REPOST: FROM MY BEGINNINGS

RELAPSE AND RECOVERY

9 DAYS CLEANGood morning, I am grateful to God for waking me up clean this morning.
I want to talk about relapse and my triggers today. I relapsed 3 times this year my first year trying to get clean. After using and being used by drugs for over 30 years. After taking a serious look at why this keeps happening I’ve come up with a few reasons.
1. I stopped working my program.
2. Self doubt / Self pity / Selfishness
3. Forgetting the pain and misery
4. I was no longer Honest, Open minded nor willing.
5. Isolation

1. MY PROGRAM
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. I could keep going but I want to focus on these right now.
I’ve come to realize how important making meetings and doing step work is to my recovery. I know for a fact that the minute I stopped working my program my addiction started to go to work on getting me back. So I know that I must make my meetings share what I am going through and continue my step work. After all why go to meetings if you are not going to share to me that in my mind is like having a reservation.

2. LOW SELF ESTEEM

I have a low self esteem which played a major part in my relapses. I begin to doubt that I can do this, that I cannot stay clean. Its impossible I would tell myself. Then the pity sets in. I am a loser, I am not good enough, I have failed at everything so why even bother to try. I have never accomplished anything. So my mind played me right back into using. I might as well go ahead and use because it will make me feel better. That I am never going to amount to anything anyway so stop kidding myself. After all that then the I can do this without making meetings, I don’t need these people telling me what to do. They don’t know me how can they help me. I can control my usage. I am better off by myself anyway. ALL LIES. I know better than that today. I know that I do need the people in NA. I know that I CAN DO THIS. I know that I AM SOMEBODY, I AM SMART, I AM NOT A LOSER, IT IS NOT IMPOSSIBLE, I AM GOOD ENOUGH. So now I am on a positive affirmations habit. I tell myself good things, that I am whatever I want to be. And its all good.

 

3. CRS
I suffer from CRS. Can’t Remember Shit. That is one of my biggest problems. Forgetting the pain and suffering and only remembering the so called good times. Now here’s the crazy part, the good times don’t even exist anymore. So trying to relive something that you know doesn’t exist anymore is crazy. I have to play the memory tapes all the way through because in the middle of those tapes are the horrors I went through, the shame, the embarrassment, the degrading moments I need to keep up front. All the disappointments, all the misery. I MUST REMEMBER THE PAIN.

4. HONESTY
Honesty play its usual role, it wasn’t there at all. I had a little clean time but wasn’t being very honest about my life. Even after I relapsed I lied about clean time and my feelings and just about everything else. I had myself believing the lies I told. I began being closed to suggestions, ideas about staying clean were replaced with thoughts of using. Willingness to stay clean no matter what didn’t exist anymore. I became willing to do whatever to get that next hit. I didn’t care about going back to prison or anything else. I was back in the full swing of my addiction.

5. ISOLATION
The biggest lie of all is I CAN DO THIS ALONE. I remember thinking that to myself on several occasions. The problem with that is my thinking is what got me here. When I am alone in my head its not pretty. What’s worse is believing I really could do this alone. I have been a loner almost all my life. I never felt like I belonged anywhere. In my active addiction it was even worse. I would sit alone using, paranoid all the time, slipping further and further from reality. I don’t like being lonely and don’t know anyone who does. But addiction has ruined every relationship I ever had, mainly because of my self centeredness. Today I look forward to being around people like me. I finally feel like I belong somewhere. Thanks to the rooms of NA.

I HAVE TO TELL YOU THAT EVEN AFTER ALL THAT. I WENT BACK OUT TO TEST THE WATERS AGAIN AND AGAIN UNTIL OCTOBER 26, 2013.

