Spice Up Your Writing

Sobriety gave me my writing. It lifted the damper that alcohol and drugs placed on my creative energy. It gave me the motivation and, initially, the material. I started blogging as a way to process my recovery experiences and connect with others. It turned out to be the perfect way to take my first baby steps into writing. Anonymity has been necessary for obvious reasons. It also allowed me to get my feet wet as a blogger without too much ego involvement and vulnerability.

I was a nervous wreck when I hit “post” on that first post with my name on it. The good kind of nervous wreck, though. The kind of stomach butterflies that tell you you’re doing something brave that will grow you as a person. 100 or so post later, I am much more accustomed to “putting myself out there,” but I still get those butterflies once in awhile. That’s when I know I’m taking risks with my writing and really giving something of myself. Being more present and emotionally balanced for my family has been the greatest gift of sobriety for me. My writing is a close second.

Today I’m 3 years clean and sober. It’s been interesting, adjusting to sober living. I knew it was necessary but thought it would suck. It doesn’t suck. It did for awhile, sometimes. I am happy to say very simply that this is a better way to live and I’m happier. It does not feel like a life of “doing without” like I thought it would. I have gained so much more than I’ve lost (and to most of what I’ve lost, good riddance anyway).

Am I grateful to be an Alcoholic and Addict like some people in meetings say? Yes! If I had a choice, I would prefer to be a person who could take it or leave it and have no issues with alcohol/drugs/gambling. But I’m at peace with what is, and the way my life has unfolded. And certainly many blessings have come from my recovery process.

#GratefulRecoveringAlcoholicAddict

My Recovery

This is to anyone whose hearts I shattered in active addictions:

Before I identified myself as an Alcoholic or a drug Addict, my view of any addiction consisted of dirty needles and DUIs and jails and drinking out of brown paper bags under bridges (Sure that wasn’t me). I pictured bruises on children’s’ faces after fathers would stumble in drunk and screaming at 3 AM, and families begging their loved ones just to “stop.” I didn’t understand how someone could “let themselves” get to that point. They didn’t care about their wives? Their husbands? Their children?

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Then I got drunk and high for the very first time. I felt peace like I had never known. The tornado in my head had finally ceased tossing words and time and emotions around, and I didn’t have to feel. I didn’t have to think about anything else, and I didn’t have to worry. I was no longer afraid.

Looking back, I know now I was an alcoholic and addict long before I picked up any drink or drug. My disease came from a hole inside of me, which I stuffed with thing after thing after thing and nothing was ever enough. Faster than I could have imagined, that wonderful feeling of being drunk and high became a necessity. I couldn’t breathe, couldn’t eat, couldn’t LIVE without booze or drugs.

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The very things that were destroying me, that were eating my soul, were the things that seemed to be keeping me alive. I lied, I cheated, I stole, I doubted myself and my friends and lost trust in everyone and everything around me. I was underwater with a ball and chain around my foot, and my disease was at the bottom celebrating its’ new victory. I didn’t feel guilt about the things I was doing. I didn’t allow myself to because all I knew was chasing that next thrill and high. I hurt so many people, and most of all I hurt myself.

My addictions dragged me down faster than I ever thought something could. I didn’t catch it in time, or maybe I just didn’t care. I couldn’t stop. I wouldn’t stop. I didn’t want to stop. My disease convinced me that the hell I was living was better than even thinking about getting clean. And I believed my insidious disease. It became the only thing in my life that I trusted.

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When I went to rehab treatment I heard stories. I heard stories about people who had it so much harder than I did, and that they managed to stay clean for unfathomable amounts of time. I couldn’t hold together my first 22 hours, and this man/woman just celebrated 22 years of continuous sobriety ?! I couldn’t believe it. My path of becoming alive again, actually living, began right then and there. I didn’t know it yet, but the seed of hope had been planted.

#TheFactsOfLife #MyRecovery 🙏❤️

Gone Missing

Alcohol tells truth, but its truth is not normal. My road of lies were coming to an end but my final lie was my last, yet the most powerful. I left home on a Thursday morning and never returned home until Sunday night. I ignored calls/texts from my wife. In between those days were the darkest eye opening experiences. For I had succumbed to my insidious disease.

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My drunkenness was a temporary suicide. At some point, the booze stopped working. That’s when drinking started sucking. Every time I drank, I could feel pieces of me leaving. I continued to drink until there was nothing left. Just emptiness. No happiness. I last stood at the bar asking myself why am I here and what am I doing with my life Charles?

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I’ll always remember a friend saying to me “so you brought 10 grams of cocaine to a 6 person BBQ and you’re the only 1 that uses it here.” I laughed and realized at the same time I had a drug problem. I was drinking and drugging alone my final months that I didn’t even realize when I was around people that it was abnormal.

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One key symptom of alcoholism is that the individual comes to need a drink for every mood–one to calm down, one to perk up, one to celebrate, one to deal with disappointment, and so on. I combined all my addictions and my life became unmanageable.

