The #AHCAlypse campaign

From Faces and Voices of Recovery. 

The House health care reform bill, AHCA, has many families and communities worried about its impact on those with mental illness, substance use disorders, pre-existing conditions and many other health care needs. The changes to Medicaid and pre-existing conditions protections are particularly important to those with substance use disorders and mental health conditions.

Read more on this and other stories at

https://t.co/6YhZmyx2Wk
http://facesandvoicesofrecovery.org

SELF DESTRUCTION 

I am not a happy camper right now. I have been on a one way trip towards self destruction. I have to admit that I saw it a couple of months ago, but did nothing. I allowed denial to rob me of the opportunity to make a conscious effort to change it and grow from it. Instead I pushed it to the side. I went over it with a minimum of concern and now the pain of staying the same is out weighing the desire to stay the same. 
I’ve heard that when the pain is great enough I will do something about it. We’ll I unfortunately have a high tolerance for pain and usually do something about it when it’s too late. That’s been my MO for years. It’s been a character defect that winds up causing too many people in my life unnecessary pain and causes me the greatest deal of pain over and over again. 

Always one to do what I want to do and suffer the consequences later. You would think that I would have learned that lesson years ago and I truly thought that I did. But here I am once again kicking myself for repeating the same behaviors. When will I be able to get it right. I used to think that using was my only problem. Then I learned that my issues run deeper and have been around far longer than my drug abuse. So I  payed attention to my moods and behaviors and started making changes. I was doing great. Then somewhere along the way. I crossed back over and started cosigning my own bullshit. I started turning a blind eye to my gut. Ignoring my uncomfortable feelings when my attitude was out of whack. 

I have allowed the old attitude and behaviors to drive the yellow cheese bus yet again. I’m in a dangerous place when they are driving and I know it. I needed to vent. I need to purge myself of this poisonous path that I have once again found myself traveling down. The end result is anything but favorable for any and everyone around me but more importantly it is disastrous for me. 

So now I have to do the responsible thing and pump my breaks, make a U-turn and get back on the road to recovery. I refuse to use ever again even if some people wish that I would. I will never give another person the satisfaction of seeing me down.  
NEVER AGAIN. 

I am grateful that I got to speak with my sponsor and he reminded me that I am only human, and I will make mistakes but I also need to get back to the basics. He told me what I already knew and was procrastinating doing. I need to plug my ass back in. Fast. 

I see myself heading back to self destruction and if I don’t change it. I have no one to blame but myself. 

I am responsible for my Life. My Recovery. My Happiness. 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

YOU CAN TRY, BUT YOU WILL NEVER STOP MY FORWARD MOTION

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So yesterday I was feeling disappointed and a little discouraged about something that I am all to familiar with. It’s a well known practice amongst the hiring world, the powers that be. It’s the discriminatory practice of the criminal background check. Now don’t get me wrong. I believe that it’s is needed, there are some nefarious people out there. In some cases it is necessary and definitely warranted. But in other cases. Well there needs to be some kind of guidelines and exceptions.

In my active addiction I racked up quite a few charges and sadly at the time didn’t know how badly it would affect the future me.. I have the misfortune of feeling those affects now. The fact that my records date back to the early 80s and the worst of my offenses happened in 1992. Now for those of us who know, that’s 24 years ago. I am still being prosecuted in a sense and am still serving that sentence.

I wonder if the powers that be even know that it has been that long. Do they bother to read the charges and the years of the convictions. Or do they just automatically render a judgment simply because there is a charge there. I tend to think it’s the latter. I believe that if they would bother to further investigate they would see that I am not that same person. If they took the opportunity to get to know me and evaluate my skills they would be amazed at just what I am capable of.

I have struggled with the issues of my past for years. I often wondered what, if anything I could do about it. Until recently I thought I couldn’t do anything. A few years ago I applied for a certificate of relief from disabilities from the state parole board and received it. Unfortunately it does very little and doesn’t hold much weight. The reason being no one gets to see it. They don’t ask if you have one on applications. They only ask if you have been convicted of a crime. I am currently looking into having my convictions expunged. I am reading up on the process and will be seeking some guidance in that area.

So my dialema is getting past the background check in order to actually get to express who I truly am. I am a survivor, I am no longer able to quit, get frustrated and use behind the feelings. Today I am equipped with a network of people who offer support and suggestions. I am able to take a minute to reevaluate the situation. I have tools to vent my frustrations and get the feedback that I need when I might not be seeing too clearly.

