REPOST: APRIL 2012

CAN’T HALF CHANGE

5 MONTHS CLEAN

Hello and God Bless You

I have been so consumed with work lately that I have been neglecting other areas of my life that I really need to be paying more attention too. My blog is one of them. Making meetings is another.

I was thinking the other day about character defects and how many of them I seem to have. Lol. I came to the conclusion that I have to make a complete overhaul of my life. I knew that I would have to change the way I was living. I really didn’t understand the full scope of the word change.

I am starting to realize that I can’t just change certain things and leave other things the way they are. I am beginning to see how all my attitudes and behaviors are all tied into each other and how they all connect. I cannot stop using and continue to associate with people who do. (Family members basically) I have always been good at giving others comfort and advice but bad at applying to my own life. I am struggling with following my own advice about letting go. Still. And I have been falling behind on my meetings and stepwork.

I am starting to get the feeling that I am not going to be able to maintain my new life. The more clean time I accumulate the more I fear that I am not going to be able to do this. I know that fear is one of my downfalls and I am not trying to let it stop me from growing but it does and is on my mind. I have allowed fear of success stop me in my tracks many times in the past. It is a defect I wish to rid myself of. I pray that I do not let this get in the way of my succeeding in recovery and life in general. I am so tired of being a failure but I still struggle at times with low self esteem and feeling not worthy. I know they are feelings and they will pass but I also know that I have to continue to tell on my disease and expose my fears. I am honest about what I go through and will continue to post how and what I feel.

That’s what I am dealing with lately but even though I feel this way I am not using. So I know that something has changed in me.

God is great

Thank you for reading my blog and for being a part of my world.

Feel free to post your comments, thoughts or concerns.

Peace and Blessings to you all

SELF ACCEPTANCE

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The lack of self acceptance is a problem for many addicts. Many of the problems we experience in ongoing recovery stem from an inability to accept ourselves on a deep level.
FROM IP#19 SELF ACCEPTANCE.

BACK IN THE DAYS.

Accepting myself for who I am is a major issue for me. I have used drugs for a very long time and never accepted myself. But this goes back even before I ever picked up that first drink over 35 years ago. Growing up as a kid in Brooklyn I didn’t like who I was. I was a skinny, scared little kid. I was picked on by people because I was poor, skinny and had big eyes. I always felt like an outsider, I was constantly picked on and I hated it.

I hated certain parts of my childhood. I couldn’t understand why people didn’t like me so I cried a lot. I always wished I was someone else (anyone else) so I pretended to be anyone but me. As time went on I got introduced to alcohol and I noticed it gave me confidence (or so I thought back then) and that was the beginning of the road to destruction. I drank everyday.

FALSE IMAGE

Needless to say I became a monster. I became a bully instead of the victim. I became a vicious little kid and as time went on I moved on to harder drugs, crime and eventually prison. I though I was the man. I always put up this false image of  myself to fit in with whatever crowd I wanted to be a part of. I did things so people would like me. Ultimately drinking and drugging became my secret weapon. It made me popular. This went on for years and now as an adult I find myself lost, without and identity to call my own. I  feel like I have no purpose, like I’m just existing. I struggle with who I am and what I stand for and that’s when I start to get Irritated, judgemental of myself, depressed, confused and angry. ALL TRIGGERS FOR ME. I start telling myself the lies you know the lies, drugs will make me feel better or I am a failure anyway so lets go smoke something. etc, etc. Then the next thing you know sticking true to my nature I eventually relapse. I have been rejecting myself for years. I am unable to accept myself as anything other than a failure and not worthy of anything good. I am that little kid again. I  know self rejection all to well and I also know about being rejected by others. I used to push people away before they could reject me, so I would feel like I rejected them first. Insanity is alive and well aint it..lol

