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

Sobriety: so much more than just not drinking and using!

So at fifteen months in sobriety I finally realize that its not all about me! I’ve always felt that my disease is special. That my addiction is unique. I’ve always felt that my story is this amazing book, filled with exciting antidotes that only I lived to tell about. This amazing product that tells the secret of living sober! And, well, its not. Not even close. For the past twenty-three years it has been all about me and letting go of that mentality takes work.
Accepting that I’m not the only one living in sobriety has opened my mind more to the fellowship of my recovery and translates over to meeting new sober friends and listening to stories in recovery, not just obsessing over mine.
It feels good, not rolling my eyes in a meeting because I think my story is better than the person sharing. I’ve been humbled, and that’s a huge step forward in my sobriety.

Sobriety, no matter how you work your recovery, is so much more than just not drinking and using. Its about living sober, moving forward, and taking you life back, one breath at a time. And it takes a lot of work.

Dealing with old friends while living sober and saying goodbye.

So I ran into one of my best friends from high school who I haven’t seen in over fifteen months. The last time we were together I was high and drunk riding a seven day binge that ended in my second treatment in six months. There he was, of all places at my daughters soccer game last Saturday morning. He was there with his grandson who played on a team that played before my daughters team. I could of kept walking and he would of never saw me, however I screamed his nick-name across the field.
While I ran with a gang in high school, some twenty years ago, I still have the habit of scanning the scene where ever I go and that’s how I spotted Jose.
Now when I started my journey in sobriety back in July of 2012 one of the things that I could not accept was giving up old friends. Eventually I relapsed (a horrible one by the way). So the second time around even though it was hard, I killed all social media as well as my phone number that Ive carried for the past ten years.
When I moved back to my house with my wife, back in the old neighborhood, I had a great concern about running into old friends. However, I realized it was important that I close those relationships properly, even if my last words to them is, “sure, Ill call you later!”
I don’t feel I need to explain to anyone what I went through the last fifteen months, after twenty-three years of using and drinking, however I do feel its very important to close the relationship, either by phone of in person. Yeah, I’m probably not going to call Jose later, and have no intention to do so. But if that’s what I need to say in order to say goodbye to an old friend, well then that’s what I’m going to do.
So one-by-one throughout the last year or so, Ive been saying, “hi” and “bye” to a lot of close friends.
I can not deny having thoughts of my old friends and what it would be like to still hang-out. (I know that will lead me to relapse). That’s why its important to shut that door to move forward in sobriety, to release those thoughts and any reservation that might be still living in my mind.
Every thing in life, no matter how big or small, must come to an end in order for someone or something to begin or move on. And that includes saying goodbye to old friends.


Letting go, holding on, moving forward-My Journey in Recovery

5. Cravings

I realized today, that after nearly fourteen months of sobriety, the craving for alcohol and dope has finally left. The physical torture that starts in my stomach and flows to my throat, mouth and nose has finally dissolved only to be swalloed by the pits of my bladder. I felt the cravings would never leave, however the random thoughts of my past reverly’s are as strong than ever.


I usually try to blog on Monday’s however, I’m going to be really busy this week with soccer practice, the finishing touches on a remodel job, and the daily responsibilities of a husband, father and starving writer! So, I’m gonna cheat a little to help things run smooth this week while I keep up my weekly writing habits. Which beings me too:

Is it just me, or is your attention span like way, way short. If I see more than two-hundred words on a post, I do not even bother with reading it. I think blogs should be quick, clever, interesting or informative. Pretty much the exact opposite of mine! The Internet is just so, this very second, its like I don’t have the time to read more that four or five hundred letters!

I don’t know, maybe its just me, maybe I just have nothing else to write about!


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) 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!)