My goal today is to stay sober.

You know its funny, the more I say I am going to blog more the less I do. I guess a part of that is everyday I add to my sobriety is a day that opportunities present themselves in my life. But you know the crazy part is, the longer I stay sober, the easier it is to tell myself or ask myself rather, “Was it really that bad?”
My disease, my addiction tells questions my sobriety as if really needed?
So twenty months sober, I tell myself, “I don’t need a meeting today, Im good.” And that’s how my mind works. After all that has come back in my life and all my fortunes no matter how big or small, my disease of addiction tells me to stop working my program of recovery.
And that’s the discipline of sobriety. Well, part of it. I have to remember that sobriety is what I wanted, nearly two years ago. I wanted this, for me, no one else. And that is key to my recovery working on a daily basis. This is the life I asked for, a sober one.
And yeah, there some stuff I wish I could do and there is people I wish I could hang out with. However, I know that would not such a good idea and would open the door to relapse.
Im grateful today that I wake up every morning accepting and admitting that I am an addict. And when I put my daily goal, of just staying sober just for today it takes the pressure off life, and makes life easier to handle. And that’s the thing, I can handle life as it comes good or bad, and I don’t have to use or drink over it.

j

Living Sober-still

It has been months since I have last blogged. One painted kitchen, one tile job with father-n-law, and soccer practice and games later I finally find a few moments to catch up.

Sobriety is still first. Going now on eighteen months sober the up and downs are defined by one simple thing. Am I going to bed sober?

Family, wife, girls and my boys, (Colt, Kenny and Manu, family pets) all good.

My small broadcast company starting to come together.

I guess balance and boundaries is what got me back blogging after “life” got me off schedule for a few. Not that I schedule every minute of my life, (ok, I do). However letting the day unfold and not trying to control the outcome brings that connection that need on a daily basis.

from; Moving Forward…..

journey(Moving Forward)

Step six and seven. Truly letting go of my past and defects. Making my road to recovery and connection with my higher power as clear as it has ever been for the first time in my life. Truly moving forward in my life and sobriety. I have held on tight to this point, now its time to let go and completely trust in my higher power to lead me, as if for not, I am wasting valuable drinking and using time.

JR Valdes

5 tips to staying sober while the family is on vacay!

So here is a list of things I did and didn’t do while my wife and girls left on vacay, leaving me at home (I’m 38) for the first time in my fifteen months of recover.

1. Scheduled extra meetings. Whatever meeting or group you and your recovery are apart of, it was important to schedule meetings that I am not accustom to going to. This relieved my compulsion to go do something new and exciting that I would not normally do with the family home. Especially on Saturday night!

2.Kept my daily schedule as if my family was home. My addict mind was off to the races the moment my wife said she was going out of town, weeks ago. As the day got closer I was like, I’m going to paint the house, I’m going to do extreme yard work, I’m going to look up a friend and hang out.(I actually hung with at her sisters for dinner some nights) That was a big no-no, setting myself up to relapse. Although I did attend meetings that I had never attended before, it was just as important to keep my daily schedule, which for an addict like me, In cannot stay sober with my life in disarray. I have to have a daily plan and stick with it.

3. Called my sponsor. Probably the first think I should have done, but I called my sponsor and let him no my situation for the next four days. That held me accountable.

4. Book work. When I felt compelled to do something, I opened up my big book even if it was just a few minutes, grounding myself to my recovery.

5. Connected with my higher power, not just in the morning but throughout the day. This is something I do with or without my family here all though it did come in handy when I was driving back from a meeting on Saturday night. I literally was keeping tabs on the bars and gas stations on my way home. It was challenging to get home that night, even with 15 months of sobriety.

My wife should be home in the next few hours, and even though it seems like a given to stay sober, it was a challenge. I’m 38, and feel like I’m a ten year old kid staying home by myself for the first time. However for me, not drinking and using it not enough. I have to work at every single day.

Oh, and one more thing! Its very important also not to expect praise from my wife and kids for doing something that normal people do. If think like I shoud rewarded, Im setting myself for a resentment!vacay

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!)

“I’m not going to lie…”

The homeless-old man ask me if I could spare some change.
“I’m not going to lie, I’m going to buy a beer with it,” he said proudly.
In a way, I respected that, and in a way, I was jealous. Drinking first thing in the morning use to be a trait of mine.
I pulled out my “year chip” and handed it to him.
“What’s this?” he asked.
I’ve been sober for over a year after 23 years of using and drinking.
“Well Ive been drinking for over forty years, and Im pretty good at it,” he said.
There was a time when I wasn’t trying to hear it. My higher power himself could of stood right in front of me and explained that I was an addict and how to get help and I would have not listened.
I came in from the chaos, when I was finally tired, miserable and hopeless. It took me twenty-three years to get there. Not everyone has to get to that point, but I did.
He gave me my chip back and I handed him two bucks. This was my first attempt to try to help someone outside my recovery program.

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?

What I do, when I feel like using and drinking.

AAAHHHHH! Today is one of those days that I don’t need an excuse to drink or use. Today is one of those days when I don’t feel like calling my sponsor or going to a meeting. Today is one of those days that I could easily throw over nine months of sobriety away along with my family, job, finances and pretty much my life.
So what do I do when the reality of sobriety is not that everything is perfect every single day just because I decided not to use or drink. And for no reason whatsoever I feel like drinking and using. Well, yeah, your right for one thing I blog. (there’s nothing getting past you!) And to put it simple and boring, and hold on. I call it a day. The only thing I have to do today is not use and drink, and pick my daughter…and cook dinner….and pick up my meds…and..and…and…!
OKay, breath, (see how easy it is for me to lose control). Let me think this out, what was Day 1 like?
I was a fucking mess. Wife had left months ago, rented out my house, was about to lose the house I was renting, and staying at my parents house because I thought the house I was renting had cameras and audio surveillance. I was currently had a few home remodel job sites going, a paper route and a bag full of dope. I was easily going on a month without sleep, just cat naps here and there, or, like a cat! So it was two in the morning and I was stuck between my laptop and looking out my bedroom window. I pulled up my Facebook, my vision was blurry and I could not remember the last time I ate, however I swore I saw someone had posted a picture of me, in the bedroom on Facebook getting high. I never found that picture again, however I did find a picture of her. Posted fifteen minutes ago. She look stunning, of course she did, she was divorcing me! Why dress up while were married right, I know, I know. Anyway, she was wearing a red sweater over a blue jean skirt and she was drunk and dancing at her sisters party. With guys in the background checking her out, my stomach dropped. I couldn’t drive and I could not talk. I wanted to go over there so bad. I had never felt so helpless and hopeless in my entire life. That picture and that night still haunts me. My wife, happy without me.
So the next day I checked into a treatment center and lived happily ever after…JUST KIDDING….It was really hard work, and still hard work but I got my family back, and our house and my career. At least today I do. So yeah, I guess I’m going to go with “no” on drinking and using today, and I have never gone back to Facebook since then!