FROM STRUGGLE TO STRENGTH STORE 

First of all I want to thank my Higher Power for allowing me to see the other side of my addiction. The side that I used to think was not meant for me to live. I used to dream of a life without the use of drugs but never thought that I could have that life. It wasn’t in the cards, I wasn’t good enough to live the life that I saw so many others living. 

I believed those lies to be true. My destiny was to die an addict. I truly believed that. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t stop using. So I gave up. I quit trying, I lost all hope and settled for a miserable existence of a life. I became comfortable living life finding ways and means to get more. More pain, more misery and more suffering. 

I was blessed to be able to see not just another day, but several years. I remember being at the end of my rope. I remember wanting to die and just get it over with. I prayed for death because in my mind it had to be better than the life I was living. I didn’t know then, what I know now. There is a way out. 

I am still amazed at times how my life is turning out. I can’t believe how fortunate I have been and how many blessings I have received since getting clean. My life has been nothing short of a miracle. I live, love and laugh today and for that alone I am truly grateful. 

I have so many good people in my life who support and encourage me to be the best I can be. They help me to realize that the only thing that can stop me from realizing my dreams is me. I have blocked more of my own blessings than the Carolina Panthers have blocked opposing teams. Lol. (Taking a shot there).  

The last couple of years have been truly amazing. I have been doing everything that I always told myself that I could not do, only to find out that I can do it. 

I am excited to announce that I have finally been able to make one of  my dreams come true. I have started selling From Struggle To Strength Tee-shirts a few years ago mostly to friends and family. Today I have taken the steps to take my business to the next level. I have opened up my own online store. I am officially an entrepreneur. I have been dreaming of owning my own business for quite some time and this is the opening I have been looking for.  I am looking forward to one day being able to quit working for others as my business gains traction. 

I want to thank everyone who encouraged me to take the risk. Fear kept me doing it on a small scale. Overcoming that fear has allowed me to visualize bigger and better things in the future. I am thankful for the opportunity to share with you all my journey. Just as others have shared theirs with me. 

I hope that you are will share in my joy. Please feel free to stop by and check out the new site. 

The From Struggle To Strength Store 

SOME ARE IN MY LIFE FOR A REASON, OTHERS FOR A SEASON.

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On this Thanksgiving day, I am grateful for many things. Too many to count or even list here but I will share a few things that I have tremendous gratitude for today. First and foremost. I am alive, I have been blessed to see another day when I didn’t think that I would be alive this long. I am grateful that I have choices today and that I am responsible for my actions and for the consequences of my actions. I no longer blame others for the things that I myself have done. I am grateful for the ability to learn. Not only from my mistakes, but to learn from having a desire or passion to better myself and actually taking the steps to fulfill my dreams. I could go on and on but that is not the reason that I am posting today. Today I am posting about the gratitude that I have for the people that have been removed from my life.

I used to think that I did not deserve to be treated with respect, or to be in a healthy relationship. I didn’t think that happiness was in the cards for me and so I acted accordingly. I hung around the wrong crowds. I people pleased and performed like a puppet just to be around and liked by people. I’ve learned that today I do not have to act like you so you can like me. I do not have to perform, transform, pretend, front or be fake to be liked. If people expect that from me then they need to know that I am not that person you are looking for. If you want me to get involved with your drama “because you think that’s what a real friend would do”.

I am here to tell you. Not my monkey, Not my circus.

As a direct result of my new way of life, I have learned to respect and value myself, my time, my life. I have lost a lot of people. I am not saying that because I miss them or because I wish that they were still here. I am saying it because I realize my worth and I know that I am better off without them. I have learned to be like a tree and drop my dead leaves. Just like with the tree when dead leaves drop new ones take the place of the old ones. So will new friends take place of the old ones. Today I know that not everyone I meet will be a friend. Not every person that comes into my life today will be in my life tomorrow. I know that some are here for a reason, some are here for a season. Either way people cross my path to either teach me a valuable lesson or to help me learn a valuable lesson. Today I choose to associate with people who are not moving in the same direction as I am, but those who are already where I want to go. I choose to be taught by people who can help me learn the valuable lessons.

So yes, I am very grateful that those who are dead leaves have been removed from my life. Blown away by the winds of life only to make room for fresh new leaves. I am looking forward to growing new leaves, spreading my branches and planting roots that run deep and will stand firm when the winds of life blow.

THIS IS MY SEASON.

Peace and Blessings

Eric Ease

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Happy Birthday From Struggle To Strength. It was 5 years ago on November 10, 2011.
That I wrote my first blog post. Back then it was used simply as a place for me to write down my thoughts, to be able to see my patterns and to free up some space in my head. I needed a place to vent. I was still using and I was sick and tired of the way my life had turned out. I was new to the concept of recovery and someone suggested that I create a journal. They suggested that I buy a book to jot down my thoughts. Well needless to say I was using so spending money on a book was not going to happen. Lol

I did however find a website called blogspot.

