Hi my name is Jaime and this is my blog, Keeping it Sober. I hope one day to be a professional blogger, as in wake up every morning, slide my black ankle socks down my smooth hardwood hallway and press start, to my Café Du Monde, brewing in a $29 coffee maker. Then tip-tap on my keyboard, strap on my readers, and solve life’s most baffling mysteries known to human kind. And get paid for it.
However for now, my name is Jaime and this is my blog, Keeping it Sober. Today is the first day my wife has opened up all the windows and doors to the house. I really should be asleep, but I couldn’t trade out a few hours in bed during the most beautiful day of November. I’ll cat nap tonight at work here and there.
This is a addiction recovery blog. But, I have realized a few things that involves every one of us, not just people in recovery. Like humor. Humor is in everyone’s heart. We must find the humor in good times and bad times. We all must laugh, even if it’s at ourselves once in awhile. Second we must listen. Listen to what “we” are really saying. Or yelling. Or crying. Or asking. Stop and listen, ask questions, find out how you can help. And last, which is the real challenge once getting sober, and I use that term loosely, is living your brand new life, sober around normal people. Just like the rest of the world.
To talk a little more on the, real challenge, of sobriety for me its the daily grind of life, new experiences, my past, the what-if’s, trying to move forward and asking myself daily, is being sober enough? Recovery for me is the constant reminder that I’m an addict and will that thought ever go away?
I do know one thing for sure, I can only handle what is right in front of me no matter how hard I try to figure out life’s problem’s all at once.
So I am glad you are here, let’s share and solve the problems of today so we stay sober tomorrow…..or something like that!
Hey everyone, yeah it’s been awhile! We get sober and all of sudden life becomes busy! However we can’t let it become to busy, sobriety first!
So for those who do not know, I work at a South Texas treatment center and I came up with 5 items that will increase your chances of staying, thus increase your recovery. The idea is to fill comfortable as much as possible, because recovery is about feeling uncomfortable. Really uncomfortable, at least early.
And as promised on the podcast, I talk about how recently I had to have one of those, “Babe, I need to tell you something,” talks with my wife even at neatly 3 years of sobriety! Some behaviors will never change!
So, I took out a credit card, and purposely kept it from my wife. My thinking, (and that itself should of raised a red flag) was a little extra during the weeks I do not get paid would really help out. I did and have only used the card for gas and oil changes. But yes, there was a big part that was my addiction and impulsive behavior that filled whatever void I had, the moment I started to sneak around a apply for the card online! As an addict, it’s the extreme rush that goes through my body whenever I’m doing something that I’m not suppose to do, that gets me to the point of making bad decisions.
So my mentor, which is a guy in the program that I talk to a lot, suggested I tell my wife. Not later, not tomorrow, but right away. So I did, a day later of course!
So I told her, “I got a card out and I purposely hid it from you.” My wife is the “fine printing reading type of gal” so the first thing she said was let me see the terms. And yes, of course it was a very bad interest rate. So we talked, and am allowed to keep it, if I pay off the entire amount so I wont get interest.
But here’s the moral, and my mentor brought this up. It’s not just me, that my decisions are effecting, it’s my family, my kids. It’s our future life together. And if I can stop being selfish for one second before I make a decision, an remember that its not all about me, I can probably be able to build a great future for my family.
So here are the “Five Items You Must Take To Treatment,” that will increase your chances of staying and recovering:
Your Pillow. Everyone has a favorite pillow. And it sounds “kid-like” but trust me, when your in an unfamiliar room, on a unfamiliar bed, sober, your going to hug that pillow like your life depends on it, and maybe it does.
A Short List of Phone Numbers. If your treatment center is, how can I put this, worth a dam, you should not be allowed your cell phone. So write down some important emergency number and 1 person, a friend you can talk to and trust. Keep this list short, 1-3 number should be all. You there to focus on your treatment, all outside issues you did not care about anyway while you were using and drinking can wait. This is your life we’re talking about.
Sweets. In early recovery, and I’m talking days in, I could never have to many sweets to satisfy my vice cravings. I needed something to put in my body, that gave me some kind of pleasure. Sweets, not healthy now, but healthy in your first few weeks in recovery.
Hy-gene and Detergent. I don’t know about you, but when I went into treatment was exactly planned. And my toothbrush and laundry detergent was not exactly on my top things to get list on my way in.
A Journal. Easily the most therapeutic item EVER! Journaling is POWERFUL. I still go back and read my excerpts from treatment whenever I need a quick fix of my thinking. It’s amazing reading about the person I was, compared to myself now. Plus you can blog about it later!