Yesterday’s disappointment
Is today’s determination.

Thank you to everyone who commented and offered suggestions on yesterday’s post. Your Love, Support and Encouragement helped me more than you can ever imagine. I am truly Grateful and Blessed to have such a great support network of friends.

Peace and Blessings

Eric Ease

HOW DO YOU LEAVE THE PAST WHEN THE PAST HAUNTS YOU EVERYWHERE YOU GO

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I’m feeling like fuck it. What’s the use. No matter how many steps forward I take, my past will always come back to haunt me. No matter what I do the wreckage of my past will always be a obstacle.

Im tired of hearing about letting go and leaving in God’s hands 👐. Every time it’s the same shit. I get my hopes up only to have my dreams smashed over some shit that happened decades ago. Tell me how come they can’t just let it go. How come I am still paying dues for things that I did way back when.

It’s hard to stay in a positive frame of mind. It’s hard right now, not to just say fuck it. I give up. I mean after all what’s the use. In the eyes of John Q Public I will always be a criminal and a drug addict. I will never measure up to the standards of society so why bother.
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I am not that person that I used to be, but they will never know that because all they see is what’s on paper. It’s not easy dealing with this life. Discrimination is waiting around every fuckin corner. Waiting patiently until I get a inch above a glimmer of hope. Waiting so it can stomp down and  smash my hope to dust.

Lost dreams awakened only to be shattered like the broken beer bottles of yesterday.

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE

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I often ask myself this question. I have been thinking a lot lately about how much my life has changed. But I have also been thinking about how much my life is still the same.

I am grateful that I can share my experiences with the world but even more, I am grateful that I have experiences to share. I know that I am doing things today that I have only dreamed of and my life is amazing right now. I know that I wouldn’t change it for the world.

I am still a work in progress.

I understand that fact, but there’s this underlying feeling that occasionally eats at me. A feeling that is hard to describe in words but it’s a familiar feeling. It’s a feeling similar to that of failure. It’s a  feeling that I know and then again don’t.  I have the unfortunate disease of complication, uncertainty and fear. I have a disease that tells me that I am not enough and what I do is not enough. This disease wants me to believe that I do not deserve the blessings that I have received and it has me waiting for the impending doom that has always been associated with my life.

The thing is

I love the changes that have been happening in my life. The thing also is I am still operating on a one track mind frame. I on one hand welcome change but on the other become closed minded when that change,  changes. When I am set on something I want it to come through, but when the variables change I balk. I become stuck and undecided. I become closed minded and find it difficult at times to snap out of it. That’s one of many of my character defects.

I know that it’s all in my head. It’s the result of years of drug abuse and not growing up and stuffing feelings and experiences that no sane person should ever have to endure. It’s from years of allowing fear to dictate my life. I also know that I have grown and am still growing and will face challenges.

So what’s the difference.

The difference is I am not who I was back then. I have changed. I have grown and will continue to do so. I will never give up, because the life I want is becoming a reality. It’s within grasp and is no longer my wildest dreams. I am not perfect nor do I want to be. I will have ups and I will have downs. I will not allow fear to have me feeling like I am not worthy. I am willing to work past those fears and character defects to get to my next level.

Progress not perfection.

Slow motion is better than no motion.

RISKS AND REWARDS

CHANGE

I am forever grateful for the opportunity to live life and not still be suffering from the ill effects of my addiction. That is not to say that my transition into this new life came without challenges and obstacles. I didn’t just wake up one day and all of a sudden my life was magically transformed into something wonderful. It took time for me to surrender to the the fact that the old negative habits, behaviors and attitudes were killing me. Slowly draining me of every ounce of life. I was on the road to a slow and painful death before I was able to make the decision to ask for help. It was a decision that came in the moment of utter desperation. I cried out to God and asked him to please save me from myself.

The call was answered but that wasn’t the end of it. I didn’t know then what I know now. That it takes hard work and dedication to maintain this new way of life. That the road to recovery isn’t paved with fluffy pillows and marshmallows. I wasn’t as ready as I thought I was. This new way of life forced me to start taking a different kind of risk. It forced me to start challenging myself and to start telling the truth about myself.

Fear my greatest nemesis blocked me yet again from receiving the rewards of a better life. Fear kept me locked and loaded into looking for ways and means to stay stuck right where I was most comfortable. In the pain and misery that I had become accustomed to. Fear of change kept me the same and doing the same things for years and it blocked my blessings in the beginning of my recovery and still pokes it’s ugly head in to check up on me daily.

