Waking up Sober the Monday after Super Bowl

 

Grrrrrrr..!

I use to be the “guy” who never missed a game no matter what. Some of it was a true and innocent passion for the “big-game” storylines and hype, while a big part of it was an excuse to drink and use. When I got sober, I stopped watching sports for the first 2 years for several reasons. First, I associated watching sports with using and drinking, second I couldn’t handle the emotional rollercoaster ride of my team barley squeezing out a win, or not winning at all. Third I didn’t like they way sports controlled me as far contributing 3 to 6 hours of watching any random day. Even though I haven’t watched a complete NFL game the entire season, (thank goodness), and my favorite team was completely horrible, (not the Browns), it doesn’t take a “super-fan” to realize what Super Bowl Fifty-two, (I think?), is all about.

The number one storyline going into the “Big-Game” this Sunday is, Who do you hate more, Tom Brady or Eagle Fans? It’s really that simple. For me, I’m a Brady fan. If the Patriots win, to me Tom will be the best-ever, (whatever that means!). I like Carson Wentz, because I broadcasted one his game while he was in North Dakota State as my university played against him, and lost against him FYI. I know Wentz isn’t playing, however through recovery it’s important for me not to take this game to seriously, no matter who wins.

Here’s my logic. If I truly believe in and accepted Step 1, then I will do things throughout my day to help my stay sober. A person like me, can not afford to get emotionally invested in something so meaningless, like the Super Bowl. I can’t watch with a bunch of people who are drinking, or skip a meeting to watch. I can’t argue about a player, team or game. Other people can, I can’t. Reason being my old coping skill for handling uncomfortable emotions was drinking. Even though this will be my fifth sober Super Bowl, and I have new kick-ass skills to deal or sit with my emotions, I’d rather not test my sobriety, no need to.

If you are concerned watching the Super Bowl because you are on “day 1,” or maybe “year 10” here is a few things to make sure you wake up sober the following Monday.

  1. Host. You can’t control what other people do at their house, but you can control the invite list and the “no alcohol” rule at your own.
  2. If you absolutely must attend, maybe your up for that promotion at work and your boss invited you to his Super Bowl Party that’s is suppose to be epic, (which I would strongly suggest don’t go even if you don’t get that promotion), go with someone that is in recovery and have an escape plan if things get uncomfortable. “My neighbor called, and my dog jumped the fence or my house is on fire,” whatever works best!
  3. Go to your local recovery club or treatment center, someone will be hosting.
  4. Watch by yourself. That’s what I love to do. Pull out the old social media account and start analyzing every play from you smart phone, that will get the conversation going so you are not completely by yourself!
  5. My favorite, go to a meeting, don’t watch or DVR it for later.

No matter what you choose, remember this is not about Tom Brady or the Eagles, this about our recovery and staying sober.

Walk Towards the Cheers…

 

 

 

…does it need to be said, does it need to be said now and does it need to be said by me?

Does it need to be said, does it need to be said now, does it need to be said by me?
Does it need to be said, does it need to be said now, does it need to be said by me?

This morning I wanted to open the email flood gates and let loose my manifesto of what my work environment should be…too much of this, not enough of that, why can’t we do things this way, that’s dumb because it wasn’t my idea and ME, ME, ME, to my boss.

I actually struggled with this last night. And brought it with me this morning. I had the email drafted in my head, with almost threat like demands! I tried be rational, realistic and worthy. Maybe I should go straight to the top, or maybe I should start directly with my supervisor. Then for the first in my life time I took a step-back.
A client once told me that his counselor told him:
…does it need to be said, does it need to be said now and does it need to be said by me?
The answer to those questions for me and my situation was no. However,  my finger was on that email trigger rubbing, teasing, tasting and feeding my compulsion to create some kind of chaos to fill a personal need of control. I need to feel important and I need to feel important now.
I don’t know what to replace that need with today, but I will not feed into. So instead of starting a rash of emails to feed my character defects, I will do nothing. Today I will leave my emptiness open for it be filled by my higher power and not my compulsion for extreme chaos.

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JR Valdes

…just let it sink in!

So I made it out to Austin, Texas today. I was promoted at work and my new job has me visiting different locations in the South Texas area. While I was here, I set up a meeting to introduce myself to my new boss. I was walking into the restaurant we choose to meet at, when it hit me.