SLOW DOWN

I am aware of these things today. I know that change will not happen over night and it is a process. I am willing to give myself a chance. I want to get better. I want to learn to love myself and I know that I will as long as I don’t give up on myself and pick up. So I am doing some real work on myself this time. I am getting in touch with my inner self and with my new found faith. I am chipping away at the years of self neglect, self rejection, self loathing, self pity and selfishness and with the help of my higher power GOD, my sponsor, my home group and my network of recovering addicts, the basic text, the 12 steps and all the literature I have faith that I will begin to make some progress. As I stated before this is a process that will take some time. It is scary to think about sometimes but it must be done. I will not rush this process and get frustrated because I think I am not seeing results. I will take this one day at a time. One minute at a time if I have to. I will give myself a break and stop being so hard on myself.

Afterall I am a very nice person.  : )

Thank you for reading today’s blog post.
Please feel free to comment below.  Thanks again and have a great day.

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

THE DARKNESS OF DENIAL

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Being in recovery has afforded me many opportunities. One of them is to be able to think a little clearer. I have been doing some work in this process and I am beginning to be able to sort through some of the mess and confusion. By beginning to take a look at myself I realize just how deep in denial I was about many things.

The darkness of denial kept me from facing what everyone else around me seemed to already know. I am amazed at how cunning the disease of addiction is. It had me believing for years that nothing was wrong with me. Even when every ounce of evidence told me that there was. I pointed the finger at everything and anything I could. I blamed people, places and things, situations and circumstances. There was no way anything was my fault and there definitely wasn’t anything wrong with me. My life was just fine.

Going to jails and institutions were just my bad luck. Getting fired from jobs was their fault and their loss. Don’t they know who I am. Living in the darkness of denial for so long had me believing I was something I was not. It led me to turn into something I was not. The darkness consumed me and eventually took over. The truth was buried so far down that it was destined to never be discovered.

I believed that I would never change. I believed that I would die eventually but I still couldn’t see that there was a way out. I denied that I was worth saving. I denied any attempt that anyone ever made to help me. I just couldn’t see the truth. The lies and inability to accept the truth even when deep down I knew kept me stuck in a cycle of viciousness and chaos.

Years later I was finally able to admit that I had a problem. But admitting it and doing something about it would prove to be a difficult task. Eventually the pain out weighed everything. I could no longer escape the facts. I wanted out of this mess. I was ready to end the madness that was my life. The darkness was no longer serving it’s purpose. It could no longer protect me. I was desperate, lonely and fractured beyond recognition.
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Devine intervention led me out of that dark place. I was brought to the light by my truth. By my acceptance and a willingness to get honest about my problem. I found a way out without having to end my life. But by actually surrendering. Learning to Listen and take suggestions and to try something new regardless of the fear I am feeling.

I am not all of a sudden cured and my life is not suddenly magically delicious. No by a long shot. I suffer from a disease that will continue to try to cause havoc in my life. It will continue to chase me down and try to get me back into the darkness. I know this and I fight to maintain on a daily basis. All I have to do is survive today. Tomorrow is not here yet, and yesterday is gone.

Peace and Blessings

Eric Ease

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

SELF MADE PRISON. TIME FOR PAROLE

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I had a great time fellowshipping with my people at The Waldorf Astoria this weekend. It was an awesome experience and one that I will never forget.

But to be honest it was a little lonely. It could have been so much more if I could only reach out to others. I am missing out on interactions with so many people from all over the world.

FEAR of rejection, of sounding or acting like a fool, or fear that people will use and abuse my trust again. Fear has paralyzed me for years. I have been stuck in my self made prison for so long that even now CLEAN. I am still suffering from the damage done. I still feel inadequate and struggle with low self esteem. I have a unhealthy fear of reaching out to people and making new friends because of past hurts. I have to leave that where it belongs and move forward.
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I see people who can talk to strangers, strike up conversations with them at the drop of a dime and make new friends. I wish I was able to do that. I find it very difficult to talk to people I do not know and even more difficult to fully trust the ones that I do know.