I am suffering from the symptoms of fear right now. I am about to embark on a new journey. I have a interview this week and I haven’t been on a interview in almost 10 years.The last time I interviewed wasn’t pretty either. Lol I know I was a wreck and I know they knew it too. This time I don’t have addiction to worry about. I am clean and facing life’s challenges a day at a time. I feel all kinds of feelings whenever I think about this interview. My head is spinning from it all. I think that I am thinking about it too much. I do not want to psych myself out. I have prayed on it and I am trying to leave it in my higher powers hands. I keep taking it back though.

RISK

My life has turned around and it keeps getting better and better daily. Sometimes I can’t believe that this is my life. I am amazed at how far I have come in such a short time. There are times that fear would try to have me believe that I do not deserve this life. After all I am just a crack head right. That’s what my addiction still wants me to believe about myself. The fear of success, of progress, of growing and evolving has a way of breaking me down. Bringing me back to that scared little boy of  yesteryear. I will continue to fight past my fears. I have been doing a great job at facing my fears and I will continue to practice what has been working.

I know that the fear is all in my head. I will push pass this and continue on my road to success and happiness. I just needed to blow of some steam and share this with you all.

Thank you for listening.

Peace and blessings

Eric Ease

 

THE NEXT CHAPTER BEGINS

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I am grateful for the opportunity to continue learning. To advance and further my education. Recovery has afforded me many things, but the most important thing I am getting out of this journey is finding out who I am and  what I like.

Fear has kept me from exploring new things. Fear of failure as well as fear of success. Fear of change and fear of leaving my old familiar pain. Yes that was a fear of mines. I actually had gotten so used to my familiar pain that I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to make it without it. Crazy as it might sound it’s true and that’s my distorted addicts thinking.

For a long time I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to do. Where or what I wanted to be. I was at a loss because I never thought about it. I never thought I would ever get out of the drug induced life that I lived for so many years. So thinking about a future seemed to be a waste of time. I was wrong and I thank God for helping me to see that I am worthy of so much more.

Being a recovering addict who is working my program to the best of my ability. I am finding new pathways, exploring new avenues and blazing new trailways. I am open to new and exciting  adventures and am living a life beyond anything I ever imagined possible. Recovery and spirituality have changed my life. Lost dreams have been awakened and new possibilities are arising.

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I am looking forward to the next exciting chapter in many chapters of my new life. I am about to embark on a journey that has brought me pleasure as a child and has been sparked again as an adult. Photography. 📸 I love taking pictures and I have enrolled in a course which will teach me the fundamentals and the advanced techniques. I am excited, exhilarated, scared, nervous and anxious all at the same time.

😁 Overall I’m happy about the whole damn thing. I would not trade the way I feel for nothing in the world.

Peace and blessings

Eric Ease

I’VE GOT TO BELIEVE

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I heard it said many times that if I think I can or cannot I am right. I could never quite figure out what that meant until recently. I didn’t understand the power that lies with my thoughts. That if I think negatively about something it will eventually have a negative outcome. If I think positively I will have a positive result. My circumstances are determined by my own energy and my attitude towards any given situation.

For what seems like a thousand years I have had a negative outlook on life. As  a child I can remember not liking myself and wishing my life was better,  wishing I was this or that. I defeated my own purpose then and as I grew older I  started experimenting with substances. My circumstances only got worse and  my life spiraled out of control because I truly believed that I  could not do anything about it. I wallowed in self pity and blamed everyone for what I thought to be my misfortune.  Taking no responsibility for my actions because I didn’t know how.

Coming into recovery all these years later it is difficult to undo all the damage that I have caused myself. My fractured thinking still at times will have me believe that I am not worthy and that things are going to end badly soon. I have come a long way since October 2013 but the truth is I have only begun to scratch the surface. I have a long road ahead of me I know. The main difference today is I am learning not to see my glass as half empty. I try to see the big picture and not self defeat. I fall short on many occasions believe me. That’s why I am grateful that I have people in my life. Those closest to me help me to recognize when I am blocking my own blessings and she helps me to see through my own mess. 

I can admit today that I need help and that I cannot always see past the obstacle that is me. But I believe that I will and that’s why I continue to do the work.

Peace and blessings

Eric Ease