Photo Diary of My Recovery Today

Port A Shoreline

On my birthday I spent the day at the beach with a couple of friends. I did miss being at home with my wife but I did have a relaxing day just being present and mindful of my surroundings. There is something about the beach and the ocean that gives me a sense of serenity and purpose.

 

 

 

In my addiction my wife and I would argue all the time. One time I took off

Moving Pier

to the pier just to get away however I was literally there only an hour as I could not go another second without drugs. However when I walked the pier this time I was sober and clear headed.

 

 

 

 

 

Waves

 

I guess it’s the sense of “hope” that I feel when the waves crash into the shore. No matter how big or small, each wave has purpose and gives with each thrust, instead of taking away. It all depends on perception.

 

 

 

 

This was the sky the other night right before a huge thunderstorm struck south Texas. The funny thing is that it was so beautiful and it felt amazing outside. It was peaceful and the only thing you could here was the wind blowing, moving the sky right over me.

 

 

 

 

 

Beach Feet

 

One thing I still struggle with is being present. Don’t dwell on the past or jump to the future. Be where your feet are, and your day will go better!

 

 

 

 

 

And of course, anytime is a good time for coffee!

Hope

 

 

 

 

Last there is hope. Without hope, I have nothing. Hope is what motivated me to get sober. Everything I do and share about my personal recovery is to give someone hope, that they can get sober and live a healthy life.

“Do not dwell on the past, or shut the door on it…”

I’m not going to say the wine bottles in the fridge didn’t bother me, but I know for sure that I wasn’t in any danger of drinking them. And it’s funny how I just described what a normal person would consider a “sip” or even a “glass” my addicted mind went straight for “them.” As in all of “them.” Yes for a few seconds I entertained drinking all the bottles of wine in the fridge me wife had put away for the baby shower.

If I were to look back at the beginning of the week, I would suggest it started with driving by the bar down the street. It’s not so much it was the place that I would always go to because I go walk home if I had to, it was more that the bar opens up early. Like 8am early. And to see people drinking on the patio as I drive by to take that left on the way to work, I get a little jealous if I let it.

Work was actually fine this week. I look forward to the hour long drives to and from. I find it therapeutic. However like anything else, it can get to me if I let it. But this week,  I was good.

At home after work I’ve been working on the back house getting it ready and livable. But the back house is where it all went down. The 24 hour drugs and alcohol binges. They lasted for weeks. And I was always painting and grouting or trying to build something. And the smell of paint and caulking along with the smell of a freshly cut piece of 2×4, triggered the substance that I used for my solution to all my problems for the past 17 years.

So by Friday afternoon, mentally I was in a bad spot. Stubborn not to hit a meeting or call someone about the stuff that going on in my head. So like they say, a relapse starts way early, the actually physical relapse it actually comes in the end. But then there’s the kicker, the last thing that pushes you overboard.

For me it was physical work. Carrying in these huge, and I mean huge 45 case water bottles. There was like a million of them. You see, my thing is, I don’t want to have to come home and physically work. It’s just my thing.

So that night, the day before my wife’s baby shower I opened the fridge to see bottles of wine. In a packed fridge with all this food and pastries for all the guest the next day, all I saw was the wine. And in my mind, the thought of within a few seconds I could be totally fucked up. Everything I worked didn’t matter. The four years sober didn’t matter. My family didn’t matter. My son who hasn’t been born yet didn’t matter. Graduate school, my job, my broadcasting gig, none of it mattered.

The one thing that did matter, or that had have mattered because obviously I sitting here typing still over four years sober, is that my life would go back to that miserable, hopeless and emotionally painful point in time, where I didn’t want to live anymore.

And that’s what kept me sober.

Permission to Let Go

Love this!!!!

BeautyBeyondBones

Well, I just finished my book.

I’ll hold for applause.

Juuuuuust kidding. 🙂 Although, it is exciting, and I did a little happy dance last night to some Broadway show tunes to commemorate the occasion.

giphy

But it’s been really interesting to have to go back. To put myself back in that place, ten years ago, when I was going to inpatient for my anorexia. Which, wouldn’t you know, upon my entrance, I was in denial that I even had an eating disorder at all, and was adamant that I wasn’tanorexic.

And as I’ve been writing, I’ve realized just how much I am not that girl anymore. I can barely even recognize myself. And I’m not just talking about the glaringly obvious physical transformation. The truth is, I barely recognize my heart.