PEACE AND BLESSINGS

ERIC EASE

REPOST: NO MATTER WHERE I GO THERE I AM

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Here is another one of my older posts. This was just before I came back to the rooms for the 4th and final time back in March of 2013. I am grateful for the opportunities that recovery has afforded me. Sharing my struggles helps not only me but anyone who might be thinking that they just can’t stay clean. I remember having the same thoughts. Boy was I wrong…

MARCH 2013

LEARN HOW TO STOP RUNNING

Good morning and God bless. I always try to start my day by thanking God for his guidance and strength. I on the other hand don’t always listen for that guidance or use the strength and that causes unnecessary pain and suffering. I have to learn how to deal with the uncomfortable feelings that keep me running from myself. Lol Thats a funny statement RUNNING FROM MYSELF. It actually makes no sense because no matter where I go there I am. So why do I think that using is an escape.

Using is not the answer but it always seems to be the best solution until I actually use and all the pain is refunded immediately and THEN I realize what a bad decision it was. I have to work harder at realizing before no u have to work on not giving in to those thoughts and feelings because there were times that I realized it wasn’t a good idea and did it anyway.

I need help with sticking and staying. I need help with learning how to stop running. I need help with reaching out to people when I know I’m on that slippery slope. I need to start being that person who I only dream of being. That person who cares about others and practices living the principals of the NA program. I know he’s in there and I need to become him. He that is not the giant of my dreams, not the great I AM. No the other me. Humble servant of God and others.

I will start to practice getting through feelings without using one day at a time. I know that a better life awaits and if I can stop running and use the tools given to me so freely by others in the fellowship I know that I too can enjoy a life without the use of drugs.

I want to thank all those who stood and still stand by me. I appreciate all that you do. Your patience, care and concern is teaching me how to live a unselfish life. I will freely give it back as it is given to me. That is a lesson I will never forget.

As my journey continues I will continue to share. It has been a difficult one so far but believe it or not I am getting better.Today is better than yesterday and yesterday was better than the day before that. So in essence things are getting better one day at a time.

I still haven’t figured out why I hate myself so much. Maybe hate is too strong a word. Why I do not love myself enough to deny the urges to use. I thought I was working my program to the best of my ability and then BAM. Its like everything I accomplished went right out the window.

I have fallen and am having a difficult time getting up but I do know what was working so I do know what needs to be done. My problem is consistency. How do I maintain consistency even when I don’t feel like it. My disease plays on the fact that I have never stuck to any one thing for to long. I start off gun ho and then fizzle to a grinding halt. How do I change this character defect?

I know that change doesn’t happen over night, I also know change is uncomfortable and scary. I need to learn how to work through those uncomfortable feelings and keep moving forward.

I will return to the rooms of NA again.

This will be RECOVERY PART 4.

I will never give up. I don’t care what other people think or say about my continuing to return to the scene of the crime (my relapse). This is my story,  my process, my life.

I WILL RECOVER.

Thank you for allowing me to share.

Eric

REPOST: FROM THE MIDST OF A RELAPSE

GET BACK UP..AGAIN

Hello all and God bless.

I always start my day by thanking my higher power God for waking me and pray for guidance.

I dont always follow that guidance and for that I wind up paying a price.

I have always had a issue with being consistent. Lets face it. I have not been consistent with anything except using. I have been a failure at many things and so far my attempt at staying clean is following that pattern. I am failing.

Once again I am sitting here after a relapse saying why me. Asking myself why I continue to return to the scene of the crime. Why do I go back to using when I know the end results will always be the same.

I know what I need to do to stay clean and my track record shows that I can do what needs to be done for a short time. I have a 3-4 month lasting period and then I start falling off. I do other things and stop making meetings. I know better but do it anyway and before I know it ive screwed up again.

I have been running from my feelings all my life. Although I have gotten a little better this time around I have still not gotten to where I can face anything and still recover. Fear is my worse enemy.

I will never stop trying. I will continue to practice what I have learned and work harder at facing my fears. I have a disease that wants me dead and I need to learn how to live and stop helping my disease carry out its mission.

I wanted to keep this a secret because I am embarrassed to admit that I have done it AGAIN.  But keeping this secret has only kept me using and will keep me sick. Today I want to be honest and expose this so maybe I can get the help I truly need.

