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

 

LEARNING TO DANCE IN THE RAIN

DANCE

Hello and God Bless You.

As you have probably noticed I cut my blog back to once a week. I have to start implementing some balance in my life. With my work schedule being so erratic it was becoming very hard to also write my blog and do all the other things so I chose to make my blog a weekly post for the time being.

As much as I love to share my thoughts and feelings with you all it does pain me to have to cut back so I have decided to start sharing my older posts with you.

With that being said

I have been suffering from a case of negative thinking patterns again. I know that sometimes it can sound like crying wolf but for those of you who know how addiction works this is a battle for my life and the old negative thoughts will never completely go away. Also if you know anything about addiction you know that I am only as sick as my secrets and exposure helps defeat thy monster. Now this doesn’t happen all the time but it does pop its ugly head up in some of the strangest and most serious of times in my life. For instance I was feeling a bit low the other day and the I CAN’T tried to invade. I can’t do this anymore. I can’t continue living like this, I can’t make this new position work, I cant make a meeting today. Well you get the picture.

Of course I know that this is just my addiction checking in to see if I have a weak spot in my recovery as it will do from time to time because it not only wants me back but it wants me DEAD. I have learned so much in recovery that I am aware of this today. There was a time when I used to believe all the negative thoughts and I would be out there all fucked up right now. I lived that lie for too many years..NOT TODAY. I have a tool box full useful techniques and people who are wise beyond their years in my corner who help me.
(THAT’S RIGHT I AM TALKING ABOUT YOU)

Also I was on Facebook the other day and my friend Regina H mentioned a book which I haven’t read in a while so I decided to read it again The Power of Positive Living by Norman Vincent Peale. It has helped to remind me that I am going to live what I think. If I think that I can’t do something and keep telling myself that I can’t then guess what. I can’t. It also reminded me that I have to replace the negative thoughts with a counter thought a positive thought to out weigh the negative one. Once I do that then I have to keep reinforcing it or the negative thought will haunt me and pop back up.
(This is so true because it happens to me from time to time)
I am grateful that I use what I choose not to loose.

One of my favorite phrases is
PROPER PLANNING PREVENTS POOR PERFORMANCE.
It is just a little something that I keep saying to myself and it helps me in times when I am in my feelings.
I know that this is a lifelong fight. I accept the challenge gracefully. I have a higher power that I choose to call GOD. I pray and pray some more. I am not gonna sit here and have you thinking that I got it all together and life in recovery is so freaking easy because it is not. It may seem that way at times because I try to remain upbeat.

IT IS NOT ALWAYS SUNNY BUT I AM LEARNING TO DANCE IN THE RAIN.

Peace and Blessings

Eric Ease

REPOST: 2012 RESENTMENTS

RELEASING MY RESENTMENTS

5 MONTHS 7 DAYS

We want to look our past in the face, see it for what it really was, and release it so we can live today.
Basic Text, p. 29

Just for today:

When I discover a resentment, Ill see it for what it is and let it go.

Hello welcome to The Struggle.

Resentment is a main cause for relapse in my life. Constantly revisiting the past hurts, pains and holding on to past grudges has caused more harm than I could ever imagine. Coming into recovery I didn’t understand what resentment was and sometimes to this day I still don’t fully understand all the aspects and multi layers of resentment. I do know that it is unhealthy. The longer I stay in touch with my life in recovery, the more I uncover.

I am slowly forgiving others but mainly myself because the more I look at my past the more I realize most of the resentments I hold against others was really not their fault it was my own. I have been blaming others for the majority of my life and I am starting to take responsibility for my actions and it is helping me to clear up all the confusion and release the misguided resentment.

I am learning so many things about my disease and my life that I feel like a child again sometimes. It a new beginning and I am glad its about progress and not perfection and that its a process and not a race. I am learning and changing at my own pace. Today I don’t feel pressured to keep up with The Jones’s. It is such a relief to be able to live and not try to impress everyone all the Damn time. (Although I do still struggle with it at times. I still have a need to be liked.) But I am working to release my resentments and keep my ego in check. Progress not perfection.

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

 

 

REPOST: FEBRUARY 12, 2012

HERE AND NOW

86 DAYS CLEANWe regretted the past, dreaded the future, and weren’t too thrilled about the present.
Basic Text, p. 7
Just for today:
When I live fully in each moment, I open myself to joys that might otherwise escape me. If I am having trouble, I will ask a loving God for help.

Hello and God Bless You.

I am learning to live in the moment. I realize that there are times that I am either living in the past or thinking too much about the future. When I am living in the past I tend to lose sight of all the progress that I am making and have already made up to this point in my recovery. I begin to regress and start getting those old too familiarly feelings of self pity, worthlessness, helplessness and low self esteem. Before long I would be depressed and feeling like giving up.