I honestly can not believe how far in life I have progressed since 2013. I mean, my life was over, done, zero, blown-to-pieces, hopeless, a lost soul, ka-put, game over, no time left, down 1-3, the Buffalo Bills x 4, the Cleveland Browns 0-9 season, The Miracle on Ice but in reverse, Hillary Clinton and the end of VHS tapes.

I mean seriously, I was done.

I just want to let that sink for a bit…

-jrv

 

 

Recovery, Sobriety- What Are The Real Issues?

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.

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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!

Keeping it Sober my friends!

j

21 Months Sober.

Twenty-one months sober today. I did not realize it until I saw the date on the morning paper. So nearly two-years ago, my life was, well…over. That’s what it felt like. No strength, no hope, no future and no life. It was so hard to break the cycle of addiction. Unless your an addict, you have no idea.
So Ive been working on a manuscript for the past couple of years of what it was like. Pipe Dreams, which will hopefully be available as an E-Book in the next six months is such a much bigger story than the using and drinking. It takes you into the mind of an addict. It’s a love story of getting back with my family. It will inspire the addict and their loved ones, that people can recover.
The title derived from a period of my life when my wife and girls moved out. I would lock myself in the master bedroom’s bathroom, and load up my meth pipe while sitting on the toilet. One morning, I looked at my pipe, and just saw my dreams and goals going up in smoke. So, I took another hit. And I would the cloud of my dreams evaporate into thin air like a magic trick.
About three chaotic months later I woke up in treatment after a three day meth induced psychosis. And that, was just the beginning!

j

What’s your life lesson today???????

So this morning while on my paper route, this kid, maybe a young teenager, asked me to borrow my phone outside a gas station. I told him sure, make it quick, Im working.
As soon as I hand him my Iphone, my mind starts racing. Where’s his phone, everyone has a phone these days, my nine year old has had a phone for years! This is a decent side of town, why doesnt he have a phone of his own, I ask myself. Then the addict mind starts waking, he’s gonna run, he’s gonna take off and run with my Iphone! So I brace myself, I get ready for a chase and I imagine myself tackling this youngster and taking him out on the oily gas station floor. Then I hear, “Mama, can I go home, mama, Im sorry, I just wanna go home.” (Tear-drop, sniffle, tear-drop, sniffle some more)
Aaaaaand..here comes the guilt patrol! Im such a jerk, judging this kid and sizing him up because he’s young and dosent wear the clothes that I do. BUT, wait for it, the second I dont judge, my Iphone is off and running! OR, maybe Im just worried about the wrong thing, and I need to take a look at myself, instead of looking and pointing at other people.
Grrrrrrrrr…! Sometimes I hate SOBRIETY!, every little event today in life is always some dam lesson!!!

Its whatever it takes to stay I guess!

(1 year and 22 days sober after 23 years of using and drinking!)

Seriously????

Over a year clean and sober and I still run into people who ask me if I can score for them!

Crazy.

Waiting

My notebook is so slow. Like, “I’m glad my life doesn’t depend on it slow!”

I uh, decided not to apply for the delivery service job. The hours are perfect, and the days are Monday through Friday and we do need the extra money, however…I just dont feel like working every single day.

So I applied for the delivery service job. I hope they don’t call.

Driving to the point of sorrow.
Finally it ends.
Awakening to a new life.
Better.
As long as I don’t have to deliver.

101 things to do other than use or drink?

One Year Sober!!

On January 13, 2014 I hit one year clean and sober.

It feels great.

Sober.

Guilt, I think?

So I’ve been feeling weird lately. And at nearly ten months of sobriety I am realizing that there is something wrong. There is something not letting me move forward, and lately I have been feeling numb. I am starting to ask myself, why am I not happy?
Well yesterday I ran into a high school friend and we talked a little about the past. We brought a friend of ours who passed away in high school when he was shot in the head by a rival gang member. He was senior while I was a freshman and that was very first time I went to a funeral of a person who was not related to me.
So I was thinking today, I get these thoughts in my head of the past, usually on a daily basis and I think about all the things Ive been apart of, all the bad things and for some reason I can shake those memories from my head.
Then it hit me. Its not that I’m not happy of feeling numb, I think I am overwhelmed with guilt, and it preventing from moving forward. I used drugs and alcohol for over twenty three years to cover up a lot of guilt, so I think it would make sense that I am not familiar with the feeling.
So if Im correct, the numbs I feel is guilt, and unless I take a look at it, it will keep getting those horrific thoughts of the pass and I will not move forward. The only question now is, how do I deal with guilt?