THERE’S A REASON IT’S CALLED THE PAST. 

More often than I care to admit, I am reminded of my past. It’s not enough to stop using, become a productive member of society, change my life for the better. It’s not enough that I stopped stealing, lying, cheating and all the other things that came along with my addiction that I no longer participate in. It’s not enough for those that choose to continue to live in those moments and try to hold that old, tired, worn out guilt over my head.

I on the other hand have been able to move on from that point in my life. I have been able to forgive myself for staying stuck in that never ending cycle. I have learned a valuable lesson about living in the past. Holding on to past hurts, real or imagined have a damaging effect. Replaying those old tapes as if they just happened yesterday in looping succession. Has caused me to miss out on what was happening in the here and now. It has caused me to have resentments and hold grudges against people that have long forgotten about the situation.

Being an addict my thought process constantly gravitates back to any and all negative things and situations. It a built in mechanism brought on by fears of moving forward into the unknown. It’s also been known as self sabotage. Bring up the old and tie it to a new situation. Like making someone new pay for something someone old did to me. The end result is always the same. Missing out on an opportunity to move past it and grow from it.

I’ve been there.

Sometimes I revisit there.

But I no longer stay there.

I have learned the truth, and once I know the truth. I can no longer turn a blind eye. I can’t go back to not knowing. Well the truth is I can always act like I didn’t know but that is just plain denial. And we know that denial stands for Don’t Even No I Am Lying. Lying to myself. I have to face the truth, and the truth is. I know better. People say the truth hurts. But the reality is that the truth helps me to grow. Denial hurts.

I know that everyday that I am granted the blessing to wake up. I have the option to move forward or move backwards.

I have chosen to move forward and I am grateful for the continued chances to do it over and over again. Everyday. Sometimes more than once in a day. I can start my day over anytime I choose to. The outcomes of  moving forward are unknown and that makes them exciting. The outcomes of living in the past are the same and that makes them outdated and redundant. I would much rather keep walking and looking in front of me than try to walk forward and be looking back.

What a magnificent gift.

Peace and blessings.

Eric Ease

INSIDE JOB

I finally understand what it means when they say it’s an inside job. When I first heard this my interpretation was way off. Along with my interpretation of everything else, it was negative. 

Negativity the driving force of my existence for years held me hostage in  never ending cycles of destruction, chaos,  despair and isolation. I just didn’t understand why everything that was happening kept happening.  I certainly didn’t believe that I was the cause of my own misery. So of course I blamed everyone else. 

I needed to change. I needed to find  something different and I alone had to do it. No one could do it for me. I alone have the power to change my situations and circumstances. I heard it before but I acted as if I didn’t know. I said that I didn’t know and began to believe that I didn’t know . I didn’t know because I didn’t want to know. I kept myself in the dark for fear of what I would find. I was afraid to get to know the real me. Afraid because of the lies I always told myself about myself. Ones like no one would like me or want me around. Like I am unlikable, unloved , unwanted and unworthy. 

I thought myself right out of friends, family, jobs and life in general. 

I didn’t know then, what I know now. I didn’t know that in order for me to change my circumstances , I had to first change my thinking. I also had to change my attitude and behaviors. I had to be willing to take a long hard look at me and then put forth action. I had to do some work . Hard work. I didn’t think I could do it. I am grateful for the men and women who helped me to believe that I could. They loved me until I was able to love myself and they still love me today even when my skies are gray. 
It’s truly a blessing to have the power to make healthy choices, to be able to make mistakes and grow from them. To see the results of the choices that I make having a positive impact on my life and the life of others. I’m grateful that I can start my day over at any given moment instead of staying stuck going in the wrong direction. 

I wouldn’t trade this life for nothing in the world. Because I finally understand that it starts and ends with me.

It truly is a inside job. 

Peace and blessings. 

Eric Ease

THROUGH GOD’S GRACE AND MERCY. I AM GRATEFUL . 

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As I look back over the last 3 years, I am amazed at all the things that I have accomplished . It wasn’t to long ago that I was in a state of utter desperation and despair. I was lost, lonely and fighting,  what I thought was a losing , pointless battle .

Through God’s grace and mercy . Yesterday I celebrated 3 years clean of any and all mind and mood altering substances. (Except for those Damn cigarettes) . I never thought that I could do it. I never imagined that I would ever stop using . I believed deep down that I was a lost cause and for many years lived to prove just that.

