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Archive for the ‘Recovery’ Category

Fear…

It’s easy to keep making excuses why we don’t want to do something. It’s easy to come up with different reasons why we don’t want to something. It’s easy to create stories why we don’t want to something. But the fact is that they are all excuses, reasons, and stories.

The reality of why we don’t is usually quite simple and non-complicated. The reality of why we don’t pursue options, take adventures, just jump usually falls under one answer. Usually can be labeled by one word: FEAR!

Fear can keep us from love. Fear can keep us from relationships. Fear is strong enough to keep us from taking that job we always wanted or going on the vacation we have been dreaming of. Fear is weaker than LOVE but sneakier.

Fear makes moving on, moving forward, and moving past it a hard move. Fear can bring down a person, a home, a country, the world. Fear can corrupt every logical thought with doubt, angst, and sorrow. Fear has that kind of power.

Fear, my friends, can keep you safe, guarded, and secure. Fear is a great body guard and keeper but a horrible counselor or therapist. Fear makes ice cream taste better on a lonely Saturday night and sad movies even sadder.

Fear to conclude this story is the reason I haven’t said I love you. Why I haven’t been open enough. Fear is the reason I pull back and why think I’m really strong. Fear is why ‘This’ is never good enough and I’m always searching for more.

So I’m slowly breaking that relationship, slowly I’m letting go the word. Slowly I’m growing into my own and taking ownership of my world. Slowly I’m standing firm and can only move forward. Slowly, with fear there is no other way!

One Drink…

I’ve been asked several times if dating is hard when you live a life of Recovery. At first I always said it wasn’t and for the most part I don’t think it is. But there are days when it seems harder than others. There are days when I wish I could go to a bar and have a cocktail and flirt with a cute guy.

I wish my brain would allow me to have one drink and walk away, but last I remember, I can’t do that. I can’t just have one drink, what is the point of one drink. How much can my inhibitions really be lowered with one drink. I’m pretty crazy and silly sober. I would need several drinks to get me where I want to be.

Where you ask, well, at the point where sex is just sex. You see when I was drinking sex was just sex. I repeat that because that’s how it was. Although a part of me wished that the guy I picked up would be the one to make an honest man out of me it was just that. I was a realist in the midst of my drunkness.

I knew that ‘True Love” would not be found at the bottom of a shot glass or in a condom wrapper. Stuck between the sheets or in a strangers shoes. It would be a one night stand or a couple of weeks of dating, well  meeting at the local bar for drinks, maybe some dinner and sex.

But when it came time to take it to the next level the relationship was over. You see for me, and I stress that For Me, there was no example of a Sober relationship to base a standard on. I had never until my last relationship, had a Sober relationship, and the first one was a learning process.

He helped me take the training wheels off and go off on my own. That hasn’t worked out to well. I do find myself missing drunk dating at times. Not that I would go back so don’t start worrying about finding me and dragging me to a meeting or calling my Sponsor. Just that Daniel was more open.

And I do mean sexually. I had no fear. If I was interested I would put it out there. Now I fear rejection a bit more. Not that I wasn’t rejected before just that now I feel it. That, my friends, is the hard part, the fact that I feel it even more than before. Alcohol for all the bad it was it served its purpose.

It numbed the feelings and that in the end is why I drank to hide my pain and hurt. My loneliness and anger. My tears and sadness… One, two, three, four, five drinks and I was ready to go. I miss the days when I didn’t have to feel and could lose myself in a shot of Tequila or a good Bourbon and 7… One drink!

What Has Changed…

I have been playing by the rules for over 4 years now or as close to it as I can. Keeping myself out of trouble, keeping my connection with my Higher Power, calling my Sponsor, a tight support group, changing my behaviors. Everything, or as close to it, as I can and it has kept me Clean & Sober.

I’m not really complaining, well maybe a little, but every once in a while, I want to be wild again. I want to be a little reckless and irresponsible. Forget about everything and everyone and satisfy my need for danger without being concerned for anyone. Like I was born to be wild!!!

Then I look at everything that I have accomplished in the last 4 years and I run back into the hole that I feel I’m in. I sometimes wonder is it love of Recovery or the fear of relapse that keep me in that hole. Either way I feel that I’m missing out on something, despite everything that I have accomplished.

I see my friends living out their lives being open about their sexuality, going to parties, enjoying people. I set limits and standards, I avoid to much socializing, and few people at a time. I don’t think folks would know that about me. From the outside looking in I seem right there with everyone else.

I often wonder, okay I wonder a lot, am I the only one, I’m sure not, that steps out of themselves and looks back in to analyze and review their lives. I see me sitting there on the weekend typing away, writing in my blogs (like now) or watching another show on my DVR or eating.

