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

 

FEARS AND INSECURITIES

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For years my fears and insecurities have held me back. The lack of confidence in myself, low self esteem and self loathing have been dream killers for the majority of my life. I settled for less than because I always thought that I couldn’t do any better or if I knew I could do better I stayed because of a lack of effort, fear of this or that and a false belief system that in the end had me believing that I did NOT deserve better.

I have been duped, bamboozled, blinded and utterly fooled by an addiction that has only 1 specific mission. To kill me. But it will settle for me being ignorant, uninformed and living in pain and misery. It will settle for the slow death because in some mixed up crazy ass way it makes me think that I deserve to suffer. It loves when I doubt myself and am in constant fear and confusion. It loves to attempt to bring me back to that miserable place when I am at my weakest moments.It loves to see me self destruct and sabotage everything that I have worked for. It has a way of making me believe the lies even sometimes when I know better. It is very sneaky and always aware and lurking.

It is me. It is my own thinking, It is my own choices and my own decisions. It is always me.

Recovery has been a true eye opener. I am learning to look at life through a new set of eyes and a new mindset. I have become open to new ideas and able to face new challenges as a result of my not only staying clean but by me doing some work. But the truth is I still have doubts, fears and insecurities. No one ever said that getting and staying clean would magically erase all of my fears. Nor did they say that by following this way that my life would suddenly become problem and worry free. Or as I like to put it.. my life is not all of a sudden magically delicious. If they did make such false promises, the minute something I was told didn’t come true.My disease would have had a field day with the I told you so. I would have left and started using again.  I would have believed that this was all a bunch of bullshit and that I should have never put any trust in it. I would have stayed away from recovery and everyone in it. I would have died because I would have felt once again I have been betrayed, lied to, cheated.

Thankfully What they did say was by me staying clean I stand a better chance at learning how to cope with the problems and that I would be able to learn to face and overcome my fears. I was told that I could stop using, lose the desire to use and find a new way to live. I was told that and I wanted it so badly but I was unable to fully commit to believing it. That was then. Today I not only believe it but I am living it.

Today my fears are a lessened because I am able to share them with others. My insecurities when active are not as paralyzing and although sometimes they get the best of me and I start to self sabotage I have people in my life that understand and can talk me off the ledge. I am grateful for the lessons learned and even for the ones I have yet to learn because I am growing, changing and finally living.

Who could ask for anything more.

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.

Anyway

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

 

 

 

TIME TO TURN FEAR AND PROCRASTINATION INTO ACTION

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I have been a little down lately due to an overwhelming feeling of being stuck. I have been wanting to do something, anything but not knowing what to do has kept me from doing anything. I have been searching for what I want to do with my life lately and as you might remember I posted I have been coming up blank. My sponsor gave me a task a couple of weeks ago to write down some short-term and long-term goals. I have been procrastinating with completing, no with starting this task. (I have not written one single thing yet). I have not started yet for lack of direction, lack of a real focus on what my goals are.

My main goal for the last 2 years has just been to stay clean. Now that I have been able to maintain my recovery and have been doing some work on myself I am beginning to feel the need for something more. Of course staying clean will remain my goal and I will continue to have the same focus and energy towards that goal. The emptiness that I am feeling has nothing to do with missing drugs or wanting to use. Its more like ok now that I am clean what’s next. My life has been so empty for so long that I kind of gotten used to doing nothing, attempting nothing and that is just not acceptable any longer. I need to find things to do to fill this void, to occupy my time and my mind other than recovery. Not taking anything away from the gratitude that I feel towards my recovery process. I think it has more to do with growing than anything else.

I have not given much thought to anything that I would really like to do until I started feeling empty lately. I know this might sound a little crazy to some but for years I had no aspirations no dreams, no goals. I just laid back and let time go by. I never thought that I would be where I am today. I always thought I would die out there.  Being clean, learning to love myself and live a productive life has made me look at things differently. I want more of what this life has to offer. I know that I am capable of great things. I know that there is much more to this life than what I could ever imagine.

I just need to take those first steps. Now with that being said I can get to the exact nature. I have always let fear keep me from making moves in the right direction.

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It’s really funny when I think about it because when I was using I wasn’t afraid of too many things. I could do some dangerous shit all damn day long but when it comes to doing something positive to better myself I become apprehensive because of fear. I have been sharing about everything else now its time to get to the root of the problem and so I will be putting it out in the universe at my meetings and with my sponsor and network immediately so I can get the help with this that I need.

After all I can only get the help if I allow people to know what is wrong.

BECAUSE I’M HAPPY

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I used to think that I would never find love or be happy. It seemed that I was destined to be miserable and alone for the rest of my life. I couldn’t understand why I kept getting into bad relationships and why they always ended with me being the bad guy. Hurt and alone one day I decided to give up. I figured right then that being alone was better than being in another bad relationship.

