TAKING THE NEXT STEPS


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I have been thinking a lot about what it is that I want to do in life. To be totally honest I haven’t got a clue. I am just beginning to live life and sometimes it can be a little overwhelming. For a long time I was stuck in a never ending cycle of using, jails, institutions, pain and misery. Now that those things have been removed I feel a sense of loss. I’m not sure if you can relate to this. It’s strange not having to deal with and survive the day to day madness. Now don’t get me wrong, I am grateful that I am living clean and my struggles are far and few between. It’s just adjusting to not living foul and finding new things to do after doing the same things day in and day out is different.

Change is scary. New is scary. Fear can either be a motivator or it can hold me back. I have allowed my fears to hold me back for a long time. Now that I can see it and I understand a little more about it. I want to change it. I want to abandon my fears and take risks and begin to challenge myself. The only problem is I don’t know where to start. I am stuck in neutral. Wanting to do something new but not knowing what new I want to do. Sometimes that alone frustrates the shit out of me. That’s when I begin to doubt myself and the old familiar negative self talk kicks into full swing. I know this now because I have been able to do some work on getting to know myself through step work and meetings.

I am very critical of myself. I am a harsh critic when it comes to me. I also know this and I try to correct it as soon as I recognize it. It’s not always easy because I have done so for so many years. I have to continuously remind myself to take it easy. I feel at times that I should be further along than I am because of my age. I beat myself up at times because I waited so long to change and I feel like I wasted my life. All the negative side effects of the twisted thinking patterns of addiction.

The first thing I need to do is stay out of the devils playground between my ears. If I stay in there too long nothing good will come out of it. I still have a lot of negative issues to deal with and I know in time I will be better equipped to handle those thoughts. For now I share openly and honestly about it. I can only get the help I need when I let others know the exact nature of what’s going on. I also need to stop being so hard on myself. I am doing a great job in my recovery and my life in general and need to recognize and acknowledge that fact daily. I also need to continue working on loving myself. I am at a point where I tend to flip flop on this and self love is key to my growing experience. Sometimes I fall short on giving myself the love that I so easily give to others.

Looking forward as I work on staying clean for my 3rd year. I know some of the areas of focus. I am grateful for recovery and all the people who I have met along the way. I have a awesome network, sponsor, girlfriend and online recovery family. I am truly blessed by each and every one of you and do not take this fact for granted. I appreciate your support and encouragement and love you all. I have work to do but I am also thankful for the work that has already been done.

I might not know where it is that I am going. But I do know that where ever it is…
IT’S DEFINITELY FORWARD!

13 thoughts on “TAKING THE NEXT STEPS

  1. Pingback: FORWARD MOBILITY..MY RESPONSIBILITY | FROM STRUGGLE TO STRENGTH

  2. Thank you for visiting my site and liking some of my posts. I’m so glad you did that because it allowed me to find you and see your site. You write with honesty and elegance. Thank you for that. I can totally relate to your struggle. I myself have not been able to get 3 years clean and sober yet but I’m going about my recovery in a whole new light this time (almost dying from delerium tremens (dt’s) woke me up to the severity of my addiction). It’s time for me to start living my life. I am 45 years old and feel like I have wasted sooooo many years playing around with my alcoholism. No more. My sobriety date is 9/29/15. I start a new job today and it is only by God’s grace that I have anything. I look forward to reading more of your site. God bless you my friend. ~~Michele

    Liked by 2 people

    • You’re welcome Michelle. I enjoyed reading your posts and I can relate to your story as well. I also feel the burn from soooo many wasted years and not being able to stay clean. I myself will be 50 in January and it is definitely time to live my life. It’s way over due. I have a whole new outlook on life and my Higher Power andrecovery is the reason why. Congratulations on your clean time and your new job. Stay strong and remember it gets greater later. I look forward to interacting with you here. Networking is a major help for me also. Peace and blessings. Have a great day.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. i empathize with your ongoing challenges. i’d suggest you make a list of five things you want to do in life. simply make the list. after you write it down, share it with someone you trust and feel safe with. there are mixed emotions which accompany uncertainty, and, it’s okay to not know: in fact, sometimes that’s the best place to start, in the spirit of humility.

    let me know if and/or when you take my suggestion. you have my unconditional support!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey Eric:
    Live this paragraph below, that I copied from your blog. That is one of the most important statements; quit being hard on yourself, and moving forward.
    Continuing to admire all you are doing as you grow, and share your life, and want to help others. Keep up the good work Eric. God’s Blessings, Strength, Peace.

    The first thing I need to do is stay out of the devils playground between my ears. If I stay in there too long nothing good will come out of it. I still have a lot of negative issues to deal with and I know in time I will be better equipped to handle those thoughts. For now I share openly and honestly about it. I can only get the help I need when I let others know the exact nature of what’s going on. I also need to stop being so hard on myself. I am doing a great job in my recovery and my life in general and need to recognize and acknowledge that fact daily. I also need to continue working on loving myself. I am at a point where I tend to flip flop on this and self love is key to my growing experience. Sometimes I fall short on giving myself the love that I so easily give to others.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Keep going forward, i understand that the using took up most minutes in a day and was a lifestyle but as u say u just need to find something to do that fills the same hours kind of, good luck Eric, I know you will get there bro, peace

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Eric, you know the saying great minds think alike? You and I are right here right now! I am going head first into the family addiction advocacy field and want to train early next year to become a recovery coach with a focus on families and it is exciting and scary because I have a family to help support and bills to pay. However I know that I am being called to do this, it is truly what I am meant to do and what I am very passionate about; I also know that I can help a lot of families deal with the struggle of addiction and win.

    I believe that you too are on a path to help others, as you are doing right now with your blog and sharing your story and experience. It is especially needed in the black community as addiction hits us particularly hard and the stories put forward by the media show us dead or in jail. To see a black man who has come through addiction and is now in successful recovery, and is taking the time to share his gift of recovery with others is inspiring and amazing and I for one am very proud of you.

    Whatever you do, I will be here to support you and know you will be successful; here’s to a bright future one day at a time 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Congratulations Nadine. That is great news. Addiction advocates are very important part of the recovery process. The need for knowledgeable people who actually care is great and I for one admire your strength and determination. I know that you will be great at it and make a difference in many lives. Thank you as always for all of your support. I truly appreciate it and the friendship we have developed. You my friend are an inspiration.

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      • Thank you, but let me make one thing very clear Eric, YOU are the inspiration! I want to see more people like you succeed and I want to help families do what they can to help their loved ones succeed. My husband, my sister, you are the reason I fight to break the stigma around addiction and help people get the help they need; I am following your example my friend 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

        • Wow. Thank you so much Nadine. I sometimes don’t see myself as a inspiration to anyone. I appreciate your support and encouragement. I can always use the positive reinforcement. You made my day. Thank you.

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