Recovery is not as easy as I thought it would be or should be. But using is a lot harder. I am not the BIG I AM. I struggle and stumble and fall down. But I will get up. I refuse to stay down and let my disease win. I dont know how to live without drugs but I do know a place to go so I can learn.

I will go back to the rooms. At least there I know I will be around people who understand what I am going through.

Thank you to all who have shown me love and support and those who have not given up on me.

Eric Ease

BACK TO THE BASICS

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I have been going through a roller coaster of emotions lately. I’ve been feeling angry, depression, happy, sad, frustrated and even cried a couple of times. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me and found myself suffering in silence. I was fearful of sharing this with others. Which is crazy because I usually am so open with sharing what I am going through.

I did a self inventory this morning and realized a couple of things. First off let me tell you that my addiction has been very active the last couple of days. I have been displaying old attitudes and behaviors. I have not been sleeping well and like I said earlier not sharing it. My addiction had me keeping it a secret and we all know secrets kill. So upon taking my inventory I realized that I haven’t been working my program. I have not been taking a active roll in my recovery. I’ve been skipping meetings, not reading my literature or reaching out to other people in my network. I’ve been isolating and putting other people, places and things ahead of my recovery.

All of the things mentioned are red flags and I didn’t realize how easily I slipped backwards. I didn’t even see my addiction coming. It manifested itself in the form of me actively pursuing a better future and rocked me right to sleep in the here and now. I thought it was because I am cleaning house and trashing a lot of my belongings, but it was deeper than that. A lot deeper. I am grateful that I noticed a change in my behavior before it became too late. I am thankful to the people closest to me that point out things and make me take a look at myself. I am thankful for the program and the process of recovery. Without it I would not have been able to spot the problem nor do anything about it. I would have continued on the slippery slope until tragedy struck and I would’ve been off to the races again and all bets were off.

Recovery and the beautiful men and women in it have taught me a few things in the past 2 years and 3 months. I feel a sense of gratitude every time I think of how far I’ve come. I am only scratching the surface right now and have lots to learn in this life long process. But thank God I am learning and not continuing to make the same mistakes. I know what to do today. I have the tools and a support system today. I will make a new commitment to myself and my recovery.

Just for today. I will get back to the basics.

Peace and blessings

Eric Ease

HAPPY, UNHAPPY HOLIDAY’S

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Well it’s that time of the year again. The holiday season is upon us and the festivities are already in full swing. Although Thanksgiving has not even arrived yet, the stores are gearing up for Christmas. It’s almost like Thanksgiving doesn’t even matter anymore. Anyway that is not why I am posting today.

I know that this time of year brings families together full of good cheer and laughter. I know that this is the time of the year when people get together and spread the holiday joy to one another in the spirit of Christmas and all that. But there are millions of people who’s holidays are not full of cheer and laughter. There are people around the world who are suffering from one affliction or another. There are people who do not have a home to go to or a family to gather around and tell stories with. Yes for some of us there is no happy in our holiday. Then there are those who didn’t make it to see another holiday. There addiction won, they unfortunately didn’t get to hear the life saving message of recovery. My thought, prayers and condolences go out to them. I know all to well what the holidays mean to a addict. I know what its like to be all alone during this supposed to be happy time of year. I can remember the empty feelings, the loneliness, the despair and desperation.

 

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The feelings created by this holiday season can wreak havoc on addicts. This is the time of the year when the most relapses occur. The holiday season is particularly dangerous for those of us in recovery if we are not vigilant and remain aware of our surroundings at all times. I remember getting extra high just because it was Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. The Triple Threat. This is real for me, being a addict my feelings are in full swing. I am switching through emotions like normal people switch through the remote control. I am up one minute and down the next. I wish I was with my family one minute and then fuck them they don’t care nothing about me the next. I am good one minute and I want to get high the next. All that can play out over and over in my head if I am not doing what I need to do to maintain my recovery /  (POOF).

