I just got off the phone with a friend in the program. We have mutual friend that has relapsed.
“Where do I draw the line?” she ask, referring to when does caring turn into enabling.
I learned this lesson early in sobriety. About three months early. I was running a sober home and one of the renters relapsed and got kicked out. And there I was to the rescue, with hotel money to save the day! I went to the hotel in the morning to take the guy to a meeting and try to find him another sober home and he was completely wasted.
Even though we don’t really know the person sitting next to us at a meeting, there is some type of emotional attachment. Probably because we see ourselves. Also, creating new relationships involves ‘s “disclosing” of personal information with one another. And that’s exactly what we do in meetings, we talk about personal stuff that we would not talk about anywhere else. So I understand the attachment to someone else’s sobriety.
I would suggest sticking out your arm, and drawing-the-line there. Do what you have to do to stay sober, and allow people to navigate their own personal journey of recovery.
I don’t know how or why the question popped in my head. It’s really the first thing that came to mind as I opened up my laptop. It sounds crazy, someone being scared to stay sober but I think that may be big part of the challenge. Sobriety leaves us alone with ourselves. It’s that awkward moment of silence you share on an elevator with someone like your boss or manager. You know them, but not really. Not enough to strike up a conversation, but enough that you know you should. We don’t know who exactly is under all the layers and layers of addiction we hide ourselves with. We have an idea, but we are not exactly sure. It’s just easier not to search, than to search and be disappointed. And that is why sobriety and recovery is a complete life change. And it can be scary however if you hold on, it can also be exciting and amazing! Imagine being in an elevator and the person next to you is the “sober you in five years.” What do they look like, where are they going, what do they say and is the elevator going up or down??
All comments are welcome and don’t forget to listen to our latest podcast!!
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.
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!
Do you want to feel great? In sobriety, especially early sobriety, I physically missed the energy and motivation that unfortunately, drugs and alcohol gave me. I struggled throughout the day, just to get up, to get to a meeting, and to physically hang out with sober people. It was all physical. My mind was yelling “yes, sobriety rocks!”, when my body was yelling, “no, stay in bed and do nothing all day!”
However it took some time, but I discovered that applying health and fitness to my daily routine of sobriety made worlds of difference. And it didn’t cost a lot of money, or a lot of time out of my day.
So here are few tips that really worked for me, I guy who can’t stand the gym or eating healthy for that matter!
1. I Joined a Gym
I know, “but you just said!” It’s true, I can not stand the gym, more so the gym rats that walk around with a gallon of water slamming weights every chance they get! So I found the cheapest gym per month with no contract I could find which happen to be only ten bucks a month! I have literally skipped the gym for months and don’t feel bad about the $10 loss! However now I go three times a week, but the real miracle is I want to go! And this is why:
2. The Fifteen Minute Workout
I know what your thinking, been there tried that. But wait, I guarantee that you have never tried this fifteen minute workout before! So the whole deal is, I literally go for fifteen minutes. Like, it’s not some intense, crazy, extreme I am going to be sore for a week workout. It’s literally fifteen minutes at the gym doing whatever. Tag yourself on Facebook, catchup with CNN or Sports Center, just be there physically for fifteen minutes and sooner or later, you will pick up a weight or two, and like it!
3. Eating Healthier
Now this just plain out is hard and most of all sucks! I literally downed a pack of peanut M&M’s last night for absolutely no apparent reason what-so-over! But, I’ve adapted to a few tricks not so much of changing what I eat, but less of. For example, the ketchup rule. When you are eating out, take one pack of ketchup and spread it over as much food as you can, (like fries), and you can only eat what’s covered in red! All other naked fries, bless there heart. Another little trick I do is I take a water bottle everywhere I go. The more I drink, the less I eat an entire meal, and let’s face, water is healthy and as addicts, we take everything to the extreme, like finishing off our meal, just because it’s there. Make up some of your own eating out tricks and games, and have fun with it!
4. Last, Do Your Part!
None of this works, unless you do your part! You have to put some type of effort to get results. Search deep inside yourself, what motivates you? Use that every morning, to get up and feel great by exersizing and eating better! Health and Fitness is part of recovery, sobriety and our every day life!
So the results have been amazing! I look forward to going to the gym now, and the days I miss I do get down on myself. It feels great going to bed and waking up not only sober, but not feeling full and lethargic. Most of all, I love the compliments, especially from my “normy” wife who is actually looking really good herself!
So try these things, and make up some of your own and let me know how they work! To get more tips on health, fitness and sobriety, you can go to my home page at Keepingitsober.org and sign up for my newsletter. Or if you have time, go like my brand new Facebook Page, Keeping it Sober, and you can sign up from there! Be on the look out for the Keeping it Sober Podcast, Episode #3, which you can now download from Itunes!
So a couple of days ago I hit nine months sober. It felt really good and I am proud of myself. It is a great accomplishment after twenty-three years of using and drinking. I do understand that I am no way cured, I will never be. I will always be an addict and alcoholic and there is things I need to do on a daily basis that help keep me sober just for today.
During these nine months a lot has changed, and it is interesting because everything is the same all around me, the only thing that changes was in my head. I can see so clearly now, I truly was in a dark place, lost and miserable. One my greatest challenges today is to stay motivated on a daily basis to stay sober and work my recovery.
With all that said, I feel it is time to move on from the very past that I usually blog about. In an learning setting looking back at your past is huge and recommended. Closing unresolved issues was huge in me moving forward in sobriety, however lately I feel I still identify myself as that active addict and alcoholic and feel its no longer a healthy exercise.
I feel good, I feel excited. It is time to work on me and my family. My personal goals along with family goals. Its time to move forward like mature adults do and be a productive member of society. Contribute, help and live. Dwelling on the past is keeping me there and It is time to move forward.
