OVER TIME NOT OVERNIGHT

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When I first came into recovery. I wanted everything to happen now. I wanted all my problems to disappear and my life to suddenly become magically delicious. I was looking for a speedy response, a quick fix, the magic elixir.

I found out the hard way that nothing good ever comes from the easy way. In fact I already knew that. After all I’ve taken the easy way out all my life and look where it got me. I was never that guy who did anything that was hard. I would search for loopholes in just about everything I have ever done.

I realize today that recovery is a life long process. That I am only going to get out of it what I put into it. I cannot go about my recovery doing the same thing and expecting different results. That’s not to say I haven’t tried, because I have. I have to be on constant guard against that thinking pattern, it’s very easy to slip back into my old way of thinking but can be difficult sometimes to get out of it. If I am not vigilant I can get  myself into a situation that I may not come out of clean, free or God knows what else could happen.

I refuse to find out. I refuse to allow my old lifestyle to gain a foothold again. I love my new life too much today. I look forward to seeing where else my recovery can take me. I have accomplished so much already and I know that through God’s grace I can only continue to rise. I am learning how to slow down and not want everything to be happen overnight. I am not in a race. I am grateful for where I am at because I am right where I need to be. I want my recovery to last for the rest of my life and not fizzle or fade like a fad. I will take my time, savor the experiences, freedom, friends and everything else in between. My Journey has just begun and I will take it one day at a time.

This is my life. It’s life or death.
Today I choose to live.

THE PROCESS OF UNDERSTANDING MYSELF

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When I first read this quote. I didn’t quite agree with it. I figured that I am only just beginning to understand myself and felt it didn’t apply to me. But after reading it over and over. Literally 20 or more times did I begin to grasp a meaning of my own.

So I  broke it down.

I understood myself only after I destroyed myself.

For years I was he’ll bent on destroying myself. I seemed to have a death wish and was slowly carrying it out. I lived a life that was not my own. I didn’t have the chance to find out who I was because I always wanted to be someone else. I created, orchestrated, role played and fronted my way through everyday life. I created a monster and payed a heavy price of losing my true self in the process. I destroyed relationships with my family and everyone and everything I came in contact with. I never understood why I did the things that I did. I just did them to be like everyone else. I had no identity of my own so I followed the path of least resistance along with the others.

It wasn’t until years later that I began to realize that the life I was living was not for me. It took countless headaches and heartaches, prisons and institutions for me to finally start to understand that I wasn’t meant to live this way. I began to want something more for myself. Something that I had deep down inside of me wanted to be set free. It was a Devine Intervention. It had to be. Because left up to me I would have continued to destroy myself until the bitter end. At that point I began to understand that I was worth so much more.

Only in the process of fixing myself did I know who I really was.

This last part speaks of my recovery process. Coming into recovery through the guidance of my Higher Power. Learning how to put my ego and my pride in my back pocket and listen, take suggestions and do some things differently. Relearning how to be honest with others but more importantly learning how to be honest with myself. Learning how to just get through the day without using. Talking about my feelings and not stuffing them until they overflow and I explode. Learning how to be a friend and to have compassion and empathy. Not being afraid to cry and learning how to identify and work through feelings.

In my process uncovering and exposing the lies that I have lived with and believed all my life. Seeing myself for the first time and realizing that I am a nice person. I am intelligent, gifted, caring, vulnerable, worthy, useful, helpful and trustworthy. Learning that I am going to make mistakes and it’s ok. That I don’t have to be perfect. Learning how to say no and not worry about hurting someone’s feelings. That I don’t have to be a people pleaser so I can fit in or belong. I am who I am. Like it or leave it.

Today I have choices. I am responsible, I am getting my voice, I am no longer silent and invisible. I have a purpose. Thanks to this process of fixing myself I am getting to know the real me.

And I am amazing.

Peace and Blessings

Eric Ease

I GET INSPIRATION FROM WHO I AM TODAY

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I am grateful for the person I am becoming. I have been blessed to have lived 2 lives in 1 lifetime.

