DOUBT. THE DREAM KILLER

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This statement rings true in more ways than one. When I look back on my life. I can remember doubting my abilities and as a result dismissing dreams and ideas. I would talk myself out of just about everything and anything that I might have wanted to do.

As if it wasn’t bad enough. Allowing my doubts to dictate and kill my dreams, my fear of failure would finish off any remaining thoughts I would have of possibly accomplishing anything. Doubt and Fears go hand in hand and when my addiction was added to the mix. It accomplished the mission of making me believe that I could not do it.

What ever it was.

I am learning that my thoughts do not have to dictate my actions. My addiction (my thoughts) doesn’t want me to succeed at anything. I have allowed myself to believe that I didn’t measure up for years and it became second nature to kill my own dreams before they ever got off the ground. I became a failure simply because of lack of effort.

Deep down inside. I could hear a little voice screaming at me. What are you doing? You can do this man. But the voice was weak and somewhat defeated. It was being drowned out by all the noise inside my head. It was stifled by the screams of the full grown baby that was my addiction. That was the story of my life for years.

On the flipside there were times when I would attempt things. Whether it was taking a test, apply for a job or learning something new and I would ace it. I would do exceedingly well. So I started to feel a little confused. I was torn between the good and the bad and things just got even more ugly.

I felt like I had duel personalities for years. I always seemed to favor the bad. My addiction was out of control and I had lost all hope of ever becoming anything. I was a lost soul or so I believed.

That little voice kept me going. When I was alone and crying, feeling pitiful and desperate that little voice kept telling me to hold on. That things were going to change. That little glimmer of hope was my divine intervention. That glimpse of better days ahead eventually led me to recovery, to where I am today and will continue to lead me to where ever it is that I want to go tomorrow.

I am in a good space today. I am facing and conquering my fears. I am taking healthy risks and accomplishing my dreams. The same dreams that I believed I could not accomplish, and new dreams that I am allowing to surface and explore. I am growing, changing and expanding my horizons.

I truly believe that skies the limit. That there is nothing that I cannot do. I don’t doubt that for a minute. It’s incredible this journey of recovery. I would never have imagined I would be living like this. It just didn’t seem possible.

But here I am.

Peace and Blessings

Eric Ease

THE HOLIDAY HAZARD

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I can remember for years treating holidays as if they were legal get high days. Holidays were special. If it was Thanksgiving or Christmas I would be with my family and we would all chip in and get whatever we could. If it was any other holiday they same applied but with friends and anyone else who wanted to chip in. I remember going to parks, beaches or where ever we wanted to go and be drinking, smoking and caring on. Having what I mistook for a good time. Back then my using was recreational but as the years went by it started to become more of a habit. In the end it was a nightmare, I was all alone and It was a need. I had to feed my monster.

I remember thinking that I could stop any time I wanted to. I just don’t want to stop. That was the lie I told others to cover up the fact that I didn’t know how to stop. I tried to stop on my own and I failed every time. The only time I would be able to get any break from using was when I got arrested or went into rehab. For identification purposes.. I even used when I was in prison and rehab too.

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I couldn’t stay clean in the end and I was scared to let anyone know that. I was afraid to ask for help and as a result I continued to suffer.

Now that I am clean (20 Mos 6 days) I still have some moments when I have thoughts of using and urges to act on them. Holiday’s are some of those times. Holiday’s are especially hard because my thought process associates a holiday with having fun.(Although using was not fun, it is still associated in that manner in my thoughts.) In my mind I get thoughts of missing out on something. I begin to feel like wanting to be a part of again. I have to remember that I was not having fun and that I am not missing anything. If I play the whole thought out I will remember that in the end using caused me to lose every thing and almost cost me my life. I need to remember that all it takes is one. That first one will send me into a never ending spiraling frenzy that will only end badly. Today I am grateful that I am not afraid to let someone know when I feel like using. I share with others when those thoughts come to mind.

Jails, institutions and death are only a crack rock, drink or drug away.

My way of dealing with the holiday triggers are to

1. Stay connected to my network. / Talk about what I am feeling. VERY IMPORTANT

2. Call friends and make meetings.

3. Read recovery literature and do step work.

4. Keep my self busy. Idle time is not productive or conducive to my recovery.

5. Treat myself to a movie or go to an amusement park.

There are several ways that I keep myself from thinking and acting off my thoughts and I have learned all of them from being in recovery. I still have a lot of learning to do and I look forward to it. Recovery is what I make it and today I choose to make the best of it. I take the suggestions from others today. I admit that I do not know everything and I practice remaining open minded and honest.

So far it has been working.