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 67 Sober: Middle School Years of Tears and Fears

Hello friends, today is day 67 sober. This post is the extension from my childhood post I wrote Earlier this week . These middle school years are fresher and more complex. I believe I was an addict before I even had my first substance, I was an addict for numbing myself so I did not have to deal with reality, I was an addict in needing approval from others, I was an addict for doing whatever it takes to be accepted. Again I am not trying to blame my parents or others for my Addiction but I do believe we all have pasts that mold us and are minds that creates the perfect mold for an addict, this is my story. Going through my addiction brings me a clearer understanding on my parent Addictions. I hope my story can help others who suffer from a treatable disorder that seems at times untreatable.

 

At the end of fifth grade my mother picked up my brother and I from my great grandmas. We grabbed what few things we had and put them in a black trash bag, walked to the nearest bus stop. She got a place in palm desert were I started middle school. We lived in 4 different places in those three years. My mother was still with Bert and the first apartment we lived in was a two bedroom, my brother and I shared a room. That year I started middle school, I was excited also nervous my first day of school. A I asked to be put in drama because film and acting was and still is a passion.  In 7th grade I wrote a poem  my teacher loved.  She had me read it in front of the class, than it was published but I never thought my writing skills can turn into something great. The poem was called “ I am short 7th grader that’s meant to be on stage”. In middle school I never had nice clothing. I felt embarrassed and ashamed most of the time. I was ashamed for being on the free lunch program, so I wouldn’t eat. I would be out from morning to night; I did not want to be home. In school I was a bit of loner.  In sixth grade I would sit under trees by myself and eat French fries. Looking back at old self brings on a feeling of wanting to go back and Whisper words of encouragement in my ear.  I had a couple of great friends, one life long friend . I was to embarrassed to let anyone in my life and that carried into high school.

 

We eventually got kicked out from that apartment and moved to another apartment a few blocks away. I don’t remember my mom or stepfather ever being home. When she was home fear was always over taking me. I was playing in a park once and a gate slammed on my hand and a chunk of skin ripped off of my hand. Strangers ran over when they heard my scream. They were asking for my parents but of course they weren’t there. I was 11 at the time. The stranger drove me home. When he knocked at the door and my mom scream for us to use the back door, for some reason she hated us using the front door. She opened the door in a rage only to turn it off in seconds when she seen it was another adult carrying me with blood everywhere. This stranger drove my mother and I to the hospital, I had to get stitches. We never had reliable cars. Growing up we never seen a dentist or doctors. One time in my middle school I had a really bad fever and at one point I told my mother and my step father my head was in great pain and it was getting worse but they sent me back to bed. When you have a fever it can cause you to hallucinate if you get to hot. So I was lying in bed counting sheep and all of a sudden I felt my head explode, I ran into the living room and started climbing the walls thinking I was spider man, screaming the house was on fire. My step father grab me and took me outside where it was cold and my temp went down, they felt I didn’t need to see a doctor.

 

I just knew if I ever wanted anything in life I would have to do it on my own so around 12 I started working at a local street fair because I needed money. My anxiety came out in full force around this time, I didn’t know what anxiety was. Fear was instilled in me at such a young vital time in my life. You have to be careful with very young kids because you mold their self-esteem and mind. Fear came out in form of food, I was afraid of choking, so for 2 years I didn’t eat. It all started when I swallowed a gum and I thought it got stuck in my throat. After that I chewed my food into liquid and even then I had to concentrate so I can swallow. It was horrible. Even now when I chew my food sometimes my mind takes me back to that place and I find myself chewing my food the same way and force swallowing. (Its kind of crazy what trauma can do to a small child)? It got to the point were I was really skinny like feed the hungry commercials. I do remember my mom crying and telling me that they would put a tube in me if I continue not eating.

 

I always knew my mom did drugs, the first memory was when I was very young, I believe in 2 grade my brother and I found a small bag of white powder we opened it and it spilled all over us. My mother freaked out, she thought we ate some, so she rushed us to the kitchen and made us drink a cup of milk instead of heading to the doctor. At a young age I knew drugs were the reason my mother was the way she was. Besides my stepfather blowing weed in are face, I walked in my mom in middle school with a huge pile of what powder on a mirror, I believe it was cocaine. She rushed me out of the room and she said it was the neighbors. My mother lying to me must have been the guilt.

