3 Years Sober

 

Hello, Friends today I’m 3 years sober. The last few days I have been celebrating with loved ones, including a dinner tonight. This past week I have been Self Reflecting on my journey in recovery. It brings me to tears seeing where I’ve been and where I am at today. The pain, the struggle, the tears, the work, the sadness, the healing, the unknowns, the anxiety, the fears were all worth this moment here now. I feel peaceful and immense gratitude for my recovery. Life does get better even in challenging times. Now that I’m sober and clean I find the solution quicker or see my human errors faster. It seemed like my second year sober has flown by. Time goes fast, while I am happy, content and sober. While in addiction it seemed like time was the enemy, filled with pain and waiting for the next drink.

 

This year my goal was to create new experiences, create a healthy balanced life, and work toward my dreams. I also wanted to get to know myself more see my defects and assets clearly. A balanced lifestyle is vital for my life because it prevents another addiction or stops any obsessions from growing. Now that my soul and mind feel clean, healthy and free I am starting to work on my body. I stopped nicotine, and cut back on my caffeine intake. I allow myself one cup of coffee in the morning instead of 5 shots of espresso. I also stopped diet cokes and red bulls. I want to be free from all vices and really present in my day. I want to be healthy all around, and don’t want to take life for granted.

 

My second year sober has been amazing but at times challenging. There are areas in life that I’ve made real progress like working towards my book series and my relationship but I also regressed in other areas. It’s okay to have moments of regression because we are human and not perfect. What’s important is to see the regression, see the poor choices or find my human errors and defects. It’s important to take accountability and accept the consequences. These human errors are just lessons to bring a greater awareness of self. I can choose to wallow in pity and sit in sorrow or learn and make different choices. Every time I have a human error, I forgive myself right away. I have to, I don’t allow my ego or infected mind to beat me up but I do change what is needed or find out why I did what I did.

 

Forgiving yourself is freeing, it brings you back to the present where the solution lives. In the past I would be sad for days, allowing my mind to be abusive to my soul. In sobriety I came to a realization that I am not my past; I am the lesson learned from my past. I have to stay vigilant because my disease never goes away. Everyday I ask myself questions like what is guiding me? Is it my diseased ego mind or addiction voice? Is it my higher power or true self? When life seemed chaotic I knew I took a wrong turn somewhere or living from my ego. When I become aware that I am off track than I search within my soul to see where I got off track. My reactions, emotions, and situations are evidence showing me there is something wrong inside myself. Through prayer and meditation I can slow the mind to find the solution. After I see my human errors make different choices and keep it moving. Human errors are easy to overcome when I don’t wallow in pity but find the lesson or solution.

 

My second year sober was not challenging in the sense of not drinking, I’ve only had one craving in three years sober and that was in my first few months. Challenging in living life on life terms. I have to accept the universe, I can’t fight against it. I will lose, the universe is way more powerful than my human capabilities. Also the universe is always speaking to me and showing me what I need to do or stop doing, what needs healing or gives opportunities for growth.  It might feel horrible or uncomfortable but its trying to push me to my full potential. Life is real, truer, and I also feel life extremely.

 

Something I realized this year is I don’t do well in stressful situations, and in the past I was better. I need to really work on calming my mind and body in unforeseen events.  I tend to get deep anxiety that can last for a week. That just the way my body and diseased mind works. I don’t take medications for my anxiety and have holistic treatments, if it gets bad. In my second year sober I felt more anxiety than usual. I had to accept what I was feelings and let it flow out of me. I had to sit on a cold floor, take a warm bath, let out tears and meditate, or go for a walk. In the depths of addiction, I wasn’t living, feeling, or dealing with life. Sober has forced me to deal and feel.

 

 

I still consider myself a newbie because I am only three years sober, three years of getting to know true self, watching my mind and healing my darkness. I still don’t know all the reasons why I became an addict but in time they will surface. It took sometime for me to realize that a reason for my Addiction was to numb my anxiety. My first year sober was more about getting to know the addiction that lived in the mind and separating addiction from true self. My first year sober I was overly focused on doing whatever it took to maintaining sobriety. This second year was all about creating a more balanced life and recovery program. I got to be very intimate with myself so I know what worked and what didn’t.  Life also got more complex, so i had to learn how to balance healing in recovery and creating a healthy relationship. I was able to find a more balanced recovery program. My life has gotten bigger, a lot of change and also new challenges. I moved into a new home with the love of my life, got a new job, loss some people and stop nicotine. In those big changing times I did not crave and for that I am grateful.