However I say this with the respect to my sobriety and keeping it my primary purpose in life. My recovery still must come first, it must start my day and end it. I do have solid foundation to lean on if I feel the heat, and of course, meetings, still daily. I am no good to anyone if I start using and drinking again. NO ONE.
So with that said, today, I close the door to my past, hold on, and move forward, and that’s what living in sobriety is all about-for me.
I have started a new blog ( because I love to write) called, Dad Speak, be the first to check-it-out!Thanks…jrvaldes
I am not sure what I can offer. My story is the same than everyone else’s. My recovery is the same as well. So what sets me apart? I have no idea. I am not sure how I got sober either. When Manuel asked me, I answered quick with the AA fellowship and the steps. However I have not worked all the steps yet and I have not talked to my sponsor in months. In fact I do not even have a San Antonio sponsor yet. I do know the entire deal was a process that started sixteen months ago. I was talking to Rudy. I knew where my life was headed, and I knew the decisions I would be making over the next few weeks would effect my life for the next fifteen to twenty years. So I made the decision to rent my house out to my sister-n-law. The sole reason being, the party had to stop. I did not want it too, but I did know it had to stop, and it started with this house. My plan was too rent out the house, and go live at the Haven For Hope, a homeless shelter in downtown San Antonio. This is right about the time I bought a pair of hair clippers and started giving myself fades. I wanted to save twenty bucks a month on hair cuts, so I could do more drugs, because in a year that was over two hundred dollars I would be wasting on things other than drugs and alcohol. I wanted to live free at the Haven For Hope and save the incoming rent money. I also wanted to talk to people living at the center, get their stories. The stories CNN dosen’t have time for. No one has time for in fact. Most the people are going to die addicts. Like Manuel. I give him no chance. Southsider, Mexican mafia, addicted to heroin. We had to finally tell him and his girlfriend they had to move out of the metal shed in the backyard of our rental house on the south side San Antonio, that they were living in. I remember a few weeks ago, when I first met Manuel. I told my Dad someone was living in the shed, my Dad blew me off as to say no way, no one could ever live in their especially with this over one hundred degree heat. My father is a very smart and intelligent man, however when comes to addiction and poverty, is has not the slightest clue. Not that he was born into old money, he has worked hard his entire life and gave my sisters and I everything we wanted and needed. But he just does not know the disease of addiction. So Manuel popped up at our rental after the people moved out, and said he gave the renters two hundred dollars a month to stay in the shed. My Dad could not believe it. I asked him what his deal was, he said heroin, and asked me how I could tell? I told because I was an addict also. Then he asked, then why aren’t you high? Because I am six months sober, I replied.
Then that’s when he asked me how?
I was in the metal shed today looking around at the little property that Manuel and his girlfriend had collected over the year of them staying there. I glass jar filled with lighters, I candle with a picture of Jesus Christ laid on the floor. A dingy full size mattress covered most of the cement slab. A loaf a bread on the make shift shelf that is the top of the tube television. Cigarette buds everywhere, dice, shoe string and a sticker that said SUPPORT YOU LOCAL SOUTHSIDE MC. Empty little boxes of anything and everything littered the entire floor. What caught my attention was a certificate, hanging on a nail above the TV and make shift shelf, partially hidden by another piece of paper that had the word JESUS written in pencil. The certificate said MANUEL DIAZ successfully completed DETOX 2012. I have no idea where he and his girl moved too. I heard maybe across the street to someone else’s backyard, yet I have not seen them around.
In a few days my wife and I will be moving back in together after nineteen months of separation. And YES I am nervous! Going up in front of the judge nervous.
Our house has been rented out for the past year and a half to her sister. Last weekend her family and I moved her sister out, and our belongings in. There is not a part in that house where I did not get high or drunk. Wait I take that back, I do not think I got high in the baby’s room, but everywhere else was a go. Attic, bathrooms, bedrooms, hallway, living room, den, both garages, back porch, every side of the house outside and my favorite the counter table which I spent so many nights alone getting high looking out the back window.
My palms sweat as I wrote that. Nearly six months of sobriety and sometimes it feels like day one.
So the move, It is interesting, I realized it is like we are starting our marriage over brand new, however sober. And it is weird because now that I am making a conscience effort to live on a daily basis in sobriety, my real issues shine bright and those are the things I need to work along with staying clean.
I guess the physical act of not using and drinking, after twenty-three years, is merely the beginning of my recovery. I have battled and struggled through, gangs, prison, my degree and horrible addiction, to find myself now about to be married once again to the beautiful woman who has emotionally stood by side this entire time.
So, I am nervous of being a sober part of a marriage, something I have never done before. However I guess if I stay focused on my daily sobriety, hopefully my marriage will have a different outcome than last.
I was not planning on sharing at the AA meeting this afternoon, however, Tom an older gentlemen that I once despised asked me to speak. I guess I could of said no, but in a way, yeah I had to get something out.
I am at a new club, the first four months I was in a different city, and now that I am back home, not everyone knows my story. So I touched on it a little, kind of formally introduced my alcoholic and drug addicted ass to the group.
I am thirty-eight years old and have been drinking and using since I was fourteen. At seventeen I was wanted for murder, at twenty-four the FEDs were looking for me. Twenty-six through thirty-one I was in prison. Got released, got my journalism degree and married over the next few years. Throughout all this time I was using and drinking. MY disease progressed, I lost jobs, houses, my family, and a small business, however everything was cool as long as I could still drink and get high.
My life came crashing down last summer, relapsed in December and now have over six straight months. That is the short and quick version of how I got here. I know it is broad, but there is no rush to get every little detail out. My primary purpose every day is to stay sober.