RELATIONSHIPS

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Hello beautiful people. I hope that when you are reading this you are enjoying your life to the fullest possible extent. If you are not then don’t fret, there is always the opportunity to make changes. Today WE have the power of choice.

 

I can remember when I thought I did not have a choice. I did what everyone else was doing, what everyone else wanted me to do, what everyone else thought I should be doing. I was a follower and I followed people just so I could feel like I belonged. I wanted so badly for people to like me that I forgot about liking myself. I forgot about what I wanted to do, what I dreamed of being and where I wanted to go. I found myself in some incredibly dark situations and sticky circumstances.

For as long as I could remember I wanted to be someone else and when I became old enough to, I did just that. I created and recreated myself. Over and over again. In this part of town and that part. With this person and with that one. All the while hiding my true identity, hiding my true feelings, living up to the code of the streets. The life that I lived got me tangled in a web of deceit, dishonesty, self deception and lies. I pretended for so long that my true being got buried under the many masks that I had to wear everyday just to survive the mess I made of my life. I wandered around aimlessly for years acting like I was this or that, hiding my true identity and eventually it was no longer a act. I was lost. Caught up in the grips with no apparent means of escape. When the smoke cleared I looked around and I was all alone. No friends calling me, no family checking up on me. Just me and my many identities.

It’s amazing now that I can look back at where I used to be. Well truth be told there are a lot of adjectives I could use to describe it. One thing is for sure. I am grateful that I am learning to let go of that part of my life that I clung to for dear life for so long.

It is not easy either. When you practice a certain thing no matter what it is for a long period of time, you become skilled at it. Just like the skilled musician did not become skilled overnight I too did not just master deception overnight nor will I be rid of it just because it no longer suits me. If I do not practice a new way of thinking and behaving I can easily return to my old patterns with the blink of a eye or the snap of a finger.

Which leads me to the subject at hand. Relationships.

I avoided them at all costs for the majority of my life. I learned at a early age that people could not be nor should they be trusted. My experiences in the past have taught me that. But I am no longer living in the past so in order for me to start the process of being restored I need to allow myself to let go of the past and form healthy relationships.

Maybe I need help???

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This is the area that I struggle with the most..

I allowed myself to come out of my shell a little bit at a time but never allow anyone to really get too close to me. I still shield myself and only allow people to know what I want them to know. I do not really hang out with people and am still very comfortable in my own company. I am very guarded and I really do not trust anyone still to this day. I can share in meetings without hesitation but when it comes to more intimate settings I would rather not get involved. I get the uneasy feelings and then allow fear to shut me down and make me feel like I need to be somewhere else.. And I usually make my exit shortly after those feelings arise.

Relationships are a painful and sometime frightening area for me.

This is new ground and it makes me feel like I felt back when I was a kid all over again. I also know that the fear is just in my head. I know that I am loved and liked and I also know that I love and like others. Although I may struggle with expressing my affection for others I know that I can feel it and I feel it from others. Again this is all new ground for me. It takes me a little longer to warm up to people but eventually I will get there. I know this is my process, and I will get to where I need to be in time. Not my time. My higher powers time.

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I will continue to work on myself and work through my issues at my own pace. I do not feel the need to people please just so I can say that I have friends. I am loving who I am becoming and will not compromise my values and principles today.

I know today that I have a choice.

 

Peace and Blessings

 

Eric Ease

 

 

 

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.

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

What’s Your Recipe For Recovery? Guest Post by Thomas Parisi

First I want to thank Eric Ease for allowing me to guest post here at http://www.fromstruggletostrength.com and to thank you, the reader, for taking the time to stop by. You have my gratitude and appreciation.

Recovery is a personal journey. Often times each individual finds that the recipe for recovery is a bit different for them than for others. There are also many ways in which we all seem to agree when it comes to recovery. I am no exception. I think it might have a little something to do with our uniqueness as individuals, and our similarities as human beings. We all respond similarly to the things that work for us, yet the things that work for us are different. How can this be? Well, I believe we are responding in similar ways because we are receiving what we need as human beings, but as individuals what we need can be different.