 

Challenging times is only a challenge if I define it as a challenge. I can change my perception to an opportunity to learn. I have to always see the sliver lining. It does get easier to not pick up a drink but that doesn’t mean life is miraculously perfect or gets better without work, time and effort. I had to take time to sit with myself to see what I needed to heal, I had to put work in to change the way my mind thinks. I do find myself being able to find happiness within my soul in hard times easily. I don’t allow my mind to run off or allow my emotions to bring me to a dark place. I allow the tears to flow and accept what is. Accepting what is creates freedom to change or create. If I don’t accept what is than I am not dealing with reality, it will create anger or resentment towards people and the universe.

 

I am also learning what it means to form healthy relationships, create boundaries with some and cutting out people who are unhealthy. My life was going great in most aspects and some parts of my life seemed chaotic. In one relationship in particular, I kept allowing bad behavior from a person. I kept forgiving and letting go, than found myself week’s later stressed out, filled with anxiety or hurt by them again. It’s no ones fault but my own, it has to come back to self, I allowed their bad behavior. I had to take deep look within my soul to see why I allowed their bad behavior to go on for so long. I still don’t have a clear answer since we recently parted ways. I do know there is some unhealed trauma that allows unhealthy people into my life. That relationship was causing deep anxiety.

 

Forgiving doesn’t mean I should still be around them if the bad behavior continues. Since I kept allowing that person to hurt me, the pressure built and built and I imploded with anxiety.  I can forgive and let them go. I still care deeply for this person they’re part of my family. So I know I need  to coexist with  boundaries. My well-being and sobriety has to come first over everything including my relationships. I don’t know what the future holds for that person and me. I’m wiser because of the failed relationship. I also have to acknowledge the blood on my hands in the failed relationship and see what I can do better. I can’t change them but can change myself. That person brought out issues that I need to work on. In some weird way I am grateful for that experience because it has forced me to start creating boundaries and taught me to communicate when I feel a hurt by another person. Not to say everything is fine when it’s not. I was burying my emotions that created me to have irrational behavior. That person was a great teacher.  I had to go through that experience to see there is something in me that needs healing for allowing bad behavior in my life. I am grateful for that chaotic time because it is bringing me a greater self-awareness.

 

I want to around people who enhances my life and not around chaos and drama. I have forgiven and have compassion for that person. I also can’t spend energy and time trying to find closure. There will be times I wont have closure and I have to accept that. That person is committed to never understanding my feelings or why I had to cut them out. I can’t force someone to take responsibility; I had to accept that person doesn’t care. In any loss relationship whether with friends or family it’s hard. Feeling the loss is hard but possible to overcome wiser.This second year sober has taught me how to say no to others and yes to myself.

 

I am grateful for my sobriety that has allowed me to see clearly who is unhealthy and who is healthy. I am grateful for my partner Vince who is my biggest cheerleader but also a person who calls it like it is. He shines a light on my defects and assets. He helps me see the good and not so good in me, I am not perfect but always a work progress. This year sober theme was duality, regressions but also blooming. There are still some old behavior that has brought chaos to my life, but I am grateful that I am sober so I can fully understand it and change it. I am never working towards perfection but towards be whole in my soul.

 

My book series is complete and should be out in 2018. It still feels surreal and brings tears to my eyes. Not only is it possible to overcome addiction but to achieve real dreams that once seemed far out of reach. I was always reaching for the bottle but now I am reaching for my dreams.

 

Stay connected with Love, Adolfo Vasquez

Here are some poems I created since my last post

 

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Day 450 Sober: Forms of fears

Hello Friends today is day 450 sober, Now that the book is done and being edited I find myself having some fearful thoughts that I’m trying to push through. Anytime I try something new or find myself in uncharted territories (First time being a publish author) the fear of failure is the first thing that festers in my mind. Fear has been ingrain in my mind and body at such a young age. Fear prevented me from getting hurt but it has also prevented me from reaching full potential. Before I spoke words I knew what fear was.

 

Fear is an emotion that give’s me a signal so I could avoid danger. It’s projected toward event’s that hasn’t occurred yet. That can be a dangerous thing. Some of the greatest things in life I will experience are scary like falling in love, trusting others, jumping out of a plane, and success. Fear can be a good thing. Since the beginning of time it’s a useful survival mechanism. Fear can make someone be careful in certain situations. Overcoming a fear can bring upon a rush of excitement, an empowerment that brings strength and confidence.