I couldn’t have been more mistaken . I was misinformed. Everything that I thought I knew about myself and my life was a lie. Lies that we’re formed in insecurity, low self esteem and self hatred. Lies that we’re formed following others instead of being the leader that I was destined to be.

Recovery has changed my life. I am learning to think differently and as a direct result, I am living differently. I am finally experiencing the life that I was meant to live. I have found the freedom that I believed was only meant for others. I am learning to live life as it is not as I would like it to be. I am a changed man and truly grateful.  I have been blessed to live 2 lives in 1 lifetime. That is a precious gift that I will never again take for granted .

Thank you to everyone who believed in me when I did not believe in myself.

Peace and blessings

Eric Ease

RISK OR RESENTMENT

When I look back to where I was 3 years ago, I can’t help but be amazed. I am amazed because for 40 years before that I played it safe. I was afraid to venture out of my comfort zone. Believe it or not I was in a state of comfort in my active addiction. Yes it was a horrible existence, yes it was and I do not take addiction lightly nor downplay just how hard life was. Although my life was not my own and was ruled every waking moment by the obsession and compulsion to use. I knew what everyday brought. The pain and suffering I endured, I had become accustomed to. The regular routine of using and finding ways and means to get more was my main focus day in and day out. I knew what to expect, I knew what to do. Every day was the same, some days more painful than others but I had grown used to and settled for the life that I thought I would always live.

If I had known then, what I know now. I wouldn’t have stayed stuck in that never ending cycle.I would have found a way out a long time ago had I only taken a risk to believe enough in myself, taken a risk to believe in what others were telling me. Had I taken simple risk. The risk of trusting my gut feeling that I could live a better life if I only tried. The funny thing about taking risks is that I cannot think about it for too long. If I do I will think myself right out of doing it. Whatever it is. If I wait until the time is right, wait until I am better equipped, wait for this or that. I will never get anything done. Procrastination is one of my biggest character defects. It is one of my oldest, longest and most deadly character defects. Procrastination has killed more of my dreams, goals and ambitions than anything else in my life. It has kept me from achieving a better life for years because I always put off changing until I thought I would be better off. I would be able to handle it or I would just plain ole say. I will do it tomorrow.

Procrastination..It is born from and lives vicariously through fear.

Fear of one thing or another. Imaginary or real. True or False. Fear keeps me from extending myself to others. It keeps me from reaching my full potential and visualizing my goals and dreams. Fear can be a motivator but in my case it became a stumbling block. It became a devastating crutch worse than my addiction itself, because my addiction was a product of that fear. For years I told myself that I wasn’t good enough and that I did not deserve to be happy, I didn’t deserve to have good things happen to me or for me. I told myself those lies for so long that I believed them. I believed them as if I had a stack of evidence to substantiate it. So believing that I wasn’t worthy of those things I did everything in my power to keep myself from experiencing those things. I did everything in my power to sabotage myself. Unwillingly and Unknowingly and Understandably so. I had lied to myself so often that my subconscious took over the job and held me to my own words. I didn’t even have to consciously downgrade myself, now it was built in and it did a fantastic job. It did exactly what it was meant to do. It served it’s purpose masterfully.

Being closed minded to anything new, better or different.

I proceeded to live my life stuck in a never ending cycle. Anger and resentments, isolation and degradation, despair and self destruction all took a front row seat. They took center stage and clapped when I fell deeper and deeper into the hole that I dug for myself. The person who was once a happy, smart, curious child was gone and this monster was in full swing. Only that side I thought was gone wasn’t. From time to time I could hear him crying out. This is not right. Help me please. But I was too weak to help him. I was too caught up in a self destructive will. I was too fearful, scared, confused and lonely. I was to ashamed to ask for help so I suffered in silence. I suffered for years a prisoner in my own body and mind. I was paralyzed by fear.

God’s will for me proved to be the turning point. For many years I cried out to God for help and for many years I refused to accept the help that my higher power kept providing me with. I let so many life boats, rafts, preservers and opportunities pass me by. I couldn’t see then that that’s what they were. I didn’t understand that those were the chances to break me out of the prison I had made for myself. I didn’t take advantage of those life saving moments. I always chose to return to the scene of the crime and start my cycle over and over again. In my darkest hour God came through once again. The difference is this time I was open to receive the help offered. I was finally ready to turn my life around. I thought I wanted out but by the grace of God and his mercy I realized that I wanted to live. I saw the light after years of seeing nothing but darkness. My mind has been opened to a new and exciting way of life. I stumbled a few times in the last 6 years and went back out to test the waters.

