I CAN’T KEEP IT… UNLESS I GIVE IT AWAY

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I remember how hard it was for me to admit that I was an addict and to ask for help. I was in such deep denial that I couldn’t see past all the lies, hurt, pain, misery and suffering let alone all the evidence that told me that I was and that I needed help bad. I suffered dearly as a result of that denial too. I stay stuck in a viscous never ending cycle for decades.

Help was available but I wasn’t ready to receive it. Help came from many different people too. My Parents, Parole officers, Counselors even ex Girlfriends. None of which did I receive with a open mind or heart. I rejected everyone that ever tried to help me because I truly did not know any better. I believed the BULLSHIT that I was feeding myself. The lies like. I DON’T HAVE A PROBLEM, I DON’T NEED YOUR HELP, I AM OK AND I DON’T NEED YOU and my favorite I CAN STOP ANYTIME, I JUST DON’T WANT TO.

The truth is I couldn’t stop anytime I wanted to. I wanted to and didn’t know how. I wished many days that I could stop. I wanted to stop so bad that I began to believe another lie. That the only way I would ever stop was if I was dead. I began to entertain that idea as the solution to my problems. Little did I know that there was help available all I had to do was ask. But the real deal is I knew, I just didn’t know how to ask for help. Image, ego and a false sense of pride along with the lies that the streets taught me almost killed me and the sad part of all of it is.

I WOULD HAVE KILLED THE WRONG PERSON..

So how can I not share my experience, strength and hope with others. How can I be selfish, self centered and so self absorbed and not share the hope. How can I keep this life saving information to myself. I CAN’T and that is why I share it freely and willingly with the world. I want everyone to know that there is a way out of the grips of addiction. There is a light 💡 not only at the end of the tunnel but inside the tunnel lighting the way.

I am grateful that I can share my story. That I survived by the grace of God and can help others who may believe the lies like I did that I can’t stop. I’m here to break that chain 🔗, to shatter those lies and to show and prove that recovery is possible. If I can recover after 37 years of using and abusing drugs, myself and others anyone can do it too.

Please believe

Help is available and all you have to do is ask.

Peace and blessings

Eric Ease

LEARNING TO DANCE IN THE RAIN

DANCE

Hello and God Bless You.

As you have probably noticed I cut my blog back to once a week. I have to start implementing some balance in my life. With my work schedule being so erratic it was becoming very hard to also write my blog and do all the other things so I chose to make my blog a weekly post for the time being.

As much as I love to share my thoughts and feelings with you all it does pain me to have to cut back so I have decided to start sharing my older posts with you.

With that being said

I have been suffering from a case of negative thinking patterns again. I know that sometimes it can sound like crying wolf but for those of you who know how addiction works this is a battle for my life and the old negative thoughts will never completely go away. Also if you know anything about addiction you know that I am only as sick as my secrets and exposure helps defeat thy monster. Now this doesn’t happen all the time but it does pop its ugly head up in some of the strangest and most serious of times in my life. For instance I was feeling a bit low the other day and the I CAN’T tried to invade. I can’t do this anymore. I can’t continue living like this, I can’t make this new position work, I cant make a meeting today. Well you get the picture.

Of course I know that this is just my addiction checking in to see if I have a weak spot in my recovery as it will do from time to time because it not only wants me back but it wants me DEAD. I have learned so much in recovery that I am aware of this today. There was a time when I used to believe all the negative thoughts and I would be out there all fucked up right now. I lived that lie for too many years..NOT TODAY. I have a tool box full useful techniques and people who are wise beyond their years in my corner who help me.
(THAT’S RIGHT I AM TALKING ABOUT YOU)

Also I was on Facebook the other day and my friend Regina H mentioned a book which I haven’t read in a while so I decided to read it again The Power of Positive Living by Norman Vincent Peale. It has helped to remind me that I am going to live what I think. If I think that I can’t do something and keep telling myself that I can’t then guess what. I can’t. It also reminded me that I have to replace the negative thoughts with a counter thought a positive thought to out weigh the negative one. Once I do that then I have to keep reinforcing it or the negative thought will haunt me and pop back up.
(This is so true because it happens to me from time to time)
I am grateful that I use what I choose not to loose.

