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

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY

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It’s been a long time since I had a reason to think about Valentines Day. I remember seeing the commercials on TV for jewelry or chocolates or flowers and saying some pretty mean and nasty things. I was bitter, angry, frustrated and resentful to say the least. I hated the day and everyone else for being happy. Loneliness and isolation will do that to you. Needless to say it was just another day for me. Another day to be miserable about my life and how it turned out. Another day to blame everyone but myself for my circumstances. Just another day to be mean and spiteful. Just another day to use to try to escape my reality.

I am grateful that I do not feel that way today. For the last couple of years I celebrated loving myself on Valentines Day. I took the opportunity to treat myself to chocolates and a movie or whatever else. No I did not buy myself flowers or jewelry…Lol. I know someone out there was asking themselves that question. Although I did not have a girlfriend at the time I turned to myself and showed love. I have to admit. It was not the same as having someone to share with. But it worked out just fine.

This year I am happy to say that I have found the love of my life. I have someone to share this day with and the rest of my life with as well. We will have many Valentines Days and many new beginnings and special days, months and years together. I spent the holidays with my lady and even though I had been sick from Christmas through New Years running a fever, cold chills, sneezing, body aches and temperatures ranging from semi normal to 103 degrees. We had a wonderful time together and we made the best of it. She took great care of me and I appreciate her all the more for the time we spent together and apart. We have lots of fun together. We laugh and joke, we talk, we go out, we travel, we communicate and we love each other for who we are. We do not try to change each other. We accept each other for who we are and respect each others opinions and views. I am grateful that my higher power saw fit to bring us together and I am thankful that she has the ability to see me coming at times and not let that get in the way. She is a wonderful woman and I am blessed to have her in my life.

So I will take this moment to acknowledge her in my blog the way I acknowledge her in my life.

Thank you for being in my life. I love you sweetheart.

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY. MUAAAAAAAH.

RANDOM RAMBLINGS ON RELATIONSHIPS

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Random Ramblings on Relationships

For a very long time relationships only meant one thing to me. The relationships between a man and a woman. I didn’t realize then that everyone I come into contact with in one way or another I have a relationship with. I only thought of sexual relations when ever I heard the word and didn’t think of it meaning anything else. I was one track minded on the subject and never had to go into any depth. After all I was active and really didn’t care to do any research or studies.

I used to be a fun loving guy and had plenty of friends. I had relationships with many people and was really close with my family. I was a good kid and respected everyone I ever came into contact with. The tables turned and I became the opposite. I lost contact with people because I became a prisoner in my own skin. I sentenced myself to life without parole. I banished myself to a deserted island and lived my life like I was the only one on that island. I isolated and sheltered myself from the outside world. I thought I was keeping myself from getting hurt or feeling pain but I only caused myself more hurt and pain. Misery and suffering became my life and I settled in and became accustomed to it.

Throughout the years I had acquaintances and associated with some people. I wasn’t totally beyond approach but I kept it simple and short. Never letting anyone get too close and if they did I found a way out by sabotaging the relationship some how. I became a expert at self destruction and sabotage. I could ruin any relationship with my attitude and behavior and be fine with it. I always told myself in the end that I planned it that way. I am talking about sexual relations not friendships. Friends were not allowed only associated and acquaintances remember. I have caused more harm to people who loved me than I care to really share about but it is part of my story. I will have a mighty long list when I reach the 8th Step.

Anyway getting back to relationships.

I have come to realize that relationships come in many forms. I have relationships with family, friends, co-workers, the public and many others that I come into contact with on a daily basis. I have come to realize that not every situation is the same and not everyone will be treated the same or will get the same amount of time and attention. I understand today that I cannot fit everyone into the same category and treat everyone the same. There are many different colors in the crayon box. The biggest obstacle for me is I find myself still stuck in the old familiar frame of mind.

Keep every one at a distance.

I am struggling with letting go of the fear of being hurt or disappointed. It is not because I place high expectations on people either. Actually it’s just the opposite. I expect you to fuck up so my expectation is rather low. I therefore would rather not have to even deal with you. I know that I cannot do this recovery alone but I can do it with a minimum of people in my circle. That’s my thinking on one hand and on the other I am tired of being such a distant and stand offish person. I want to have friends but really do not know how to go about making them. So instead of running the risk of looking desperate, needy or foolish. I once again isolate and hang out alone. I know that I need people in my life. People to help guide me in my recovery and to be there for me and me for them. I understand that, I am just having such a hard time starting the process of letting go and starting new in this area. Now don’t get me wrong either. I know plenty of people and I appreciate the love, support and encouragement that I receive from each and every one of them. I am speaking of getting on a even deeper level. I am speaking of having deeper relationships with people not just surface, common courtesy relationships.

