MAKING THE DECISION TO TURN IT OVER

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I can’t remember a time in my active addiction when I ever turned anything over or was able to let it go. Not one single time. I always had to have the last word, to be in control, to plot my revenge or live for the payback. Holding onto anger and resentment was a daily chore. It wasn’t born in my addiction either, I have been that way well before I ever picked up that first drink or drug.

I can remember being a very angry and spiteful child. I held grudges and dished out my own justice as early as the 2nd grade. I was a Evil 😈 little so and so. Or so I’ve been called, among other things. Growing up holding on to all that anger, all those resentments caused a rippling effect, a avalanche of outburst and random acts of violence. Uncontrollable urges to hurt someone or something. Most of the time it was me who got hurt. I did more damage to myself than I could ever have imagined.

Needless to say jails, institutions, hospitals, isolation, desperation, despair, agony, pain, misery, suffering, unhappiness, self loathing and self inflicted harm all became my reality. I became my own worst enemy. I traveled the path of self destruction for many years and lost all hope.

Coming to believe that a power greater than myself could restore me to sanity was absurd when I first heard it. I always blamed God for my troubles so that was another resentment to add to the list. Yes even God was on my hit list 📃. But as I kept showing up I began to notice some changes happening. I was becoming open to new things, my thinking 💭 was starting to change. I was becoming teachable. A miracle for sure because I suffered from I Know Syndrome. I was beginning to experience hope.
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That hope eventually turned into faith. I began to believe that I could change, stay clean and accomplish things. I saw others doing it, I listened to the stories and eventually those accomplishments started happening to me. Faith began to turn to trust. Wow. I was really changing because I didn’t trust anything or anyone. My life was becoming something that I did not recognize. I was apprehensive at first because it was uncomfortable. Fear has kept me stuck in a never ending cycle for years but I make a conscious effort on a daily basis not to allow my fear of succeeding to stop my flow.

I have to admit and believe me that trust and fear are still a issues but I am getting better gradually. I’ve made a commitment to turn them over. Letting go is a process and it’s easier said than done but today I know that it’s doable.

Nothing is impossible.

Peace and blessings

Eric Ease

TRUSTING MYSELF

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I have allowed fear of success to keep me stuck in a never ending cycle of not attempting things. If I did attempt something I would give up when things got to difficult or when things weren’t moving as fast as I felt they should be. I would allow others to move forward when I knew that I was more than qualified to step up. I would dumb down so as not to draw attention to myself.

The funny thing about that is, whenever I attempted something and was successful I realize that it wasn’t even as difficult or scary as I originally thought. I see that the fear I had wasn’t even necessary and just by my being consistent and not giving up. I accomplished the task.

I find that I also do this when asked questions. I have always had a fear of tests. Taking tests and being quizzed make me somewhat uncomfortable and I will get nervous and anxiety causes me to just say I don’t know rather than risk being wrong. I know the answer but I will freeze and then just not answer it. Whenever I know I have to take an exam, I get all worked up before the actual test, but usually after the exam is over I find out not only did I pass but I actually did very well.

I have come to learn in recovery that I have caused some real damage to my self esteem, self worth and the way that I see myself and talk to myself. I allowed my past failures and disappointments to dictate my life and determine my life’s direction. I have been practicing elevating my self esteem by not allowing my past to remain prevalent and not placing so much importance on those failures and disappointments. I have been practicing positive self talk and allowing myself to actually believe the compliments that people give me. I have been allowing myself to give me my own pat on the back.

I know deep down that I am smart, worthy of love and friends and that I am capable of doing anything that I put my mind to. I need to remember to keep that up front and smash the negativity that has run unopposed for so long. I know way more than I let others think I know. I need to stop dumbing myself down just to fit in. That is a behavior that I have practiced in my active addiction and it’s gone on long enough. I will no longer allow my fear to keep me from rising to my full potential.

I will trust myself and start experiencing the full benefits of what I have to offer myself and others.

Peace and blessings

Eric Ease

THE UNWILLINGNESS TO FULLY TRUST

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Growing up I was a very trusting child. I trusted that my parents loved me and they would always be there for me. I trusted people, and eventually that trust cost me. I learned the hard way that trusting people was a mistake. That everytime I trusted someone I wound up being the one to get hurt. It took a little time to sink in because I continued to have faith in people but continued to get the same results.

I eventually made a decision. Albeit a costly one. Yet and still it seemed to be my only course of action. I decided that people could not be trusted. All people. I stopped being that trusting person and proceeded to treat everyone like they already did something wrong to me. That one decision led me to isolation. I didn’t trust people so why bother with them. That’s how I began to think and fueled by my addiction those thoughts grew into anger, resentments, animosity, fear which eventually led me to loneliness, despair and desperation.