One of my favorite phrases is
PROPER PLANNING PREVENTS POOR PERFORMANCE.
It is just a little something that I keep saying to myself and it helps me in times when I am in my feelings.
I know that this is a lifelong fight. I accept the challenge gracefully. I have a higher power that I choose to call GOD. I pray and pray some more. I am not gonna sit here and have you thinking that I got it all together and life in recovery is so freaking easy because it is not. It may seem that way at times because I try to remain upbeat.

IT IS NOT ALWAYS SUNNY BUT I AM LEARNING TO DANCE IN THE RAIN.

Peace and Blessings

Eric Ease

REPOST: # 1 PRIORITY

LOSE WHAT U CHOOSE NOT TO USE

144 DAYS CLEAN “We must use what we learn or we will lose it, no matter how long we have been clean.”
Basic Text, p. 85

Just for Today:

I can’t afford to be too busy to recover I will do something today that sustains my recovery.

Hello and God Bless You.

You know looking at today’s Just for Today I am reminded of how important it is for me to continue to be vigilant when it come to my recovery. I was just saying to myself that I need to make a meeting and POW the just for today tells me the same thing. I know that’s my higher power working behind the scenes to make sure that I understand that I need to get my ass back to my home group and make meetings. I have been getting caught up in work and trying to fix problems in my personal life lately and have been skipping my meetings. I know first hand that this is not good.

I can remember not too long ago getting so caught up in my job and personal life and not making meetings, before I knew it a month had gone by and I hadn’t made a single meeting. Well needless to say my resolve was worn down a little thin and before i knew what hit me I was listening to those negative voices in my head and I was off to the damn races again. I say again because this is not the first time it has happened. Now that I know the signs I can better understand and identify my lapses in my daily routine and my triggers. I am ever so grateful to be a part of the fellowship because it has saved my life.

I need to keep this up front and stop putting other things that pop up in my life ahead of my recovery. It is only a short distance to the next drink and after that the next hit. I have to monitor myself because I suffer from CRS Can’t Remember Shit syndrome. I am always online and talking with my network of new friends in recovery but face to face meetings are a must for me as well. I do not wish to revert back to my old habits and behaviors. If I do not put my recovery first I will be back if I am lucky enough to make it back saying I have 1 day clean. I been there it is time to make new routines and not continue the same old ones.

Today I am grateful to have God of my understanding in my life. I am renewing my faith that I abandoned while in my active addiction. I know today that I am responsible for my recovery and no one else. I have blamed everyone and everything for my past failures never taking responsibility. Today is different. I have a new set of principals and I live by a new code. Not the old street code that has landed me in more hot water than I care to remember let alone live again. I will continue to do my best to maintain what I have. I will make more meetings and stop making excuses for why I cannot go to a meeting. Work will be there after the meeting but If I relapse work is suspect..

IF I SNOOZE THEN I WILL LOSE WHAT I CHOOSE NOT TO USE. THEN I WILL HAVE THE BLUES.

Thank you for reading today’s blog post.

Please feel free to join my blog, leave a comment or check out some of the useful links on the sidebar.

I appreciate all of the support.

Love you all.

Peace and Blessings

NAM

REPOST: 2012 RESENTMENTS

RELEASING MY RESENTMENTS

5 MONTHS 7 DAYS

We want to look our past in the face, see it for what it really was, and release it so we can live today.
Basic Text, p. 29

Just for today:

When I discover a resentment, Ill see it for what it is and let it go.

Hello welcome to The Struggle.

Resentment is a main cause for relapse in my life. Constantly revisiting the past hurts, pains and holding on to past grudges has caused more harm than I could ever imagine. Coming into recovery I didn’t understand what resentment was and sometimes to this day I still don’t fully understand all the aspects and multi layers of resentment. I do know that it is unhealthy. The longer I stay in touch with my life in recovery, the more I uncover.

I am slowly forgiving others but mainly myself because the more I look at my past the more I realize most of the resentments I hold against others was really not their fault it was my own. I have been blaming others for the majority of my life and I am starting to take responsibility for my actions and it is helping me to clear up all the confusion and release the misguided resentment.

I am learning so many things about my disease and my life that I feel like a child again sometimes. It a new beginning and I am glad its about progress and not perfection and that its a process and not a race. I am learning and changing at my own pace. Today I don’t feel pressured to keep up with The Jones’s. It is such a relief to be able to live and not try to impress everyone all the Damn time. (Although I do still struggle with it at times. I still have a need to be liked.) But I am working to release my resentments and keep my ego in check. Progress not perfection.