I know that this process takes time and not everyone’s rate of recovery will be the same. I also know that I have made progress in this area and will continue to do so as long as that is what I want to happen. I have spoken about this many times and prayed many more times. I have no doubt that I will get to where I am trying to go. In God’s time not my own. So in the meantime I will continue to show up so I can grow up.

I hope I didn’t ramble on too much and bore you to death with this post.

THERE IS NO MAGIC ELIXIR

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I’m sure we’ve all seen the commercial. I am not here to criticize it or to even dispute whether or not the above statement is true. I have never been to the treatment facility and cannot speak for or against it.

One thing I can say is that I am a addict. I am a recovering addict. I have to work continuously on a daily basis to maintain my freedom from active addiction. I am very aware that the problems I suffer from are much larger than just drug use. In fact I can say with all honesty that I showed signs of addiction way before I ever picked up my first drink or drug. I have been clean for 2 years, 3 months and about 5 days and I am clear on one thing. My addiction to drugs is only arrested, I am in no way, shape or form cured. For me to say that I used to be a addict and now I am not would be a lie. I am also certain that drugs were only a small part of a bigger problem. A problem that stems from the way I think about myself, talk about myself and feel about myself. I do not wish to mislead anyone who ever reads my blog into thinking that just because most of what I post is good that I do not still suffer from the ill effects of my addiction. On any given day I can revert back to old methods of handling my feelings. Insanity is only a couple of bad thoughts away.

Now before I go any further, let’s take a look at the word addiction. Dictionary.com says that addiction means..the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming. Then they go on to mention narcotics but if we take the narcotics out of the equation we are left with the true form of addiction. Which is being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming.

I have learned that too much of anything can make you an addict. If it makes me feel good and I continue to do it I can form a habit and become addicted to it. That can mean anything. I am not even speaking of narcotics or alcohol. I have noticed that I have become addicted to shopping, chocolate, doritos, pepsi and working overtime among other things. But when it comes to the word addiction most people associate it with drugs. There is a stigma attached to the word that makes people automatically think of the junkie or crackhead. Not on how they themselves also suffer from some kind of addiction or another. It is easier to focus on the negativity of the word or on someone else than it is to take a look at ourselves and admit that we too have an addiction.

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I just want people to understand how my mind works and how my addiction affects me and the world around me. I share my experiences with you in hopes that one day I can reach out to the millions of people who suffer from addiction. Whatever that addiction may be. I hope to be able to share that there is a common ground here and that no matter what, we are all more alike than we are different. I just want people to realize that someone suffering from a addiction is human too. I have feelings, I am hurting and I am only trying to get a better grip on who I am and gain a better understanding of what I  suffer from and how to better cope with it and every day life.

There is no magic elixir. No cure. There is only vigorous and continuous work. No one can do it for me. I have to want it and do it for myself.

I used to be a addict for 37 years..Now I am a recovering addict.

Peace and Blessings

Eric Ease

 

 

 

THE POWER OF THE GROUP

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I am thankful for my support group. I am not only speaking of the people with whom I associate with in the fellowship. I am also talking about each and every one of you as well. You are as much a part of my group as the people that I see and talk to every day. I want to take this time to thank everyone who responded to my post BACK TO THE BASICS. It really helped me to realize that I am not alone. That there are others who can identify with me and know exactly what I am talking about. Some times I can forget that I am not unique or special in that I am not the only one who has struggled and overcome. It truly touches my heart when I share something that is troubling me and people offer genuine support and encouragement. I remember a time when I couldn’t share pain and heartache or anything else for that matter because then the vultures would be circling looking at you like you were a easy mark. Like their next victim or a meal ticket. I have been hurt by people I thought were my friends in the past and as a direct result made a decision some years ago to never allow anyone to get close enough to me to ever hurt me again.

I used to hate people because I would always be disappointed by them in one way or another. I ran with a motto I can do bad all by myself and proceeded to live my life in that manner.

ALL BY MYSELF!

I isolated myself from others, I turned my feelings off and became cold and callous. I had no empathy for your pain, struggles or heartache. I learned to mask my feelings so well that I began to believe that I had none. I lied to myself so much that I believed that I didn’t care about people. That I didn’t need people. That I didn’t need anyone. I lived in a self made prison. A fantasy world were no one could ever touch me.

It took a long time for it to sink into my thick skull that I actually need people in my life. I am beginning to understand the power behind having friends and reaching out to others whether in times of need or to just say hello. I struggle in this area although I realize the importance of it, I have a difficult time just having a simple conversation with people face to face and sometimes even over the phone. So instead of working through the area I just avoid it all together. I do not initiate conversations with strangers and with the people I already know it takes a long time for me to really warm up to them enough for me to actually get to know them on a deeper level. I get along by doing just enough. Never straying outside my comfort zone. I still do not allow people to get to know me on a really personal level. I still have trust issues and let very few people get to know me on such a deep level.

