea of the mouth. They talk and talk and most of the time are talking about nothing. They act like they have extensive knowledge of any subject or have a story to tell every time someone starts a conversation. The worse part is, I could be talking to you about something and BAM. Here comes Mr. or Mrs. know it all with their 1.5 cents.

I especially dislike the ones who talk about recovery. The way they talk is a dead give away that they only have knowledge of addiction through books and studies and surveys. Lol. Give me a break. If I wanted your self endulged, self proclaimed educated opinion I would ask for it. NOT.

You can use all the big words and try to dress that shit any way you like, hell put a skirt on it. Still doesn’t take away from the FACT that..YOU WEREN’T THERE. You did NOT comeback from the depths of hell. You were never locked and loaded, caught up in the death grip of addiction. You have no idea, no fucking idea what its like to use or do things to get drugs AGAINST YOUR WILL. To wake up sick, or come to after a Tsunami crack session only to want more. To be banned, shunned and abandoned by your family and friends. To hear those misguided words…
HE COULD STOP IF HE WANTED TO. HE JUST DOESN’T CARE.

Please shut up.

YOU yes You haven’t got a clue. As to the things I will do, to you, when I am fiening for 1 or 2. Lol.

Well thats my rant. I have a coworker like that. I could blog off of her alone for weeks. Lol

Peace and Blessings

Eric Ease

ADDICTIONS

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Addiction comes in many forms. Now that I am clean. I still suffer from many other addictions. Some healthy, some are not. What are you addicted to?

I remember when I first came into recovery. I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I had a problem but I didn’t believe myself to be an addict. I always looked at an addict as being the homeless bum who shot drugs and drank wine and smelled horrible. Growing up in East New York Brooklyn I saw them everyday all day. I would avoid them at all costs. Who knew that years later I would be friends with a lot of those same people.

I didn’t believe that I would turn into one of “those people” as we sometimes refered to the addicts in my neighborhood. I never knew exactly what I wanted to be growing up. I was never asked that question and never really gave it much thought. But had I been asked I doubt I would’ve said I want to be an addict. The crazy thing is I was already an addict.

I think my first addiction was to lying and stealing. I didn’t like who I was so I lied and created a better version of me. I didn’t  like being poor so I stole what I wanted. If you had it and I wanted it. It would mysteriously disappear. Using came at the early age of 11 and that eventually became a new addition to my addictive behaviors.

Throughout the years many addictions to many different things surfaced and were replaced by new addictions. Drop one and pick up another. Always trying to satisfy my need for instant gratification and to fill one void or another. Never quite finding the satisfaction I was seeking.

I understand  addiction a little better today and I can see the many different types of addictions that surface in my life. Especially now that the drugs are no longer a factor. I am addicted to anything that makes me feel good. It really doesn’t matter what it is. If I like it, I will began the obsessive and compulsive behaviors. I will overdue, overindulge, overcompensate and overextend and over until I am overwhelmed.

The main difference is today I know. I work on my issues and recognize them. I have people who help me and I can talk to about it.

Therefore I will Overcome.

Peace and Blessings

Eric Ease

A WORK IN PROGRESS.

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I was sitting here thinking about my life in the here and now. Taking an inventory and I must admit that I am truly grateful for where I am, and how far I have come in 15 months. I have been working on becoming a better person and I have made some progress.

I’ve been working on changing my attitude. I have had a temper for as long as I can remember. It has caused me some pain in the past and in my life it has been the definition of insanity. Lately as a result of doing some work in that area I have been able to think before I act or open my mouth with some practice.

I’m not saying that I haven’t had my days. Days when I just want to slap the sh*t out of someone because I do, boy do I. But the difference is today consequential thinking kicks in. I’ve noticed that If I just take a second or 2 to wait and not react my thinking will shift from KAPOW to WOOSAAA.

It feels good not to act a fool and be the angry, grumpy and disgruntled person that I used to be. Growing up and becoming responsible for my actions is new for this recovering addict. Im loving the new me. Change has finally come and I welcome it with open arms.

I AM A WORK IN PROGRESS. MAKING PROGRESS.

Peace and Blessings

Eric Ease

ONE ADDICT HELPING ANOTHER

One addict helping another is without parallel.

That one sentence carries so much weight and is so true in my life. I have experienced it first hand and as a result of this I am here today. I want to share with you my experience with one addict who helped me.

The year is 2010 and after being thoroughly whipped by my addiction I was at a very desperate time in my life. I had been contemplating suicide for quite some time. I was at the end of my rope and had lost all hope of ever being able to stop using drugs. I didn’t think that I had any other options. Then one day in a moment of clarity I remembered the meetings that I used to attend in prison and in treatment. Narcotics Anonymous meetings to be exact. I searched the internet for meetings and I found one that I could attend. I was still locked and loaded in my active addiction so of course I procrastinated and continued to use and feel miserable. Then on January 24, 2011 I finally had enough and against my will made my first NA meeting.

I remember it like it was yesterday. I was scared to death, I had no idea what to expect and didn’t think that they would like me or allow me to be a part of the meeting. I mean all kinds of crazy thoughts ran through my head as I was making my way there. I got to the building and at first walked past it. My addiction was trying really hard to keep me from going inside. After a few drive by’s I finally went inside. There was 1 person inside and he was setting up the meeting. He looked at me and said WELCOME. I remember that right then and there my fear began to ease up a little. He came over and reached out to hug me. I was a little taken back but I allowed the hug and I felt a little weird. I wasn’t sure if I was in the right place. That was my image and ego. Anyway he asked me my name and told him he the said his name was A. (We will call him A that’s not his actual name). He asked if I would help him set up the chairs and so I did. As we were setting up he would ask me questions. I remember at first being a little evasive but then he would tell me about himself and after a while I finally started to open up and tell him my story.