THE REAL ME PLEASE STAND UP

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To thine own self be true.

I remember not too long ago pretending to be someone else. It seems so dishonest now, but in my active addiction it was a survival mechanism.

I always pretended to be more than I was. In other words I disliked the real me so I created an alternative. I just knew that If I didn’t like who I was, You wouldn’t either. So before you could get the chance to reject the real me, I pretended to be someone I thought you would approve of.

This went on for years. I created and deleted images and ego’s like some people change their socks. Everyday I had to switch up depending on where I was at. I felt I had to be someone else in order to fit in. To be a part of the crowd. To be loved, liked and accepted. After years of this dishonesty I began to lose who I truly was. I wasnt playing a character any more. I had become a monster, the giant of my own imagination. I became someone who I didn’t even recognize.

All the while there was this little inner voice screaming for help. Somebody help me please. I could hear it. I could feel it, but I couldn’t respond to it. I constantly ignored and eventually it went away. It stopped screaming for help. It died a lonely death. That inner voice was my true self trying to save me from me.

That voice has been awakened again within me. I have been given a second breath, a chance to start over, a fresh  new start. Recovery has awakened that voice.  It has sparked in me the will to carry on. To live a new and exciting life without the use of drugs or people, places or things.

I thought that the voice was gone forever and that I would never get out from under the grips of my deadly disease of addiction. I was wrong and I share my experiences to let others know that they can do it too. I am grateful for this life saving process.

I am uncovering my true self

Peace and Blessings

Eric Ease

REPOST: MARCH 2015

RECOVERY IS A LIFE SAVING PROCESS

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As a addict I have experienced the pain, loneliness and despair of addiction. Before coming to the fellowship I tried everything in my power to control my usage of drugs. Nothing I ever tried worked. I tried switching my drug of choice, I tried lying to myself by saying I would only do 1. I tried hiding my money or asking someone to hold it for me. I even went as far as to leave money in my locker at work so I would not spend all of it, only to go to the job and get what I had stashed there. No matter what I tried, how many different approaches, techniques, plots and schemes they all failed. My addiction was to aggressive and I would cave in to the cravings every time. No matter what I tried in the end my addiction lead me to a downward spiral every time. Slowly but surely the progression would get worse until I was back at rock bottom.

I have learned by working some steps about the mental and physical affects of my addiction. Mentally I would become obsessed with thoughts of using. I would be thinking about using day in and day out. I would be thinking about what I was going to do when my drugs ran out long before they actually ran out. I would plan on Sunday how much of my money would go to buying my drugs when I got paid on Friday. I couldn’t last a minute without thinking of using and finding ways and means to get more. I was totally obsessed and consumed with it and my life reflected that. Then there is the physical aspect of my addiction. The compulsive urges to continue using even when I knew the end results would be devastating. Regardless of the consequences or repercussions I continued to use. They say that insanity is doing the same things expecting different results, well my insanity reached the 100th power because I did the same things knowing the results and did them anyway.There is also a spiritual aspect of addiction and that is the self centeredness. You see no matter what happens its all about me, what I want and how I feel. I want what I want and I want it now. I have hurt a lot of people along the way with my selfishness. But in reality is was my addiction not the real me that had me in its grips. I had no control over it or my actions.

I didn’t know anything about the affects of my disease until I came into recovery and started to do step work. I always thought that I was a normal person and the things I did were normal too. I thought I was pretty smart and that all I had to do was stop using drugs and everything was going to be ok. I have learned that I was wrong about that and many other things I thought that I knew. I never thought of myself as being powerless or unmanageable. I thought that surrender was for suckers, quitters and losers and I always thought I was in control of every situation. I had to learn that by surrendering to the disease of addiction and admitting my powerlessness and unmanageability that I would be able to grow and not only learn how to stay clean, but also learn that addiction is about much more than just drugs. Once I stopped using and had a clear mind I began to realize that my addictions started way before I ever picked up my first drink and drug.I began to see that my life had been unmanageable and I had been powerless long before I ever used any substance. Growing up I had addictions to lying and stealing and they only grew as I got older and began to experiment with drugs.

