As you all know I have been thinking a lot lately about what direction my life should go. I have been thinking that I need to be doing something other than what I am doing now and that I have been feeling a little stuck or stagnate. As I have mentioned in both previous posts TIME TO TURN FEAR AND PROCRASTINATION INTO ACTION AND IN TAKING THE NEXT STEPS. Well I have ideas brewing and to be quite honest. I am ready to start making some moves towards reaching my goals. I know myself and I have a habit of jumping off the bridge and then quitting half way through. I do not wish to overwhelm myself by trying to do too many things at once so I will start with one. Then gradually advance to others as I progress.
The first thing that I want to do is to grow my blog audience.
I want to take my blog to the next level and beyond. I truly believe that this is my purpose, I have a message to share and I want to be able to reach the masses. I have already begun the process of promoting my blog on social media sites but I was doing it half ass. I was not really putting my all into it. I was allowing myself to be discouraged by the lack of participation by those who call themselves my friends on Facebook and other media sites. That ends today. It’s not up to me to decide who should participate and comment and respond. I have no control over that. What I do have control over is putting my posts out to as many groups and media outlets as I can. Not everyone will respond but I will become more visible and then the right connections will eventually be made. I am not going to allow my feelings to dictate my actions any longer in this regard. I will promote my blog and continue to share my stories with the world even if no one responds.
I will take a more active roll in participating with the blogging community.
I have also not been reading and responding to other blogs and that is not fair to the people who read and comment on my posts. I have been doing the same thing to my blogging friends that I just finished saying people have been doing to me. If I expect to see new traffic and to keep the traffic that I have now, I need to participate more and be more active with the blogging community. I apologize for that and I have already started to correct that as we speak. I have made a commitment to dedicate time everyday to reading and responding to bloggers posts in my community and reaching out to new bloggers as well.
I am looking to build and vastly large network of recovery bloggers and it starts and ends with me. What I put in is what I will get back. What I focus on is what I will get in return. The universe will respond once I start to actively participate in my own success. I am grateful to be able to share my story openly with others through my blog. From Struggle To Strength has brought me tremendous relief and has proven to be a therapeutic and very valuable tool in my recovery process. I would love to continue on this road and grow and I cannot wait to see where it can go from here. Who knows maybe my aspirations will lead to writing a book one day. Hint hint.
I want to thank ALL of my readers. I truly, truly appreciate all the love, support and encouragement you have given me over the last 4 years. You all inspire me to continue to share my story and I can only hope that my story can reach that one person who might be thinking that they cannot do it and then they realize that they can.
WE DO RECOVER
This is a throwback post from November 10, 2011. This was my very first post..
Hello My name is Nam. I just wanted to post this and say Hello to anyone who maybe reading this.
Welcome to Eric’s Daily Struggle.
I should start off by saying that my blog is called Eric’s Daily Struggle because at the present time I am having a difficult time staying clean. The reason I call it daily struggle is because I know that my struggle will be lifelong. I have used and abused drugs for more than 3 quarters of my life and to think quitting is going to be easy would be a tragedy worse than the life I have lived thus far.
I know that this is a life long battle and that scares me. I have never been able to stick and stay consistent with anything but using. Will I be able to do it? That has yet to be seen. So far this year I have relapsed twice after having 2 months and 4 months clean respectively. I have to be honest that I don’t think I can do it. That’s fucked up because I’m not giving myself a chance, but I know my track record. I know that I need to give myself a break and that’s why even after failing several attempts I continue to try, because not trying would be even more fucked up. I know this. I have a long and hard fight ahead of me, I know this too. So I will continue to fight because I want to live a better life.
So with that being said I decided to record my journey from active addiction to sobriety. This is my story.
This is my place I will post about my daily struggles with my addiction. This is also the place I will post the good things that happen in my recovery too. Its also the place for others to reply and post recovery related material. As time goes by and I become more accustom to blogging my blog will get better. In the meantime in between time feel free to comment and enjoy the blog.Thank you and have a great day.
I remember wanting to fit in so badly, that I sacrificed everything and anything. The advice of my parents, my own internal warning system and the warnings from others.
I found out that not everyone has my best interest in mind and that most people are self centered and selfish. Only looking for what they can get. I didn’t know that then and in the end I found myself being the same way.
If I considered you my friend I was down for you. I would do anything for you and would follow you wherever. I followed the wrong crowd from a early age and paid a very high price to live so low. All for the sake of belonging. My expectations of others was wrong. As a result I found myself angry, resentful, frustrated and in the end alone.