 

My mom let me have my own dog name snuggles in 6th grade. Snuggles gave me that unconditional love and kisses I needed. She was my hero. We squatted in a home most of seventh grade then eventually got kicked out. We moved into a small apartment on the outskirts of palm desert and most of my time I was outside. My mother was getting tried of Bert and she got a job at a local store. She has always been very strict with cleaning and she wanted everything to be spotless. Even if it was clean we never cleaned it good enough, so  when she would get home from work she would spot check then beat us or scream at us. One day my mom never came home and disappeared for two weeks, Bert was really depressed. It turn out my mom met this new guy name Sammy. Bert was never really a father to us but he was the constant male in are life. Its funny, how someone can be in your life for so long than in one second they are gone.

 

My mother men just got worst, this one was name Sammy and he was a drunk and abuser. We packed up and my mother told me my best friend snuggles could not come. I kissed my dog on the head and told her how sorry I was for what I was about to do. I poured all the dog food on the floor and a huge bowl of water. Went next door to let them know if they want to keep her, than left a note on the front gate saying free dog. The only real love I felt was about to be abandon, we locked the door and I can still her snuggles howling for me. As I walked away I start screaming and crying. Till this day I still have pain from that experience, I feel like snuggles didn’t understand it was not my choice to leave her. Not sure if she is still around but if she is I hope she went a great family she deserved with endless amounts of kisses and lots of yummy treats. If she passed on I hope she knows what deep love I have for her still and I want to tell her thank you for giving so much joy in a dark time in my life, she was the light in a very dim room. We always had pets and we always had to abandon them. My mother ex would drive down a dark street throw are dogs out the car while I scream my head off.

 

 

So we moved into Sammy moms home. She was so mean, we were not allowed in the kitchen or to eat food, so we ended up at a motel. We walked with trash bags full of are clothes over the freeway to get to the motel. Motels were second home. For a while we would have to walk over a mile to a school bus stop. One day we walked a mile to get to the motel and notice my mom had checkout so we walked back to the bus stop not knowing where to go. She finally picked us up. Sammy didn’t work but some how manage to get us a place. They would always fight and it would be bloody. Sammy would take us to the store and make me stuff my pants with stolen goods and if I didn’t than he would beat me and call me a pussy. At that time I also was stealing food and eating, lunchables, cheese-string, and reeses cups in the restroom stalls of grocery stores. I just knew if I did not I would go hungry. Stealing was a family bonding time, once my stepfather sent my older brother and younger brother into Wal-Mart to steal shoes, they got caught and my stepfather drove off, so my older brother had to call my mom to pick him up.

 

I never went to my middle school graduation because I did not have a ride and my mother did not care to see it. My brother and I would always sneak into apartments to use the pool. One day we left and came back to see my mom sitting in a back of a cop car with handcuffs. Sammy just got out of jail for beating up my mother and went back to the house to get his things. I had a feeling that day that I should stay home but ended up still heading to the pool. I guess Sammy showed up with his mom and sister and called the cops saying my mom attacked them. That moment change the course of my life. The cops took my mom away and Bert came and told us we cant’ stay with him. Bert drove us to my great grandmas because my father didn’t want my brother and I. To be continue.

 

Sober is the New Black.

Stay connect with love, Adolfo

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Michael Jackson Man in the Mirror is a perfect song for this post

DAY 62 Sober: Profoundly Misfortunate Childhood

This long read is Dark that might affect a lot of my family but its part of  the  process of healing. The point of it isn’t to hurt but to heal and write down with the eyes of that young child. Not the view of my brothers or trying to rationalize my parent’s behavior. I need to heal the hurting young kid that still weeps. Growing up I never talk to anyone about my childhood and teen years, my good friend Nikka and Marquita who I knew since kindergarten never met my mother nor my father. I put on a fake smile and denied everything. Living in a fantasy of false and pretend fairytale that was really a dark hole that consists of blood baths, fear, homelessness, molestation, drugs and selling my body. My goal is to go back and save that young kid with a beautiful smile and those big rounded brown eyes. This is my childhood from k-5, the memories are a bit jumbled and hard to remember the exact timeline but the events are real and the pain is real. I love my parents but this words needs to be let out. It will be a two part child hood and teen years.