I created an account and I called it Eric’s Daily Struggle. I remember choosing that name because everyday was a struggle for me. Every day I struggled with the thoughts that raced through my mind. The Royal Rumble that was going on inside my head between good and evil. Wanting to stop using and continuing to use. With wanting to die but deep down inside wanting to live just a little bit more.

So by taking that suggestion 5 short years ago my personal journal has turned into my blog. After a couple of years of struggling with staying clean. I finally made a decision to get off the fence and stop struggling. I realized that it was all in the way I viewed my life and my circumstances. I decided to fight for my life and so I changed the name from Eric’s Daily Struggle to From Struggle To Strength. I became willing to do the work necessary to stop the daily struggle and to become strong enough to just say no and to actually mean it.

Well needless to say, I have come a long way since that first blog

MY BLOG. THE LIFE NOT FULFILLED

I am truly grateful for all the people I have met along the way as a direct result of my blog. I am grateful for the therapeutic value of writing down thoughts for it has taught me some very valuable lessons. I never realized when I began this journey that my words would help anyone not even myself and sometimes I still feel like I am not suited to be of any help by sharing my journey but I know that, that is not true. I know that the same way I get help from reading and hearing other people share their journey, my words have the same healing effect. I am thankful that I did not give up way back then. My blog has helped me to grow and in turn I am able to help others to grow as well.

So with that being said. I want to wish my blog a happy birthday. I want to thank my readers who comment on my posts too. I couldn’t have made it without all of your support and encouragement.

Here to the next 5 years and beyond.

Peace and Blessings

Eric Ease

 

 

 

WHO AM I TO JUDGE.

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I can remember in my active addiction the lies and deceit that I have perpetrated. I can also remember those times that I was telling the truth and had wished that people would believe me. I remember the looks I used to get at work and everywhere else I went. The stares of disgust and the disapproving glares. I remember the hurt I felt. The shame and the abandonment.The embarrassment alone was enough to make me want to run. I used for years of that alone.  It wasn’t that long ago and the scars are still there. Some are fresh and others have long been absorbed, locked and stored away deep in my sub-conscience mind. Only to be awakened when a similar circumstance arises.

I always said that I would never judge another person solely on the fact that they had a problem with substance abuse. I always thought that I would be the first to have empathy when it comes to the still sick and suffering addicts. I truly believed that I could never look down on another person just because they were using. Being a recovering addict, I should be the last person to act like people did towards me. I have come to realize in a current situation that, that is not the case. I was in denial about it and after taking a self inventory of a situation that is playing out on my job right now. I find myself being very judgmental of a coworker. I find that I have not been showing care and concern towards this individual but instead I have been distancing myself and displaying those same looks of disgust and glares of disapproval.

I am guilty of doing the exact same thing that people did to me when I was using. I am ashamed of the way that I have acted towards this person the last couple of weeks. I have not been showing care and concern, I have not been living by the creed of one addict helping another. I have been cold and uncaring. I have been acting as if I do not know exactly where he is at, knowing damn well that I do. I have been in his shoes for years.

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I was not going to share this behavior because I was ashamed to admit it. I was more concerned with how people would view me if I admitted the truth. I always share my truth and that will never change, but I always try to share the good things, the good times. I have a hard time sometimes admitting that I am capable of making mistakes. That I am not perfect. Although I know that I am not nor would I want to be perfect. I still suffer from ego and image. I still worry about how people view me and want everyone to like me. I still suffer from low self-esteem. I have flaws and defects that I need to focus and work on. I am a work in progress not a finished product.The truth is I am not perfect. I am still capable of making very bad decisions and acting off impulse.

I am guilty of jumping on the band wagon. Everyone talks about this guy on the job and I find myself right along with them. Instead of being right there with him and letting him know that everything is going to be alright. Offering him a helping hand and showing him that there is a way out. I know better and it is my responsibility to share the escape route with others. To let them know that there is freedom from active addiction. But I chose to ignore my responsibility, to save face and hide my addiction. Oh course I have a responsibility to myself as well. Anonymity is very important but not at the expense of others. I can still help him and remain anonymous. So that is not a rational justification. That’s the addict in me trying to let myself off the hook.

I am grateful that I can see the error of my ways today and more importantly I can change them. I can and will take a long hard look at why I feel so comfortable judging someone that I have more in common with than not. Why I feel it’s ok to judge someone period. Have I been rocking myself right to sleep because I am living a life that I could only dream of a couple of years ago? Have I forgotten the hell that I have just came from? Or do I think I am better than now that I am not using? These are all questions that I will be looking at on a deeper level. I need to get back to the basics and plug myself back in. Rework my foundation and inventory my attitudes and behaviors. It’s time to check myself before I wreck myself.

I am far from better than anyone just because I no longer use.

If I forget where I came from, I will be doomed to repeat.

Peace and Blessings

Eric Ease