Stay Sober For The Holidays

Christmas is a few days away and I know for some of us that makes us a little nervous. However sticking to your daily schedule and having a plan has really helped me stay sober on  holidays as well as other events throughout the year. And I am interested in learning what you do to keep your sobriety in tact during these challenging times.

So I put together a really simple and quick 5 question survey to learn how I can create better content for you, as well as to get your mind thinking over the next few days!

Please click on the link and complete the quick survey and have a great sober Christmas!

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/P7FSB86

Keeping it Sober

How Can I Help You?

Hey everyone, hope all is well and sober going into this beautiful weekend! I created a quick survey, that will literally take you 30 seconds to complete, so I can write better content that you will truly value!

Happy Friday-Keeping It Sober

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/JLK3RDW

How I Stayed Sober In 2015-Newsletter

So it’s been a really great year in all aspects of my life. I started 2015 off amazing with losing 20 pounds, starting a new

Happy Holidays!
Happy Holidays!

job and creating my first podcast and website. I also tried somethings for the first time like “drum lessons” and mountain bike trail riding with my brother-in-law. Although I’m horrible at drums, at least I gave myself the opportunity to try something I’ve always wanted to try. And for me, and hopefully you, that’s what recovery is all about, picking up where we left off!

So here are few things I learned in 2015:

  1. Not just recovery & sobriety are a process, all aspects of life is a process.
  2. Sometimes you just got to work with what you got, instead waiting for the perfect moment or thing.
  3. I stopped looking for excuses to start every little endeavor over and instead, pushed through!

A few things I accomplished:

  1. My Keeping it Sober Podcast. This was super exciting. Creating something from start to finish and have full control of the music beds, (I actually created my own intro music), content, cover art, editing, producing, promoting and seeing my product available on ITunes and about 5 other audio platforms was truly amazing!
  2. My Keeping it Sober website. I literally own about 15 different domain names, all bought with the brilliant intentions of creating the world’s next million dollar website! And it didn’t turn out that way for any of them. However, keepingitsober.org I actually completed and published on the web!
  3. I’m nearly a year and counting working at a treatment center in South Texas. This is huge for a person who is constantly changing their racing thought filled mind on what I want to do in life. And really just having that option is a true miracle!

Here a few things I did not accomplish in 2015:

  1. My manuscript, still trudging it out!
  2. My eBook, I keep changing topics and titles!
  3. My health, I gained the 20 pounds back!

Here are a few things I will accomplish in 2016:

  1. Create my first eBook, ( and I have the perfect name & story!).
  2. Start a daily routine of health & meditation, again!
  3. Provide content of true value to you, through blog and podcast.

Narrowing Down My Niche

When this entire blog and podcast started, I wasn’t sure who I was talking to and which my part of my experiences I shared, would be of true value. However today my challenge has narrowed into a more of a “learning to live sober, in an unsober world! Because that’s what happened to me. After 23 years of using and drinking, it wasn’t enough to just not drink or use, I had to learn how to live and function in today society and that’s one of my my main focus now of keepingitsober.org!

One More Quick Thing

Be looking out for my new website as well as a huge announcement coming out on January 13th!

Today looking back at 2015, I can honestly say that I have learned, experience and have grown so much in my sobriety that I can see the distance between the person that was active in drugs and alcohol to a brand new person who has let go and moved on. And that’s freakin’ exciting!

Happy Holidays,

Jaime Valdes-Keeping it Sober

P.S. To sign up for my monthly newsletter for go to keepingitsober.org and sign up for free!!

Super quick, please fill out my 6 question survey that will help me provide better content for you in 2016!

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/JLK3RDW

 

 

 

Finally Sober, Eleven Items Never To Bring To Rehab & The “Call”

This week instead of writing just one blog, I though I’d post my “drafts” from the entire week!

Ok.

You got me.

I actually was driving myself crazy on what to write so I took 3 post I started (but didn’t finish) and fed them to you like high dollar steak!! HAHAHA!!! 🙂

So I was working on my website last night, by the way I have a “new look” site coming out in the new year, and started thinking. (Very RARE!) And I thought to myself, behind the podcast, blog and websites; through my weekly routines and schedules; and everyday responsibilities to the my household and family, that I am finally sober. And that’s all the really matters.