When I am living in the future I have a very bad habit of predicting doom. No matter what the vision or dream or thought is the outcome is always disastrous. I cannot think about the future too long without whatever good that is happening turning into some kind of tragedy. I find myself waking up sometimes in the middle of the night sweating because of a dream of relapse, jail, death or some other bad thing happening. It is not a good thing either way.

I try very hard to stay in the here and now. It can be difficult at times but I do not get frustrated when I find myself drifting because I know that this is new territory for me and it is a process. I used to expect change to happen over night and then get upset when I didn’t see any progress. Not anymore I have finally accepted the fact that I am a addict with a disease that has no known cure but can however be arrested and recovery is indeed possible. I have been doing the same things over and over for so long I would have to truly be insane to think that change is going to happen just because I try it once or twice. It takes work and it is work that I am more than willing to do. I am a work in progress and I am making progress. I love myself just for today. I don’t know what tomorrow is going to bring but I will find out when tomorrow gets here.

So just for today I will give myself a break and take it slow. If I have to I will take it one minute at a time but I will take it. God is in control and I am living his will. I am not dwelling on the past and I am not thinking about the future. Living in the now.

Thank you for reading today’s blog.

As always feel free to comment below, join my blog or sign up for email notifications.

Peace and Blessings.

NAM

REPOST: JANUARY 18, 2013

PRACTICING PATIENCE

Good morning and God bless.

I always start my day with thanking God for waking me and praying for guidance and knowledge of his will for me. I have been blessed to have made it back to recovery and for that I am truly grateful.
There are times though that I take my will back and become impatient when I feel that I am deserving of something and it is not happening on my timetable. I begin to get frustrated and display attitudes that are less than positive.

I thank my higher power and the knowledge I have gained from the NA fellowship for being able to recognize this. I know that this is a process and I should not expect to change everything over night.

Its just not a reality that after years of using and actively practicing negative attitudes and behaviors that have become a way of life that I can change over night to being all positive all the time.

I want what I want when I want it was a way of life for me. The self centeredness, the impatient attitude, the non caring was how I lived for years. I know this now but had no clue in my active addiction.  I know there will be times when I fall short. Times when I will take my will back. Times when I will think its all about me. But I also know that its not the way I choose to live today. I know its NOT all about me and my wants and needs.

I am grateful today that I can recognize this character defect. That I can and will choose to correct it once I realize my behavior.  I am grateful also that just for today I dont have to beat myself up because I made a mistake or because I am living my will again.

All I have to do is continue to practice patience and continue to practice correcting myself when I fall short. I do not have to get upset and bent out of shape. Just take a deep breath and pray that I get better at it.

Change is not easy. Change does not come overnight.  But as long as I continue to practice patience,  Change will come.

Peace and blessings.

Eric Ease

REPOST: JANUARY 31, 2012

EXCEPT THINGS I CANNOT CHANGE

74 DAYS CLEANHello and God Bless You.

I have been noticing lately that I have been letting things bother me more than I should. I have been stressing and obsessing about things which I have no control over. I know the serenity prayer and I ask God to grant acceptance of things I cannot change but often I find myself wanting to do something to change certain situations that I have no control over. I am constantly faced with this problem at work. I have to deal with the public and there are times when I really want to give people a piece of the old me. I am struggling with this on a daily basis. I pray and it works for the most part but giving things up to God sometimes doesn’t seem to work. Its not that I doubt or have a lack of faith in God either. I know for a long time I did not believe in God. I blamed him for everything that ever went wrong in my life and this went on for the majority of my life. I do not feel that way today. I believe in God and I know that through him all things are possible. I know that he has brought me to recovery and he keeps me safe as long as I live by his will. I just struggle at times with it and I know that is the devil (my addiction) up to its old tricks to get me back.

I am and will always be sick but I don’t have to suffer. I am learning to monitor my actions and my behaviors and also my feelings. Sometimes my feelings get the best of me and I have to be careful because that is dangerous. I have a temper issue that has caused me many headaches in the past and I am working very hard to control it. I am not as bad as I used to be so I do not need anger management any more but it pops its ugly head every now and then. I have more control today than I ever did in the past thanks to my higher power.

I love writing in my blog and letting my feelings out on paper because it helps me to keep them in check. I also appreciate the feedback that I get because it gives me something to look at. I know myself better today because of working the steps and making meetings and being able to share and dump all the bad things but also talk about the good things too. I know that things will get better as long as I continue to practice what I am learning and applying it to my everyday life.

Ok that’s enough crying and complaining for one minute..Lol

Thank you for reading today’s blog.

As always feel free to comment below, join my blog or sign up for email notifications.

Peace and Blessings.

NAM

FEBRUARY 10, 2015

STOP CHASING AND LIVING LIES.

image

I am beginning to understand.

I have been lost in a fantasy land for the majority of my life. I know this now but I never realized it growing up. Or maybe I did.