The years of addiction, self harm and abuse have done some serious damage to me. I am starting to feel like an outsider and its a lonely place to be. I tell myself that I don’t like people but that’s a lie. I tell myself that I don’t need people that is also a lie.

I want to be able to interact with people in person the same way I can with people online. I will discuss this issue with my sponsor and work towards resolving those old issues that are holding me hostage.
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Self centeredness is the core of my disease. I don’t want to be in this by myself. I want out of this prison.
I will work towards picking up the phone and using the numbers that I have. Dial em don’t file em right.

Peace and Blessings

Eric Ease

DOUBT. THE DREAM KILLER

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This statement rings true in more ways than one. When I look back on my life. I can remember doubting my abilities and as a result dismissing dreams and ideas. I would talk myself out of just about everything and anything that I might have wanted to do.

As if it wasn’t bad enough. Allowing my doubts to dictate and kill my dreams, my fear of failure would finish off any remaining thoughts I would have of possibly accomplishing anything. Doubt and Fears go hand in hand and when my addiction was added to the mix. It accomplished the mission of making me believe that I could not do it.

What ever it was.

I am learning that my thoughts do not have to dictate my actions. My addiction (my thoughts) doesn’t want me to succeed at anything. I have allowed myself to believe that I didn’t measure up for years and it became second nature to kill my own dreams before they ever got off the ground. I became a failure simply because of lack of effort.

Deep down inside. I could hear a little voice screaming at me. What are you doing? You can do this man. But the voice was weak and somewhat defeated. It was being drowned out by all the noise inside my head. It was stifled by the screams of the full grown baby that was my addiction. That was the story of my life for years.

On the flipside there were times when I would attempt things. Whether it was taking a test, apply for a job or learning something new and I would ace it. I would do exceedingly well. So I started to feel a little confused. I was torn between the good and the bad and things just got even more ugly.

I felt like I had duel personalities for years. I always seemed to favor the bad. My addiction was out of control and I had lost all hope of ever becoming anything. I was a lost soul or so I believed.

That little voice kept me going. When I was alone and crying, feeling pitiful and desperate that little voice kept telling me to hold on. That things were going to change. That little glimmer of hope was my divine intervention. That glimpse of better days ahead eventually led me to recovery, to where I am today and will continue to lead me to where ever it is that I want to go tomorrow.

I am in a good space today. I am facing and conquering my fears. I am taking healthy risks and accomplishing my dreams. The same dreams that I believed I could not accomplish, and new dreams that I am allowing to surface and explore. I am growing, changing and expanding my horizons.

I truly believe that skies the limit. That there is nothing that I cannot do. I don’t doubt that for a minute. It’s incredible this journey of recovery. I would never have imagined I would be living like this. It just didn’t seem possible.

But here I am.

Peace and Blessings

Eric Ease

THE UNWILLINGNESS TO FULLY TRUST

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Growing up I was a very trusting child. I trusted that my parents loved me and they would always be there for me. I trusted people, and eventually that trust cost me. I learned the hard way that trusting people was a mistake. That everytime I trusted someone I wound up being the one to get hurt. It took a little time to sink in because I continued to have faith in people but continued to get the same results.

I eventually made a decision. Albeit a costly one. Yet and still it seemed to be my only course of action. I decided that people could not be trusted. All people. I stopped being that trusting person and proceeded to treat everyone like they already did something wrong to me. That one decision led me to isolation. I didn’t trust people so why bother with them. That’s how I began to think and fueled by my addiction those thoughts grew into anger, resentments, animosity, fear which eventually led me to loneliness, despair and desperation.