True to my addictive nature. I still suffer the ill affects from my past when it comes to trust. I have a hard time opening myself up to people. I have an unwillingness to trust people for that fear is still there. The ones that I do open up to, I find myself expecting them to cross me in some way. I am slowly, and I mean slowly attempting to open up. I suffer at times with a simple hug, so talking to people I don’t know is damn near non existent. As a result I sometimes suffer in silence and isolation even in a crowded room.
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I know that eventually things will change. I really want to become more open to talking to people and making friends but I have allowed fear to keep me paralyzed in that area. I just got a new sponsor and even asking him to sponsor me took some time. I am tired of feeling like I am not making progress and I look forward to doing some work in this area.

Progress not perfection
One day, hour or minute at a time.
This is my process, it is not a race and I am in competition with no one.

OBSESSIONS, COMPULSIONS AND CHARACTER DEFECTS

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I have just learned about my obsessive and compulsive behavior only a couple of 24’s ago. I didn’t understand when I was using why I couldn’t stop thinking about it or why I continued to use knowing the consequences of my actions. Thanks to the process of recovery. I am beginning to get an understanding.

Now that I understand a little about obsession and compulsion I am noticing those behaviors in other areas of my life. I can no longer blame the drugs or blame anyone for my behavior. It has become painfully obvious that the problem lies within me.

My last bout with obsession and compulsion had me searching for love in all the wrong places. Banging my head against the wall and blaming others for my unhappiness. Getting involved in relationships that I had no business being in and feeling not worthy in the end balled up wondering why me, why am I here again. Only to repeat it the minute someone shows an interest.

Low self esteem and still having feelings of wanting to fit in have plagued me lately. I have to resolve those old issues and build my own self worth and love of self. I have to stop looking outside for what can only be found inside of me. Until I do I will never be able to fully commit and have a healthy relationship with anyone.

I am grateful that I no longer have the need to always be right, to beat myself up or to run, duck, hide and quit when the going gets tough. When I make mistakes or when I repeat something because I haven’t quite learned the lesson yet.

I have found the strength to let go of obsessing over people. Just for today I am concentrating on me. I am looking forward to doing the work necessary to grow. I know that I can be my biggest cheerleader and also my worse critic and my worse enemy. But as long as I continue to show up. I know I will grow up.

I will put down the bat and pick up the feather. Focus on what needs to be done and not on my need for instant gratification.

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

STOP TRYING TO FIX IT.

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When I read this quote it hit me hard. It made me realize that I have been chasing after something that I will never get back. It was a once in a lifetime shot thats gone.

It takes me back to my active addiction. For years chasing a high that I would never be able to duplicate. Chasing after a dream that would never become a reality. Trying so hard but always falling short. Yet and still trying anyway.

In recovery we equate insanity with doing the same things, expecting different results. I always looked at that as meaning my life in my addiction. Using drugs with the hope that this time would be different. I am beginning to realize that insanity is not only referring to my active addiction. Insanity still manifests itself in my life in recovery.

Insanity is still active in certain areas of my life. It’s just showing up in different ways. It all has to do with my thinking and my using. Not using drugs but using people, places, things and situations. Addiction is cunning, baffling, insidious and insistent. It never stops trying to find ways and means to make me destroy myself.

One way or another it doesn’t want me to be happy. It wants me dead but will settle for me being miserable. I have to be on constant lookout for signs. Attitudes and behavioral changes. Its a never ending battle.

Letting go is easy, not taking it back is where I struggle. I try to damn hard to have a peaceful existence with myself and others. Trying to manipulate situations for favorable outcomes. Especially in relationships. I need to let go. Its broken and I will not try any longer to fix it.

I will fall back, stay in position for the blessings that are coming and stop trying to create own.

Peace and Blessings

Eric Ease

UP, DOWN AND ALL AROUND.

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I am all over the place emotionally. One minute I’m up the next I’m down. I am having difficulty letting go of a situation that I have no control over. I let go only to pick it back up and go through the hopeless feelings again.

All the while I know deep down inside that in the long run I will be alright. I cannot stand the feelings of worry and impending doom that I am feeling. I know that if I surrender and just continue to do my best that all will be well.
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So why am I struggling with surrendering. Why do I continue to plot, scheme and try to figure out ways to get around this situation. Rather than just let be what will be. I know that its just me wanting what I want when I want it. I still struggle with wanting instant gratification.

This too shall pass. Not in my time but in time.

Peace and Blessings

Eric Ease

GIVING THANKS

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Today I recognize and am thankful for those members who loved me when I was unable to love myself. Those members who believed in me and supported me when I kept relapsing. No matter how many times I went back out, they remained supportive and kept telling me to keep coming back.