I had gotten tired of being used and taken advantage of. Tired of people taking my kindness for weakness and plain tired of people’s bullshit. I started to hang out with the only person I could trust. Myself.
Today I am very cautious of who I allow in my circle. I have met plenty of people in recovery and I am grateful for some of them. Then there are some that I had to let go. Not everyone that I meet is meant to be in my life. Not everyone that is in recovery is headed in the same direction that I want to go. I refuse to be around people just for the sake of fitting in today.
I’ve learned a very valuable lesson in that area. I know that I have a choice today. Sometimes I have to delete people from my life to make room for new people. Not everyone in my life is meant to stay in my life.
I am Grateful that today I have a choice.
Peace and Blessings
I have been sharing here on my blog for almost 4 years now. I started when I first came into recovery back in 2011. I’ve shared my ups and my downs. I have shared my feelings and my thoughts. My triumphs and my failures. At best I try to share as much of my life in recovery as possible without sharing too much of the negative side of my addiction. I give glimpses of some of the horrors that I have seen and been through without going into the specifics. I tell my story how it was then and how it is now.
I used to wonder if I was doing the right thing. Exposing myself for the world to read. I already know that there is a negative stigma attached to the words addiction, addict, drugs and even recovery. I also know that there can be some negative repercussions behind it. To tell you the truth. I don’t care.The public can and will use this against me and try to make me feel like I have done something wrong and deserve to be alienated or punished for it. The public has a unhealthy fear and a uninformed opinion about addicts and people in recovery and they need to be informed. It is time that people stop turning a blind eye and start getting the information needed to not only understand addiction but to help fight it.
I feel that my story is one that needs to be told and that nobody can do it better than me.
I want people to know that addicts and people in recovery are human and not cast away’s. Not lost souls or garbage that you just toss to the side and forget about. That we are suffering from a disease not a lack of respect, scruples or discipline. That it is hard enough dealing with something that I can’t describe let alone understand and the last thing I need is you judging me. People need to know that addicts have no control over their addictions.
People need to know that its not about why won’t they just quit. I wish I was able to just quit. But the obsession to use was over powering and the compulsion to continue using no matter what was the end result. That once I was caught up in the grips of addiction all rational thoughts begin to cease and self centered thoughts on getting and using and finding a way to get more begin to take over. It is not personal, it is not intentional. It is not about you. Not at all.
The world needs to understand that addiction is a mental, physical and spiritual disease that is hell bent on destroying not only my life but the lives of those around me as well. Addiction is a deadly disease. I know first hand the damage it causes, to not only the addict but to everyone affected by the addict.
I want people to know, to understand that addiction is not the end of the road. That there is a way out. That if I can do it, SO CAN YOU. That is why I share my story. I want the addict who is still suffering and the family member to know that there are people who have made it out and are living productive lives. That they too can do it.
I had to learn how to ask for help. I had to want to receive the help that people were offering me. I could not do it for anyone else. And no one else could do it for me.
I had to do it and want it for myself.
I remember how hard it was for me to get clean. I can remember plenty of nights crying myself to sleep. (When I could sleep) I was so distraught, desperate and just beat down. I was at my lowest and thought I would die like this. I remember wishing that day would hurry up and come. I remember wanting to expedite that result because it was taking too long.
I remember where I came from. I keep it fresh in my mind so I will never forget it. I share it constantly as a reminder of where I can return to. It only takes a second. One wrong decision. One drink or drug. I will be right back in the grips. The never ending cycle. The desperation, The isolation, The degradation. The Loneliness and Despair. It only takes one. I know this today.
I used to get frustrated and angry because I felt I should be somewhere further along than I was. I was trying to rush my process looking for quick results in short periods of time. I realize today how damaging that was to my recovery. My addiction made me feel that the process wasn’t working. Instead of me looking at how far I had come, I was focusing on how far I had to go and why it was taking so long.
My disease played me right back out the door.
Starting over wasn’t easy. I was very hard on myself. It took some time and some help from my Higher Power and from those in my Network but I eventually was able to learn to forgive myself and allow myself my process. To allow myself to grow at my pace in my own time. I stopped comparing myself to others. I started to compare myself to where I came from. I was able to start seeing the growth. The change was there all I had to do was look inside myself. Not outside at everybody else.
I started from the bottom and now I am here. I am right where I am supposed to be.
Peace and Blessings
Recently I had been struggling with letting go of a situation that was happening in my life. It was repercussions from not handling my responsibilities while suffering in active addiction.
I tried unsuccessfully, everything under the sun to control and manipulate the outcome of said situation. The only thing that came out of that was me being stressed out, angry and resentful. Because I was placing unrealistic expectations on myself. Because I was trying to out think the problem. Because I was looking for instant gratification.
