RECOVERY. IT’S NOT EASY. BUT TOTALLY WORTH IT

image

When I first came into recovery I looked for the easy way out. I looked for any and all the loop holes. I wanted my recovery handed to me on a silver platter. I was so used to taking the easy way that I became lazy. I wouldn’t do anything that required too much effort.
Thinking back, my addiction was anything but easy. It was a full time struggle. It was work and it took plenty of energy and effort to pay such a high price to live so low.

So naturally I came into recovery with distorted thinking patterns. I thought that I would get help so I could use easier. I thought I would get to see a doctor and talk to a psychiatrist. Lol. I told you distorted thinking patterns. I quickly found out that I wouldn’t be receiving that kind of help in this type of environment. I was discouraged at first but I kept coming. I knew that they were lying and I was determined to get in on what they were obviously trying to hide from me.

The more I kept coming the more I began to understand what the program was all about. I was still resistant and made my process a lot harder than it had to be. Once I stopped resisting and I was finally able to surrender. I was able to reap the benefits of recovery. The real work had yet to begin but I was feeling hopeful about being able to stay clean. My road to recovery has not been easy. I have discovered things about myself and I struggled with acceptance. Denial ran very deep. I covered up a lot in my years of active addiction and now I am learning how to deal with the feelings and heal from the past.

It’s a journey. At times I want to give up. But when I think about what I have gained so far and what I have yet to gain. I know giving up would be a major mistake. I’ve made some pretty bad decisions in my life time, but the best decision I ever made was to give myself a break. Staying connected to the people in recovery has provided me with a opportunity to live a life beyond my wildest dreams. Staying clean is not easy.. But it’s well worth it.

Everyday is not magically delicious and in life I will always have ups and downs. But my worse day in recovery is way better than my best day using.

That’s a fact.

Peace and blessings

Eric Ease

SELF ACCEPTANCE

REPOST FROM NOVEMBER 29TH, 2011

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 IN 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.

WHO IS THIS PERSON?

person

When I sit back and think about how far I have come in the last 2 years I am often amazed. I find myself getting through situations today that would have had me running to go cop just a few short 24’s ago. It didn’t take much for me to use. I had no limitations. I used everyday and didn’t really need any reason at all. I used just because. Just because it was sunny, rainy, hot, cold or just because I was angry, happy, sad, frustrated or whatever. Today I have come to appreciate those situations. I am learning to deal with anger, happy, sad and frustrated in a different way. I appreciate rainy, sunny, hot and cold days. I am learning how to express myself and channel my feelings in an appropriate manner. I could never do that before and sometimes I say to myself who are you. Lol. Then I thank my higher power that the old me is slowly but surely fading into a past memory.

I remember when I first came into recovery. I was sick and tired of suffering and really wanted to quit killing myself. At first I remember being scared and feeling alone. Then I remember getting cocky and slowly slipping back into old familiar behavior patterns. Before long smoking crack and searching for ways and means was no longer of thing of the past. I remember coming back again and again because I was too busy focusing on how far I still had to go, how I should have gotten better faster. How I am too old to be a new comer. I remember focusing on all the wrong things and not being grateful for how far I had come, and being grateful that I made it here in the first place. Gratitude was something that I always lacked. I took everything for granted and assumed I was owed things and I was supposed to be treated a certain way and given everything without putting forth any effort what so ever.

Talk about full of myself.

I always looked for the easy way out or for someone to do it for me. Well I learned a very valuable lesson from all of that. It became crystal clear to me that in order for me to make any progress I needed to stop dwelling on how far I had to go. I had to learn to live in the moment and be grateful for today. I had to learn that all I have is today, yesterday is gone and tomorrow is not promised. I had to get some gratitude and I had to get some quick. I had to learn that I needed to do some work and I had to do it for myself that no one can walk this path for me. I was told to take a daily inventory at the end of my day. I found that to be a very helpful tool. It helped me to see the changes that I was making more clearly. Being a addict I tend to pass judgement on myself and nothing is ever good enough. I had to learn and am still practicing being easy on myself. I had to learn how to pat myself on the back for accomplishments. No matter how small the feat it is worthy of recognition. Being thankful after being selfish for so long took some time and I still fall short sometimes. I have learned that it’s ok to fall short I will make mistakes and that’s ok too. I have gained far more in the last 2 years than I have in a lifetime of addiction.

