courage

Day 428 sober: I am not my Past Addiction

Hello Friends today is day 428 sober. This past week has been a fun. I have a couple months off of work and in that time I am doing whatever the heart desires. The book is 90 percent done. I took a couple days off from writing to clear my head. The last few chapters of the book seem to be hardest to complete.  It has Brought upon a bit of writers block. I already know the last sentence of the book. The look of the book is as important to me as the content. I know this book will help the 40,000 who read Sober is the new black, I hope to reach millions of others who might be struggling in sobriety, addicts who are still using and family of loved ones who suffer. Giving an in depth biography of what happens to the mind, body and soul of the addict once they stop using from day 1 sober too 1 year sober.

 

 Everyday I have to remind myself I am not my past addiction, I am who I choose to be today in this moment. Others might still see me as the past addiction symptoms. I will no longer waste energy on others who are committed to not understanding me or getting to know my true self. No one is born wanting to an addict, Circumstances and traumas happen, once they cross over the invisible line the disease starts.

 

My disease will not define me like diabetes doesn’t define a diabetic. We are so much more than our past addiction. In the first month of sobriety, I hesitated to tell others I suffered from addiction. I would speak about it online but when meeting someone for the first time. I was afraid of being labeled or judged. It’s like coming out all over again.

 

 

I seen an article that said “you should never fall in love with someone who struggled with addiction”. That article brought so much pain to my heart, I cried most of the day. How can society be judgmental on something that they have never lived through. It’s seems addiction along with HIV and AIDs are two diseases that are discriminated against.

 

When I go on a date, I ask myself questions like “when should I disclose why I don’t order a beer during dinner?” “After how many dates should I tell the person?” “If I don’t tell them right away, does that mean I’m hiding or lying?” First dates should be light and fun, not heavy. I can’t explain my past addiction without giving the whole dark childhood.

 

 

I went on a date last year with a smart, humbled, successful artist. We had so much fun dancing the night away, Making out, and talking. It was the first time since my break up were we just flowed and it was effort-less. After spending the day together we went to dinner after the club. He made me feel so comfortable which never happens with someone I just met. So I told him the reason why I was not  drinking. His responses was “I cant be in a relationship with someone who I can’t enjoy a night cap with at the end of the night.”

 

 

He saw past all my good qualities and defined me by the past addiction. Of course I was bummed and obviously he wasn’t the one for me. I was hopeful and excited to finally meet a guy that I clicked with. But now I was sitting across the dinner table deflated from the hope I once had. Feeling terrible, thinking love will be hard and it shouldn’t be. If I never had an addiction than I would probably be married by now. Negative thoughts started to race through my mind going and going. Should I date someone in recovery? I can’t help whom I fall for. Would it be hard to be with somebody who drinks? Should I even attempt to connect with another guy who suffered from addiction? I know whatever will be will be, so I have to wait and see.

 

The word addict can scare a person but its understandable, the symptoms of the disease can cause a lot of harm to others and love ones. Some people are unaware because they don’t know addicts or they have been hurt by addicts. In the past I would  care what others thought in the beginning of sobriety. Now it’s the first thing I disclose, it helps weed out the ones that are not open. I have to be “Ok” with someone not wanting to be friends or in a relationship with me because of my addiction. I want tolerance so I have to give tolerance

 

 A person might think someone in recovery might not be fun to hangout with or a downer. Just to clarify it’s the opposite. In my case I’m laughing most of my day, wanting to dance, be a better friend and a lot more outgoing. Very open to trying new things.

When I was using I was secluded, non social, not wanting to do anything, in dive bars, passing out and getting drunk early, emotional, angry, would get offend by everybody and everything. I wasn’t fun to be around. I lacked passion in learning from others, I thought I knew it all. I would have blackouts and drunken stumbles that caused a lot of damage to others.

 

 

A person might not invite me out because they don’t want to feel guilty for drinking around me. It all varies from person to person who is in recovery. For me I am at the point in my recovery were I could be around alcohol and not crave.