#Missing #Loneliness #LiesAreAHandful #Recovery

Breaking Point

(August 22, 2016) My Breaking Point to Surrender was in full effect. I was waking up feeling like death, shaking and craving Drugs/Alcohol just to function. Was lucky I didn’t have to be at work til 1:00pm. Sleep off the hangovers, continue to struggle at work and start destroying my body all over again immediately after work. Repeat.

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My wife was working her second job just to escape me. I looked at it as more time to party and less nagging to hear. Then the 2-3am calls/text came in asking me where I was, keeping her awake up all night angry, tired and worrying. I was distancing myself more and more away from her. She was coming between me and my addictions. Not realizing that I was dragging her through my own hell. I became a Monster.

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I was torn between wanting to continue this lifestyle which was spiraling downward fast with money loss, my health and my marriage. The other side of the brain (my addictions) was saying it’s ok I’m only harming myself and nobody else. I lacked emotions and feelings but a glimpse of HOPE for CHANGE was still there…almost…

#StartToSeeTheLight #SickAndTiredOfBeingSickAndTired #Recovery

L I F E

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SEPTEMBER 19, 2017 was my set date I planned to leave this earth. I was sick of crying, tired of trying, yes I was smiling but inside I was dying.

Sometimes, the most difficult and painful subjects need to be addressed head on. Failure to do so can result in loss of life occurring in such a way that the lives of others are altered forever. Yet, we still hesitate to bring up the subject, perhaps out of some understandable but misguided fear that the words alone might result in our greatest nightmare becoming a reality. Nonetheless, difficult as it is and truly frightening as it may be, there comes a time when a light needs to shine in those darkest corners where the fear often resides.

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Framing suicide as a method to get attention paints those who are sick as manipulative, when in fact, they are simply really ill. In addition, even if a suicide attempt is a cry for help, it means they need help–so let’s help! My depression and bi-polar overtook my mind to think lower of myself.

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The despairing emotions that lays the groundwork for suicidal thoughts: Hopelessness, Helplessness, and Worthlessness. Hopelessness says, “Things will never get better. This will go on forever. Don’t even bother trying.” Helplessness is paralyzing: you see no control over your own life—things just keep happening to you that make you feel worse and worse. Worthlessness says, “And you’re a total failure of a human being. anyway. Your life is a waste.”

This unhappy trio shouts so loudly that any whispers of hope, efficacy, or worth get drowned out. Many individuals who commit suicide truly believe they are doing everyone around them a favor.

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When I became clean and sober I wasn’t numbing these thoughts away. I wasn’t the “life” of the party anymore. I felt friends and family turned their backs on me.

SEPTEMBER 26, 2017 I found out I was going to be a father. It’s funny how a week before I would’ve been a mourned Husband, Father, Son, Brother and Friend. I receive the help I need to continue to move forward. God wasn’t ready for me standing at the gates of heaven. Depression and Suicide can affect anyone. You Are Not Alone.

Thank You for those that Read this Post. It’s not about Me. It’s about being Aware.

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Deadbeat Dad

All I can think of to say to my father is…

Hey “Dad” I did it without you.

To the man who abandoned me 25+ years ago, Thank You. You showed me that not only can I survive without you, but that I can build my own life that doesn’t involve you or any memories of you. Yes, there are things that I inherited from you (your facial features and your humor) but when I look at myself, I no longer see you. I see a confident young man who has overcome his past demons and is creating a brighter future for himself and his family.

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Yes, there are still times where I want to ask him why wasn’t/isn’t he a great father to begin with? But knowing the second he open his mouth a spew of lies will outwardly follow. Being a coward, why speak ill words about my mother? The second half of my creation yet you play the blame game to her parenting skills. But most importantly why you left me to grow up without you. But I’ve realized that doing that will destroy any blockade I have in my mind of you, because my times with you weren’t pleasant at all. How many more lives can you affect — from my sister, to your sisters, to my wife, to your granddaughter, and so on and so on. The term Cancer is the first thing that comes to mind. You manipulate and play the poor victim to others around you.

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Recently I’ve been told by numerous family members and friends to “forgive and forget” or “be the bigger man”. Yet the funny part of that all is: I HAVE ALREADY. AA has taught me not to hold onto past resentments, to let go of anger, and to forgive. There’s two sides to every story: I’m living a righteous life of years of being clean and sober. The other side hasn’t cleaned their side of the street yet they speak ignorance. So thank you, thank you for leaving my life without a proper goodbye. Thank you for giving me a better life. I’ve done so well without you “Dad”.

#BiggerMan #Maturity #Honesty #Recovery

Reflections

There are 3 things in life that leave and never return: Words, Time and Opportunities — Therefore, value whoever values you and don’t treat as a priority whoever treats you as an option.

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There are two ways to be happy: Change the situation or Change your mindset towards it. Today I’m happy to be happy. I lied to myself for far too long in which like any lie does, it spreads upon others.

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Be a reflection of what you’d like to see in others! If you want Love, give Love. If you want Honesty, give Honesty. If you want Respect, give Respect. You get in Return, what you Give.

#Change4Change #NoLies #ImSorry #Recovery