I have changed into someone that I do not recognize. I only knew one way of life for the majority of my life. My journey is scary at times because I find myself still waiting for the other shoe to drop. That mentality is a part of the old me and I will not allow it to interfere with the new me. The shoe will keep on keeping on, but if it does happen to drop. I have a new set of tools to help me deal with it and not return to the scene of the crime which is my past. I might not recognize this person but I like where he is headed. I think I will just remain thankful and full of gratitude for where I am today and faithful for a better tomorrow.

This person is me and I love my life.

I ALMOST KILLED THE WRONG GUY

images

I am a recovering addict. I’ve used drugs for over 3 quarters of my life and I never thought that I would ever stop using. Today I am 2 years 1 month 2 days clean.

I had plenty of support (in the beginning) but as time went by and I kept using no one cared anymore. No one tried to help me because I refused to help myself. I refused to help myself because I believed the lies that I was telling myself. I believed that I wasn’t that bad. That I could stop any time I wanted. That I would die using. ALL LIES. I had given up all hope a long time ago and settled for life the way it was. I was miserable all the time, I was angry, lonely, desperate, tired, ashamed, guilt ridden, fearful, disgusted, broken, battered and bruised. Then one day I realized that when I tried to stop, I couldn’t stop. For the life of me I just couldn’t stop.

Addiction had it’s grips on me from the beginning. I’m talking about being a dead black out drunk at the age of 12. I’m talking about snorting coke and heroin, smoke dust and dropping tabs of acid before my 15th birthday. All the while telling myself that I can stop anytime I wanted to, I just didn’t want to stop. I was having fun. I was free and everything was alright.The more the evidence pointed towards me having a problem the more I denied it. The thicker the cloud of denial the more I used. The progression got deeper and deeper and I got lost in the covering up and hiding. My whole life changed for the worse and I still lied to myself about my problem. Deep down inside I knew better but I had no idea how to turn things around. I had no idea the depth of my addiction. Jails and institutions followed but I still didn’t stop. I would come home and start the vicious cycle all over again. Over and over, year after year.

My story is probably no different than a lot of other people’s. I say probably because I can only tell my truth. I cannot speak for someone else. I can however say this.

THE STRUGGLE IS REAL.

Addiction kills everything. It killed my hopes, my dreams, my faith, my family, jobs, friends, relationships and in the end it almost killed me. I was ready to die. I wanted to die so bad that I looked for ways to carry it out. I thank God that I was not successful. I am grateful that I was blessed with opportunity after opportunity until I finally took advantage of the help that was being offered. If I had been successful in killing myself…

I WOULD HAVE KILLED THE WRONG GUY.

The guy that I wanted dead was fueled by obsession and compulsion, by self centeredness and ego. I was brain washed into thinking that I was worthless by a disease that wants me to believe that I am better off dead. But I was sick and I really didn’t have a choice. I was saved by my higher power. Something called and the real me in a moment of clarity was able to answer. A desire was awaken in me to change and I was blessed with yet another chance. I am given this chance to make a difference not only in my own life but to spread my knowledge, my experiences, my hopes to others. Letting others know that there is a way out of that mess. There is hope and life after the living hell from which I escaped. I know this today and I keep reminding myself that.

I would have killed the wrong guy.

 

Peace and blessings

Eric Ease

CHOOSING A POSITIVE FOCUS

image

Today I choose to focus on what’s right.

I no longer wish to dwell in the land of what happened to me. I no longer wish to play the victim. I take full ownership for my past and I release myself from the prison sentence that I was serving. I punished myself long enough. The time has come for forgiveness and love of thyself.

I choose to spread love, joy and peace. I will continue to practice these things. I fall short of course I’m human. But the difference is today, I can turn things around. I can start my day over at any given moment. I don’t have to allow a bad situation or a bad moment to dictate my day and ruin  my happiness.

My day will turn out how I choose it to.
Today’s focus is on doing what’s right.

Giving back.

FAILURE IS NOT THE END OF THE STORY

image

All too often when I had failed at something I would get discouraged and never attempt it again. Even worse than that is the belief that I will fail at something before I even tried it. Failure can either be the end or the beginning. It all depends on how I choose to look at it.

