BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD

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I have to admit. The old feelings of failure have been biting at my heels the last couple of weeks. The thoughts that I would never amount to anything and I am useless. worthless, stupid and a failure have been ringing in my head. I am reminded of my past constantly and I have been struggling with shaking those thoughts and feelings. I am sharing this with you because I need to. I need to share the good right along with the bad. I am human, far from perfect and I still struggle with those old thoughts and feelings at times.

I have a habit of always looking for the doom as some people would say, but I don’t see it that way. I have lived the doom all my life so I know a thing or two about it. I know that shit happens. I have caused shit to happen, (self sabotage) witnessed it happen and know for a fact what can happen. I don’t like to always think negatively but I do like to be prepared for it because it does happen. I am not sure if you can understand that. It has nothing to do with trying to always be positive or what you think will happen will happen. It has to do with not being naive, unrealistic or rocked to sleep because things are going well. When life is good and everything’s going my way I can forget sometimes that there will be bad days too. Murphy’s Law. Whatever could go wrong will go wrong.

Anyway. I am drifting off subject.

I have never been much of a risk taker. I lived pretty much in the comfort zone. Believe it or not I was comfortable in my misery in my addiction for a long time. I expected nothing and as a result I got just what I expected. In recovery however I am trying to live a different life and as a result I am taking risks, trying new things and making myself uncomfortable in the process in order to grow spiritually, mentally and physically. I am enjoying this new way of life and would not trade it for the world. I have accomplished many things in the last 3 years and 8 months that I have been clean. I owe it all to my higher power, the fellowship and a willingness to change.

With that being said I have attempted many new things in this time frame and not everything that I took a risk on paid off. I have stumbled many times. I have failed at some of the risks I have taken. I am learning how to deal with failure and not to look at it as a negative thing. I am learning to look at those attempts as a learning experience and not a complete failure. By doing this I have learned that it doesn’t mean that I should give up. It just means that the way I did it didn’t work out at that time. It allows me to have a choice. It allows me to go back to the drawing board and rethink my method, replan my attempt. It allows me to gather more information to add to the information I already have. I already know what didn’t work because I now have the experience from trying. Experience I would not otherwise have had if I did not take the risk in the first place.

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This is mind blowing for me because I never looked at failing at something as a good thing or a learning experience. I used to just give up and be depressed, frustrated, angry and defeated. I would allow the negative self talk to talk me right out of trying it again or trying anything else for that matter. I would allow it to keep me stuck in my comfort zone slowing dying from the unsatisfied, unworthy, useless feelings. I have been in that rut for years. I no longer choose to live in my comfort zone of complacency. Today I choose to move forward with my life no matter what.

I have recently took a risk.

I was sick and tired of the work I was doing for quite some time. I was unhappy at work and it was spilling over into my personal life at home. It was affecting my spirit and I was feeling like I was drowning in my sorrows. I stayed on this job, in this field way past the expiration date and it was beginning to take it’s toll on my well being. I knew I had to do something and I had to do it quick. I decided to end my relationship with the company I worked for. I have been with them for 7 years and I felt it was time to part ways. I resigned and wrote the post – RETIRED FROM THE BALL AND CHAIN WAS SCARY. STARTING ANEW IS ALSO SCARY. BUT STAYING THE SAME IS THE SCARIEST.  That post was written 2 months ago.

It’s funny how time flies, but even funnier how some things remain the same. I am still very excited about becoming a real estate investor. I have been putting in a lot of work. Searching properties, learning how to contact owners, write contracts, make offers, deal with realtors, sending out direct mail campaigns, creating websites, posts, flyers and listing the company in online directories. I have learned a lot in the last 2 months since retiring from my 9 to 5. I am proud of myself for taking the risk to do something to make my life and my families life better. But with all my efforts and all the hard work I have still yet to buy my first property. I have hit more roadblocks and obstacles than I anticipated and as I stated in the beginning of this post. I am starting to doubt myself. I am starting to lose hope and I am starting to feel like the failure that my disease will have me think that I am. Now I know that these are just feelings. I know that better things are just around the corner. I know that if I give up now that I will be selling myself short. I know all this but that doesn’t mean that I do not feel the things that I am feeling. The difference is what I do about it. I could give up and allow the negative thoughts to once again dictate my life or I can dig deeper and strap in for the ride.

Although I have been struggling with getting my business off the ground. I refuse to throw in the towel. I realize that first of all. I have not been doing this for long. 2 months is not enough time to evaluate my success or failure in this business. Secondly I have to realize who is doing the talking, my addiction, those thoughts have always tried to sabotage my efforts and I always believed them. NOT TODAY. I am determined to succeed. So I will go back to the drawing board. I am grateful for the knowledge that I have gained and will use that to my advantage. I will start my day over as many times as I have to. I will shake as many trees, call as many sellers, knock on as many doors as necessary. I will keep the focus where it belongs on moving forward.