Just like that…It can all be gone. I can be running buck wild again.

 

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Using is a choice and the choice is usually made long before the relapse actually happens. I am speaking from my own experience and not as a spokes person for the masses. I know that before I actually picked up a series of things happened. The first being my attitude and behaviors started leaning more towards the negative again. I started to entertain those thoughts in my head. The ones that tell me this is not working and I really can’t possibly think that I am really going to succeed at staying clean. Second I became disconnected with my support network and stopped making meetings. I cut myself off from the heard. I allowed myself to become vulnerable to the lions and tigers that were waiting in the dark places in my head. Third I got the Fuck It’s. I don’t need this, I don’t care, I can do what ever the Fuck I want to. Well needless to say you know what it was that I wanted to do and so I did.

I used and in a very short period I was right back where I started.

It took me a couple of relapses to realize the pattern and it took me to start talking to people and asking for help before I was able to recognize it and reverse it. With the help of the fellowship, friends and of course my higher power I have survived this far. I had to make some changes and take some suggestions. Here are a couple of them that helped me not only survive the holidays but day by day in general.

Make meetings (in NY they have marathon meetings 24hrs on holidays).    Get phone numbers at every meeting. (Dial them do not just file them).       Get a home group. It helps to have a place that I go regularly so people get to know who I am and will miss me when I do not show up. It is a very helpful tool. I made many friends in my home group and I love them.       Get a sponsor. Someone who can help guide me in the process of recovery.  I CANNOT DO THIS ALONE. (Believe me I tried).

The bottom line is this.

I never have to use again. It is not easy to stay clean but it is damn sure a hell of a lot easier than trying to make it back and its well worth it. I am forever grateful.

I just wanted to share this with everyone and ask that you say a little prayer for the still sick and suffering addicts who are out there this holiday season. May God keep them safe and bring them home.

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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

OUT WITH THE OLD. IN WITH THE NEW.

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I have been constantly reminding myself of this lately.

My mind keeps jumping back to old behavior mode and old attitudes are proving to die harder than I originally thought. I find myself wanting to resort to some of my old methods of handling situations. I am not talking about using substances to solve anything, I am referring to street tactics and antics. I have been sharing about my feelings with anyone who will listen. I have been struggling in the area of letting go. I know that it takes practice so I am not beating myself up.

I really need to get with someone and find out how to let go and not take it back. How to release the need to still try to control situations and manipulate outcomes. How do I kick these thoughts to the curb and not go back and pick them up later. Staying focused lately has been hard and it has been affecting my overall attitude. My spirit is feeling uneasy and I have been really irritable. It has been showing in more ways than I care to mention. I need a break from my own madness, a vacation from my thoughts. I have been sharing that I need to plug back in. I do not wish to be like the animal who gets cut from the herd on to be eaten alive by the savage beast.

Been there. Done that.

I know that doing the same things expecting different results is the meaning of insanity. It’s crazy how the things I am learning, I am relearning over and over again in different situations and scenarios. In the beginning my insanity was using drugs and thinking this time will be different. Now my insanity is taking on a new meaning it has taken a different form but the outcomes are similar in the pain it is causing. I am becoming more and more aware of myself. I am also becoming more aware that certain things that I used to do are no longer acceptable to me.. Because if they were I would have acted off the impulses already. I am fighting a war and the battle ground is between my ears.

I am grateful for the process of recovery for it is teaching me how to say NO. It is teaching me to be honest about my feelings and my thoughts. It is teaching me that it’s ok to talk about my feelings and not to worry about what others think or say about me. It is teaching me that I have to be responsible for my recovery and for my actions. How to show up for people and to ask for help when I need it.

I am grateful to have found a place where there are so many people just like me.

I know that my old ways do not work. My old ways got me a whole lot of pain, misery and suffering. To think that anything has changed or that I can do it different this time would be me believing the lies of my addictive thoughts and will prove once again to be a suicide mission. I do not wish to try to kill myself again. Not today not ever. I will continue to seek the help I need to get through this without taking any shortcuts.

