Tyson-Jones match-up worth every penny

I knew a Rematch was coming! By JR Valdes

The big fight was not the traditional blockbuster event Gen-Xers are use to watching. Back then, even before the “ear” incident, a Mike Tyson fight was an invitation to eat, drink, watch the fight, and then drink some more. You knew a three second fight was coming, however the excitement and anticipation leading up to the fight was what we lived for.

Photo Credit USA Today

Today my personal interest are different, not to mention our current pandemic changes the way we spend our leisure time. For starters I don’t drink or use drugs anymore. I am actually 7 years sober. I realized that activities I use to participate in back then, I do not care for today. For example barbecuing and going to the lake. I just did those things because it was an excuse to drink. Same for boxing. I never cared and still don’t care for boxing. It was just an excuse to drink back then. However, yesterday’s fight brought new perspective and possibly new family traditions.

In any other year, I would not have an interest in watching the fight. However, producers and event planners did an amazing job of providing entertainment for all generations. If you could get past Mario Lopez and the boxing ring size first impressions, you’ll find a fight card that fits everyone’s generation. I had no idea who Jake Paul was, however my 16 year-old daughter knew of the YouTube sensation. I gave a brief history on who Nate Robinson was, and had a good debate with my son-in-law about wether Robinson was worthy of three consecutive slam dunk championships, (which I say no). Endless laughter of Twitter memes, and a Snoop Dog concert that took back to my high school days, was followed by something I have not seen in awhile. A fight.

Everything for me comes down to learning to live in sobriety. That makes my reviews a little different from your traditional take. I feel Tyson flat out beat Jones, however I did mention to my wife before the announcement, “it’s going to be a draw, to set-up the rematch.” A rematch, that I do not mind paying for.

The Morning after Thanksgiving: Waking up Sober

The bacon is sizzling and the coffee is hot! No regrets about cheating on Monopoly last night but I may owe some amends! However not the amends of a Thanksgiving relapse! For me this will always be my mantra: The payoff of not drinking and using is waking up sober the morning after!

Thanksgiving Eve: To go, or not to go? Early challenges in recovery.

Thanksgiving always had a way of finding me right in the middle of an alcohol and drug induced binge. Never did I say, oh Thanksgiving is around the corner, welp I better clean up! When I finally got sober in 2013, yes it was very awkward being around family.

My first sober Thanksgiving came ten months into my recovery and honestly I have no idea how I felt about it. I would imagine I was nervous, but not about the drinking, it was more like shame of being a thirty-eight year old alcoholic and addict. My last 12 months was filled with three rehabs, two sober homes, two IOP’s, one pending divorce, and unemployed. Not exactly the small talk worthy.

Thanksgiving wasn’t my drinking scene either. It wasn’t like I would show up clean-cut with some amazing, funny story to tell about a fishing trip or a backpack adventure in Europe. I didn’t share shots and smoke cigars to all the good fortune and opportunity. Then suddenly just call it a night with warm good-byes and hugs till next year. I drank, to get completely 100% fucked up. And Thanksgiving, wasn’t that scene.

So, that’s my experience, and now I’ll put my clinician hat on as if I’m talking with one my clients. This is probably what I would say:

“You’re like fifteen seconds sober, what the fuck is wrong with you? Don’t fucking go if you think you’re going to drink. You need to remember where drinking takes people like you and me. We don’t have a few drinks and then call it a night like normal people. We take a few drinks and were off to the fucking races. A minimum three day drinking and drugging binge, same clothes, no shower, no money, everyone is looking for us, everyone is mad at us. And what do we do, we keep fucking at it. At least that’s what happens to me.”

Wether I blog as a person in recovery or a clinician, the truth is if you are an alcoholic and addict, then this is life and death for you. Early recovery, and early sobriety sometimes sucks. There is going to be some boring Friday nights. But one thing I can guarantee is that your loved one will gladly be ok with you skipping out a holiday event due to working on your recovery; rather than you relapsing.

You can literally blog from anywhere

The entire concept of being a blogger is the ability to take the perfect picture of a coffee mug, a laptop, and some sort of background that yells freedom from the sucker nine to five and post that picture to various online platforms. From beachside at The Cove at La Jolla, to your local privately-owned trendy coffee shop, or your daughter’s San Diego bathroom floor, wait what? Yup, you read that right, blogging from the bathroom floor! No, I did not relapse, thank you. However, my son is literally sitting on the toilet right now squirming his little but on the potty. Thank God for coffee and for Kuerig’s I tell myself as I sip on my hustle juice awaiting for bubba to poop. What’s on the line you ask? A trip to Chucky Cheese for him, and points scored with his mommy for me!

Sober in San Diego

I am not sure If the past two days of sleeping-in was time zone related, or I needed the rest, however my body and mind is finally adjusting to California time.

I can make a life out here, I tell myself as I take pictures on our walk up to the local corner store. I can’t make a life out here, I tell. myself as I Google the property values for San Diego.

Being a Sober Dad: The Gift of Exploring

     I grew up with Nintendo’s and VCR’s. However, I dropped them in a second to be outside. I spent countless hours playing in my backyard. Every step was adventure, and every step dared me to explore past the chain link fence into the alley. As the days pass, my courage grew, and soon I extended my daily adventures. Soon the overgrown alley would become the trail down to the creek to catch crawdads. Then eventually it led to a forest.

Today, Bubba has his tablet for watching Netflix, his iPhone 10 for watching Netflix, and my phone, for watching Netflix. I know, it’s my fault, I’m the parent. However if I say the words “outside,” Bubba will literally drop whatever he’s holding, and the next words I will hear is “choes?”

Within seconds we are both outside. I follow Bubba’s little “choes” all the way back to the fence line. On the way he manages to pick up every little stick, rock, and leaf. He has a system. He picks them up, then throws. Picks up, then throws. Every now and then he turns and ask me if I want a stick, just by saying, “stik.”

Once we hit the fence line he grabs the chain link and stares at the exact overgrown alley where I once played. We then continue down the fence line picking up every stick, rock, and leaf in our way.

From my experience, a boy needs his father, and the outdoors. The special gift of exploring is ingrained in Bubba’s two year-old brain. I can’t teach him that, it’s something that a mindful and present father should pick-up on when raising a boy. In fact, the special gift of exploring never goes away. As we get older, the terrain expands and we begin exploring this world with tainted paragdigm’s. However we never truly leave behind the authentic root of exploring the backyard. If your lucky, you get to relive it with your son.

Read More: Being a Sober Dad: The By-Product of Living a Daily Life of Sobriety

Jaime Valdes is in his 7th year in recovery from drugs and alcohol while live a daily life of sobriety. He currently works at a South Texas treatment center for substance use and mental disorder as a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor, intern. Jaime earned his Masters in Interpersonal Communication in 2019, and loves writing, melting silver, and most of all hanging out with his family.