THE DARKNESS OF DENIAL

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Being in recovery has afforded me many opportunities. One of them is to be able to think a little clearer. I have been doing some work in this process and I am beginning to be able to sort through some of the mess and confusion. By beginning to take a look at myself I realize just how deep in denial I was about many things.

The darkness of denial kept me from facing what everyone else around me seemed to already know. I am amazed at how cunning the disease of addiction is. It had me believing for years that nothing was wrong with me. Even when every ounce of evidence told me that there was. I pointed the finger at everything and anything I could. I blamed people, places and things, situations and circumstances. There was no way anything was my fault and there definitely wasn’t anything wrong with me. My life was just fine.

Going to jails and institutions were just my bad luck. Getting fired from jobs was their fault and their loss. Don’t they know who I am. Living in the darkness of denial for so long had me believing I was something I was not. It led me to turn into something I was not. The darkness consumed me and eventually took over. The truth was buried so far down that it was destined to never be discovered.

I believed that I would never change. I believed that I would die eventually but I still couldn’t see that there was a way out. I denied that I was worth saving. I denied any attempt that anyone ever made to help me. I just couldn’t see the truth. The lies and inability to accept the truth even when deep down I knew kept me stuck in a cycle of viciousness and chaos.

Years later I was finally able to admit that I had a problem. But admitting it and doing something about it would prove to be a difficult task. Eventually the pain out weighed everything. I could no longer escape the facts. I wanted out of this mess. I was ready to end the madness that was my life. The darkness was no longer serving it’s purpose. It could no longer protect me. I was desperate, lonely and fractured beyond recognition.
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Devine intervention led me out of that dark place. I was brought to the light by my truth. By my acceptance and a willingness to get honest about my problem. I found a way out without having to end my life. But by actually surrendering. Learning to Listen and take suggestions and to try something new regardless of the fear I am feeling.

I am not all of a sudden cured and my life is not suddenly magically delicious. No by a long shot. I suffer from a disease that will continue to try to cause havoc in my life. It will continue to chase me down and try to get me back into the darkness. I know this and I fight to maintain on a daily basis. All I have to do is survive today. Tomorrow is not here yet, and yesterday is gone.

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.

SHOW MYSELF SOME LOVE

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In your own life it’s important to know how spectacular you are.  You really have to look in the mirror and be kind.  Because what we see in the mirror is often what we see in the world.  Our disappointment in others often reflects our disappointment in ourselves.  Our acceptance of others often reflects our acceptance of ourselves.  Our ability to see potential in others often reflects our ability to see potential in ourselves.  Our patience with others often reflects our patience with ourselves.  You get the idea – you’ve got to show yourself some love first and foremost.

From
Marc and Angel Hack Life

CHANGE COMES FROM WITHIN

Looking back on the last couple of years I am grateful for my recovery process. I have made some major changes in the way that I live and I have grown as a result. In order for you to understand where I am today, I have to give you some background on where I have come from.

I started on my road to addiction back in 1978 I was 12 years old and I was already a alcoholic. I had my first drink somewhere around the age of 9 or 10 but It was in full swing by the time I reached 12. No matter how hard my mother tried I could not and would not stop drinking, I had to drink and all I wanted to do was drink. Needless to say drinking led to many problems and my drug use excalated to a variety of other illegal drugs. I used everything and anything and when it was gone I still wanted more. My life revolved around using and getting and using more. I had lost all hope and believed that I would die a addict.

obsession – the domination of one’s thoughts or feelings by a persistent idea,image, desire, etc.                               compulsion – a strong, usually irresistible impulse to perform an act,especially one that is irrational or contrary to one’s will.

I was suffering from obsession and compulsion long before my addiction to drinking but I didn’t know anything about obsession and compulsion back then. I only learned about it recently in recovery and it helped to explain a lot of things.

I was at a point where I just couldn’t take it anymore. I tried unsuccessfully many times to quit using and was ready to try anything. I came into recovery back in 2011 after using and abusing drugs for over 37 years. Although I knew that I needed help with my addiction I still chose to hang around people, places and things and as a result of that I continued to use. It took a few more whippings for me to finally understand that I could not use and win. That using was not the answer to anything and that If I continued to use, I would die.

I went in and out of recovery for a couple of years and then finally surrendered. I remembered thinking that surrender was for suckers. That I would never give up or be a quitter. That attitude almost killed me. Today I know different. I know that in order for me to win, I had to quit. I had to change in order to survive.

Change was new, different and scary. But it was oh so necessary. I did the same things over and over for the majority of my life. I suffered the consequences of that vicious cycle for years. The fear of trying something new kept me stuck in that cycle but something deep down inside me knew that I was at the end of my rope and if I didn’t do something different I would definetly die as a result of my drug use. I made myself a deal, I would try one last time and if it didn’t work then I would go away to a treatment facility so I could get a jump start on gathering some clean time. This time around it was different, I was different. I had a urgency to stay clean. I had the desire and the willingness to do whatever it took to stay away from drugs. I wanted what others in recovery had and so I had to do what others in recovery were doing.

I began by paying attention and participating in the meetings that I was attending. I took the suggestions of members who had substantial clean time and were working the program sucessfully. I began to notice before long that I was accumulating some clean time. I was finally able to string together more than 3 days. My attitude and behavior began to change and I was open to new things. I began to feel, act, talk and behave differently and as a result I began to think different. I began to feel comfortable around other people and no longer felt like a lonely outsider. I was a part of something and it felt great.

All my life I felt like I didn’t belong and now I finally found somewhere that I did belong. People welcomed me and actually wanted me to be around, They wanted to know how I was doing and really listened when I spoke. I kept coming back and I am still a part of. I changed the people, places and things and my life began to change. I am growing every day from the inside out. I am beginning to learn who the real me is, what I like, what I do not like. I am learning that no matter what happens in my daily life, there is no reason for me to use drugs. My life has done a complete 360 as a direct result of making some changes. I am still growing and learning and I will for the rest of my days. I am forever grateful for this amazing life saving process called recovery.

My name is Eric Ease. I am a grateful recovering addict. I have 18 months and 2 weeks and 3 days clean.

Peace and Blessings

Eric Ease