I coming up on 3 years next month, and unlike previous years I able to truly look back and see the addicted person that I am so far detached from. Everything from my thought process, to new friends and relationships have all completely changed.

Coffee first, please!
Coffee first, please!

I’m sleeping better. I mean way, way better. Im sleeping solid through the nights and doing something I have never ever done before. Sleep in. It’s really a beautiful thing when your mind is clear and not keeping you awake for every little thing.

This “new life” or “new me” is much more confident and proud. My motto of sobriety first…allows every aspect of my life to fall in place in random order, however nothing is above anything else.

For the first time ever this week, the thought of using disgusted me. That’s huge. Like  really, really huge.

 

I think I’ve almost seen everything as far as items brought into treatment that are not allowed. And sure some things have merit and seem silly not to be allowed. And there is a huge “grey area,” because rehab is not a lock down facility and people pay to be there. But just in case your item or items falls in that little grey area, I wanted to definitely make absolutely clear that these certain items that I’ve personally have come across as people admit to the center, are not allowed at rehab:

  1. Pills hidden in  your passport. (Always a big NO!)
  2. Syringes for the little baggie of cocaine you brought in.
  3. The little baggie of cocaine, itself and the cocaine.
  4. The beer, bottle or wine you drank on the way in to rehab.
  5. Duct Tape.
  6. A picture of your ex. From high school. And your 40.
  7. A T-shirt that reads, “Rehab is for quitters.”
  8. Your 15 purses and make-up bags.
  9. 23 different colored sunglasses.
  10. A BB gun.
  11. The lead guitarist for your “cover-alt band.”

    

Two mornings ago I got the call. It was truly unexpected. Unlike when JJ, hung himself and my parents drove 4 hours to prison to tell me. I sensed something was wrong when the guard yelled my name for visit, “Valdes!” My parents had just came to visit the weekend before. I felt it in my gut when I saw their faces sitting at the table, waiting for me as I sat down in front of them. Just like how I felt it when Richard was killed on New Year’s Eve and I got the “knock at the door” that Richard was missing, then later “the call.” It’s a feeling I get, all in the gut when something is horribly wrong.

However, when my wife called me back two morning ago, while I was driving back into town and even though I just hung up with her, I felt nothing when the call came in.

But then I heard her voice.

A voice I hate passionately. A voice I probably caused once or twice. A voice underneath tears. A voice that when I hear it, I brace myself for the next few words…

 

JR Valdes-KIS

Do We Have To Hit Rock Bottom?

People, places and things have been changed to protect our anonymity.

10

It’s been another crazy work week. I walked into work Sunday night and to my surprise, Kayla, the girl who I found sleeping in another girls’ bed, is still there and has not got kicked out yet. I’m actually proud of her. She had every excuse she needed plus more to leave the center and go use.

I spoke with her in the middle of the night. She couldn’t sleep and ask if we could talk. I just listened. I’m not a counselor, but I do get what she is going through. Especially after just listening. I had been in her spot before, literally. I was client there at the treatment center, I remember one night I could not sleep, I stayed talking to staff in the smoke shack, even though I don’t smoke it was a perfect setting for someone days in recovery, like myself. I always said, a fifteen minute conversation could be life changing.

As her vapor brushed across my face, she told me her brother passed away by overdose. Her girlfriend is currently in the hospital for overdosing. Although tragic, we both agreed that was not enough to keep someone sober. She squeezed her throw blanket tighter, and said, “I don’t know what to do.”

The vapor smoke and smell took me to a daze. I want to say it’s almost a trigger for me. I quickly dismissed the thought.

So what I heard from Kayla, was she not ready to stop using. I don’t know if she’s hit bottom or completely miserable yet, however in today’s world, I’m not sure we have to with all the help and awareness around. Or maybe we do. Maybe we truly can not begin recovery until we are completely tired and miserable, however how do you get to that point at only 22 years old, like Kayla?

I did not put our conversation in the shift report. I think somethings should be left between to addicts. And instead of being against, I feel I need to be for, just like how I felt when I was client there.