Nothing worth having comes over night. I will use my tools to get me through this. One day at a time.

Peace and blessings

Eric Ease

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

NEVER FORGET WHERE I CAME FROM

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It is important for me to never forget what it took for me to get to where I am today. My journey from active addiction to recovery was a long, hard uphill battle. I struggled with myself and fought tooth and nail to hold on to a belief system that was broken and outdated. Growing up with a false sense of pride and misdirection.  I quickly became angry and resentful at any and everything that didn’t fit into my warped way of thinking 💭.

Feeling like no one understood me and feeling like I didn’t fit in anywhere I distanced myself from everyone. I was at a loss for words to describe how I felt. I couldn’t understand why I always felt alienated and like a outcast and I decided to stop trying. I created my own world. Fantasy Island. A place where nothing and no one else mattered. I finally found a place where I belonged. I locked🔒 myself away in a tower deep within my own mind. I didn’t realize that I sentenced myself to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Life became a very lonely place. Isolation almost drove me to a death sentence. I have to admit that I was fine with it. I welcomed death in fact wished it upon myself many times. My journey was dark and loaded with desperation and despair. Little did I know then, but I was living a lie. I was being guided by a lower power that was trying to destroy me. It almost succeeded. I almost killed the wrong person.

I was granted a pardon when I found recovery. A reprieve from my self imposed death sentence. I make no mistake about it. I know it was devine intervention. I know that my Higher Power stepped in and changed the direction of my life. I cannot take any credit for getting here. I give thanks every day for this second/hundredth chance. I have learned so much and have so much more to learn. I am no longer able to use the excuses that I didn’t know. I cannot go back to not knowing. I am aware of the consequences of my actions and I know that it takes willingness and work to maintain my recovery on a daily basis.

If I choose to forget where I came from. I will choose to return to where I came from.

Peace and Blessings

Eric Ease

THE WORLD OWES ME NOTHING

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In active addiction. The world 🌍 owed me everything. I was done wrong. I was entitled to reimbursement for all my pain, misery and suffering. I was damn sure going to collect every dime from every one of yall too. I had it all figured out and all was going to be fine. Wow. Talk about  delusional.

I blamed every one and every thing for my situations, circumstances and all my outcomes. Never once taking any responsibility for they way my life turned out. For the decisions that I myself made. And even when all the evidence pointed at me from every direction. I still blamed you. I was unable to conceive or comprehend that I was the problem. It was unthinkable, unspeakable and definitely unbelievable.

That was the mind of a mad man. The insanity was real and so was the struggle. In the end. No.. way before the end when I was finally able to admit it to myself. I still couldn’t admit it to anyone else. I suffered because when I needed help, ego and image still ruled. Even when my life was at its worse. I couldn’t become humble and ask for help. I didn’t know how. I didn’t know that it was OK to ask for help. That it’s not a sign of weakness but rather a sign of true strength.

I am finding freedom now that I am learning to let go of all the nonsense that I was taught and have come to believe. I have been blessed to find a new way. A way that works as long as I get involved and not sit back and act like I am owed something. It works when I am a active participant in my own life. When I strive to make a difference and take part in the active change of my own situations and circumstances and see the difference in the outcomes.

The world and it’s residents don’t owe me shit. Actually it’s the other way around.

THE BLAME GAME

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For years I blamed all my problems on my parents, my childhood, my environment, my teachers, my this and my that. But it was in all reality MY FAULT. I didn’t know anything about denial or being self centered. I surely didn’t have a clue about being responsible or taking ownership. All I knew was nothing was my fault.

It was easier to blame you for my failures. That way I didn’t have to see how bad I had truly become. The disease had me fooled for years and kept me blind to the fact that I was the only one responsible for my actions and outcomes. I refused to take any responsibility for anything bad that happened. And refused to give any credit for anything good that happened. I had no faith in a higher power so anytime I was blessed or spared it was all my doing. If I was down and out it was your doing.

In the end, when I had used and abused everyone and there was no one left to blame I was faced with the ugly truth. I was forced to start to take a good, long hard look at myself and what I had become. By then I was so far gone that I didn’t care. I could easily admit to being a failure and I could see nothing but the negative effects and negative outcomes. I couldn’t see not one positive thing about myself so the blame game continued on for years. Resentments and anger took over and I became a very bitter and lonely person.

In the very end I lost all hope. I had become someone else and couldn’t recognize myself anymore. I used to be able to hear little glimpses of Eric’s voice fighting to get out. But the voice eventually got quiet. The voice had died somewhere along the way. There were no traces of my true self left. I had so many masks and lied to myself for so long that Eric was gone for ever.

Or so I thought…

I wanted to die. There was no one left to blame for my predicament. I was face to face with me. Tears, loneliness and despair were all that was left. I was a shattered man. Broken, abandoned and disguarded like yesterday’s trash. I was at the end of my road.

