The movie Spun, Chris Isaak and my 3 year chip walk into a bar…(coffee)

thAbout a week ago I was sitting at Starbucks with the one person who showed up to my once a month, “How to create a podcast” group, ( I know, my life is so freakin exciting that your literally foaming at the mouth word by word), when the “Love Song” by the Cure, cover song came on. No, I’m sorry it was a Chris Isaak, “Wicked Game” cover song that came on, (I know, I can’t believe you’re following me either) and it immediately triggered my mind to find the girl who was singing it. I was like OMG, that sounds so good! So while I was ignoring the only member of the group babble on, a familiar hot flash came over me as I was searching the gallows of Itunes. 206d32ba0ba62cafad46c412791e136dThe obsession of desiring and seeking a song that would somehow make my life perfect merged with the obsession to drink and use just one more time. The taste of that “dark freedom” took my current reality back to a time where the only responsibility was no responsibility. The innocent moment of searching for a pretty cool song, quickly vaporized into a feeling of extreme urgency to watch the movie “Spun”, which for the 3 days prior to my last relapse in 2012, I obsessionally watched over and over. And over. This all happened in a period less than about 3 minutes, however it felt as if I took a trip for years.

Back in Starbucks I realized where my mind was, and where my feet actually were. Then I weighed my options. 1. I could ride the wave of old memories being that well, all they really are is thoughts. 2. I could blow off the entire ordeal and act as if nothing happened. 3. I could take action.

3 year chipI picked 3, and I texted a few members in my recovery program. At over 3 years sober, I actually had to tell someone I was in a bad place emotionally as if I was back on day 1. And for that I stayed sober another day. The morale of the story, which should really be, “Don’t go to Starbucks and listen to cover songs from Chris Isaak,” is no matter how far along you are sober, picking up the phone and calling or texting someone when your life feels a little weird can save your sobriety. And your life.

-Jaime

 

 

How Can I Help You?

Hey everyone, hope all is well and sober going into this beautiful weekend! I created a quick survey, that will literally take you 30 seconds to complete, so I can write better content that you will truly value!

Happy Friday-Keeping It Sober

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/JLK3RDW

Finally Sober, Eleven Items Never To Bring To Rehab & The “Call”

This week instead of writing just one blog, I though I’d post my “drafts” from the entire week!

Ok.

You got me.

I actually was driving myself crazy on what to write so I took 3 post I started (but didn’t finish) and fed them to you like high dollar steak!! HAHAHA!!! ūüôā

So I was working on my website last night, by the way I have a “new look” site coming out in the new year, and started thinking. (Very RARE!) And I thought to myself, behind the podcast, blog and websites; through my weekly routines and schedules; and everyday responsibilities to the my household and family, that I am¬†finally sober. And that’s all the really matters.

I coming up on 3 years next month, and unlike previous years I able to truly look back and see the addicted person that I am so far detached from. Everything from my thought process, to new friends and relationships have all completely changed.

Coffee first, please!
Coffee first, please!

I’m sleeping better. I mean way, way better. Im sleeping solid through the nights and doing something I have never ever done before. Sleep in. It’s really a beautiful thing when your mind is clear and not keeping you awake for every little thing.

This “new life” or “new me” is much more confident and proud. My motto of sobriety first…allows every aspect of my life to fall in place in random order, however nothing is above¬†anything else.

For the first time ever this week, the thought of using disgusted me. That’s huge. Like ¬†really, really huge.

 

I think I’ve almost seen everything as far as items brought into treatment that¬†are¬†not allowed. And sure some things have merit and seem silly not to be allowed. And there is a huge “grey area,” because rehab is not a lock down facility and people pay to be there. But just in case¬†your item or items falls in that¬†little¬†grey area, I wanted to definitely make absolutely clear that these¬†certain¬†items that I’ve personally have come across as people admit to the center, are not allowed at rehab:

  1. Pills hidden in  your passport. (Always a big NO!)
  2. Syringes for the little baggie of cocaine you brought in.
  3. The little baggie of cocaine, itself and the cocaine.
  4. The beer, bottle or wine you drank on the way in to rehab.
  5. Duct Tape.
  6. A picture of your ex. From high school. And your 40.
  7. A T-shirt that reads, “Rehab is for quitters.”
  8. Your 15 purses and make-up bags.
  9. 23 different colored sunglasses.
  10. A BB gun.
  11. The lead guitarist for your¬†“cover-alt band.”