In 2013 all that changed and my life has been the best I have ever lived. I still go through ups and downs, but there are way more ups than there are downs. I have learned to sit my ass still, ask for help and be willing to accept the help when it comes. No matter how it comes. I have dark days. I am not and never will be cured of this affliction. I have taken many risks since. I have moved from New York to North Carolina.I took a risk and purchased a home in a state where I barely know 5 people. Lol. Wow. Who would have ever thought that this die hard Brooklyn Bully would ever leave. I sure didn’t. But I did it. I packed up and moved with my fiancee. Oh did I forget to tell you. I took another risk. I actually allowed someone to get closed enough to get to know me and we are getting married next year. Not only are we getting married but we are starting our own business together too. We are living a life that I never thought I would ever live. If you would have asked me 3 yrs ago where do you see yourself in 3 years. I would not have said any of those things. But yet here I am doing them. Living them. Enjoying them.

All I can say is Thank you.

I am grateful because the truth is…

I almost killed the wrong person and I could have missed all of this.

R.I.P.

Recovery Is Possible.

Peace and Blessings.

Eric Ease

AM I PART OF THE PROBLEM OR SOLUTION 

When I first read the quote. I am the problem, but I am also the solution. I thought to myself. Problem. I don’t have a problem. There’s nothing wrong with me. I truly thought that the way I was living was normal. Where I grew up everybody used something. Drinking and drugging was a normal activity. That was the denial and the denial was thick. In reality that was not normal. First off it was frowned upon in my own household.  When I was a child, I was warned against the dangers of drugs and I saw first hand the destruction it caused all around me in my neighborhood. Yet I still gravitated towards it. 

I’ve come to realize that I am the problem. Not the drugs, not my family, not the government, police or any other authority. Me. It begins and ends with me. My addiction was born long before I ever picked up my first drink or drug. My addiction started with my lack of self esteem, my insecurities and my wanting to be a part of. Always thinking that I wasn’t good enough has caused me to exclude myself and isolate, to give up before I ever really got a chance to see things through. Disqualification based on the thoughts that ran and still run through my mind. 

I allowed my negative, down grading, self destructive thoughts to dictate my actions, moods and outcomes for years. The results were devastating and I surrendered to the lower power and settled for less and became comfortable paying the high price to live so low. 

By the time I found recovery, I was a lost cause. Or so I thought. I figured that I was wasting my time and that I could never change. I didn’t think that I had any power over the outcomes of my life. I believed that the things I suffered from were punishment from God, my mothers God. The God I grew up hearing about. I could never have imagined how wrong I was and I almost missed out on finding out the truth because I was ready to once again give up before I got started. 

Remember relapse is a part of my story. So I know all to well the embarrassing feelings of starting over and over again and again. The truth is that although it was embarrassing, it was also a sign of strength. It was a sign that I was ready to start exhibiting some of the inner resolve that for so long had escaped me. My willingness to keep coming back let me know and helped me to see that I was tired, sick and tired of the way I was living and how my life had turned out. I was finally becoming a part of the solution. My solution to my problem. Me.

Now don’t misunderstand me. I am by no means cured or healed and my life is not suddenly magically delicious. No. I still suffer from the negative effects of my twisted thinking. There are times I want to quit. I don’t want to make meetings and really don’t want to be bothered with people. I am more comfortable isolating. I still have trust issues with outsiders. People period and would love to just be normal. But I am not normal. So I know that I need to continue to stay connected. I can see the insanity when I stay away to long. 

I am proud of myself today. I am part of the solution more often than the problem. I know that I am a work in progress. I fall short constantly, but I will not allow my shortcomings to rock me into a false belief that I am not good enough or worthy of living the life I deserve. I will not allow my thought process to dictate my outcomes. My life has changed dramatically. I am living a life that I thought only others lived and was not in the cards for me. 

I couldn’t have been more disillusioned. 

I am thankful and truly grateful for the grace and mercy of my Higher Power. I could have missed this. 

Peace and blessings 

Eric Ease