 

 

Now that I am sober, no one can make me feel any less than what I feel for myself. I’m very content with the friends I have in my life at the moment, I am now building on those relationship, instead of looking for validation in others who I lost due to my addiction. Sobriety is number one the rest follows and I can’t be with someone or have friends that don’t understand that. I need people to see past my disorder and see my heart. Sober is the New black

 

 

time

 

 

 

depart

 

 

 

 

courage

 

 

 

This week I’ll be working on the book but also catching the new Amy Winehouse documentary, I’ve been waiting for this film for the past year. I’ve been a huge fan since she made her first album before she blew up. Seen her live before back to black. Here’s an interview from Vice with The director Asif Kapadia of AMY

 

 

 

Day 421 Sober: Creating happiness

Hello friends today is 421 days of sober, this past week I’ve been working hard on my book. It should be finished sometime this week than off to the editors. I’ve been staying focus, working my program, and enjoying time with friends. Having Balance is very important in my sobriety

 

I once believed the pursuit of happiness meant if I accomplish a goal, or found love. I would find happiness. Now I pursue happiness that already lives within me then I’ll find the happiness I seek. I have everything I need in me. No material thing, or even another person is capable of bringing me something I don’t already have within. I stop looking for material abundance expecting happiness, joy and peace of mind.

 

 When I was an active addict my mind believed in finding someone or getting new shoes or drinking would make me happy but I soon had that empty feeling. The happiness buzz was temporary and left quickly. So I was off seeking a new pair of shoes and my next drink. My ego wanted more; it is determined to always want more. I have the ability to find the peace and joy right now, in this very moment. The world is full of beautiful things. These things in themselves are not bad, but the ideas I placed on them and the attachments I’d have with them caused the problems. I can’t expect the dream job, love from others or a brand new car to fill the emptiness inside me

 

Happiness cannot be found, it can only be created within us. Instead of chasing happiness in things and achievements, identify what choices make you feel good, and good about yourself. Commit to making those choices regularly.

 

Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.

 

 

 Whatever my reality is in the moment it’s the reflection of my emotions, thoughts and energy I’m releasing into the universe. If start changing my thoughts to happy ones, than that would bleed into me feeling happy. My world will not change unless I do. If it’s peace I’m looking for, then I must find it within me than I’ll attract experiences that raise’s my sense of peace. 

 

I am a human with a range of emotions. I will lose loved ones from death so of course I will feel pain, hurt and maybe even anger but That’s when I use my tools with in myself to grief, weep healing tears, and having emotional outburst. Going through my addiction I have learned of creating a new normal. So after the pain subsides and emotions level from losing a loved one, I can create happiness again. It’s a conscious decision to live a happy and fulfilling life despite the tragedy. If I believe I would never be happy after loss than it’s likely to come true. If I’d believe in time I could be happy after loss. I am more likely to seek-out joy inside myself and in life.

 

 

Thoughts and emotions are choices. So does that mean people choose to be sad? No one chooses to be sad but we act out based on what the ego believes and expects in every situation. My expectation, perception, and reaction, intertwines with every circumstance. Nothing, not a person, or event can take away happiness, joy, or inner peace unless I allow it.

 

Negative emotions are never True self or conscious wish. It’s the beliefs and expectations of the ego. Waiting for the future to bring peace and happiness like  “I’ll be happy when, or I’ll find the peace of mind if”.  Will never render because the future is determined by the choices I make in this moment. How can I expect to create something different than what I have now, if I do not change what I do?

 

There were three major reasons why I never felt happy, first was I was always searching outside myself for happiness, second I could not let go of pain, traumatic experiences, and dark childhood, which lead to my third addiction.

 The inability to let go of feelings of pain from the past, or worrying about rejection happening in the future.