I was always trying to control situations even at a early age only to find out now that I have no control over others actions only over how I respond to them. I can tell you how much of a shock that was to me, and I still didn’t believe it even though all the proof was staring me right in the face. I have always been a hard head and one you had to prove things to. I was the same way in my early recovery and as a result I relapsed time and time again. Today I know better and once you know you cannot go back to not knowing. I am grateful for the process of step work. Just by answering some simple questions honestly and openly I have learned a great deal about myself and why I have done some of the things I did. I am learning who I am and how to accept the things I am learning without acting out. It is a process that is saving and changing my life on a daily basis and I will be forever grateful.

I have the opportunity to live the life I was meant to live. I am in the process of doing things I used to only dream of and it is an amazing journey. I share my experiences with you all in the hopes that I might be able to help someone who might be struggling with the same things I struggled with.

I am here to share hope.

A message of freedom from active addiction. That an addict, any addict. Can stop using drugs, lose the desire to use and find a new way to live.

I can’t tell you the difference in me today compared to 10, 5 even 2 years ago. The proof is in the way I live.

Thank you for being on this journey with me. You can read more of my story on my blog at http://www.fromstruggletostrength.com

Peace and blessing

Eric Ease

MAKING THE DECISION TO TURN IT OVER

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I can’t remember a time in my active addiction when I ever turned anything over or was able to let it go. Not one single time. I always had to have the last word, to be in control, to plot my revenge or live for the payback. Holding onto anger and resentment was a daily chore. It wasn’t born in my addiction either, I have been that way well before I ever picked up that first drink or drug.

I can remember being a very angry and spiteful child. I held grudges and dished out my own justice as early as the 2nd grade. I was a Evil 😈 little so and so. Or so I’ve been called, among other things. Growing up holding on to all that anger, all those resentments caused a rippling effect, a avalanche of outburst and random acts of violence. Uncontrollable urges to hurt someone or something. Most of the time it was me who got hurt. I did more damage to myself than I could ever have imagined.

Needless to say jails, institutions, hospitals, isolation, desperation, despair, agony, pain, misery, suffering, unhappiness, self loathing and self inflicted harm all became my reality. I became my own worst enemy. I traveled the path of self destruction for many years and lost all hope.

Coming to believe that a power greater than myself could restore me to sanity was absurd when I first heard it. I always blamed God for my troubles so that was another resentment to add to the list. Yes even God was on my hit list 📃. But as I kept showing up I began to notice some changes happening. I was becoming open to new things, my thinking 💭 was starting to change. I was becoming teachable. A miracle for sure because I suffered from I Know Syndrome. I was beginning to experience hope.
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That hope eventually turned into faith. I began to believe that I could change, stay clean and accomplish things. I saw others doing it, I listened to the stories and eventually those accomplishments started happening to me. Faith began to turn to trust. Wow. I was really changing because I didn’t trust anything or anyone. My life was becoming something that I did not recognize. I was apprehensive at first because it was uncomfortable. Fear has kept me stuck in a never ending cycle for years but I make a conscious effort on a daily basis not to allow my fear of succeeding to stop my flow.

I have to admit and believe me that trust and fear are still a issues but I am getting better gradually. I’ve made a commitment to turn them over. Letting go is a process and it’s easier said than done but today I know that it’s doable.

Nothing is impossible.

Peace and blessings

Eric Ease

REPOST: APRIL 2012

CAN’T HALF CHANGE

5 MONTHS CLEAN

Hello and God Bless You

I have been so consumed with work lately that I have been neglecting other areas of my life that I really need to be paying more attention too. My blog is one of them. Making meetings is another.

I was thinking the other day about character defects and how many of them I seem to have. Lol. I came to the conclusion that I have to make a complete overhaul of my life. I knew that I would have to change the way I was living. I really didn’t understand the full scope of the word change.

I am starting to realize that I can’t just change certain things and leave other things the way they are. I am beginning to see how all my attitudes and behaviors are all tied into each other and how they all connect. I cannot stop using and continue to associate with people who do. (Family members basically) I have always been good at giving others comfort and advice but bad at applying to my own life. I am struggling with following my own advice about letting go. Still. And I have been falling behind on my meetings and stepwork.

I am starting to get the feeling that I am not going to be able to maintain my new life. The more clean time I accumulate the more I fear that I am not going to be able to do this. I know that fear is one of my downfalls and I am not trying to let it stop me from growing but it does and is on my mind. I have allowed fear of success stop me in my tracks many times in the past. It is a defect I wish to rid myself of. I pray that I do not let this get in the way of my succeeding in recovery and life in general. I am so tired of being a failure but I still struggle at times with low self esteem and feeling not worthy. I know they are feelings and they will pass but I also know that I have to continue to tell on my disease and expose my fears. I am honest about what I go through and will continue to post how and what I feel.