And I ask Sober Daniel , cause I often have conversations with myself, I ask, “What are you doing?”. And Responsible Daniel answers, “Staying home, being a good boy, waiting for a good person to date.” and Sober Daniel responds to that. “You will never find true love behind a computer you need to get out there… Now get out there!!!”

So we hug, cause in my mind Sober Daniel and Responsible Daniel are very real, we hug and we cry a little, we encourage and support each other, we laugh and we make future plans, we visualize and thank God and the Universe for all the gifts and then we all go back to eating, writing, and watching TV.

Really what changes? What has changed? Don’t be alarmed I’m not letting any of the Daniels relapse, fall off, or get down. We just ask that question a lot in our support group. When all the Daniels come together we ask, “What has changed?”

Cheers…

I have to admit that there are times when it just hits me. See, I take a walk along the boardwalk, here in Laguna Beach, then it goes up some stairs to a view point, down a path, pass a restaurant and on down the way. It leads to my favorite spot where the waves come all the way to the end of the cliff.

No, it’s not the walk that gets to me, it’s the walking past the restaurant. Yes, I’m sure I can avoid it, but that would be too easy. I don’t always do things easy. You see the wall is glass and you can see the folks in the dinning room and the patio enjoying some really nice looking Margaritas.

That is the part that gets to me sometimes, the fact that I can’t have one or rather I shouldn’t have one. I wouldn’t know how to just have one, its not in my DNA. But I do think about the days when I would sit by a beach with a Daiquiri or a cold Corona with a lime…

Let me stop before I really think I’m drinking… It was just a passing thought… Cheers…

Grant Me The Serenity…

When you sober up you never really know if, other than you, its going to help anyone else. Where or how is it appropriate to share your story other than in a group setting. Who really cares what you did in your life, other than the fellows in an AA group… Do you?

Then you meet someone who is dealing with a person that is living in their addiction and you start to recognize the person in the conversation. Sounds very familiar, the words, the actions, the reactions. It’s you, well another you, and you think or assume you know exactly how to subdue this person, this you.

Then your stories take on a whole new meaning, your stories make sense, they matter. Because now all those experiences that you went through in your addiction can help someone who is dealing with someone who is living in addiction. You are like a spy.

You are the 007 for drug and alcohol abuse. You can offer an insight that few people have. You feel for the addict and you feel for the other person. Then all those stories, all those lonely nights all those tears and heart breaks. All those shots and hits they are finally worth it!

You are helping, your drug filled, liquor fueled life has some worth. I know it was worth it before, but other addicts will get this… FOR THIS MOMENT IT WAS WORTH IT…. Right? The moment when being an addict makes all the difference in the world and you can actually help someone!!!

God grant me the Serenity…

In All My Affairs…

When you live in the world of alcoholism and drug abuse as long as I did there are certain things that you don’t have on your priority list. Traveling, parties, shopping sprees, you just learn to do without. There are more important things on your ‘To-Do’ list.

Then you clean-up, sober-up, shape-up and you realize that there are so many things that you want to do. Now that your brain is clean and clear your list changes. The  things is that some things may have been neglected and it’s gonna cost more time and money to fix them.

I’m there now and I’m scared. Not, ‘I’m running out of time and the bomb will explode’ scared. More, ‘This is my first time on this roller coaster and I don’t know what’s gonna happen’ scared. Does that even make sense? It does in my head so work with me!

Too all of you out there that are on a path of Recovery and still younger than me. It works out, in the end it always does. To those of you older than me, tell me it works out and that it always does.

I would like to go sit at a bar and have a cocktail and pretend that I’m thinking about a way out of this one. The only thing I would be doing is digging myself in tighter into a hole that’s too small for me now. How so? Well, I’m not that scared anymore.

I’ve discovered what a beauty Recovery is for me. I say “For Me”, because it’s not for everyone. So I’m gonna take what I’ve learned in Recovery and use it in all my affairs!

Do As Much As I Can…

I have this vision that God has our names on sand clocks. Each one with a different amount of sand. All of them falling and counting down our time on Earth. When all the sand is gone we pass away. Our death may be peaceful and long or dramatic and fast.

For some time now I feel like I’ve run out of sand but somehow no one has noticed. Which of course is silly because God knows everything. Or maybe my Guardian Angel has some pull in Heaven and got me some extra time to do… Well, I don’t know what but do something.

Am I the only one that thinks that? It can be… I know for sure that more than one person in the world has the same idea. Surely you must ponder on how the God, The Universe, Allah, Buddha, or whomever you pray to determines who lives longer and who dies.

Why does this come up as a topic today, well, because I had this urgency to see as many people as I could and make it home in time to beat traffic. I got to see 5 people without thinking. I noticed more folks that I know. Made it past the traffic just before rush hour.

I don’t know what one thing has to do with another, but I just feel like the sand is running  out, if it hasn’t yet and I need to get things done. If something should happen to me at least you know that I am ready. If it turns out that it’s just indigestion, well forget this post.

