No Love Lost

Apologies to my Exes and women I womanized. No this isn’t my confessions. Sorry, just an appreciation of your time and investment, patience and efforts. Having you all was part of a blessing. You all belong on a pedestal. No hard feelings, no love lost. No bad blood, your love is a bad drug. But better to have love than no love at all.

Disciplining my habits, went distant on my attachments. I had to turn my presence to absence. Stuck in a cage, questioning the hours and days. I’m in my Depressional stage, my tunnel vision is starting to fade. I started to marry my thoughts, already engaged. Not knowing my next move had me going insane. I depended on Alcohol to get me over the pain. Praying my habit didn’t turn for the worst. It turned me to pills and cocaine. I won’t allow this temporary pain to turn to a stain.

I want to live but my joy for life is stuck in the grave. God I need you more than ever, I was hoping you came. I was so used to holding life in, it’s kind of hard to explain. I was misunderstood. Far from perfect, did a lot of stupid, crazy things I knew I shouldn’t. Ducking my demons but they coming back like a speeding bullet. My life is crazy out here, it’s like I love it and I hate it out here. I have to be mentally stable to know these 3 words…I Am Sorry.

❤️

Dear Self,

(An Open Letter)

Dear Self:

It’s me, You.

How have you been? You and I have been on quite a journey the past few years. We have hugged our knees praying, cried for hours till the tears dried, the throat hurt and the nose blocked, yet we continued crying. We have sat there on the shower floor, just in daze at that stormy situation that surrounded us. We have drank so much alcohol to numb that pain. That heart wrenching pain is real.

You and I, we also pushed ourselves to use different drugs and try different alcoholic beverages. I have seen you have everything you probably wanted. I have also seen you losing it all, suddenly and perhaps in a cruel way. Life is not a straight line, there are ups and downs. It is a series of twists and turns.

I am sorry for all those times where I wanted to tear you apart. I am sorry for all the times I let you hang your head down low, for all the times I let you win, and beat myself up because of those insecurities. I was not strong enough to encourage, support and appreciate you.

I know life has been tough for you the past few years but you have done quite a good job to stay alive. I have seen you plummet to the state of despair and depress. Thank you for not giving up. You know, I am extremely proud that you managed to survive through that suicide attempt. Depression and Mental illness is a struggle.

Have you noticed lately how much you have changed? I did. You have improved much more. You are now much confident to speak up on things on your mind and rise up to challenges. You are now able to sleep soundly without drugs or alcohol. You have a gorgeous daughter, who is thriving. She will benefit from all these lessons you are learning, so although it is a tremendous strain, remember she will learn from your strength to get through this.

As I am writing this letter, you have not fully figured out how your life will be yet. Let’s make a pact. Come back to re-read this letter 5 years later, and update me how you are doing. I truly hope that by that time, you have found your happiness and that you have followed a path that you are proud of. Remember, behind those dark clouds, the sun is still shining.

You have got through this far. Continue to be strong. Do not stop loving. Do not stop caring. You are always loved, by me. I see the light at the end of the tunnel. I am the tunnel.

Above all else, be true to Yourself.

Hugs & Kisses

Love you,

Me

The Real Me…

I’m constantly accomplishing all of my new accomplishments. Sometimes I wake up and feel like I haven’t really accomplished shit. Honestly it’s stressful. I got skeletons in my closet. I won’t say I’m trying to clean it up, maybe just sort it out. I’m sharing with you things that I thought about. Can’t stop dreaming about.

Hey Charles, how do I get these demons out? Voices in my head, I need to scream it out. Something has to give. You don’t get rid of your demons, you learn to live with them.

I lost many friends in as many weeks; From the same place I call home. My paranoia got me feeling obnoxious. But let me paint a different picture: I didn’t lose friends, I gained angels. So before bed I’m saying thank you. Be very careful about what you think. Your thoughts run your life. Don’t use your mouth to tell lies. Don’t ever say things that are not true. Who takes a bullet for you is not as important as the one who takes the bullet out of you. Never give up on me!

#KeepingItReal #ImMe

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 🙏❤️

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

Open Letter 2 my Sister

(An Open Letter)

Dear Sister:

From childhood to adulthood we teased and irritated each other but at the end of the day we can’t live without each other. I’ve made you cry, you’ve made me cry. Those tears were love, joy, pain and sympathy. We know each other’s hearts. We know what makes us tick. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets.

You are my only sibling, the one that I look up to for advice, support and vent to. You didn’t get the addiction gene from our parents and I don’t fault you for that. I try to shed light to the matter and not make it a private family matter. We all die one day so there’s no need to go to our graves with skeletons in our closet. You don’t understand my alcoholism, drug addiction and mental illness. But that’s ok. You never judge and willing to learn about me with your 21 questions.

We are cut from the same cloth but chose different paths in life. You never saw my destruction coming because I hid it so well. You laughed and thought that’s Charles being Charles. In reality I was to scared to reach out to you. I’m an alcoholic who hated himself when he didn’t drink. Not only did I lose my sister but I lost a friend that really knows me. We don’t say I love you to one another but our actions speak the love not spoken. I love you Big Sis.

Sincerely,

Your Brother

Charles