 

Fear can be motivation. By changing how I see the fear. Instead of being afraid of making a mistake, change the fear to being afraid of not learning the lesson in the mistake. If  I am fearful of trying something new or moving to a new state. Change the fear to not trying something new or fear you might never get the chance to experience living in a different state. Fear can become nonsensical in the form of phobias; a bit odd and not making sense to be afraid of certain things. As a child I was afraid of the wind, weather, choking on food, getting beaten up, being homeless and Fear of heights.

As I got older my Fears evolved into; Fear of change, loneliness, not fitting in, of my partner cheating, and death. Every time someone around me was in a bad mood, I assumed it’s because of me like an automatic reflex in my bones.

 Fear can have unwanted side effects like stress and anxiety. The side effects are what I need to overcome. Recognizing fears is extremely important to overcome. If I don’t know what scares me, I’ll never do anything about it. Some are easy to feel and spot others may take going within self, searching.

Fear comes in the form of thoughts that lead into the feeling. Most fears are caused by some traumatic events from the past. Being a child of abuse, I tend to be an introvert not wanting to get close to someone afraid of getting hurt. That traumatic experience taught me to avoid human connection.

Internal or subconscious fears are dangerous because it makes me think its part of my DNA or myself.  That fear can really hold me back in life. The way I saw the world and understood the world was with eyes molded from Past pain, childhood traumas and low self-esteem all intertwined becoming Subconscious fear. It developed my belief system.

Subconscious fear can also seem to be a part of who I ‘am. For Example In school I excelled in English. In high school I was above average, taking college prep classes. I also wrote a poem that was published while in middle school. I always dreamed of becoming a writer but as I got older I thought I wasn’t good enough or not qualified. So I went through a period of not writing. That was a Subconscious fear thinking that prevented me at the time from reaching full potential. I see it now coming out while my first novel is being edited. What if people read my book and hate it or not understand it? The reader is the most important aspect, It’s like a dance between the reader and the writer both have to be in sync.

 

Subconscious fear is hard to recognize and eliminate. My fear beliefs are not facts. The things I want and the things I fear sometimes become intertwined becoming one.

 

Fear is illusion created by the mind so I have the power to destroy it. We can destroy every negative thing we create in our mind. Pain will happen but it will subside, if I quit pain will last forever. I need to Protect my dreams and don’t be afraid. Everybody has failed, it seems necessary to becoming great. The past few days my mind has been trying to feed me failure but the difference from this time sober is I am aware that it’s my addiction. So I have to push through and change my thoughts. One day at a time.

 

 

 

 

war

 

Surroundings

 

 

 

addiction

 

how beautiful

 

 

fatal

 

 

bleed

 

healing

 

 

grief

 

accept

walk

 

This song from Macklemore is a brilliant track, hope you enjoy it.

 

 

 

Stay connected with Love, Adolfo Vasquez

Day 437 Sober: We are Worthy

Hello Friends today is day 437 days sober, I was up in last night in to the early morning finish up the first draft of my novel. When I wrote the last sentence a sense of being proud filled my soul. I have yet to feel that way in my days sober. Just over a year ago I was sitting on a mattress that lay on the floor, stagnant in life from all the substance abuse. I had no passion for anything great, I was incapable of dreaming big dreams for myself.

 

So last night after finishing my first draft I wept a bit, knowing that hard work and making a conscious decision in believe I was worthy of pursing a dream that seemed to big.

 

Since a child I have always felt ugly. I have dark skin, I’m short and I carry more weight around my waist. I have chubby cheeks so when I smile I notice my face swell up a bit.

Low self-esteem is something I struggled with most of my life, but when I was using I was unaware of it being low Self Esteem or how to overcome Low Self esteem.  Since I could remember I’ve carried a belief system that I was inadequate, unlovable, unworthy and/or incompetent. This perception comes from the interpretation of the dysfunctional behavior of my parents during my early years. I was the brunt of their anger, abandonment, abuse, neglect, and continual negative criticism or scorned.

 

Children know only what they are taught. My parent mistreated me and I started thinking I deserved it. I was abandoned periods at a time in the elementary school years and middle school years from both parents so I told myself I was insignificant. My parents withhold affection and love, I viewed myself unlovable. Being criticized constantly, I must be incompetent. Being abused by my parents, bullies and my molester, I must be unworthy of anything better.