I have the ability to succeed at anything that I put my mind to. I also have the same ability to allow my fear of failure to stunt my growth and stop me from putting my mind to anything. I can become so consumed by my fears, that I will settle for staying stuck in a mediocre mind frame and not push forward towards bigger and better things.

I have been practicing being consistent with forward motion. I am learning that failures are opportunities to learn. Failing at something is not the end of it, but the chance to learn from it so I can be better prepared and accomplish the task the next time. I’ve never looked at failing like this before but when I think about it, it makes complete sense.

Experience is my best teacher.
But I have to be willing to learn the lesson.

HAPPY, UNHAPPY HOLIDAY’S

index

Well it’s that time of the year again. The holiday season is upon us and the festivities are already in full swing. Although Thanksgiving has not even arrived yet, the stores are gearing up for Christmas. It’s almost like Thanksgiving doesn’t even matter anymore. Anyway that is not why I am posting today.

I know that this time of year brings families together full of good cheer and laughter. I know that this is the time of the year when people get together and spread the holiday joy to one another in the spirit of Christmas and all that. But there are millions of people who’s holidays are not full of cheer and laughter. There are people around the world who are suffering from one affliction or another. There are people who do not have a home to go to or a family to gather around and tell stories with. Yes for some of us there is no happy in our holiday. Then there are those who didn’t make it to see another holiday. There addiction won, they unfortunately didn’t get to hear the life saving message of recovery. My thought, prayers and condolences go out to them. I know all to well what the holidays mean to a addict. I know what its like to be all alone during this supposed to be happy time of year. I can remember the empty feelings, the loneliness, the despair and desperation.

 

5

The feelings created by this holiday season can wreak havoc on addicts. This is the time of the year when the most relapses occur. The holiday season is particularly dangerous for those of us in recovery if we are not vigilant and remain aware of our surroundings at all times. I remember getting extra high just because it was Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. The Triple Threat. This is real for me, being a addict my feelings are in full swing. I am switching through emotions like normal people switch through the remote control. I am up one minute and down the next. I wish I was with my family one minute and then fuck them they don’t care nothing about me the next. I am good one minute and I want to get high the next. All that can play out over and over in my head if I am not doing what I need to do to maintain my recovery /  (POOF).

Just like that…It can all be gone. I can be running buck wild again.

 

index2

Using is a choice and the choice is usually made long before the relapse actually happens. I am speaking from my own experience and not as a spokes person for the masses. I know that before I actually picked up a series of things happened. The first being my attitude and behaviors started leaning more towards the negative again. I started to entertain those thoughts in my head. The ones that tell me this is not working and I really can’t possibly think that I am really going to succeed at staying clean. Second I became disconnected with my support network and stopped making meetings. I cut myself off from the heard. I allowed myself to become vulnerable to the lions and tigers that were waiting in the dark places in my head. Third I got the Fuck It’s. I don’t need this, I don’t care, I can do what ever the Fuck I want to. Well needless to say you know what it was that I wanted to do and so I did.

I used and in a very short period I was right back where I started.

It took me a couple of relapses to realize the pattern and it took me to start talking to people and asking for help before I was able to recognize it and reverse it. With the help of the fellowship, friends and of course my higher power I have survived this far. I had to make some changes and take some suggestions. Here are a couple of them that helped me not only survive the holidays but day by day in general.

Make meetings (in NY they have marathon meetings 24hrs on holidays).    Get phone numbers at every meeting. (Dial them do not just file them).       Get a home group. It helps to have a place that I go regularly so people get to know who I am and will miss me when I do not show up. It is a very helpful tool. I made many friends in my home group and I love them.       Get a sponsor. Someone who can help guide me in the process of recovery.  I CANNOT DO THIS ALONE. (Believe me I tried).

The bottom line is this.

I never have to use again. It is not easy to stay clean but it is damn sure a hell of a lot easier than trying to make it back and its well worth it. I am forever grateful.

I just wanted to share this with everyone and ask that you say a little prayer for the still sick and suffering addicts who are out there this holiday season. May God keep them safe and bring them home.

images78

Peace and blessings

Eric Ease

 

HOSPITALS AND INSTITUTIONS

index

A couple of days ago I posted about going to a detox unit to share my experience, strength and hope. I talked about how gratifying the experience was and how satisfied I was when I left there. I remembered what it was like sitting in those seats oh so many times myself and how I never utilized the life saving information that the members of H&I were so freely sharing. I remember it like it was yesterday when I was there sharing and I even felt a little saddened about how long it took for me to get this message.The sad feeling was very short lived. I am learning to love myself today and not dwell in the mistakes of my past. The truth is I just was not ready. I was in denial of my addiction and would not have made it here any sooner. I know today that I cannot allow the pain and misery of my past to dictate my actions today. I can only live for the moment.