I just know that 2011 has so much promise, I owe my self the opportunity to do as much as I can!!!

It’s All Memories Now…

I remember as a kid the amazement that came with Christmas. You see when I was a kid we would go to Mexico for the holiday, we lived in Dallas. So as soon as the holiday hit we were off. So Santa would come to my home in Dallas and I would only get some gifts in Mexico, but those came from my family.

The big stuff, the gifts on my list were under my tree in Dallas. One year I got a train track, another a race car track, my first big bike. Those are the ones I would ask Santa for. Okay, I know it was my dad, but somehow without me knowing he would put it together and I never knew.

We always had a tree that my sister would decorate. New decorations every year with the twinkly lights. I don’t think I remember a real tree, but it was fun putting it together. Sitting by the front window of our house, facing the street. I loved to see it from the outside.

But that was then and this is now. I don’t have a tree today. Haven’t had one for the last 2 years. Mainly because I haven’t felt the Christmas spirit within me. Is it because I don’t believe in Santa, because my sister isn’t decorating the tree. Because my parents aren’t asking me what I want… Maybe all of it.

Which got me to thinking why folks are more prone to do stupid crap during the holidays. It seems that all there is to hold on to are memories. Memories aren’t strong enough to hold you up. There has to be more than that. More than memories to push through the Holiday Spirit!

You add to that my birthday is December 26 and it just calls for disaster… 3 days of celebration that I have without my family. See I have a nephew that shares my birthday, he is 20 this year and would be a great time for celebrating. But we are too far away.

So don’t get concerned, I’m just writing… Just writing to pass the time till the emotions and feeling pass so that I don’t fall into some list of statistics. Or feel the cold rim of an empty glass of liquor. Just listening to sad music while I tell the computer what to write.

Writing about Christmas past, because in the en all I have are memories now…

Derek Gilbert…

Drift Away – Uncle Kracker

Today is dedicated to my friend Derek Gilbert. He passed away December 22, 2007. 3 years ago today… I miss him.

He was a friend when I was in my addiction, we could down some shots. There was always a party when we were together.

When I went to rehab he was there for me. He would visit and bring me sodas and candy.

When I got out he was there waiting for me.

The last time I saw him was the night of my Christmas/6 Month Party.

I walked him out to his car and he gave me a hug, kissed my forehead and told me he was proud of me. I think that’s why I never miss an opportunity to tell my friends that I’m proud of them. Because that was one of the last things he told me.

The next time we talked he was on his way to see his family to visit for the holiday. He had stopped to get a couple of cheeseburgers at McDonald’s, which I bitched at him about. He was supposed to be on a diet.

The next phone call I would get from his number would be from his sister to tell me that he passed away… I was having dinner at one of our favorite restaurants.

I never got to tell him that I was proud of him… Ever.

So this post goes out to him… And in his honor I tell all my friends that I’m proud of them.

For what? I don’t know, for being alive, for being my friends, for waking up that morning… Does it really matter?

I miss you Derek, I love you and I’m proud of you!!!

Derek Gilbert - RIP - December 22, 2007

All His Fault…

So I watching “The View”, one of my favorite talk shows. Don’t judge, it gives me just the right amount of news and gossip to keep me going through out the day. Lets just say that on any given day I can tell you who has stepped down from office for a political scandal or who is a bigger star because of a scandal.

But there is, sometimes, in the midst of all the gossip and fighting some information that I can really use. Like on today’s episode, December 15, 2010. Jenny McCarthy was the guest and she came and spoke about some baby stuff. I’m on the pill so didn’t pay attention to that.

She also spoke about a woman named Byron Katie who runs this site called “The Work”. She helps you get through whatever is happening in your life. While I’m writing this I have only skimmed through the pages, but so far I’m hooked. I’m gonna keep reading.

Anyway, this is the part that got to me, and Joy Behar has spoken about it before about her divorce. There is a list that Joy and Jenny did, in their own relationship about the Ex. A list where they make a list of the things that the Ex did wrong. Then you change their name for ‘I’.

Then you can fully understand what your responsibility and part in the break-up was. I know sounds crazy because we always want to blame our Ex’s for all that went wrong. Apparently it would make it easier to move on and into another relationship. ARGH!!!

Where was this information 20 years ago when I was breaking up with my first Ex. Maybe it’s time for me to do it, but how do I go back that far along. Can I do it about my last boyfriend and take it from there? I’m just saying can I blame myself for everything I did at 20 years old?

Either way, I’m gonna read the site and see where I can move forward. I need to leave behind this neediness and dependency on a relationship. I have been complete for a long time, don’t need a partner, but would like one. Kinda like a new pair of jeans.

But why do I have to take the blame for the break-up? I can blame it on my Ex, It’s all his fault!!!