Six Years Sober: The By-Product of working a Program is Happiness

Upon the New Year, I am not one to reflect on the past 365 days. Reflection for me, comes 13 days after. Six years ago, I was at my parents house, on the couch, slamming beers so I could come down off meth. I had $82 in my pocket,  but nobody would answer their phone. Three beers were left, and I was coming in and out of consciousness. To put it bluntly, I fucked up again. With the seconds it took to hit a pipe, my life went straight back to were it had lived for the past two decades. My wife left me, again. The little job I had only worked one day at, I lost. And the insanity in my mind once again, woke.

I didn’t want to go back to treatment. But no one would take my call. Even drug dealers wanted nothing to do with me.

“You need help,” one said.

I even had to lie, to buy drugs. I had to convince one,  that the drugs were for someone else. My options were this: 1) Die, 2) Go back to treatment. By the way, nobody should be in a place in their life where those are your only two options. That’s not normal. And yes, I actually showed up to treatment with $82 in my pocket, and three beers left in the fridge. (that’s the real tragedy!)

I hated treatment. I hated sober living. It was not fun going back. I was miserable. Again I had two options: 1) Die, 2) Work a program. So I gave it a shot.

I want to make something clear. I just didn’t wake up six years later, and have a family, career, education, sports broadcasting opportunities and most of all a life. Today my family and the people I have in my life along with the success Ive had at a career and education, are by-products of hard work in sobriety. Some days, I am so excited to go sleep, because I am so excited for the next day. Or, some days I want to stab my eye with a pencil. However, whatever kind of day it is, drinking and using are not an option. I woke up six years sober today, and I’m fucking proud of it! #stillSober

 

 

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.

First Blog Post of 2017

So the first week of 2017 went well. I set some work and play boundaries and life is flowing along great. I’m staying under 40 hours a week, I hit the gym three times for a little 15 minute work out and I wrote every night this week even if it was just one sentence. I took the Facebook, Amazon and Ebay apps of my iphone and kept my budget. I think the real test will come tonight and tomorrow. Those are the days that I plan to do “nothing!” Sounds easy right? Well, if you could see the ideas running through my head right now. I should finish that book, paint the garage, record a podcast, or write a book and a podcast about painting the garage! Maybe I should sell all the technology devices we don’t use anymore on Ebay, maybe I should bid on something, or maybe I should bid on my own auctions! To sit and do nothing is a huge challenge for me. And I don’t know what would make me crazy more, the challenge of doing nothing, or the million little tasks I schedule myself between now and Saturday morning. Maybe I need some type of direction all the time. And structure, maybe people like me can’t be alone with myself. I know on thing, once I hit publish on this blog…

….let the games begin!

Have a sober weekend everyone!

j

#SOBERPROBLEMS

Hey everyone, hope you made it through a Happy Easter and month of March. I’ve been working like a crazy person this last few weeks. #soberproblems I usually just work 3 days, 12 hours each a week, however this week I worked 5 straight 15 hour days, #soberproblems and now I go back to work tonight! #soberproblems I’ve realized though, having a job and having people no they can rely on you is a pretty awesome feeling! #soberproblems

12321238_828975763896634_8306959843675712772_nSo I got the chance to interview a detox nurse for my podcast and spent the better part of the day editing and mixing to produce what I think is my best podcast yet. #soberproblems It’s crazy just mere 3 years ago my life was absolutely over, no hope, no strength. Now here I am with my beautiful family, great job and pretty cool podcast and blog to share my journey. #soberproblems

Here’s is the link to Podcast Episode 17, hope you enjoy and if you get a chance get with me on Twitter and Instagram @keepingitsober using the #soberproblems and share everything that happening in your life now that your sober!

Keep it sober my friends!!

Keeping it Sober Podcast Episode 15

Hey everyone, so the final Keeping it Sober Podcast Episode 15 is out, part 5 of the part 5 mini series on “How I Stay Sober.” It was so much fun to create and produce and post, I honestly enjoyed every second of it. Keep in mind, if ever if you did not get anything from this series, just creating the series myself, it one of things that keeps me sober on a daily basis.

Now for those of you with an amazing story of addiction, I highly recommend on sharing your story through blog or podcast to help others and most of all, keep sober!

Here’s the link to episode 15 or just click on the “Podcast” tab.

J

The Summer Grind…In Addiction Recovery

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.

Keep grinding my friends,

Jaime

Tales from Treatment

The first time I saw Randy was at Detox. I usually arrive around thirty-minutes early for my shift and at the end of the work week those “half-hours” add up to overtime. To be honest I didn’t know if Randy was a girl or guy. His face so thin and pale. His short red, spikey hair was perfectly combed. It looked kind of “dike-ish,” to me. I walked right past him without saying hi. He had a white rob on that was too big for his frail body. And he was eating a foam bowl of cereal with a white plastic spoon.

Randy’s white, freckled face was sunk in, common to “meth” users however I read the Detox board and he was not here for meth. Next to Randy’s name in red, were the letters “HIV.” I then heard the nurses talking, he had until June to live, and was in the first stages of liver failure. His drug chart was checked off for everything.

So two weeks later after Randy left detox to residential I took him and Cabin G to a “meeting” about forty miles off campus. During the break, Randy came out to smoke and asked if he could get some pizza from the place next door which was not allowed. I told him no, but I wasn’t going to chase him down. I turned my back.

Moments later I saw Randy sitting on the bench with a huge box of pizza and even a bigger smile. I thought to myself, he only has a few more weeks on this earth, and he’s spending in treatment. I felt good, like I did a good deed. However when we got back to campus I had to UDS him because he left the meeting and he popped positive for HTC, TCA and BZO. He was only gone a few minutes.

*Names and places have been changed.

KIS,

j

12-18-14 Selfish in Sobriety

I received a call last week from the wife of a person who asked me to sponsor him a few weeks ago. We never started working together however apparently my number was given to her as he walked out the house in a drunken rage. I see it as a pure sign of help and its my opinion the man does want to stop but he’s at that point to where he physically and mentally can’t. I understand, been there before. However, the wife was calling me requesting me to go pick him up from the bar.
About 18 months ago I probably would have went. I was living at a sober home in San Marcos, Texas after completing a 30 day rehab, my second in 6 months. I remember people getting coming home drunk and getting kicked out of the sober living environment. I remember the emotions that led me to try to save them, or bring them back. It was a hard lesson to learn at the time, however, I learned I cant save everyone, and my sobriety has to come first. I even witnessed a friend go after someone who was loaded, then my friend actually ended up relapsing too.
Its hard deal, however I know now my sobriety comes first and everyone has their own journey.
So I told the wife, I was sorry I wasn’t going to risk my sobriety for her husband, but for him to call me when he sober up and if he wants to stay that way.

I haven’t heard from them since.

KIR,

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