So, if your thinking about treatment for yourself or a loved one, go ahead and get these items ready to go. Call ahead to the treatment center and ask for a list of what you can take or not. Chances are “going to treatment” is going to be split second decision, so you have these things ready, the better your chances of staying, thus, a better chance of recovery.
So even in recovery, my wife an I live paycheck-to-paycheck. I know, life is suppose to be perfect once the drugs and alcohol go away, however we now know that is not the case. However, our life is manageable a far distant way than what it use to be like.
Here’s the deal, my wife and I get paid on the same weekend, so extra cash during the weekends we don’t get paid would be great! So I tried a lot of things. Some “get-rich-quick” projects, and some online stuff. But nothing really worked out until now. And it was all right in front my nose the entire time!
So these are the five things I did to help me earn some extra cash!
First things first, Identify what “extra cash” actually means:
So what does “extra cash” really mean? Put a price tag on it. I’m doing mine by the month. So I figured and extra $300 split between the weeks I do not get paid would give me a brief cushion. Set your price tag so that you have a visual number you can work with.
2. Start with you smartphone:
As I shuffled around my computer desk, I was playing chess with unopened packages from Ebay and Amazon. There was literally books and small merchandise that arrived days, weeks and even months ago that I have not even opened. All this can be traced back being bored and playing with my phone. So get rid of the apps. Make it harder for you to do feel good or boredom smartphone shopping. Take the convenience away and that alone will save you money.
3. Go a step further:
So you are off to a great start! However if you’re like me, no access from the smartphone, no problemo! A desktop is usually five feet away! So, in lieu of the greatest discovering known to man, delete your card info from your online shopping accounts. Again, take away the convenience, make it harder to buy something and odds are, you will probably realize you do not really need it, while you’re looking for your wallet. Now I know this is difficult, so do one or two at a time, and the rest will flow as you begin to see the difference in your bank account!
4. Check your auto-renewals:
So for the cards you didn’t take off, go to account settings and change the automatic renewal to off. On one my sites, I saved $54 on canceling subscriptions that I don’t even need or use anymore. Now I know it’s only $54, but think of it this way, $54 minus your goal of $300, is $246! It’s a small difference, but they add up quick, as I’ll show you in a bit.
5. Make 1 sacrifice:
Earning extra cash, takes a little of work as well. Either physical or budget wise. So I looked over my monthly bills and gave up the weekend newspaper, that I receive. Another 17 bucks I can knock off my goal of $300. I also picked up a radio gig, (3 hours for $100) and sacrificed 1 off day for overtime at work, ($120). I did this because after of countless attempts to earn extra cash I can use half that time and energy and just work 1 extra day a month for a guaranteed extra income.
So let’s tally shall we:
My goal per month is an extra $300. I saved $54 from my auto-renewals which brings my goal down to $246. Then I saved $17 when I canceled my newspaper account which now brings my total goal to $229. My radio gig, (which won’t be there every month) knocks off $100. So at $129, one day of overtime at work per month will bring my goal of $300 extra a month down to $9. Not to shabby!
The key here is to make value adjustments to your daily life and you can reach your monthly goal without having to start a whole entire business or work crazy hours at work. Saving money is just as good as earning it, and I promise you there cut backs, cancellations and other things you can do today, to earn you extra cash tomorrow!
So I’ve been watching recorded shows of, “Intervention” and it never fails. The person decides to get help, (trigger tear jerking music), then swept away to some resort in a “galaxy” far, far, away! Seconds later, they do like a 90 day follow up interview where the person is so so so thankful for their new found life and “in-debt” to the counselor for ever and ever. Then the screen go black:
Two days later Kamisha leaves the treatment center and relapse. Whereabouts unknown.
It baffles me on what goes on in the mind of an addict, the next 48 hours! And it happens every freak’in show! I don’t know, I see clients all the time leave the treatment facility and we get a call back hours later that they’ve already relapsed. I know I shouldn’t be shocked!
I just want to know, what (as staff, and an addict myself) we could have done different? Clearly we’re missing something.
Either way, have a great weekend, “Keep it sober,” and If you haven’t listened to my podcast go check it out if you get a second!
I read an email yesterday, at the treatment center I work at, from a former client who completed the program two months ago. The client thanked their counselor for helping them get sober. However it was the next line that really hit home to me.
I am paraphrasing but this was the main point:
“…I now realize sobriety has nothing to do with drinking and using….and everything to do with me…It’s exciting as I travel along, after so many years of who I thought I was, only to now begin to see the real me…
Imagine starting your life completely over, and the first person you meet, is the “real you!” Just think about that for a second.
Think about your entirely new life, I mean how exciting is that! I promise you, if you hold on long enough, you will get to that point in sobriety where life in it’s simplest form, will be so exciting that you can’t wait to see what the next day unfolds!