It was that unconditional love that kept me hopeful. I remember the feeling of utter hopelessness that I had when I was struggling to stay clean. Each time that I relapsed I felt like I would never ever be able to stay clean. It was a very depressing time in my life.

I didn’t believe in myself, I struggled with believing in a higher power and I had very little faith. I received shots of hope from members of the fellowship that had been down this same road. Those members that knew from experience what it felt like to relapse. They knew what I was going through and when they shared their stories with me it gave me hope that I too could stay clean.

Eventually everything that they shared with me became a reality for me. I became sick and tired of using and I was able to surrender. I was able to admit my powerlessness and the unmanageability of my life became crystal clear. I began to see the importance of meetings and sharing my feelings. Especially those feelings of wanting to use.

The longer I stayed the more I began to realize change was happening. My thinking was becoming a little clearer, my attitude was becoming more positive. I was becoming more  hopeful and my behavior started to reflect that. My belief in a higher power was renewed and in turn my belief in myself began to grow.
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I am for ever grateful that I was guided to and am being guided through this life saving process. Had it not been for the members of Narcotics Anonymous I would surely be in jail, some other institution. Or
I WOULD BE DEAD!

If you are reading this and you are struggling with staying clean. Just know that you can get clean and stay clean. Find those people that believe in you and want to help you in your process. Support is what got me through. If I can do it after using for almost 40 years so can you. I am here for you. Feel free to use the contact me link right here on my blog. I believe in you.

Recovery Is Possible.

Peace and Blessings

Eric Ease

BEING GRATEFUL, EVEN IN THE STORM

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I could never understand what being grateful even in a storm meant. I heard people say it’s easy to be grateful when everything is going good. But are you still as grateful when you are going through something.

It really takes faith and a strength not my own to be grateful when everything around me seems to be going to shit. On most days I can find something to be grateful for. Then there are those days that I find myself entertaining those negative thoughts.

Strength comes in many different forms. And can show up when I least expect it. I never thought of myself as having the strength needed to stay clean but surprised myself daily as I celebrated clean time. From 30 days, 1 year , 18 months. I began to realize that I did have the strength and I began to wonder where it came from.

I know that there’s a power at work in my life that is greater than I could ever be and is responsible for guiding me on this journey in recovery. Left to my own devices I don’t think I would’ve made it this far nor would I have the willingness to continue on.

I am grateful that I am learning how to trust in things that I have yet to see. Things that I can just feel inside. I truly believe that what I am experiencing right now is a spiritual awakening. I have a belief that everything will be alright. Even though it doesn’t look like there’s a light at the end of this tunnel. Even though at times I cannot see it. I know that it’s there.
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I am learning the consequences of my actions with this storm. I am learning to be responsible for my responsibilities. I am grateful for the opportunity to grow from it.

Peace and Blessings

Eric Ease

WHAT’S SO DIFFERENT

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I have to admit that although I know I have changed and I am very grateful for my life in recovery. I am struggling right now financially. It is starting to take a toll on my spirit.

Not too long ago, I spent every dime using and finding the ways and means to get more. My whole life I spent more money than I had chasing after a high I would never be able to duplicate.

I remember working all week only to get paid on Friday and be broke by Friday night. I was caught in a vicious cycle that repeated itself over and over for years. Having to go through the week broke wasn’t a good look. Sad as it was that was my life.

Today clean and living a program of recovery. I find myself back in that same boat, under different circumstances. I no longer give all my money to drug dealers and tricks. Today I give all my money to bills and bill collectors. Its the same gang just in a different setting.

They both don’t care that I spend all money. They both will live on if I decide not to spend my money with them. Unlike with the drug dealers, if I decide not to be responsible and pay my bills I am the only one who will suffer from the affects. I know this from experience because thats the reason I am suffering now.

My addiction would l Iike for me to think that I am wasting my time. That this will never end but only get worse. It would love to make me believe that I work for it and I should be able to spend it any damn way I please.
My addiction
(my own thinking) is my worse enemy. It can be so convincing, cunning and insistent.

Sometimes I wonder What’s so different now. I am right back where I was, but without the drugs. My life is still a mess but without the drugs. I am still suffering, but without the drugs. So what’s so different.
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The difference is.
I am clean. I am becoming responsible for my actions and being held accountable for my responsibilities. I am dealing with life on life’s terms not on my terms.The suffering that I am facing is not the same. There is no comparison. I have tools to deal with adversity and ways and means to get through anything obstacles that I face.
WITHOUT THE DRUGS.

I am experiencing what I have heard others in recovery say. Life is good and then it gets real. I am grateful for those who have walked this path before me. It lets me know that no matter what happens in my life. I can get through it and gain strength from it.
THIS TOO SHALL PASS

Peace and Blessings

Eric Ease