As far back as I can remember I always wanted to be someone else. Anyone else. I never was able to accept myself for who I was. I never was able to love the person that was in my skin. I was embarrassed by my life, my family and my circumstances. Ever since I can remember I dreamed of being you or him or them.

As a direct result of this I began to re-invent myself. I began to pretend to be anything other than my true self. I created false personas, alter egos and I even had a twin. A brother who only existed in my fantasy world brought to life by my sick and twisted need to be noticed, loved , liked and down with anyone who would accept me.

For years I created and recreated false images, attitudes and behaviors. I lied so much about myself and for so long that I began to believe my own fantasy was real. I took on the role of the many different characters that I created. I took different things from each one and created a monster. A monster who only wanted to be a part of something that he thought he was missing. A monster who thought everyone else had a better life, not realizing that my life hadn’t been that bad. My life was actually pretty damn good.

But in my mind it wasn’t good. In my mind I didn’t have any of the things I needed. Its that same mind that I followed again and again down that same path. The path that led me to low self-esteem and low self worth. Chasing something that was created in my mind and never allowing my self to grow spiritually, physically or even mentally.

I spent the so much of my life chasing a dream that my life just passed me by. I missed out on the many blessings because I thought I should have been better off or at a certain point by a certain age. I wasted decade after decade complaining about the things I didn’t have and should have had, what I wasn’t and should have been that I missed out on the blessings that I did have. The things that I did do. I missed out on the beauty of life because I believed the lies my mind told me.

I AM SO GRATEFUL THAT I AM ALLOWING MY SPIRIT TO BE FED AND MY SOUL IN TURN IS BEING NOURISHED. NO LONGER LIVING IN THE DARKNESS OF THE LIES MY MIND TELLS ME.

Peace and Blessings

Eric Ease

FEBRUARY 11, 2012

MY DISEASE

 85 DAYS CLEANWe have become very grateful in the course of our recovery….
We have a disease, but we do recover.
Basic Text, p. 8

Just for today:
I will accept the fact of my disease, and pursue the blessing of my recovery.

Hello and God Bless You.

Grateful I am.

I don’t even know where to begin to express my gratitude for the fellowship of Narcotics Anonymous. How do you describe the gratitude to someone or something that has saved your life. Well I am learning how to express it by giving back what was so freely given to me and by continuing to do the work on myself so I do not go back out there. When I heard it said that addiction is a disease I couldn’t believe it. I always thought of a disease being like cancer or diabetes you know something  you have to take medication for, end up in the hospital and then you die. But when they said I have a disease it blew my mind. I was happy though to know that I wasn’t totally insane for continually doing the same thing and not having any control over my actions. The longer I stay in this process and the more I apply the principals to my everyday life the more I begin to understand some of the insanity. It is a process not a race not an event but a process. One day at a time I do and will continue to recover.

With that being said I also have to say that this is a disease that I have to live with for the rest of my life. Unlike other diseases where you take medication and eventually might or might not get better there is no medication to take for addiction, (Ha if there was I would probably get addicted to it.) No instead I am in a fight for my life and the only medication is the footwork. I make meetings daily, where I talk about the things I am feeling, thinking, went through in the past and am going through right now. I share and I listen to others share. I know I am in the right place when I go to meetings because I always hear something that reminds me that I am not alone. I always find someone who shares something that I can relate to. We find common ground in meetings. I have a sponsor who guides me through the process, he helps me when I do not understand something or and going through something. He guides me on my step work and we have a lot in common as well. He is not only my sponsor but I consider him my friend. He has saved my life and I am grateful to him as well as the fellowship. I also have a network which continues to grow on a daily basis. I have 2 networks. I have my home group and the people I meet in meetings here in NY and I have a network of recovering addicts online that I chat with on a daily basis. I have my Facebook group called FROM STRUGGLE TO STRENGTH. I am also a member in a few other groups which I will not name but I have met some fantastic people who help me in my recovery and I help them as well. It is such a great feeling to have so many friends who all want the same thing. Instead of having a bunch of fake ass friends who only want 1 thing. Recovery is a blessing and I am so damn grateful that I have found it.

Now anybody who has ever struggled to get clean knows that staying clean is not easy. I am no different. I didn’t just walk in the rooms of NA and magically become this open minded, honest and willing person. It took some work and quite a few tries. I relapsed several times, and I was fortunate enough to make it back. Using is not a game and it can end my life at any given minute when I choose to use. Today I choose to live Gods will for me. I used to always do things my way and I always got what I always got.

MISERY 10X OVER.

Today I choose to live Gods will and not my own. One day at a time I pray for the knowledge and strength and for guidance to continue to live in a positive and productive way.

Thank you for reading today’s blog.

As always feel free to comment below, join my blog or sign up for email notifications.

Peace and Blessings.

NAM

Reposted from February 11, 2012

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