I came from the depths of desperation and despair. With the help of my Higher Power, a family of people who are just like me and the determination to change. I have been blessed to stay clean for 22 months today. One day at a time.

Progress not perfection.

This is the longest I have ever went without using some mind or mood altering substance. I have gained some awesome friends and am learning more about myself in this short period of time than I have known for the past 40 years.

I get inspiration from many people and I do not sit here and claim total responsibility for this miraculous change. I do know that I could not have done this without the help and support of my network.

But I have to say that I also get inspiration from myself. When I compare who I am today with who I was 2 years ago. I can’t help but pat myself on the back. For many years I thought this was just a dream. That I would never stop using and that I would die using.

I could not have been more wrong.
Recovery is possible.

Peace and Blessings

Eric Ease

JUST SAY NO. AND MEAN JUST THAT

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I remember how hard it was for me to say No and to mean it. I could never say it and that be the end of it.  I would say No and then turn right back around and give in to the temptation of whatever it was I was saying No to.

For instance.

I have said over a million times that I would just do one. But could not say No to the thoughts of getting more. No sooner than the thought occurred I would say I’m not going to do it and then before I knew it. I was doing it. I was out there searching for that next one.

I still struggle with denying myself things today. Telling myself No is difficult and I usually cave in without a fuss or fight. The obsession and compulsion to fill that empty space is causing me to still act out in ways that continue to have a negative impact. Always searching for that instant gratification. The high I get from it feels good at the moment. But there is always that low feeling I get afterwards. That crash and burn feeling. That damn I did it again feeling.

I am learning that It’s another form of using. I am not using drugs but I am using shopping, smoking, eating, women and speeding just to name a few. All of the above give me a certain rush. All of the above give me good feelings for a few seconds. I know before hand that I shouldn’t do it. I contemplate the end results, tell myself that I am not going to do it. Then do it anyway and wind up feeling angry and resentful afterwards.

I try to blame others if possible but when the smoke clears and I take a honest look at it. I have no one to blame but myself. I knew what it was before I got into it and proceeded to do it anyway. I am still practicing insane attitudes and  behaviors. I cannot continue to use the fact that I am new in recovery as a excuse.

Because when I know better. I am supposed to do better.
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So I will make a commitment to honestly practice saying No and sticking to it. Not for 2 seconds and then flip flop. But to make a conscious effort to stick to my guns. Get better at denying myself and having some discipline. I know that change doesn’t happen over night but over time. I also know that if nothing changes then nothing will change.

I will keep you updated on my progress.

Peace and Blessings

Eric Ease

THE POWERFUL TRUTH

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The harsh reality about my addiction is that I was unable to love anything or anyone but the drugs. I didn’t even have love for myself. I became incapable of feeling for the next person. There was no empathy, no sorrow, no compassion. There was only the undeniable urges to find the ways and means to get and use. To continue to get and use more.

By any means necessary.
Everything else was secondary.

While caught up in the grips of my addiction. I didn’t realize this. I didn’t see the damage that I was causing everyone around me. The hurt in their eyes. The pain in their hearts. Addiction is a self centered disease. It will have you believe that nothing else matters. It will make you do things that you would never in a million years think of doing. It will have you believe that nothing is wrong with you. It’s everyone else that has a problem.

Cunning, Baffling and Insidious. My addiction had me so confused that I believed death would have been better than living. It made me believe that I was worthless, useless and that no one gave a damn if I lived or died. I turned me against anyone and everyone who cared and tried to help.

I believed the lies and almost paid for it with my life. I will be forever grateful to the recovery process. For I am learning that all the things I thought were true.

We’re ALL lies.

Peace and Blessings

Eric Ease

THE TIME IS NOW. THE WAIT IS OVER

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I remember saying.
I am not addicted.
I don’t have a problem.
I can stop any time I want to.
Then when I realized that I was addicted, that I did have a problem and I couldn’t stop using. I still had excuses. I’m not as bad as what’s his name. I will get help when the summers over, next week. Blah, blah, blah.