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Recovery changed all of that.

I am forever grateful for had it not been for the devine intervention of my Higher Power. I would have ended my life and blamed the world one last time. Today I recognize and take ownership for my part in my life. No one forced me to make the choices I made. No one forced me to continue to do the same things over and over expecting different results. No one but me. I made those decisions. Bad decisions or not they were mines and I did the best I could with what I had at the time. I regret wasting so much of my life but I am also thankful that I made it out. I am blessed to be able to share my experience and gain from others experiences. It didn’t have to be this way. As for the wasted time. I can never get it back but I can make damn sure every day from this point on counts for something. I have a purpose and a destination. I am no longer pointing fingers and placing blame. I am becoming who I was meant to be. Growing and learning one day at a time.

It feels stupendous.

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!

NOT IN MY TIME

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I can remember for the longest time giving up, because I felt like things weren’t happening fast enough. I want what I want. And I want it now. Never taking the time to put in any real work, commitment or dedication to anything but always expecting to receive maximum results. When things didn’t happen to my satisfaction. I quit. I moved on to the next thing. That was my life. It didn’t matter what it was. Relationships, jobs, school, exercise whatever. When I didn’t get what I felt I should’ve I  walked away from it.

So as you can imagine I never finished a lot of things that I started. I placed unrealistic expectations on every thing and every one I came in contact with and always felt short changed as a result.

When I first got clean, I did the same thing. I started to feel like I should be further along than I was and I stopped doing the things that were keeping me clean. I felt like recovery wasn’t working. Little did I know then that It was working but I wasn’t. I wasn’t taking the suggestions or doing anything to maintain my recovery other than making meetings. Needless to say I quit and I relapsed.

Sometimes I find myself still wanting to walk away from my recovery today. I feel like I am not changing and that it’s a waist of time. I mostly feel this way when something that I want doesn’t happen. When I place an unrealistic expectation on something or someone. When I take the time to evaluate the situation I can usually see where I went wrong. What part I played in the situation that is causing me to want to go run and hide. Most of the time it’s because I chose to ignore all the signs. I chose to go with self will and not my gut. I chose to continue when everything and everyone around me is screaming for me to stop. I am usually the cause of my own pain and discomfort.

I have come to a point in my life where I am tired of the pain. I am tired of causing myself unnecessary heartaches and headaches. I am tired of trying to control and manipulate situations to satisfy my self will. I’ve come to the point when enough is enough. I realize that it’s not that I will never get the things I want. It’s just that I have to learn how to give myself time to really figure out what it is that I really want. Stop running on what my mind thinks it wants and to Listen to my heart. God’s will for me will reveal itself in time. If I allow myself a second to relax and take a  breath.

Just for today. I will let go and listen for the guidance of my Higher Power.

Slowing down.

I LIVE AND LEARN

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I am thankful for the process of recovery for it has taught me that I will never stop learning about myself.

There was a time when I thought I knew everything. Daaaaahahaha. I could never have thought for a minute that anyone could teach me anything. I was close-minded to reality. My world consisted of very little and only evolved to the newest drug spot that opened.

Today I am learning that everything that I thought was real was actually fantasy and a whole lot of misinformation. It’s like being awakened from a coma. It’s like being born again and exploring the world for the first time. Learning for the first time how to live, love, make friends, be a friend, walk and talk. It’s overwhelming at times but really it only overwhelming when I am in my head. When I am trying to control or manipulate situations.

I have been blessed to have an opportunity to start over. I look forward to it. I can accept today that I will make mistakes. My mistakes will teach me some very valuable life lessons.

As long as I remain open to receive them.

BE TRUE TO MYSELF. WHO EVER I AM

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For a long time I struggled to find my true identity. Thinking back to as far as my elementary school days, I  wished I was someone else. Who ever I thought I was back then I didn’t like so I began to mimic what I thought I liked in other people. And so began the long life of deception and deceit.

Somewhere, somehow I believed that I wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t smart enough, brave enough, handsome enough. That no one would ever like someone like me. I have negative self talked myself from the beginning. That negativity aimed towards myself eventually led to my lack of self worth and self love.

Fast forward to today.

As I am beginning to shed some of the many masks, alter egos and false identities. I am forced to feel my feelings and not run from them I am feeling like that lost little boy all over again. Vulnerable and confused. Awkward and a misfit. I find that I am not seeking comfort from within but from the outside. From material things and from acceptance of others. The same behavior that led me to using drugs.

I know that I will never find true happiness, Love or satisfaction from anyone unless I can find it within myself first. I did a lot of damage to myself over the years and I am aware that I will fall short at times. I just have to continue on my road to recovery knowing that I will be alright in the long run.

Change happens over time.
Not over night.

So I keep repeating to myself that I love myself, respect myself and I am worthy.

So will the real Eric please stand up.

Peace and Blessings

Eric Ease