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!
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!
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
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:
Not just recovery & sobriety are a process, all aspects of life is a process.
Sometimes you just got to work with what you got, instead waiting for the perfect moment or thing.
I stopped looking for excuses to start every little endeavor over and instead, pushed through!
A few things I accomplished:
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!
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!
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:
My manuscript, still trudging it out!
My eBook, I keep changing topics and titles!
My health, I gained the 20 pounds back!
Here are a few things I will accomplish in 2016:
Create my first eBook, ( and I have the perfect name & story!).
Start a daily routine of health & meditation, again!
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!
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!
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!
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!