Letting go was something that took twenty-eight years for me to learn. I now understand letting go is accepting that the past cannot be any different than it was. Not that it was “Ok” but that it had happen. So what can I learn from it so I could make the next right move. If I needed to cry than I do so. Letting go can also mean doing nothing. Giving space between how I feel in that moment so I could grieve than make my next positive thought and action.

I’m no longer scared of feeling emotions but more importantly being aware of the feeling so I know where it’s coming from so i could  heal it.   Rather than immediately trying to get rid of the pain I feel by blaming someone else, beating myself up, seeking revenge, or using substance, I have faith that it will go.

 

I just have to keep maintaining joy and peace with that I will attract more situations alike. If I’d focus on fears, concerns, and worries it will only bring more stuff to worry about. Feeling Worried means I am focusing on the future. Feeling regretful, guilt, or shame means I am focusing on the past. By being fully present in the moment I can find inner peace and happiness.

 

Choosing to be happy is a decision that can be made at rock bottom regardless on how low the reality is. Those experiences were created by the thoughts and beliefs you had. You are no longer who you were in the past, a month ago, a week ago, an hour ago. You are now, start creating from this point on with thoughts and choices. Change the state of mind, start thinking more positive thoughts.  You will feel happy  and it will releases energy into the universe. Your reality will shift.

 

Peace of mind and happiness has been with me this whole time. I’ve just been looking everywhere else in order to fill the addiction void deep within. But now I am found. I now know I can’t find peace, joy, and happiness outside myself, it comes from within. There is no other time than now. The future is a fantasy waiting to be created from the choices you make now. There will only be the present moment.

 

When letting go of the stress of tomorrows, and the regrets of the past. I can determine what I really feel.  Do I have all that I need in this moment? Do I have air, shelter, and water that my body needs? If I’m not happy with what I have in this moment, no amount of money, people, friendships, or material objects will change that or only give temporary happiness. If I create happiness without those than life will shift and the universe bring me more happiness.

 Seeking peace, joy and happiness with outside materials or in other people or waiting for the future to bring will always be a few inches out of reach. Like a dog chasing a bone he will never catch. The reason why happiness seems brief is not because of the circumstances that surround us, but because it is something trying to be found rather than created. 

 Life is like a blank canvas able to create the life that I want without the past blinding me. Always believe that every experience that happens in my life is the universe and god speaking to me. I feel god in everything. God speaks to me with experiences, thoughts and feelings. Sober is the New Black

 

unhappiness

 

 

love "you"

 

compare

 

 

exposed

 

 

learned

 

 

babe

 

 

 

 

figured out

 

 

The lead sing from The killers, Brandon Flowers just released his second solo album The desired effect. I’ve been a huge fan for the past 11 years, seeing them over 50 times. From state to state. I even have a few tattoos of them, so i might be a little biased but his music is electrifying. Here is “I can change”

 

 

 

 

Stay connected with love, Adolfo Vasquez

Day 413 Sober: What does Surrender mean?

Hello friends today is day 413 sober, this week has been a great week. I’ve been working on my positive thoughts. I’ve been surrounded by family and loved ones. Sobriety has brought me awareness. That I get to live another day to see family and friends that I love, is what I hold nearest to my heart.

Surrendering is one of the biggest gifts sobriety has brought me. The meaning behind surrendering could mean different things depending on a person. When I was using I felt surrendering was giving up. I can either win or lose and losing equaled surrendering. I learned that from the film’s I watched or book’s I read. Seeing a criminal surrender to cops. That is one angle, depending on the person level of awareness.I now see surrendering as something completely opposite

 

On a spiritual level for me surrendering is letting go and allowing my higher power to take over. That allows me to just be in the moment. Accepting “what is”. Surrendering isn’t giving up but having faith that the universe or higher power will guide my toes without me seeing a clear path.