But it’s been really powerful – and monstrously difficult – to mentally go back and…

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Read This if You Think Alcoholism is a Choice.

Really good information!!!!

One Day At a Time, This is Enough.

Hey, friends!  Happy Easter! I hope you all are spending time with your families and enjoying beautiful weather, wherever you are!  For those of you who read my post about me dreading going to my first family function since I started telling people that I am living a sober lifestyle, it went SO much better than expected.  My cousins even asked me to go see Beauty and The Beast four wheelerwith them on Thursday.  They haven’t asked me to do something with them in years.  Being around the alcohol was slightly annoying, but I let out the stress on the four-wheeler!  And yes, I stayed sober and did not pick up a single drink!

So, I guess its time to put my two degrees to work.  Some people think that alcoholism is not a disease, but I beg to differ.  Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but I ask…

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Moving Forward: What Needs to Happen When the Addiction Treatment is Completed

Love this article, it’s so important for people to have a plan once out of treatment!

800 Recovery Hub Blog

Addiction Treatment is Over – Now What?

It takes a lot of guts to admit there is a substance abuse problem and begin the difficult path to getting sober and free again. Addiction treatment is a major step, but it’s not the whole process. In fact, the process will continue for the rest of your life. Here are some of the things that you need to incorporate into your daily life after the time in the rehab center is over and you are back among family, friends, and coworkers. 

Recognize That Recovery Is Ongoing

You’ve heard people say that they got over their addictions, or that they are cured. In reality, that’s not the case. What does happen is that people learn to control their addictions? 

In order to remain sober, you must understand that you have a chronic illness that must be managed for the rest of your life…

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A Million Reason’s to Use Today

A loud screeching, yet familiar yell woke me up two hours before I was suppose to wake up.

“Colt!” she yelled.

He jumped the fence at 7am. He’ll come back I thought. But the I heard the bark. Colt has a distinct bark when he has something. So I got out of bed, put on my slippers and grabbed a light jacket on the way out to 30 something degree weather. I opened the alley gate as Colt’s bark got louder and louder. And there he is, in my neighbor’s backyard. He has a skunk cornered. Again. The tail pointing straight up in the air, Colt finally comes to me after repeatedly calling his name. It’s like he has a cloud of  something awful around him following him everywhere. Instead of letting him in the house I put him in the garage. Manu and Kenny Boy start whining. I’m the worst pet owner ever.

Then it hits me. I realize on the way back in, I heard running water by the back house. Funny, I don’t remember turning on any water. Hum. But now I do remember covering all the pipes for the hard freeze except the ones at the back house. Of course.

I think about calling into work since I’ve never called into work. (Thanks Sobriety!) But no, I text Jodi and tell her I am not going to make it by 11am, I’m going to be late.

However before fixing the busted pipe, the girls have to shower. Then I kill the water. Take off the pipe. Run to the hardware store. This all takes two hours. The actual fix, 45 seconds. Of course.

I show up at work at 11:45am. My co-workers are looking at me like I’m more than 45 minutes late. I look at the schedule. I was suppose be there at 8. Oops!

We are short staffed, again. And it’s visitation day. Clients can have their family visit the treatment center. The gates open at 1pm. Nobody locked the gates. Family members are driving on campus 30 minutes early. I have to be the jerk to kick them all out. And everyone is pissed and not understanding at all, including me.

I end up in the nurse’s station that checks in all the clients family members. Everyone who I just kicked out, I have to check in. All the smiling faces! (Dark, deep sarcasm!)

I text my friend/counselor:

I have million reasons to use today.”

I went to her office and vented. She told me her very new marriage is being challenges already. Ryan tells me he hit a coyote and it fucked up his new car that he just got, because his last car got totaled when he hit a deer 2 months ago. A nurse tells me she hit a deer on the way to work and it fucked up her front end. A client tells me he’s facing 20 years for manslaughter.

I realize my problems today are nothing. I just make them something. I realize everyone has problems. Everyone is fighting some kind of addiction. Everyone has $22 in their bank account. Everyone has pipe issues during a freeze. Everyone has some kind of stress and anxiety. There is no difference and I am not special.

And the cool thing, not once did I think about using or drinking, not once.

j

Don’t Apologize For Winning

So safe_image.phpmy wife bought one of those do-it-all coffee bars for our anniversary last month. And it’s really cool because now I can grind and brew my own coffee creation! Today I tried, “iced-coffee.” I usually drink my coffee black because a few years ago I started gaining so much weight with the creamers and sugar that I had to slowly wing off until I was just drinking it black. (I swear I take everything to the extreme! #trueaddict) But yeah the iced-coffee came out pretty good and stays nice and cool in my Yeti that my kid bought me awhile back.