So in living for the moment, I was thinking about different things that I want to do with my life in this moment. After going into the detox it got me to thinking that this would be the perfect thing for me to do right now. I would like to find out more about doing service in Hospitals & Institutions. I expressed this thought with my sponsor, my woman and some of my network who encouraged me to go for it. They reinforced what I was already feeling, that this would be the perfect opportunity for me to give back and help carry the message. To be able to share recovery with  those who are not able to make meetings. It will also benefit me and help in my recovery process. It will help me to continue to grow and become more responsible. After all I cannot keep it unless I give it away.

So with all that being said I decided to take action. I went to the H&I Subcommittee meeting today and observed the atmosphere. I spoke to some people who knew that I wanted to get involved before and told them that I was ready. I was introduced to the coordinator and got some more information. I was able to make a decision and I am now a member of the training track for H&I. I am extremely excited about doing service on this level. I feel like this will be a good fit for me and look forward to learning the procedures and policies of Hospitals & Institutions. I look forward to having this commitment and doing it to the best of my ability. This is a step up from doing service on the group level which I have done since becoming a member of the fellowship.

Growth involves change and this is just another step in the ladder towards that change. That means stepping out of my comfort zone. I am grateful for the opportunity to be able to do service for a program that has changed my life for the better.

 

GETTING OUT OF THE COMFORT ZONE

images

I have been trying to find what it is that I want to do lately as you all know. I have been running myself ragged thinking, thinking and more thinking but wasn’t putting forth any action.Then I had made a decision to focus more on my blog and start posting, reading and commenting more. Getting back to the basics of why I started my blog in the first place but also wanting to take it to new levels. I have been reading new blogs and posting comments, following new blogs and reaching out to other blogs that are not recovery oriented as well. I also have been promoting my blog on social media outlets and even inviting guest bloggers to submit articles about their own experiences in this wonderful journey of recovery.

I feel good because I said I wanted to do something and I focused on doing it and but forth the action required. I have been talking a lot about doing this or that but not putting the action behind my words and I was feeling a little stagnated. I was stuck in a old but familiar place. Comfortable in being in a safe place. A zone of taking no risks so I would not be  disappointed. Safe in the zone of fear of moving forward for fear of failure. That old attitude and behavior that kept me sick for so, so long. I thank my support system for all the encouragement and love that they have given me over the last 2 years. I would not be where I am today if I had continued to try to do this alone.

I know all to well what happens when I begin to feel that I should not try to do new things. The old thinking creeps back in and tries to convince me that I am not worthy of any of the gifts that await me and that I should not try to move on my ideas, dreams and goals because I will just fail and feel miserable all over again. Well to those thoughts I say

KICK ROCKS WITH FLIP FLOP

I am a different person today. I am not that same old scared to do anything person. Today I look forward to moving out of my comfort zone and although it is difficult at times I want something better for myself and I have to move in order to get it. If I stay stuck in yesteryear I will get those same stale results. I want fresh new results and I am determined to see them come to fruition.

1

New beginnings.

I have a wonderful woman in my life today and she is truly amazing. She has the spark that I have been missing and I draw from her energy. She is her own woman and is very independent. (I Love That). My woman is starting a new journey and it really has been an eye opener. I watch her and the enthusiasm that she displays and it motivates me to want to do better. She’s smart, sexy, has determination and a vision. She has goals and she is not afraid to go after them. She is definitely a go getter. Boss Lady. I love her and I want to do whatever it takes to make our dreams a reality. I know that whatever we decide to do, wherever we decide to go we as a team can make anything happen. I look forward to having a partner to grow with and to build with. This is new territory and if I was to say it’s not a little scary I would be lying. But fear will not stand in the way of my happiness. Not today.

I truly believe that this is my time. I can feel it and for me to just sit back and watch it slip away again would be a tragedy and a waste of another perfect opportunity. I think I’ve done that enough in my lifetime. The time for action is now.