We all seek to remain physically free from pain. This is universally ingrained within our very nature. Self preservation is necessary to keep from injury, pain, and the suffering and torment that it can cause. This can also be expanded into sub-categories; the mind, body, soul, and spirit are all integral parts of our beings. Leading a healthy life by ‘consuming’ nutritionally dense material for each category while getting enough exercise for the mind, body, spirit, and soul is optimal. Although for each of us this can vary greatly. A gym, a library, a church, and even a beach can be the perfect places for a ‘workout’. We must be nourished or the strength and fortitude needed to maintain will decline, and we may choose incorrectly in our weakened state.

We all seek to be understood and to understand others. We are very social creatures. This is why we all need a support group. We need a healthy social existence to give us fulfillment and joy. Some of us find that a recovery group is the perfect place for us. Some of us find a home, in a church, in family and friends, at work, or in a community of like minded individuals. All of these paths are equally valid. We must find a safe and comfortable place to be ourselves so that we can go beyond simple survival and begin to thrive.

Moving in a forward direction of expansion and growth is another key in recovery. As I have said earlier, we are social creatures. This means that we seek the esteem and praise of our family, friends, and neighbors. I am talking about the kind of healthy praise that props us up and gives us the affirmations we need to solidify our thoughts and feelings. When we are new to recovery we feel all alone. Our old life is still calling to us. Our old friends and the lifestyle we led is tempting us to return to a familiar embrace- but we must resist. Every time we receive the praise of our new found friends and family it lessens the pull of our old life. Our new identity is fortified with every kind word and gesture. We are reborn anew.

Finally, we all seek to self-actualize. This is simply a fancy way of saying that we all want our lives to become expressions of our own unique persona. When we are honest with ourselves about who we are and what motivates us, we become driven and purposeful in ways previously unknown. Our lives start to reflect the passion and drive we feel toward certain things.  Our lives express our truth as individuals. With emotional purity and honesty we can move forward unencumbered by the binding elements of deception. It is a worthwhile and amazing journey, this thing called life, and we can consciously choose to move in the right direction with every step.

Recovery is a process. It starts with a willingness to accept the changes needed to move us away from the suffering and pain, and toward a more fulfilling and meaningful life. Life has a way of evolving organically. We may not know for sure if the plans we have will play out as we’ve projected, but they will play out into something- so stick with it and don’t be afraid to fine tune your very own recipe for recovery. You can and will accomplish your dreams if you dare to remain steadfast on the path!

At www.thinkhub.org you are always welcome! Thanks again to you the reader and to Eric Ease!

TURNING THE PAGE

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In active addiction my life was a never ending cycle of bad choices. I remember some, but there are plenty that I have buried deep. The ones that I didn’t want anyone to know about. The ones that I thought were so horrible that if revealed people would once again turn their backs on me. They would shun me and not want me to be around them. I didn’t want to be an outsider again so I would keep my secrets and carry them to the grave with me.

I always thought that I was doing the right thing by keeping my life secret. People would speculate and judge but most of their judgement was based on the fact that I used drugs. No one could actually say that they know me. I made sure that no one really knew me. What they thought they knew was all fabricated. My life was one lie after another all made up to protect me from being rejected. The crazy part about that is I wound up being rejected by everyone anyway.

I lived to use, but I also lived to please. I just wanted you to like me, to accept me, to allow me to be a part of. Whatever it was. I remember when I was a child and I would lie just to get attention. I remember reading a story about a boy who cried wolf and I turned into that boy. I acted out and sought attention from the very beginning and when I stopped getting it from home I turned to other avenues for that attention. I used to think that no one loved me and no one cared, I was the one who didn’t love me. I didn’t know how to love myself. I still struggle at times with loving myself and sometimes act out even today looking for that attention.