I was always waiting for the right time. For the right situation or circumstances. For someone to come and save me. For some miracle to happen to make me stop. Procrastination was my middle name. Backed by fear It was never the right time to do the right thing for the right reasons. So the longer I continued to put it off the longer I continued to suffer.

Fear still plays a part in my life in recovery. I still suffer from and struggle with procrastination. I know certain areas that I want to change and continue to put it off. I say I will work on it but I put forth minimal effort if any effort at all. Talk the talk but do not take the steps towards it.

So I expose it here and I expose it in meetings and with my network. The reason being it helps give me that extra push. I let others know so they can help me. Because if no one knows who I am and what my problem is then how can I get the help that I need.

Nobody can do it for me. I have to do it for myself. But I also realize that I need help. The wait is over and the time is now. I will reach out and be open to receive the help that I need.

Peace and Blessings

Eric Ease

LEARNING NOT TO COMPARE MYSELF WITH YOU

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For a long time,  I dreamed of being someone else. I wanted what others had. I wanted to do what others did. I compared my life to those around me. I always thought every one had it better than me. That their lives was more exciting than mines. I was always comparing me to you. I never measured up in my mind.

I always felt that something was missing. I couldn’t understand why at the time. Why I always felt less than. Why I felt I didn’t belong. So I began to live a fantasy. I began creating false images of myself. I began to wear masks. I found out that I could be anyone I wanted to be. I was able to escape those feelings by becoming someone else.

For a while it felt good. I was able to fit in and act like others did. Do the things that others did. All those things that I was told not to do, I did. I was finally free. Or so I thought. I didn’t know then that there was a price to pay. I didn’t know that I was selling my soul, I was trading my original for a counterfeit. I was giving up on a life promised in return for a life of pain,  misery and suffering.

I didn’t know then what I know now. I underestimated my ability to fit in,  to make something of myself. I doubted my abilities and took a shortcut. I settled for the easy way out instead of putting in the work necessary to overcome my fears and insecurities. I was unable to see the beauty that was inside of me by comparing myself to others.

I am honestly practicing loving myself today. After years of telling myself that I’m not worthy and faking my true identity. It is hard work. I still fall short and compare myself to others and wish I was like them in one aspect or another. Like when I see others who can strike up a conversation with someone so easily.

Today I can realize that defect and work on changing it when it occurs. I am in a process that I have to make changes to behaviors that I have had for decades. I remind myself daily that it doesn’t happen over night. I will fall short at times and it’s OK.

I am right where I need to be.

Peace and Blessings

Eric Ease

I CAN DO BAD ALL BY MYSELF

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I remember sacrificing the principals I was taught as a child so I could fit in. I ran with the wrong crowds and wanted to do what they did. I knew that it was wrong, but I wanted to be liked. I just wanted to be down.

I remember my parents  warning me against the things I was doing and telling me what would happen. I was so stubborn and full of myself. I thought I knew everything and they didn’t have a clue as to what they were talking about.

I thought that those so called friends cared about me. I thought that they had my back. I listened to them and ignored my parents. I turned my back on my family and turned to the streets. I thought they loved me and understood me.

I found out the hard way that the streets had no love for me. Those same fake ass friends turned their backs on me or stabbed me in the back every chance they got. I was hurt,  devastated to say the least.

Anger became my friend. I  turned my back on everyone. I couldn’t trust people anymore. I sank into depression and my using escalated to new heights. Needless to say my addiction stored and the rest was history.

I am starting over in recovery. I am attempting to establish new friendships. Healthy relationships. I have to be honest. I am having difficulty with opening myself up to people. I don’t like the vulnerability and the awkwardness I feel and I  am uncomfortable most of the time. I lack the trust needed and I am having difficulty finding the willingness to let go of the past in this area.

I know that this is a process and change doesn’t happen overnight. I know this and I also know that not everyone I meet is meant to be in my life. I will take my time and when I am comfortable I will move forward.

Until then
I will continue to be alone rather than sacrifice my principles and be in bad company. I can do bad all by myself.

Peace and Blessings

Eric Ease

THERE IS POWER IN LETTING GO

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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.
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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

Eric Ease

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