 

In the beginning stages of sobriety when I surrendered I would beg, cry, plead, try every which way, until I was black and blue than surrender. That was self-abusive, now I just relax my mind, body and soul. When I’m calm I ask my higher power what’s the next right move. If a clear vision appears than I move in that direction. If not than I let it be, and let the universe work it’s law.

 

In the past I was consumed with achieving outcomes that I wanted, so I kept fighting without seeing blockades the universe was giving me. I would beat myself up or became bitter towards life and god. When I didn’t get what I wanted. When I was drinking alcohol I was against the flow of life. I felt unsettled, unhappy, and not a peace.

The flow of life takes me deeper and closer to my True self, where anything is possible.

 

The more I surrender, the closer I get to my true self. The closer I get to my true self the more I let go of ideas, opinions, and ego on how life should be. I become less attached and defined by outside stuff. When that happens “what I think I want” or “need” starts to fade. That doesn’t mean I don’t have goals or dreams but an understanding that I’m the co creator with the ultimate creator.

 

So when life is flowing and time is ticking. Life isn’t going as plan. In the past I would think I was a failure but the truth is it’s really a lesson that can guide me to a greater purpose or meaning. The ultimate creator has a different plan for me. At the time it might feel scary or painful but in the end good always rises with the higher power guiding you.

 

My rock bottom was the first time I ever really surrender. I just knew it was time to surrender. There are no words that could justify my awakening. It’s more of a feeling in that moment. That life isn’t going as planned. I kept trying to fix it on my own. I was creating more of a mess with a broken mind and soul. I had to accept I was an addict than let go and let god.

When life feels like its caving in, or you feel extreme stress towards a circumstance. You feel like you’re pushing against the flow of life, and your body is depleted from exhausted inside and outside, you can’t control emotions.

You can sit and see if there is purpose or meaning behind what you fighting for. Do I need to keep on this journey and face these fears? Or do I need to surrender because I am stuck wanting something now. Am I being stubborn. Once I started looking inward for questions the answer appears.

 

Than I ask myself how bad do I want change; the willingness to change? I wanted sobriety so bad day 1 sober. So bad I would have done anything and everything (and still do)

 

 

It ‘s important to see why we do whatever it is that is holding us back. So we don’t keep repeating the patterns or cycles. Having a greater awareness around situations allows me to be more deeply united with divine purpose, a meaningful existence with an impactful life. Sober is the new black.

 

 

Thoughts

 

 

All

 

 

love spells

 

Author

 

celebrate

 

 

 

Stay connect with love, Adolfo Vasquez

Day 407 Sober: Fearless

Hello Friends today is 407 days sober. I hope you all are enjoying this wonderful fourth of July weekend. I spent the fourth surround by amazing people, laughing, playing games, and eating tons of foods. There was alcohol around and I did not crave at all. Alcohol never entered my mind. I was living in the moment and staying grateful to be clear minded that allowed me to fully take in the love. Having a sober Fourth of July could be hard for others. If it was hard for me, I would have stayed home until I am ready to be around alcohol with only peace and serenity. Sobriety is number one the rest follows.

 

Part of why I started using was fear. Fear was ingrained in me at early age. I lived in fear my whole life. Being a 3-year-old living in fear of being homeless or being beaten by my parents. I grew a shield to protect myself from bad stuff happening but that grew and grew shielding great things as well. I couldn’t tell the difference between people who will hurt me and people who would benefit me. The fear was so big; I wasn’t living or trusting others. Drinking help deal with fearful thoughts and anxiety. It also help let my shield down for moments.

I always thought no matter how great life was bad was around the corner waiting to take away the good. As a child my fears brought anxiety. I was afraid of the wind, choking, dying, earthquakes, not fitting in, and heights. As I got older some fear stayed and some new ones surfaced.

This year is my year to face fears head on. On Friday I joined friends and went snorkeling. Pushing through my fear of the ocean. At first I sat on the beach-watching friends. I was scared but needed time to pull that courage from within me. I soaked my feet in the water and as each inch of my body got deeper, the more I was shaking from nerves.