Recovery is teaching me how to love myself. I have a network of people who love me and support me. I am learning how to accept myself for who I am and not to invent false identities in order to fit in or to be liked by others. I am exposing those secrets that have kept me sick and suffering. I am exposing all those things that I thought were so horrible and I am learning  that they weren’t all that horrible after all. I am releasing myself from the bondage of my past and I am experiencing a freedom that I have never felt. I feel the weight lifting off my shoulders from all the baggage that I have been carrying around all these years.

I want to make it clear that this is my process and it didn’t just happen over night. I didn’t come into recovery and all of a sudden change. My life didn’t become magically delicious over night, days, weeks or months. I am still a work in progress and I am just scratching the surface. I have years and years of hurt, pain, misery and suffering, lies, loneliness, abandonment, fears and disappointments locked up inside my head and slowly but surely I am on the road to revealing them and healing from them. I live one day at a time and I try to remember not to stay in the past. I revisit the past so I can expose it but I do not dwell there. There is nothing I can do about the things that I have already done and it is time for me to stop punishing myself for them.

I am moving on from the ghosts of my past. I am turning the page. Stepping into the next chapter of my life. I am grateful for my journey because I am learning so much about myself and I am learning that most of the things that I thought were the truth, are a figment of my made up life. Lies told by misinformed people who are in there own way stuck in a never ending cycle and refuse to try to find a way out. I pray everyday for those who are caught up in the grips of addiction, that they find there way out and into this life saving process. I know how it is to feel like there is no way out. To think that no one cares and that I would die a addict, die using drugs. I now know that it doesn’t have to be that way. I want others to know that it doesn’t have to be that way.

There is a way out. You can stop using. Recovery offered me that way out.

Thank you for being on this journey with me. Please feel free to read more of my story and follow my journey on my blog at http://www.fromstruggletostrength.com

Peace and blessings

Eric Ease

YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE

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In the beginning I came into recovery broken, lost, lonely and desperate. I didn’t have any hope that I could ever change. I believed all the lies that I have been told and that I had been telling myself over the years. After all I was living proof that I was nothing but a failure. Everything I touched turned out bad, everything I tried failed. I felt worthless, hopeless and useless I had no self esteem and everyone confirmed my feelings when they spoke to me or when they spoke of me.

My biggest problem was that I didn’t believe in myself. I didn’t think I was worthy of having friends or being around people in general. I didn’t believe that I could stay clean. I didn’t believe that my life would change or that anyone could ever understand what I had been through let alone help me. I thought that my situation was unique and that no one could have ever had it as bad as I did. I didn’t believe in myself because no one else believed in me. I thought they were right to put me down because I put myself down. I didn’t believe in anything anymore. I would never change.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

So of course when I came into recovery I expected the same thing to happen. In the beginning I couldn’t tell people how I really felt, I was afraid that they would treat me the same way and I didn’t need anymore people against me. But it wasn’t like that at all. I was welcomed with a hug, offered coffee and a seat in the front row. I was skeptical of all this niceness. It was foreign to me. Nobody wanted me around but these people did. The more I kept coming around I started to become comfortable with this new environment. I became willing to share about myself, a little at first but then I realized that others there were just like me and had been where I just came from. I was able to identify with their stories and that made it easier to share my own.

I began to believe. I had found hope. I began to feel like I finally belonged somewhere.

There are still times that I suffer from those feelings but they do not come as often anymore. My life began to change for the better when I started to believe that I could change. Once I believed that it was possible I became open to try new things, to live a different way. I became open to suggestions from others who have been in my shoes and were willing to share with me how they did it. I began to do those things and my belief grew even stronger. I know realize that what others think of me is not my reality. I will always have people who do not believe in me or what I say. I cannot blame some of them because I was a habitual liar and was never a man of my word. Today it’s ok that they don’t believe I prove people wrong every day with my actions. I no longer have a need for you to believe what I say. I do my best to maintain my new way of life on a daily basis and that is all I can do.