True to my addictive nature. I still suffer the ill affects from my past when it comes to trust. I have a hard time opening myself up to people. I have an unwillingness to trust people for that fear is still there. The ones that I do open up to, I find myself expecting them to cross me in some way. I am slowly, and I mean slowly attempting to open up. I suffer at times with a simple hug, so talking to people I don’t know is damn near non existent. As a result I sometimes suffer in silence and isolation even in a crowded room.
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I know that eventually things will change. I really want to become more open to talking to people and making friends but I have allowed fear to keep me paralyzed in that area. I just got a new sponsor and even asking him to sponsor me took some time. I am tired of feeling like I am not making progress and I look forward to doing some work in this area.

Progress not perfection
One day, hour or minute at a time.
This is my process, it is not a race and I am in competition with no one.

I AM WHAT I SAY I AM

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Negative thoughts turn into negative actions.

Ever since I was a little boy I can remember having negative thoughts about myself and my surroundings. Seeds of failure and low self worth were planted and took hold at a early age. As the years went by those seeds grew and flourished.

When drugs entered the picture I was locked and loaded. I lost the ability to see anything good about myself. I would say things like I will never amount to anything so why bother. I am just plain bad, stupid, ugly. So forth and so on. I’m sure you get the picture.

Those negative affirmations dictated my path and lead me to a life of self destruction, self hate and self harm. I didn’t see a way out and proceeded to live life according to my beliefs. I didn’t understand that the words that I spoke to myself, was the fuel that was added to a fire that was already burning out of control.

I had no idea back then what positive affirmations were. I didn’t understand how important it is to speak positively to myself and about myself. I had to learn how to do that. I am practicing speaking positive things not only to myself but to others as well. I have to reprogram my thought process and practice backing it up with my actions.

For me this is a difficult task at times. I have been conditioned for so long to being negative and hard on myself. I had become accustom to failure and accepted it as if it was supposed to be that way.

I am not a failure. I am not my past.

Today with help. I am speaking and writing myself into a better way of life. I am beginning to see that there is light. Not at the end of the tunnel, but right here in the tunnel. I believe that I was lied to and in turn by believing those lies, I lied to myself. I gave up, surrendered without investigating and seeking the truth for myself.

Now that I am seeking the truth. I have uncovered that I am not all those things but something all together different. I am somebody. I am smart, handsome and worthy. There is nothing that I cannot do or become. I know this today as being fact. I have been living it to the best of my ability ever since it was suggested to me.

I believe that there is so much more to me and I will not rest until I see what I say come true.

Peace and Blessings

Eric Ease

OBSESSIONS, COMPULSIONS AND CHARACTER DEFECTS

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I have just learned about my obsessive and compulsive behavior only a couple of 24’s ago. I didn’t understand when I was using why I couldn’t stop thinking about it or why I continued to use knowing the consequences of my actions. Thanks to the process of recovery. I am beginning to get an understanding.

Now that I understand a little about obsession and compulsion I am noticing those behaviors in other areas of my life. I can no longer blame the drugs or blame anyone for my behavior. It has become painfully obvious that the problem lies within me.

My last bout with obsession and compulsion had me searching for love in all the wrong places. Banging my head against the wall and blaming others for my unhappiness. Getting involved in relationships that I had no business being in and feeling not worthy in the end balled up wondering why me, why am I here again. Only to repeat it the minute someone shows an interest.

Low self esteem and still having feelings of wanting to fit in have plagued me lately. I have to resolve those old issues and build my own self worth and love of self. I have to stop looking outside for what can only be found inside of me. Until I do I will never be able to fully commit and have a healthy relationship with anyone.

I am grateful that I no longer have the need to always be right, to beat myself up or to run, duck, hide and quit when the going gets tough. When I make mistakes or when I repeat something because I haven’t quite learned the lesson yet.

I have found the strength to let go of obsessing over people. Just for today I am concentrating on me. I am looking forward to doing the work necessary to grow. I know that I can be my biggest cheerleader and also my worse critic and my worse enemy. But as long as I continue to show up. I know I will grow up.

I will put down the bat and pick up the feather. Focus on what needs to be done and not on my need for instant gratification.

Peace and Blessings

Eric Ease