    

Two mornings ago I got the call. It was truly unexpected. Unlike when JJ, hung himself and my parents drove 4 hours to prison to tell me. I sensed something was wrong when the guard yelled my name for visit, “Valdes!” My parents had just came to visit the weekend before. I felt it in my gut when I saw their faces sitting at the table, waiting for me as I sat down in front of them. Just like how I felt it when Richard was killed on New Year’s Eve and I got the “knock at the door” that Richard was missing, then later “the call.” It’s a feeling I get, all in the gut when something is horribly wrong.

However, when my wife called me back two morning ago, while I was driving back into town and even though I just hung up with her, I felt nothing when the call came in.

But then I heard her voice.

A voice I hate passionately. A voice I probably caused once or twice. A voice underneath tears. A voice that when I hear it, I brace myself for the next few words…

 

JR Valdes-KIS

Keeping it Sober

IMG_0572[1]Hello and welcome everyone, I am so excited today! I have an amazing story to share with you! First allow me to thank everyone was has been following my blog for the past two years. I started this blog in 2013 when I got out of treatment for the third time! If anything just for therapeutic reasons of writing and journaling. However two years later still going, the time has come to make it really powerful and reach its full potential.
So a little housekeeping. Over the next week or so I will be experimenting with new themes and plugins. Probably will be transferring it over to WordPress.org as long as I do not lose my followers. So excuse the mess while in efforts to make something really special for all you, because I know first hand, recovery and sobriety takes a lot of hard work.
So I have so much to share about my journey in sobriety. After using and drinking for 23 years I thought my life was over, however I had no idea that my life was just beginning!
So thanks again, your following and commenting on what I share is so much appreciated! I promise you success together, not only in sobriety but in life!

Keeping it Sober,

JR Valdes.

Don’t forget you can follow me at my Twitter handle @jaimetheintern or my Instagram @itworked_jrvaldes22

Staying Sober during Holidays, still a challenge.

So much to be thankful for, however fist rigorous honesty. The mix cocktail of winter, the holidays and working late nights, literally leaves the taste of my addiction on the tip of my tongue. I guess it does not matter how much sobriety I have, or think I have. The reality is I only have today, and even some days I only have seconds. Only a true addict who has everything and more in life on Thanksgiving eve, would somehow think picking up and using would make their entire life better. That’s just how we think.
So I have not been to a meeting in weeks due to my new night shift that I am working. So some of this is a result of not being involved in my daily sobriety with sober friends. I realize that even though I am physically in a good place, my mind is drifting to what I think might be a better one. “Only if,” hits me hard as I package random items at the warehouse each night. “Only if,” I were single, “only if” I moved to the east coast, “only if” I had a boat for me and my dog Colt to be left alone unbothered. This crazy thinking grows a little stronger each night as I depart on my 45 minute drive home at 5am after work. My sponsor whom I have not talk to in weeks, would tell me to quickly get to a meeting. He would tell to take a look at myself, what am I doing wrong and whats really going on?
Well, I think the truth is simple. I’m an addict.
So as the tornado of random thoughts chase me away from sobriety, I hold tight to what I know for sure, which is my goal for today, the hour and minutes, is to stay sober no matter what.

And sometimes, that’s what I have to do.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving my fellow addicts, I know its hard, especially during the holidays. I understand and feel your addiction. I get you. However I want you to get this, using and drinking will end our lives. Keep it minute by minute if you have to, but stay sober no matter what.

J-Keeping it Real

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!)