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I am not here to prove anything to anyone but myself.

I believe in myself even if you do not. The proof is in the way I live today.

Thank you for being on this journey with me. Please feel free to read more of my story on my blog at.

http://www.fromstruggletostrength.com

Peace and blessings

Eric Ease

RECOVERY IS A LIFE SAVING PROCESS

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As a addict I have experienced the pain, loneliness and despair of addiction. Before coming to the fellowship I tried everything in my power to control my usage of drugs. Nothing I ever tried worked. I tried switching my drug of choice, I tried lying to myself by saying I would only do 1. I tried hiding my money or asking someone to hold it for me. I even went as far as to leave money in my locker at work so I would not spend all of it, only to go to the job and get what I had stashed there. No matter what I tried, how many different approaches, techniques, plots and schemes they all failed. My addiction was to aggressive and I would cave in to the cravings every time. No matter what I tried in the end my addiction lead me to a downward spiral every time. Slowly but surely the progression would get worse until I was back at rock bottom.

I have learned by working some steps about the mental and physical affects of my addiction. Mentally I would become obsessed with thoughts of using. I would be thinking about using day in and day out. I would be thinking about what I was going to do when my drugs ran out long before they actually ran out. I would plan on Sunday how much of my money would go to buying my drugs when I got paid on Friday. I couldn’t last a minute without thinking of using and finding ways and means to get more. I was totally obsessed and consumed with it and my life reflected that. Then there is the physical aspect of my addiction. The compulsive urges to continue using even when I knew the end results would be devastating. Regardless of the consequences or repercussions I continued to use. They say that insanity is doing the same things expecting different results, well my insanity reached the 100th power because I did the same things knowing the results and did them anyway.There is also a spiritual aspect of addiction and that is the self centeredness. You see no matter what happens its all about me, what I want and how I feel. I want what I want and I want it now. I have hurt a lot of people along the way with my selfishness. But in reality is was my addiction not the real me that had me in its grips. I had no control over it or my actions.

I didn’t know anything about the affects of my disease until I came into recovery and started to do step work. I always thought that I was a normal person and the things I did were normal too. I thought I was pretty smart and that all I had to do was stop using drugs and everything was going to be ok. I have learned that I was wrong about that and many other things I thought that I knew. I never thought of myself as being powerless or unmanageable. I thought that surrender was for suckers, quitters and losers and I always thought I was in control of every situation. I had to learn that by surrendering to the disease of addiction and admitting my powerlessness and unmanageability that I would be able to grow and not only learn how to stay clean, but also learn that addiction is about much more than just drugs. Once I stopped using and had a clear mind I began to realize that my addictions started way before I ever picked up my first drink and drug.I began to see that my life had been unmanageable and I had been powerless long before I ever used any substance. Growing up I had addictions to lying and stealing and they only grew as I got older and began to experiment with drugs.

I was always trying to control situations even at a early age only to find out now that I have no control over others actions only over how I respond to them. I can tell you how much of a shock that was to me, and I still didn’t believe it even though all the proof was staring me right in the face. I have always been a hard head and one you had to prove things to. I was the same way in my early recovery and as a result I relapsed time and time again. Today I know better and once you know you cannot go back to not knowing. I am grateful for the process of step work. Just by answering some simple questions honestly and openly I have learned a great deal about myself and why I have done some of the things I did. I am learning who I am and how to accept the things I am learning without acting out. It is a process that is saving and changing my life on a daily basis and I will be forever grateful.

I have the opportunity to live the life I was meant to live. I am in the process of doing things I used to only dream of and it is an amazing journey. I share my experiences with you all in the hopes that I might be able to help someone who might be struggling with the same things I struggled with.

I am here to share hope.

A message of freedom from active addiction. That an addict, any addict. Can stop using drugs, lose the desire to use and find a new way to live.

I can’t tell you the difference in me today compared to 10, 5 even 2 years ago. The proof is in the way I live.