 

When someone is facing his or her fear, at first its normal to feel anxiety. As I got in I started to embrace the moment. Shutting my mind off and focusing on the feeling of the water. Feeling life helps calm me and brings me back to the moment. The sense of touch is a powerful tool.   Letting it take me into the ocean. Anxiety left and fun started to appear. I wasn’t a great snorkeler, it was my first time but the whole point was just to get me in the water to overcome the fear.  Letting go of fears will make room to live and experience new things in life.

 

There are more fears on the horizon that I will be facing soon like flying. I know fear is an illusion created by past experiences. Going to keep on until I am fearless. Sober is the New Black

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On the way to the beach, This song was on a playlist. Surrounding yourself with love and great music helped me become more fearless.

 

 

 

Stay Connected with love, Adolfo Vasquez.

400 Days of Sober

Hello Friends, today is 400 days of sober. I just past 1 year and 1 month sober. This is the longest I’ve been sober since I was 15 years old. This year Ill be 30 so half of my life I’ve been using some sort of drug or alcohol to escape. I was an addict before I took my first sip of booze or snorted my first line of coke. When I was a kid I was always looking for an escape from my dark feelings, fear or  life.

 

Trying to escape from the inside with outside stuff. Escaping with food, getting thin, shopping, sleeping around, cutting myself, validation from others, running 6 miles every day. Those things would bring me a temporary high or numbness, but it was short lived. So the hunger grew, I needed more stuff, I needed to be thinner, and I needed more validation, slept with more men. Turning into substance abuse.

I was consuming, consuming and consuming thinking one day that I would find peace or become whole with having stuff or becoming rich. Just needed that high paying job or those new shoes. Just needed that one guy to sweep me off my feet, or that nice car then ill be happy. What’s interesting is I had all those things, but it was never enough, I never had long-term happiness.

I found peace and serenity not when life was going good but in the chaos of my rock bottom. I realized that happiness, joy, love, forgiveness, surrendering, successes, passion, those things are created only within myself. So I started.

At first my feelings didn’t connect with my thoughts or the words I spoke. I would tell myself, “You are beautiful”. But I didn’t feel beautiful at first but soon after the feelings, thoughts and words synced together.

Life will piece together. I sit here over a year sober with nothing but gratitude for being sober. I still have to create those things within myself because life on life terms.  Meaning people will pass or hard times will happen. But I know I can still create peace and serenity because I have faith, I’ve witnessed it work in my life. Sober is the new black.

This blog is about staying sober and what I am learning throughout the days, months, and years. Hoping that these words could connect with someone who might be suffering or questioning staying sober. The meaning behind the name sober is the new black is sober goes great in every aspect of my life. Sober is the best thing I’ve worn.

The reason for me counting days on the blog because if someone who is 26 days sober or day 1 sober, could Google their days and my blog will pop up. Maybe my words can help or they can relate.

This blog is a form of service, I just want to help or in some ways inspire.

 

 

kindness

 

Catch up

 

want

 

 

Diverse

 

Alabama Shakes is one of my favorite bands, here a song that I play on repeat when i am feeling a bit down.

 

Stay connected with love, Adolfo Vasquez

Day 393 Sober: Finding Art in Recovery

Hello Friends today Is day 393 sober. This past week has been eventful. I’ve been in the process of getting my first book ready for print. The vision came to me one day, late at night. This will be my first book, in my head I thought it would be easy and in some way effortless since I write everyday and knowing what I want the book to say.

I was wrong, this past week  I’ve felt annoyed, tried, confused, terrified, and inspired in the process of writing the book. I had a talk with the Editor and a friend who open me up to a new direction for the book. The new direction felt right in my heart.

In this stressful time I had no negative thoughts or an addiction voice trying to convince me to drink.

I talk about my childhood on this blog. In the book it will be more in depth. So having to go back, remember those times and feelings is  hard at times.  But the part of the book that affects my feelings the most isn’t the childhood. It’s when I was in my deep state of addiction.