That’s what I am dealing with lately but even though I feel this way I am not using. So I know that something has changed in me.

God is great

Thank you for reading my blog and for being a part of my world.

Feel free to post your comments, thoughts or concerns.

Peace and Blessings to you all

SELF ACCEPTANCE

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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 vicious 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.

Peace and blessings.

 

Eric Ease

 

 

REPOST: FROM MY BEGINNINGS

RELAPSE AND RECOVERY

9 DAYS CLEANGood morning, I am grateful to God for waking me up clean this morning.
I want to talk about relapse and my triggers today. I relapsed 3 times this year my first year trying to get clean. After using and being used by drugs for over 30 years. After taking a serious look at why this keeps happening I’ve come up with a few reasons.
1. I stopped working my program.
2. Self doubt / Self pity / Selfishness
3. Forgetting the pain and misery
4. I was no longer Honest, Open minded nor willing.
5. Isolation

1. MY PROGRAM
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. I could keep going but I want to focus on these right now.
I’ve come to realize how important making meetings and doing step work is to my recovery. I know for a fact that the minute I stopped working my program my addiction started to go to work on getting me back. So I know that I must make my meetings share what I am going through and continue my step work. After all why go to meetings if you are not going to share to me that in my mind is like having a reservation.

2. LOW SELF ESTEEM

I have a low self esteem which played a major part in my relapses. I begin to doubt that I can do this, that I cannot stay clean. Its impossible I would tell myself. Then the pity sets in. I am a loser, I am not good enough, I have failed at everything so why even bother to try. I have never accomplished anything. So my mind played me right back into using. I might as well go ahead and use because it will make me feel better. That I am never going to amount to anything anyway so stop kidding myself. After all that then the I can do this without making meetings, I don’t need these people telling me what to do. They don’t know me how can they help me. I can control my usage. I am better off by myself anyway. ALL LIES. I know better than that today. I know that I do need the people in NA. I know that I CAN DO THIS. I know that I AM SOMEBODY, I AM SMART, I AM NOT A LOSER, IT IS NOT IMPOSSIBLE, I AM GOOD ENOUGH. So now I am on a positive affirmations habit. I tell myself good things, that I am whatever I want to be. And its all good.

 

3. CRS
I suffer from CRS. Can’t Remember Shit. That is one of my biggest problems. Forgetting the pain and suffering and only remembering the so called good times. Now here’s the crazy part, the good times don’t even exist anymore. So trying to relive something that you know doesn’t exist anymore is crazy. I have to play the memory tapes all the way through because in the middle of those tapes are the horrors I went through, the shame, the embarrassment, the degrading moments I need to keep up front. All the disappointments, all the misery. I MUST REMEMBER THE PAIN.

4. HONESTY
Honesty play its usual role, it wasn’t there at all. I had a little clean time but wasn’t being very honest about my life. Even after I relapsed I lied about clean time and my feelings and just about everything else. I had myself believing the lies I told. I began being closed to suggestions, ideas about staying clean were replaced with thoughts of using. Willingness to stay clean no matter what didn’t exist anymore. I became willing to do whatever to get that next hit. I didn’t care about going back to prison or anything else. I was back in the full swing of my addiction.

5. ISOLATION
The biggest lie of all is I CAN DO THIS ALONE. I remember thinking that to myself on several occasions. The problem with that is my thinking is what got me here. When I am alone in my head its not pretty. What’s worse is believing I really could do this alone. I have been a loner almost all my life. I never felt like I belonged anywhere. In my active addiction it was even worse. I would sit alone using, paranoid all the time, slipping further and further from reality. I don’t like being lonely and don’t know anyone who does. But addiction has ruined every relationship I ever had, mainly because of my self centeredness. Today I look forward to being around people like me. I finally feel like I belong somewhere. Thanks to the rooms of NA.

I HAVE TO TELL YOU THAT EVEN AFTER ALL THAT. I WENT BACK OUT TO TEST THE WATERS AGAIN AND AGAIN UNTIL OCTOBER 26, 2013.

PEACE AND BLESSINGS

ERIC EASE