I remember feeling relieved hearing some of the things he did matched some of the things I did. We continued to talk and after the meeting went for coffee and talked some more. A told me to keep coming back and how I was the most important person being a new comer. I never been told that I was important by anyone. I left feeling really good and I made that meeting place my home group and A eventually became my sponsor. Needless to say after about 2 months I relapsed and I couldn’t seem to get myself back to the rooms. The whole time that I was missing from the meetings A called my phone. He called several times a day and texted me. Eventually I spoke to him and told him what happened and he said its ok just come back. I made it back through god’s grace and mercy but struggled with staying. I couldn’t accumulate more that 3 months and I would go back out. Every time I did A was always the word of encouragement, always giving me support and love. He always stood by me and never turned his back on me. He always had something positive to say no matter what I told him I was going through he always encouraged me to come back, to stay. For 2 1/2 years he tried to helped me to recover. Unfortunately I was not ready. I went back out time and time again. I felt bad that I was wasting his time and I sent him a text message thanking him for all of his help and that I would one day try again but I just wasn’t ready and I hoped that we could still be friends. He text back and still tried to offer me support and love.Thanks to A and a few others like him. I eventually made it back to the rooms and I have been here ever since.He loved me when I could not love myself. He was and still is the example of one addict helping another without parallel. A has been in my life since that first day back in 2011 and he is still a major influence in my recovery today.

A celebrated 19 years clean yesterday and I had the opportunity to share my experience at his anniversary. I was grateful to be a part of his celebration and his life. I saw a lot of the people who were there when I first came to recovery and I was a little overwhelmed when they started crying because I stuck around and I am still here. I never realized how much the love of the fellowship affected myself and others. It was such an awesome feeling and I was riding high all day yesterday from it. My road to recovery is a on going process. I have had my share of ups and downs and I know that living life on life’s terms there will be more but today I am prepared to deal with them instead of run from them.

I love Narcotics Anonymous because this process saved my life.

I normally do not name my fellowship but I think it is important that you know how I got clean and stay clean. I love Narcotics Anonymous because without it I would sure as hell be dead.

Thanks to God, The Fellowship and all of you I have 455 days clean. That’s 1 year 2 months 4 weeks and 1 day. Grateful.

THAT’S A FACT…I DON’T GET THAT TWISTED.

THE RED LIGHT INDICATOR

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We all have heard what the Red Light Indicator is.

I have even experienced it first hand and the devastation it can cause if left unchecked. I know what it can do and has done in my life and I am grateful that today I can recognize it for what it is. I can also see it’s affects and the effect on those around me. It can be loud and boisterous or it can be subtle and sneaky. It comes at you when you least expect it and it stays with you and grows the longer you allow it to display itself. I believe everyone experiences it and some people love to display it.

I’m talking about COCKINESS.

The dictionary’s definition of cockiness is arrogant; pertly self-assertive; conceited:

In my experience being arrogant is a form of know it all-ness (stick with me people I am inventing words here. Lol)So let me share my experience in that department. I came to the fellowship broken, tired, desperate, lonely, with very low self esteem and practically no self worth. I need desperately to be there and was willing to do what ever it took so I could be a part of. I remember my beginnings well. I would sit in meetings and share like Shakespeare, I would help out where ever I was needed. I would listen intently to others who shared and always had time for the new comers. I made meetings everyday and several times on weekends when I didn’t have to work.

As time went by I started to learn some things and the fog was beginning to lift a little. I started feeling a little attractive and would allow complements to go to my head. I began to get COCKY. I began to feel like I GOT THIS. I began to run my own program. (arrogant) I started missing meetings because after all “I am getting better”, I stop calling my sponsor and reading literature because after all “I got this”. I started sitting in the back and talking in meetings because I’ve been here for 2 months “I know what I am doing”. I started dressing nice and became a little popular. (pert). I stopped listening to people who were telling me where I was heading because “they didn’t know what they were talking about”. I started comparing peoples stories and judging them. I started talking more to women and seeking feelings instead of working my program.

I fell right into the trap. I got big headed with very little time, 2 – 3 months away from drugs after using for over 35 years and I thought I knew everything. I was once again the GIANT OF MY DREAMS. (self-assertive) I forgot about the pain. I forgot about how I came in the fellowship broken. No that wasn’t me. Denial was still set deep in me. I hadn’t scratched the surface of my addiction but my addiction knew and kept feeding me stories to boost my ego. I knew I looked good right, I was back to my self centered ways, no longer caring about helping anyone but myself. (conceited). 

Well needless to say It all came crashing down around me. I went back to my old attitudes and behaviors quickly, I stopped making meetings and wanted to work all the time to make more money to look good. I was more concerned with how I looked and not dealing with how I felt. SMH. Life as I knew it changed at the drop of a dime from new and exciting to old and familiar. I was back on the block and using before I knew what hit me. I was too ashamed to come back to the fellowship so I continued my downward spiral until in desperation I finally thought to seek the help that I once knew.

Cockiness is a red light indicator and If left unchecked that shit will kill me! Period!

My story is not over by a long shot. I have always been one to learn the hard way and believe me I did. It took me several attempts to get to where I am now and I am still just scratching the surface. I do not take recovery for granted. I monitor my attitudes and behaviors on a daily basis. I give myself a check up from the neck up everyday because I know that its not hard for me to believe my own bullshit. I stick with the winners because they will tell me not what I want to hear but just what I need to hear. WE keep each other in check. I stay close to my network. They are the ones that will save my life when my ass is on fire.

I know that

IF I AM NOT WORKING ON MY RECOVERY, THEN MY RELAPSE IS WORKING ON ME.

CHECK IN SO YOU DON’T CHECK OUT.