Thank you for being on this journey with me. You can read more of my story on my blog at http://www.fromstruggletostrength.com

Peace and blessing

Eric Ease

WHAT CAN I DO

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Since I began my journey in recovery I have been asked by many people.

What can I do?

Whether it’s a person who is in active addiction or the parent’s of someone who is suffering from the disease of addiction. I believe the first step is the same. Stop Using. I tell people that it doesn’t matter how much a person has used or what they have done in the past. The first step to recovery is to not take that first drug, drink or whatever, Staying away from the first one is key because it is the first one that starts the vicious cycle all over again.

Now with that being said. I also have to say that it’s not easy.

I have shared my story openly and honestly and I will be the first to tell you that my journey was a struggle. I could not stay away from the first one to save my life. I couldn’t understand “if you don’t pick it up, you won’t get high”. I mean after all I have picked it up for years. I have had many times when I wasn’t able to pick it up because I was in a protected environment provided by the state. ( Jails and institutions) but when I got out I would always return to using. Staying away from the first one was the last thing on my mind because.

1. I didn’t think I had a problem. I was in deep denial about my situation and didn’t see it as a problem until late in life.

2. Using was a form of escape from my present reality. I always wanted to be someone else or somewhere else.

3. By the time I really wanted to stop, I couldn’t. My addiction was deep rooted and had become a way of life.

It takes commitment to be able to stay clean. It is a process that starts and ends with me. I had to become 100% sick and tired of using and losing. I had to become honest with myself about my problem and willing to ask for help. I had to be willing to accept the help that was being given to me. I had to put aside my ego and become humble and admit that I did not know how to stay clean. I had no idea how to go about any of this until I became a member of Narcotics Anonymous.

Once I was able to learn how to stay away from the first one there was some other things I had to do.

I had to become honest with myself and others. I had to re-learn honesty because I was not the most honest person. I lied to get by. Dishonesty became a way of life and eventually consumed my every waking day. I had to come to realize that I am not going to be able to receive the proper help if I am not truthful about my situation and what my problem is. I had to be willing to share my story, all the deep dark secrets that I thought I would never tell another person because I thought they were so horrible. I buried them so no one would find out, but I know now that secrets keep me sick so I began to expose them and came to realize that I am not alone. That those secrets weren’t so horrible after all. Others were able to identify with my story and I began to heal from my past.

I had to become open minded. Recovery was new ground and at first the idea alone was scary. I didn’t know what to expect and I almost allowed my fear to stop me from trying. Open minded to new ideas, new people, a new routine of making meetings everyday, of sharing my experiences with others, of working the program as it is suggested and not the way I want to work it. I had to become open minded to the fact that there is another way to live life that is better than the way I have been living it. Open to hearing that the things I thought were truth and the way life is supposed to be were wrong. Open to learning how to change those things. Open minded to a new way of life.

I had to become willing. Willingness is a major component because I had to learn new things. I had to be willing to take some risks and do things differently. I had to become willing to find a higher power. A God of my own understanding that is loving and caring. God = Good Orderly Direction. I had to become willing to allow another recovering addict to guide me in this process. I had to be able to trust those who have been doing this before me and willing to try to do what they are doing and what is working for them. I had to learn to become willing to change. I had to change everything that I knew to be true and codes I lived by learned from the streets. I had to become willing to leave all that behind.

I had to change my thinking. My thinking is what got me into all of this in the first place.

I know that I am still a work in progress and always will be. I am willing to continue to learn new things and change old ones. Recovery is for those who want it. I know plenty of people who need it but until they want it for themselves there isn’t much we can do to help them. My thoughts and opinions are based on my life and are not in any way meant to disqualify anyone. I can only share my experiences, strength and hope. These are the things that worked and are still working for me.

RECOVERY IS POSSIBLE

Thank you for allowing me to share.

Eric Ease

http://www.fromstruggletostrength.com