Lately I have been feeling like I should be better off and definitely farther along life’s path than I am. I’m feeling like every step I take forward that I am getting no closer to being satisfied with myself. I am my worse critic. I have made tremendous progress in my 3 years in recovery and just like in my addiction, I still want more. I am feeling like the progress that I have made should have been accomplished a long time ago and  It’s making me feel depressed to say the least.  

It seems to me that I am really only spinning my wheels and I am not getting anywhere fast. I want so much more out of life than to be stuck in the daily rat race of my 9 to 5. Struggling for years working for a company that doesn’t care. Living and working around people that don’t care and remembering how much I didn’t care when I was active. Now that I am clean I realize how much of life I truly missed out on. 

MY life right now is the best it has ever been and yet I still have the feelings of emptiness, loneliness and worthlessness. I still suffer from anxiety over the future because of the many failures of my past. The haunting reality of a life not to long gone. 

I am at a crossroad in my life right now. I guess this is what some call midlife crisis. I don’t know. I’ve never felt so unhappy with where I am at other than when I was using. But this is different, this isn’t the desperation and despair feelings. These are the feelings of I should be spending my time more wisely. Doing the things that I love to do not because I have to do them. 

I read a quote once that said. If you are unhappy with your outcomes change your circumstances. Or something like that. Long story short. If nothing changes, nothing changes. I am ultimately responsible for my outcomes. I will only get out of it what I put in. I have to let go of the things that are making me feel unhappy. I have to step up, step out on faith and put in the work required to make my dreams a reality. 

I am no longer satisfied with the status quo. The old beliefs that I have to do this the way everyone else has been doing it. I tried it and it’s no longer working for me. My eyes have been opened to a new way of life and I must take this opportunity to advance for myself and my family. I think I’ve paid enough dues it’s time for me to start seeing some of the benefits and rewards of my labor. 

I will keep praying on it. God’s will not Mines be done. 

Peace and blessings. 

Eric Ease 


  1. Hey, Eric — I’m just under three years in, myself, after a flame-out that included a job I’d been in too long; a DWI; jail; ER; psychiatric lockup; destruction of vehicles (mine and other people’s); near loss of the job because of the drinking; and a long-overdue divorce. Yet when someone said at a meeting recently that she “wasn’t where she wanted to be,” I understood exactly what she was saying, and yet I had to admit when the “talking stick” came around to me that I was, on that day, right where I wanted to be. I was sober, clear-headed, and ready to face the challenges of the day with support and with equanimity. And while I was where I wanted to be, I didn’t want to stay there. Where did I want to go? Was I already there, or was this a kind of craving something else, something more, that fueled my behaviors for decades? One of most painful parts of my life now is that I’m not sure how to best help folks who are in the situation I was in three years ago. I can barely articulate what it is that’s keeping me sober, so how can I help someone else? And yet, it seems a shame to let all that bad experience go to waste. So my crossroads decisions included leaving that job — a huge financial risk — to take up work in the arts for which I was trained a long time ago, but never took advantage of . . . because I was in the coma of addiction. And I’ve decided to undertake study toward a license in addiction counseling. Will that help? Will I learn what I need to know in order to help others? I don’t know, but I’m already at peace with the outcome, whatever it is. I have found that those closest to me (my new wife, primarily) want to hear the kinds of thoughts you’re expressing in this blog, especially the hard thoughts, the frustrations and boredom, the incidents during a day in which I feel triggered. My wife doesn’t know what it’s like, but she wants me to be honest with her, even if it’s just to pause in the kitchen and say, “For just a second, that hand soap dispenser looked exactly like a bottle of vodka.” She wants to know about the struggle. For what it’s worth, and though I wasn’t able to internalize and put the lessons into practice for many years, I began to dig out of the darkness through the teachings of Buddhist nun Pema Chodron, specifically with respect to her teachings on “shenpa,” or the hook or trigger that we need to learn to recognize for what it is, so that we can decide whether to go down the habitual path, or begin to dismantle the deeply-set habit and refrain long enough to provide time to choose something else. As painful and damaging as were the consequences of the old life, there will probably always be a part of me that wishes I could have the best of it without also having the worst of it. Therein lies delusion and the beginning of relapse. That’s shenpa, and the time to deal with it is immediately. Another teacher, Tara Brach, wrote what is practically my mantra now: “Observing desire without acting on it gives us the freedom to choose how to live.” Best wishes, Steven . P.S. How did I find your blog, you wonder? Just on an internet search for related things.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Steven for sharing your identification. I appreciate your honesty and input. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog also. Congratulations on your 2 + years. I hope to hear from you again my friend. I am grateful for all the people I meet on this wonderful journey. Peace and blessings brother.


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