But you have to hold on. You have to stay sober. You have to do the work. You can not use or drink. Your going to feel really uncomfortable at times. You have to make tough decisions and commit to change.
I don’t know, it might just be me. But recovery, sobriety and the fellowship changed my life that was at it’s last breathe. And it sucked at first, and some days it still sucked. But learning about who I really am after 23 years of drinking and using is an amazing feeling that I hope you get to experience.
So I got inspired to write by another blogger. She’s back at “day 1” again. I think that’s how I have been feeling lately. Like “day 1.” Lately I’ve been grinding. Me and my coffee, are on the grind. Haven’t been to a meeting in over a week, closer to two, (that’s like a death sentence to this addict). I have not talk to my sponsor nor a member of the fellowship. Haven’t connected to my higher power in a few days and no service work. Yup, I’m grinding.
It’s just the “silence” lately has been driving crazy. The fact that my life isn’t crazy is driving me crazy. Everything is great in my life, and it’s driving me crazy. So I grind away. I grind, and grind. And grind some more.
The need to self-implode saturated my finger tips. It waters my mouth. It races my mind. The need to compulsively and physically to make a move eats at my stomach. And eats. And eats.
However, this isn’t my first rodeo. I know it’s my disease. I know what will happen if I use or drink. So the only thing I’m doing right, during the “grind” is the only thing I need to do perfect. And that’s not doing anything.
In this episode I prove why you should never create a podcast after a 12 hour shift! But hey, I had to get one in! So I talk about recent relapse’s, tips on podcasting and holding on to your sobriety, the summer is almost over!
I work detox and admissions at addiction treatment center for those of you that do not know. It is actually the very treatment center that I went to three times in order to finally gain the thirty something months I have of sobriety.
All names person’s, places and things have been changed to protect our fellowship and traditions of those in recovery. (Plus my ass can get fired!)
Hispanic, mid thirties. Long black straight black hair. She was in cabin #1, with three other women. She isolated a lot and slept on the couch, however was always open to me and the nurse’s. She loved to stay up late at the smoke shack. Myself along with other staff, had some really in-dept late night conversations with her. She really got it, she really understood what she had to do to stay sober. She also felt like if she were to relapse, she would die. One of her roommates, Jane, got her a going away card, and we all signed it. The day she left, I was not there, but I did sign the card.
Less than 24 hours we got the call. Mrs. Loudolf was actually calling from her office. She got her days mixed up, and thought she worked, but she didn’t. However, she lost her cell phone anyway, and used her work phone to call us. She could not tell us what happened, because she blacked out. She was crying and wanted back in the treatment center. We didn’t have a bed available. No one has heard from her since.
Is back. When I walked into the admissions office, we both shared a chuckle. His last night here he got caught in back of one of the cabins with a female client. He gave staff a hard time about it too. So I asked him what happen.
David P. along with a handful of other clients that he met here, apparently said, “screw it” and went to a strip club and relapsed. They hooked up with other female clients that were out, and ended up in a hotel room. He got kicked out of his sober living home, so moved in with a client he met in treatment, where there was a 24 hour party. It was one bedroom with about five people living there. David P. eventually got kicked out because the owner of the apartment suspected him of stealing heroin, which David P. said he didn’t. His last run, was selling his blood, to be able to buy heroin and meth. With no phone, truck or money, he came back to treatment and says he’s ready now. A few days late, I read the treatment center staff email, and David P. is already in trouble, on the verge of getting kicked out.
Steven M. stayed the entire 30 days in treatment. Being a nurse, he actually saved one of the other client’s life, by administrating CPR, when one the client fell to the ground during a off-campus meeting. He was here for a reason, things made sense. Steven M. was ready to start his new sober life, get his nursing license back, and help others.
Steven M.’s mother found him overdosed on the bathroom floor about a month ago. He didn’t make it back to treatment. He died. Heroin.
These story’s are true and not made up. However the reality is, that these stories will not get us or keep sober.
So I had really great time in Tucsan, Arizona and can’t wait to get the Podcast out. Hopefully this weekend I will get time to record. I have really cool story to tell on “making amends.” In which my cast is to my 18 year old daughter. So that Podcast should be out hopefully early next week.
In other news, I had crazy intense “relapse dream” last night. I woke up in a cold sweat and actually thought I had relapsed. I had to move my arm over and touch my wife before I realized it was only a dream. However it was so real, and the worst dream ever! All part of the deal, I guess.
I also wanted to show you this amazing picture that my daughter took of the mountains that surround Tuscan actually on fire! From what I hear the fire is out, but it’s actually a beautiful site!
Tonight I’m back at work, I got a brutal schedule coming up but all worth it. I just going to have to work with what I got and try to get these Podcast