It’s been a weird past few days. I’ve been off work since Friday and don’t go back until Wednesday. I’ve never had 3 days off, however to have 5 days off work and all in a row is like Christmas morning! I just don’t know what I am going to do with all the time. Let’s see, so I played golf with my Dad, which was actually him showing me how to swing. Spent one of the days with my family. I got some work done on the keepingitsober.org website and I completed “List Builder’s Lab” which is an online course on how to build your email list. I know, “sober problems” it doesn’t rain, it pours! But a friend told me long ago, “don’t apologize for winning!”

PBOOK008
Free Guide!

So back to the course real quick. I purchased the List Builders Lab, an online course on how to build your email list, by Amy Porterfield. And I don’t mind giving her a “shout-out” she has an awesome knack for not only teaching you how to create, but taking action. Her course allowed me to create this really cool free guide for you, check it out! I found her podcast, which now by the way is my favorite, while listening to Pat Flynn, another online marketer, which whom I learned how to podcast from. And while I’m giving praises, Darren Rowse from ProBlogger rounds off my “Big 3” when it comes to online marketing podcasters.

Speaking of podcasters, I just released Keeping it Sober Podcast Episode #18 What is the ultimate goal in recovery with Dr. Dean Robb, from nextstagerecovey.com. I love insightful podcast interviews where you can tell yourself, “oh yeah, that makes perfect sense.” And this is one of those interviews. Dr. Robb talks about not only our ultimate goal in recovery is, but in life as well. He talks about finding out who we really are, being that we’ve hidden ourselves with all the layers and layers of addiction. I even realized why I choose to live in the house, literally right next door to the house I grew up in. To listen to the full episode click here!

Oh yeah, and by the way, I updated my bio’s on my social media accounts so if you are following me or you haven’t followed me yet, (shame on you!), go check it out!

Instagram, Twitter, Facebook

..and I’m off to a much needed meeting!

 

What is the only thing I need to do perfect today?

When the rat race in my head is in full throttle, I’ve learned to ask myself 2 questions that get me back to being present.

1. What’s really important right now?

Answer: My family, people, relationships and helping others

2. What is the only thing I need to do perfect today?

Answer: Not drink and not use.

Sounds simple, and it is. I complicate every little aspect of my life sometimes, losing the focus of what truly matters.

The movie Spun, Chris Isaak and my 3 year chip walk into a bar…(coffee)

thAbout a week ago I was sitting at Starbucks with the one person who showed up to my once a month, “How to create a podcast” group, ( I know, my life is so freakin exciting that your literally foaming at the mouth word by word), when the “Love Song” by the Cure, cover song came on. No, I’m sorry it was a Chris Isaak, “Wicked Game” cover song that came on, (I know, I can’t believe you’re following me either) and it immediately triggered my mind to find the girl who was singing it. I was like OMG, that sounds so good! So while I was ignoring the only member of the group babble on, a familiar hot flash came over me as I was searching the gallows of Itunes. 206d32ba0ba62cafad46c412791e136dThe obsession of desiring and seeking a song that would somehow make my life perfect merged with the obsession to drink and use just one more time. The taste of that “dark freedom” took my current reality back to a time where the only responsibility was no responsibility. The innocent moment of searching for a pretty cool song, quickly vaporized into a feeling of extreme urgency to watch the movie “Spun”, which for the 3 days prior to my last relapse in 2012, I obsessionally watched over and over. And over. This all happened in a period less than about 3 minutes, however it felt as if I took a trip for years.

Back in Starbucks I realized where my mind was, and where my feet actually were. Then I weighed my options. 1. I could ride the wave of old memories being that well, all they really are is thoughts. 2. I could blow off the entire ordeal and act as if nothing happened. 3. I could take action.

3 year chipI picked 3, and I texted a few members in my recovery program. At over 3 years sober, I actually had to tell someone I was in a bad place emotionally as if I was back on day 1. And for that I stayed sober another day. The morale of the story, which should really be, “Don’t go to Starbucks and listen to cover songs from Chris Isaak,” is no matter how far along you are sober, picking up the phone and calling or texting someone when your life feels a little weird can save your sobriety. And your life.

-Jaime