 

My early childhood set the stage for how I viewed myself. Affecting my entire life. Basing me not on the truth about who I am really, but rather on the rejecting, inappropriate, and abusive behavior from others. Once this faulty view of self is formed it affects everything in the child’s ongoing life: my decision-making, my ambition, my creativity, my assertiveness, my choices, my dreams. In Sobriety I came to see myself in a truthful light rather than through the negative and distorted lenses create from past experiences.

 Having been betrayed by my parents who were the closet to me, who I trusted and rely on, I was unable to separate who and when to trust a person. Consequently, I often trusted a person who was simply nice to me or showed me some attention, opening the door to being easily swayed, taken advantage of, and manipulated. While I didn’t trust those who were trustworthy like Vincent in the beginning of my last relationship. Over time a person really knows what a person stands for or who they really are. Time will determine if another is trustworthy.

 

When I was a child I developed an image of myself as inadequate or not good enough. I treated myself and expected to be treated accordingly. I was overly critical of my body. I inwardly agreed with others’ criticisms of me, I might have put up an argument against negative feedback but eventually scum to other beliefs of me. I would always reject compliments. Even criticize people who compliment me. I carried low standards for myself.

 

I just assumed other people see me in the same negative way. Anticipating rejection, expected to be ignored or mistreated. For the longest time I thought I deserved the abuse and would tell myself I caused the negative reactions or inappropriate behavior of others.  So when circumstances or mistreats happen I would see it as confirmation of my inadequacy, lack of significance, and then engages in irrational and distorted self-statements that bring on additional negative feelings. Like I hate myself, I want to die, I wish I was thinner, I will never be anything great, even cutting myself or using substance to make me feel “good” again.

In time with recovery I am becoming aware of these misrepresentations and over time I will be able to correct them.

I always lacked self-confidence in most aspects of my life.

Not confident I would succeed in life. When something discouraging happens, I’d interpret the situation as proof that I will not prevail in my attempts to be successful. Sometimes I even try to become an overachiever (desperately driven to prove myself) and other times I remain underachiever (achieving less that I am capable of).

When I overachieved I tend not to believe in my success or having a feeling of wanting more, or thinking what I could have done better and viewing myself “lucky” and expecting success to eventually evaporate. Lacking confidences shows up in new situations where I don’t know what is expected of me. Fear that relying on my own judgment may produce behavior that is “wrong” in the eyes of others, thereby provoking disapproval.

 

In my past relationships (before I met Vincent) whether in love or friends I mostly choose the wrong partners , remain in relationships that are unsatisfying or abusive, remain in jobs where the pay was poor and the benefits are nonexistent. I would fear change, fear being alone, and fear my own ability to make the right decisions.

 

While in recovery, confidence is building gradually. Believing I am capable and to recognize success is real, I just have to believe and put in the hard work.

 

Habits have always been in my life some beneficial and some hurtful. One habit was projecting onto others my own worst fears. I would think I was incapable of something and believe others thought similar without any proof that this is true..

 

I was searching to feel better in over-spending, alcohol use, perfectionism, drug use, overeating, and sexual promiscuity, evolving into addiction. The feeling alcohol brought upon me was the greatest feeling of those other vices. It warmed my blood and soul. Stopping the negative and infected mind from pain but it also made me very stagnant in all aspects of life, love, healing, career, passion, growth etc. People had hurt me through out my life and alcohol was the connection I needed.

 

 when I was an active addict I would make up stories in my mind about the behavior, motivation, and intent of others. what others are thinking, what others are feeling, what is really meant by the behavior of others, what is really meant by the words of others, without first checking out their perceptions. These stories are always negative-based. I would feel that people are taking advantage of me or taking me for granted, or mistreating me when it isn’t actually so. This caused a lot of friction in my friendships and loved ones. I would create scenarios that has not occurred and would act out on them. Losing a lot of friends and sleepless nights.

 

I would take things personal and believe my emotional reaction to be accurate. This process is a mental distortion or irrational thinking and is present to some degree in all low self esteem sufferers causing them to act on unpredictable feelings and confused about who and when to trust.

 

I would test the love and devotion of people I felt close to, throwing out cues as to what I wanted or needed and then expecting them to pick up these cues and supply what I wanted or needed. I would feel that others should know what I wanted and needed and get hurt when the person doesn’t do what’s expected. Setting myself up with unreasonable expectations and are often disappointments. Internally digest as the other person “not caring” or “not caring enough”.

