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

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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