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.

What Would You Tell The Addicted You?

There’s this guy in group that shared about his nephews’ drinking problem.

The mother said, “He’s out of my house for good…after I get back from my vacation.”

We had fifteen people this morning, everyone sober to my knowledge. All walks, age, gender and race. However no one, not even me could give a direct answer to the guy with the drunk nephew looking for advice. I mean, the guy understands himself, we cant get anyone other than ourselves sober but how do you even get someone to listen? I know I never listened, to anyone. I would like to think that the nephew shouldn’t have to go through 20 years of addiction to finally come to some profound moment in his miserable existence that he is finally tired. I mean there is more help today for people addicted to drugs and alcohol than ever right? We shouldn’t have to lose everything. We shouldn’t have to come to an end of our life only to grab and hold on to a little tiny piece of hope, and let it carry us to some weird meeting or group.

If the sober you, could go back and speak with the “Day 1” or the “Active Disease” you, what would you say? Would you tell yourself not to be scared, or that you know for a fact that everything will be better? Or would you just give yourself support and let “Day 1” you figure stuff out on their own?

Whatever your answer, that may be the thing to tell this guy’s nephew, before he waste the next 20 years of his 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.

Keeping it Sober Podcast Episode 32- The Fear of getting Sober

I trust everyone had a good Easter. I know for me the payoff for any holiday or everyday for that matter is waking up sober. I took it to the extreme all the time, and I always felt like it wasn’t a matter of “if” it was a matter of “when” would I never wake up. However those days are long gone, not completely forgotten but I am getting there. Waking up sober is truly a miracle and blessing in my life and recovery.

So I finally got a chance to record a podcast, and in episode 32 I reflect back on the fear I felt after going back to treatment after a relapse, four years ago.  You are welcome to comment right here, or join the Keeping it Sober Facebook Page & Group to post your thoughts and comments.

Tim Tebow, Internet Radio & Where Do We Start?

Today I tested out my new Internet Radio station by broadcasting a live podcast for the Keeping it Sober Podcast. It’s really exciting for me to be able to create and configure audio equipment, streams and production. It’s crazy to think how I got to this exact point in my life were I am able to broadcast live from my house. I just can’t help but wonder if I didn’t go through addiction and recovery would I be broadcasting or even have a podcast??

Here’s Episode 29 were I talk about Tim Tebow, Internet Radio and post the question “Where do we start?”

I Am Ok With Just Being, Ok

coffeeLately it’s felt like groundhog day, the same daily grind from the second I wake up. It’s like I got sober to do the same thing over and over again. Maybe that’s what we do, repetition without reservations. How quickly the dark days hide now that the sun is shining bright. Not sure if the overcast is gone or just hidden by layers and layers of strong solid sobriety.

I heard a kid speak the other day. Complete millennial. I forgot what I had mentioned in group, but he was like, “dude, I wasn’t even born yet in ’85.” Geeze, thanks buddy! The kid with sandy hair looking like he carries his pillow on every Uber ride he goes on cashed in on some pretty good stuff. He said, “I wake up and I’m ok. I’m not happy, I’m not thrilled to be here, but just ok. But today, I’m ok with just being ok. Compared to the dark place I use to live for the past four years.” That makes perfect sense, to me and him at least. What doesn’t make sense to me is the Frisbee Golf league he’s in, that will never make sense. Millennias.

So a funny thing about that coffee cup. When I order coffee it’s has to sit for awhile before I drink it. I can’t drink steaming tongue burning coffee, that just doesn’t make any sense in my world. So when I buy coffee somewhere it is usually because I am driving a long way and such. So I buy coffee, eat, then I’m on my way out with the full cup. I’m about to push the door open, and I drop my cup. As I drop my cup, a guy walks in. The guy had absolutely no part of me dropping the cup. So I go up to the cashier, tell the kid sorry for the mess, can I buy another cup. The kid responds, that the guy just bought you one. I was like “wha what??” Told the guy thanks, he said no problem and as I walked to my car, I had this profound moment. YES! That’s what we need! Whatever “that” just was, I need to bottle it and give it to every American, so we can get a long, and have better days. This was amazing! Literally five seconds later I was honking and yelling at the truck in front of me who blocking my exit while he stood in line at the drive in. Fucking addicts. I am so screwed up in the head, I really just need to stay with the grind and coffee and mind my own business sometimes.

radioSomething really cool though, at least for me. I finally got my Internet radio station hooked up. I got in to Internet radio in college and when I graduated in 2009 it was my goal to create my own home studio. Well, didn’t work for obvious reasons, however last week, or 8 years later, its finished. It’s pretty cool. I can host live shows, have people call in, have in studio guest and it records all the shows as well. It’s probably now just going to sit there but at least it’s finally done, mission accomplished, I can go on with my life now!!! #keepingitsober

j

Hey everyone, don’t forget to check out the Podcast at keepingitsober.org

It’s Just the Super Bowl

My Super Bowl watch crew!
My Super Bowl watch crew!

Have a plan, like drive yourself to the party so you can get up and leave when you want. Host if you can, and make it no drinking in your house. Be accountable to a sober friend each quarter and halftime. And when in doubt, just watch it by yourself or not at all. It’s simply not worth it. This is our life we are talking about, compared to a game with highly overpaid, but amazingly talented athletes that will still be rich in the morning despite our relapses.

Willingness Without Action is Just Fantasy

Between you and me, the last few days have been a challenge for me. I’m not in a good place in my recovery at all. I have no idea why. It’s been one of those “as long as I don’t use or drink today then I’ll take it”, however it feels like I’m just empty inside, if that makes sense. The good news is that during these last few days drinking and using has not popped in my head at all as far as a solution. I mean, I know what to do, which basically is do nothing and let this thing ride out. But it just feels weird.

This is me when I am in a bad spot in my recovery!
This is me when I am in a bad spot in my recovery!

I know, I know its all about me right!!!

j