My old ways will not open any new doors. They will only open jail cells or a casket.

Peace and Blessings

Eric Ease

DRUG DREAMS

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Last night I had a dream that was so real that I woke up terrified that I had used. I haven’t had a drug dream in quite some time and I was a bit shook by it.

Every once in a while during the day I might have a flashback but the dreams stopped a few months ago. I am constantly reminded of my active addiction at work. There are more than a few addicts who work for my company. I can relate to them of course because not to many 24’s ago that was me. So I am reminded and have the occasional flashback.

I know that the dream was just that..A dream. It is not my reality today. I have no desire to return to that part of my life. I did not entertain the thoughts. I did not go back to sleep and continue to dream about using. I shared the experience with some of network and I feel better knowing that those dreams don’t have to come true.

I put it out there and let it go. I have no intentions to keep them secret nor do I have to be embarrassed about having them. I am human and I have used for almost 40 years. For me to think that because I am clean I shouldn’t have drug dreams is ridiculous.

Secrets keep me sick.
I reveal them so they can die in the light of exposure.

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Peace and Blessings

Eric Ease

GIVE IT AWAY

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I spent a lot of years wondering what was my purpose in life. I think I have finally got a clue.

I remember when I was a kid I wanted to be a doctor. A dentist to be exact. I had a friend who’s father was a dentist and they had a very nice house and a lot of money. I thought that would be  me. As time went on I think I changed my mind so many times that I just gave up on dreaming of what I would become. When I started using all bets were off. All my hopes and dreams were smashed and discarded. I had lost all hope.

As a adult I knew that I was destined to be more than a bum. More than some washed up drug addict but I didn’t know how to go about getting out of the mess I made of my life. With thoughts of using clouding my every waking minute I had again lost all hope. I settled for where i was and believed that it was where I would stay until I died. I couldn’t stop using and had no idea that there where people out there that felt the same way i did, but found a way out.

I was blessed to have been spared death and to have found a new way to live. I was lucky, so many of my friends didn’t make it out. I think to myself at times and wonder why was I spared. What is so damn special about me that I was able to make it out of the depths of the hell in which I lived. Why me? I am learning that I should be grateful and not question why. I should just learn from my experiences and share with others what I have learned in hopes that I may be a light for those who are still suffering in silence in the darkness of active addiction.

I am thankful that I am able to share my story with others and I only hope that through my experiences someone can make a connection, have some identification and get some hope that they too can make it out of the darkness. I know how they are feeling because I too have felt that way. I have lived that life, I have given up on ever finding a way out. I know exactly how they feel because I am and will always be an addict.

The difference is I am a addict in recovery. I am practicing a new way of life that has offered me the opportunity to help others. The same way others have helped me.

My purpose today is to give it away.

Peace and Blessings

Eric Ease

TAKING MY INVENTORY

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I am feeling a bit complacent lately. I have been procrastinating with continuing my 4th step inventory and I have been slacking in my meeting attendance.

Although I am feeling good about the past couple of days events. I know that this is a warning sign. I know all too well what happens when I get comfortable in not doing the work necessary to maintain my recovery.

I am not in any way saying that I want to use. I know from my past experiences though, that I don’t have to want to use, to use. Once I know. I cannot go back to not knowing. If I choose to ignore the signs then I am taking unhealthy and unnecessary risks with my health and well-being.

I woke up and decided to do something about it. I read my 4th step from my Basic Text and from It Works How and Why. I opened my Step working guide and I did some writing. I am currently working on resentments. I will also get my ass to a meeting today and make my meeting attendance a priority again.

I made a decision to not allow my recovery to become stagnant. I refuse to allow my addiction to take control again. I will continue to do whatever is necessary to keep my addiction arrested one day at a time.
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I know that if
I AM NOT WORKING ON MY RECOVERY. MY RELAPSE IS WORKING ON ME.

TODAY I CHOOSE MY RECOVERY.