I have made a commitment to myself that I will work towards becoming more people friendly this year. I am ready to step into a new realm of my recovery. I feel that the time has come to take the risks and stop worrying about the what if’s. It’s time to stop living in fear of rejection and hurt and live life to the fullest. I will work on the uncomfortable feelings and stop living in isolation. I cannot do this alone.

There is no I in TEAM.

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Like I mentioned in my post IT’S NOT JUST A DREAM. IT’S AN AWAKENING. I am starting on a new journey and that a goal without action is just a dream. I have been awakened to the possibilities and I need to take the action to make them a reality. Thank you to all those who have helped me along my journey so far and those who will help me for many years to come.

Peace and Blessings

Eric Ease

OVER COMING MY OBSTACLE.. ME

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I remember how I used to let minor setbacks and obstacles deter me and stop me in my tracks. I would get so frustrated and perplexed. Literally bent out of shape by the smallest of things.

My lack of confidence and my inability to deal with problems as they arose became a stumbling block that I just couldn’t seem to get over. As time went on I refused to even try. I tried to avoid problems and proceeded to live life like I was walking on eggshells.

I would go around, over, under or back the other way. Trying to avoid dealing with problems became a full time job because in my active addiction problems were around every corner. It was exhausting, time consuming and hazardous to my overall health and well-being.

Eventually I became my biggest obstacle. I blocked my own blessings. I blocked my own growth, and blocked my self from progressing to bigger and better things. I allowed my fears, low self-esteem, lack of confidence, low self worth and despair to become a way of life. I accepted that as my fate. I gave up and settled for less than my best.

I thought that was how it was supposed to be. How my life was meant to turn out. Using and becoming addicted at an early age afforded me nothing but missed opportunities. I missed out on learning how to grow up and learning how to cope with life. I just tried to numb away my problems and pain.

Today thanks to the process of recovery I am over coming my biggest obstacle. Myself. I am learning so many things now that I should have already known. My thinking wants me to believe that I am stupid and tries to have me believe that it’s too late to change. I know better. I do not feel less than any longer because I am just now getting it. I feel grateful and thankful that I am alive to get it.

Obstacles are placed in my path every day. The difference is today It’s not me that’s the obstacle. Today I have the tools to get through them and I utilize them. I am moving forward towards bigger and better things and nothing can stop me now.

Peace and Blessings

Eric Ease

MAKE ROOM FOR NEW PEOPLE

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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

Eric Ease

GET UP. NEVER GIVE UP

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Imagine quitting every time you failed. Imagine never trying it again because you failed. Imagine never trying because of fear of failure.

I don’t have to imagine those things. I lived them. I can remember so many times failure has stopped me from achieving things in my life. I remember not wanting to try new things because the fear of failure kept me frozen in time. A time when failure seemed to be my only option.

I was a prisoner of my own mind. Doubt and lack of confidence kept me from growing and experiencing life. Not to mention the fact that my addiction was feeding my fears and adding to my already low self esteem. I thought, that’s just who I am. I settled for less when I should have been striving for more.

I continued on this path for years. I remember many times wanting and wishing I could get clean. Only to dismiss the idea as impossible. I could never do it. I will die high. I will always use. That’s what I used to tell myself. I failed at staying clean many, many times. I began to think that recovery works, but not for me. I was about to give up trying after my 4th or 5th time. I almost disqualified myself yet again.

But something deep down inside me kept telling me to try again. Even when every fiber in my being told me that I could not do it. I had to figure out why I kept running back to using. What was I doing wrong. Then I realized that I wasn’t fully committed to staying clean. I had conditions on what I would and wouldn’t do. I had reservations and motives. I had excuses and alibis.

I was using the old lie once an addict always an addict as an excuse for not giving it my all. I became comfortable with stumbling (relapsing) and not getting back up. I once again settled for my failure as being who I am.

Once I was able to accept this. I was able to surrender and move past it. I was afforded another opportunity to get clean by the grace of my higher power. I was lucky to have made it back. I started to believe that I could say clean. I started to apply the suggestions that I wouldn’t take before. I decided that using drugs would not be the end of my journey.

My Journey is just beginning.

Peace and Blessings

Eric Ease

WHY I CARE TO SHARE MY STORY

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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.

STARTED FROM THE BOTTOM NOW WE HERE

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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.
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I started from the bottom and now I am here. I am right where I am supposed to be.

Peace and Blessings

Eric Ease