Podcast Episode #34- Early Recovery, Depression and Autoimmune Disease w/ Ashlee Whittemore

This was probably one of my favorite podcast! I traveled to Austin, Texas to interview Ashlee Whittemore. Ashlee is an amazing individual who shared some really personal experiences all in effort to help other people! Thanks for listening!!

 

 

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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.

“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.

What Does Recovery Look Like to You?

#myRecoverypic

So I challenge you this week, to capture a picture of your personal recovery. If you snapped a photo of your recovery what would it look like? Would it be inside or out? At night or day? Would there be people in it or will it be filled with nature? Is it something you live for or experience every single day and moment? Or maybe it is still something you strive for. Whatever it, post a picture here or on our Facebook page and group, of “What Does Recovery Look Like to You?” #myRecoverypic

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

A Mother’s Heart

heroin
A Mother’s Letter To Heroin

I had guest post that was really inspiring and heartfelt. It’s from a mother who lost her son to prison because of heroin. Please feel free to share, support and comment on this beautiful letter to heroin.

http://keepingitsober.org/2017/01/a-mothers-heart/