We all come from unique early environments and the ways in which we treat others is often a reaction of how we were treated. The things we do for others are often similar to what was done to us. What we deem important in a relationship is often symbolic of that we saw and experienced with the people who surrounded us during past years.

 

Every one has very different outlooks on what a relationship should look like, on how those in a relationship should treated by the other. How much time should spend together, how much they should do for each other. As a result, there are often many misunderstandings in relationships concerning what each person can expect from the other and what is reasonable and unreasonable.

 

In sobriety, I will be able to ask for what I want and need rather than expecting the other person to just “know.” Learning how to discuss and work through problems and disagreements rather than merely reacting. I am developing basic relationship skills.

 

 Unfortunately the reality of this world is that I will not be everyone’s cup of tea.  Some people are going to see my imperfections and judge me, some will run for the hills, and some will straight up tell me how horrible I am.  I can’t hide from these facts and it will not be easy to overcome. Getting rejected for who I truly am hurts deeply than I could have ever imagined. I’ve already have had people shun me from my past addiction and even had some people in recovery shun my program, not understanding that I will never be anonymous.

 

While some people will look at my imperfections and run. Some people will look at them and embrace me with open arms.  The feeling of being rejected for who you are may be horribly painful, but the feeling of true acceptance is indescribable. To know that you can be yourself and not have to put on an act is liberating and comforting all at once. Sober is the New Black

 

 

 

moon

 

 

one more day

 

 

i am here

 

run

 

 

haunt

 

 

believe

 

Everything

 

 

I Came across this video and in brought me to tears, its from a film maker Shea Glover

 

 

 

Here’s a song that i listen often, music helps heal the soul

 

 

 

Stay connected with love, Adolfo Vasquez

Day 270 Sober: My Breakthrough

Hello Friends today is day 270 sober. Today has been a great day so far. Had a toothache last night into the morning light but feeling a lot better. Right now I am sitting in a café in Korea town enjoy a great read when a thought came into my head, I asked myself a question with a clear mind. Why did I start drinking? Within a sec of asking me that question the answer surfaced, that inner light that dwells in me must have known I was ready.

 

At a very young age, my reality was dark and fear-based.  I would pretend to live in a fantasy most of my childhood, playing pretend. That was acceptable because I was a kid. As I got older in the middle schools and high school playing pretend turned into daydreaming a life than the one I was currently living. High school and middle school was even darker than my childhood. As I got into my early 20’s I couldn’t hide from my reality and found a different escape, which was in the form of substance.

Substance made me happy, free and felt a bond I never felt before. After that “high” or “drinking” I would be thrown back into my unhappy reality so of course I would count the hours till 5pm or the next high to escape.

I was never taught how to create a happy life, no tools, no knowledge, and no foundation. I was going through life embracing experiences one bad after another without listening to the universe that I was on the wrong path. I guess my ears were still clogged from all the past pain. I thought life was just surviving bad experiences, but those bad experiences were just there so I can listen, learn and change.

Since I wasn’t aware or listening.  I repeated making choices that made my reality unhappy thus causing me to use thus creating my life a vicious cycle until my late 20s.

So how do I create a happy reality? The first thing is to always be clear minded so I can never touch another substance that would alter me. With a clear mind, I can create joy feelings with positive thoughts. See life like a blank canvas. Creating the life that I want without the past blinding. Always speak my inner truth and believe that every experience that happens in my life is the universe speaking to me, others call it god.  I feel god is in everything and speaks to me, in experiences, thoughts and feelings. Creating love within myself  for me without others opinions or thoughts. unlearn everything I was thought in my youth so I can learn with a smarter, loving, open, understanding mind and heart.

I am so grateful that at 270 days sober I know why I started using and know that every choice, thought, feeling I make has a direct effect on my future.

 

It seemed throughout my life I’ve learned so many lessons from others pain and for that I am profoundly sorry but also grateful that I am here today “In this moment a better me because of it”. Everyone is a teacher and some will go and some will stay and just because they go doesn’t mean it was an unsuccessful relationship it just means Its time for me to learn a new lesson, feel new things and maybe that teacher needs to teach someone else. With lesson’s I’ve gain from teachers I am able to see life in a different way. A smarter way, Sober is the New Black.

 

joy

 

peace

 

i follow

 

Christina Perri song I Believe is such a powerful and inspiring song. I hope it helps others who might be struggling with believing in their possibility.

 

 

Stay connect with love, Adolfo Vasquez