It took me some time to finally realize that I was caught up in a cycle of insanity. I was doing the same thing expecting different results without the use of any mind or mood altering substance. I had to take a hard long look at my behavior patterns. It was an awakening that led me to finally surrender.
Once I was able to say I surrender and it is what it is. I was able to let it go. I had to start looking past the problem. I had to stop trying to fix something that was not broke. A funny thing happened once I was able to do that. I felt lighter. Literally. I felt the weight of all that stress, worry, anger and aggravation lift off me. It was an awakening that led me to a sense of freedom.
I am beginning to understand that there is a certain power in letting go. I cannot fix, manipulate, con, go around, under or over. I have to be patient and work through. I have to understand that I have no control over certain situations and that even the worse situations eventually will pass.
Peace and Blessings
I have learned that holding on to past hurts is harmful to me. It stunts my growth process and keeps me from making any forward progress.
Letting go and forgiving past hurts was unheard of. I would hold a grudge and have resentments and anger towards people for years. I used to be a very spiteful person and could lay and wait for the opportune time to extract my revenge.
I understand today how damaging that behavior is. That still doesn’t mean that I have mastered forgiveness. I have not. But today I am practicing forgiving others because I know that I too need forgiveness. It’s easier said than done, but I have the willingness to practice it and I will eventually be better at accepting it for what it is and it’s intended purpose.
Learning how to forgive takes time but so far I have noticed that I am feeling a lot lighter. Less stressed and angry as a result. This is all new territory for me but being honest about it, having the willingness and open mindedness to attempt it has proven to be very helpful in my growing process.
And for that I am truly grateful.
Peace and Blessings
All my life I wanted to be someone else, somewhere else, doing something else. Ever since I was a child I did not like who I was. I did not like my circumstances. I was too young to even know who I was, but I had it ingrained in my thoughts that I wasn’t good enough.
Those thoughts were not planted there by my parents either. Those were my own thoughts. Brought on by looking outside myself for acceptance. Brought on by judging my insides by other people’s outside appearances. Brought on by jealousy, envy, insecurities, low self worth and low self esteem.
Those thoughts and feelings led me to seek love and acceptance in all the wrong places. They fueled my desire to belong. To fit in with anyone that would accept me. Those thoughts and feelings betrayed me from the very beginning and continued to cloud my judgement for years.
I was a lost soul searching for an out. Creating false identities and living lies for so long. I became a casualty of my own low self worth and self hatred. Being that I never gave my true self a chance to develop. I wandered around in search of an identity that I thought people would like. People pleasing and acting against my will to fit in became my way of life.
Now 40+ years later I am beginning to unearth the truth. I am learning how to get in touch with who I am. Finding out my likes and dislikes. Cutting through a fog that is spread so thick that I am only scratching the surface. I can see that there are thousands of layers that I have yet to discover and uncover.
I am beginning to see myself as I truly am. Not as others would have me to be. I have acceptance of my circumstances, situations, abilities and of my defects, flaws and mistakes. I understand that today is the only day I need to focus on. Tomorrow I will practice acceptance all over again.
I fall short with acceptance on occasions and that’s ok. This is my process and it takes time.
I accept myself for who I am today.
I accept myself for who I can become tomorrow.
Peace and Blessings
I could never understand what being grateful even in a storm meant. I heard people say it’s easy to be grateful when everything is going good. But are you still as grateful when you are going through something.
It really takes faith and a strength not my own to be grateful when everything around me seems to be going to shit. On most days I can find something to be grateful for. Then there are those days that I find myself entertaining those negative thoughts.
Strength comes in many different forms. And can show up when I least expect it. I never thought of myself as having the strength needed to stay clean but surprised myself daily as I celebrated clean time. From 30 days, 1 year , 18 months. I began to realize that I did have the strength and I began to wonder where it came from.
I know that there’s a power at work in my life that is greater than I could ever be and is responsible for guiding me on this journey in recovery. Left to my own devices I don’t think I would’ve made it this far nor would I have the willingness to continue on.
I am grateful that I am learning how to trust in things that I have yet to see. Things that I can just feel inside. I truly believe that what I am experiencing right now is a spiritual awakening. I have a belief that everything will be alright. Even though it doesn’t look like there’s a light at the end of this tunnel. Even though at times I cannot see it. I know that it’s there.
I am learning the consequences of my actions with this storm. I am learning to be responsible for my responsibilities. I am grateful for the opportunity to grow from it.
Peace and Blessings