The pain I caused loved ones, shooting daggers in hearts. The lying, The manipulation, The time and friends lost. I know it was the Addiction and not my True Self because in the morning after the drunken stumbles, My heart and soul felt heavy and in pain.

In the process of writing the book I find myself walking away for sometime to cry healing weeps. Or taking hour breaks to decompress.

I know I can’t change those actions but what I can do is stay sober so their pain wont be in vain.

Meditation and sitting with my higher power helps after a writing session. Bringing me back to the present. giving me some clarity

Writing is part of my recovery, taking out all the dark stuff that dwells in me and putting it on paper. like a cleansing of the soul. It also helps me reflect and connect the dots from traumas to how traumas affect me subconsciously in my every day life. For example I grew up really poor, I recently notices that feeling bleeds into how I see the world. I have 69 pairs of shoes and always want to buy food in bulk. I need to see the patterns and see if they are affecting me n a negative way. Or change. Sober is the New Black

I’m wishing all the dads a happy fathers day.  Hope you all have a day filled with relaxtion and love.

 

Here are some poems I created this week.

 

Sobriety Big

 

 

Crippling

 

 

A choice

 

 

The Children

 

 

Me day 392 Sober

Adolfo Vasquez

 

 

Anyone who knows me personally, knows I’ve always been a huge fan of Tina Turner. This song is one my favorite.

 

 

Stay Connect with love, Adolfo Vasquez

DAY 386 Sober: Positive Thoughts

Hello Friends today is day 386 sober. This week has been a great week. I still haven’t had any cravings for alcohol. In my days sober, I only craved a beer a few days into my sobriety. I’ve been around it and still no craving. I find myself nausea, turnoff, or disgusted by they sight of alcohol maybe because I know the damage it has caused my life.

 

This past week all I’ve been doing is writing my book. Six to eight hour writing session. My goal is to have them done by august. So I have a couple months to finish. The book is on my first year sober, more in depth than the blog mixed with my poetry. I have over six hundred poems I had to narrow down to three hundred. That was a bit difficult.

Going back  to those memories isn’t as bad as I thought it would be. It’s pretty cool  seeing my growth. The only difficulty is telling the story of my dog snuggles who I had to abandoned as a child. Snuggles was my best friend growing up.

This up coming week ill be locked in my apartment witting away. I usually write in cafes but I’m starting to love writing in my home. I will go out into the world for some necessities.

My poetry has slowed down as well because all I energy is put on the book at the moment

I am still being my mind watcher, keeping a close eye on addiction behavior and thoughts. As more days go by the more normal life seems. As if I never had any issues. I know it has to do with healing. What once bothered me no longer does. In the past I would focus so much energy on seeing the world in a negative way. My eyes and mind was condition from a dark past. Now I see the world in love and possibilities. If a negative thought surfaces I change the thought to a positive one and I don’t let the negative thought bleed into my feeling and actions.

 

I can look back at my past year and honestly say I have no regrets all due to sobriety. Which is crazy coming from a person that had tons of regrets. My thoughts, actions and feelings are all synced together. My positive thought leads to other positive thought like a quilt and once you start it becomes effortless.

 

I was reading a CNN article that said By changing the way you think, your DNA also changes so you are no longer that old past. It really is a great article. Sober is the New Black.

 

 

Here are some poems I’ve paused the book to write, Poems just come to me while in deep thought.

 

wings

 

 

 

 

little lion

 

 

 

watch

 

 

 

putting back the pieces

 

 

old

 

 

lay

 

 

Here are some photos from my past week.

Adolfo Vasquez the book process

 

 

Every Sunday there will a be a new blog post giving Sober is The New Black readers some stability

 

This video below is from Ingrid Michaelson called Afterlife that I’ve been listening to over and over this past week

 

 

Stay Connected with love, Adolfo Vasquez