Deep down inside I truly wanted to find someone to love and to love me. I felt lonely and like no one cares. I felt abandoned, betrayed, unloved and unloveable. My mind raced with all the reasons why I didn’t need anyone and as a result. I became a bitter person. I blamed everyone and everything for my circumstances not realizing that it begins and ends with me. I was the cause of my unhappiness. I was the reason my relationships weren’t working. I was selfish and self centeredness is the core of the disease of addiction. But I was in denial and continued to blame everyone else.

Eventually I realized it, but it took me years to understand it. It wasn’t until I came into recovery that I began to get an understanding. I was afforded the opportunity to do some work on myself, ask questions and get acceptance of the part that I played in all of my relationships. I began to understand that it’s not all about me and that I am not as good nor as bad as I’ve told myself for all those years. I am finally able to take a look at me. To talk about me, my feelings, thoughts, hopes and fears. I am learning that being vulnerable is not a bad thing. I’m not saying that I like being vulnerable and it’s definitely not a easy thing to do. But I understand that I don’t have to be afraid to be vulnerable because I grow from the experience and exposure. I am learning to love myself for who I am. That I don’t need anyone to validate me. I am worthy of love and it starts from within.

I am not saying that I have mastered anything. I fall short on a regular basis and make plenty of mistakes since getting clean. I have tried and failed and felt like giving up from time to time. But I know that If I allow myself to give up then I am not allowing myself to grow. I will be stagnant and become complacent. I will eventually return to my old ways and that is unacceptable.

That being said I met someone recently. In the beginning I wasn’t sure whether I was really ready. I was afraid of being vulnerable because I allowed my worse fears to make me feel inadequate. To make a long story short and that is by no means to take away from how we got to where we are today. I am happy. She makes me happy. We are happy together. I miss her when I am not around her. I think about us and I can’t help but smile and I get a warm feeling. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt this way about anyone. It’s scary at times, but I will not allow fear to rob me of my happiness any longer. Learning to love myself has allowed me to learn how to love her. It is still a learning process and I will never be perfect. She allows me my process and I allow her hers.

I never thought I would be happy again. Recovery has afforded me my gifts and I am truly grateful. But no gift I could ever receive is better than the gift of love. When it’s given and received.

That my friends is priceless.

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

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

CARE

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.

THE HOLIDAY HAZARD

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I can remember for years treating holidays as if they were legal get high days. Holidays were special. If it was Thanksgiving or Christmas I would be with my family and we would all chip in and get whatever we could. If it was any other holiday they same applied but with friends and anyone else who wanted to chip in. I remember going to parks, beaches or where ever we wanted to go and be drinking, smoking and caring on. Having what I mistook for a good time. Back then my using was recreational but as the years went by it started to become more of a habit. In the end it was a nightmare, I was all alone and It was a need. I had to feed my monster.

I remember thinking that I could stop any time I wanted to. I just don’t want to stop. That was the lie I told others to cover up the fact that I didn’t know how to stop. I tried to stop on my own and I failed every time. The only time I would be able to get any break from using was when I got arrested or went into rehab. For identification purposes.. I even used when I was in prison and rehab too.

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I couldn’t stay clean in the end and I was scared to let anyone know that. I was afraid to ask for help and as a result I continued to suffer.

Now that I am clean (20 Mos 6 days) I still have some moments when I have thoughts of using and urges to act on them. Holiday’s are some of those times. Holiday’s are especially hard because my thought process associates a holiday with having fun.(Although using was not fun, it is still associated in that manner in my thoughts.) In my mind I get thoughts of missing out on something. I begin to feel like wanting to be a part of again. I have to remember that I was not having fun and that I am not missing anything. If I play the whole thought out I will remember that in the end using caused me to lose every thing and almost cost me my life. I need to remember that all it takes is one. That first one will send me into a never ending spiraling frenzy that will only end badly. Today I am grateful that I am not afraid to let someone know when I feel like using. I share with others when those thoughts come to mind.

Jails, institutions and death are only a crack rock, drink or drug away.

My way of dealing with the holiday triggers are to

1. Stay connected to my network. / Talk about what I am feeling. VERY IMPORTANT

2. Call friends and make meetings.

3. Read recovery literature and do step work.

4. Keep my self busy. Idle time is not productive or conducive to my recovery.

5. Treat myself to a movie or go to an amusement park.

There are several ways that I keep myself from thinking and acting off my thoughts and I have learned all of them from being in recovery. I still have a lot of learning to do and I look forward to it. Recovery is what I make it and today I choose to make the best of it. I take the suggestions from others today. I admit that I do not know everything and I practice remaining open minded and honest.

So far it has been working.