 

I was born on a rainy day on 11:11:85 in Palm Springs California, I was the first born on my father’s side and at the time my mother already had a child from a previous marriage. Growing up I always lived in fear. My parent’s energy was so hostile and vulgar. Since I could remember I was walking on eggs shells that had needles. If I even looked the wrong way I would get beaten to the pole. My parents were on drugs most of my life. Around 3years old I remember living with my two brothers and my birth parents. They would get into these fights that would scare me to the core so bad that even when we were having a good time I was so scared of them fighting. I am extremely sensitive. I remember staying up most nights, with my ear to the their bedroom door listening. Waiting for the fight. When I heard peace I felt comfort so I would head to bed for few hours than my anxiety would kick in and so my ear was back at the door. I remember one day my parents were on the couch watching TV and I kept running from my bed to the end of the hallway so I can see if they were fighting. Eventually they notice and instead of comforting me a 3 year old they screamed and threaten to beat me. So I would run and hide. I don’t understand how parents can be that way to their own child. They are the cause of the uneasy feelings. I would always be afraid when my father would come home from work. At my age I couldn’t process fear so I acted out with anxiety and when I did they would beat me for it. I remember my father was trying to sleep and I had a cough, he didn’t want to hear me so he threw me out in rain in the middle of the night and locked the door of course I was screaming my head off. This pain I carry is deep its in every cell of my body and bone marrow. I don’t remember much from the time when my parents were together, just a blur. If I were to sum up that time it would consist of fights, extreme Fear, a lot of spanking, yelling, walking in on my parents having sex.

 

 Eventually my parent split. I had a babysitter that would come over; he lived across the street from the house. He was a family friend at the time and was a teenager I believe. When he would watch me he would show me his private part and have me touch him and do stuff to him. I am not sure if I seen my parents do it to each other and I wanted to act it out, somehow I knew mommy and daddy did those things, I had to be around 3 years old. I never told anyone this before and it feels good to speak out about it. We did not always have a babysitter. I remember Waking up and my mother would be gone so I would run around the house scared screaming and crying. Again fear! I kind of hate her right now as I am writing this because fear plays a huge role in my life now. When I look at the very few pictures I have of me as a child I just want to give myself a big hug, I really don’t remember hugs or kisses at all. I was such a cute kid that was very sensitive. The day after my father left a guy name Bert moved in and my mom said this is my new father and I have to call him dad. My mother must have been cheating on my father since the move in came quickly. My mom left my older brother father for my father quick too, not sure if I am even my father son. I don’t remember any family members really stepping in or even noticing. My older brother ran away to his father leaving my younger brother and I. From the outside my brother and I looked put together but the reality is it was noticeable that we were being abuse and I have forgiven my other family members for not stepping in, it took some time but I will never forget.

 

 My mother always depended on men for everything security, money, and happiness. My father was the same way with women. Bert my new father was a stoner who never worked, he would blow weed smoke in my brothers face and I all the time. He never kept a job, I think when my mother met him he was working for the city and got fired for buying booze with his work shirt on. After that he did odd jobs to get by and my mother never worked. Since no one kept a job we moved around a lot. When I started kindergarten my parents didn’t or couldn’t have my brother and I so they dropped us off with my great grandma. She was such a wonderful human that I am grateful for, Anita was her name and she made the best homemade tortilla with beans. She would get me ready in the morning. My mother eventually came back for us. My first grade memory that sticks to me was my mom calling me inside because she said, my grandma was on the phone, and she was lying. I ran inside, my mom was behind the door with a high heal behind her as I ran in from excitement she pounds my forehead with her heal blood everywhere my scream echoed. It still does till this day. My younger brother behind me getting that same heal across his head covered in my blood. Me and my brother got moved around all over, we moved to La Quinta and my mother did not want to enroll me in school so I walked myself to the local elementary school and gave them the packets the first day of school and again know one thought of calling social services.

 School was never important to my mother, my brother started kindergarten at 7 years old. The next year when I went to enroll again they said I never was a student. Eventually we were kick out of my aunts house. So from k-5 I was in 4 different schools been kick out of every home because my mother and Bert never paid their rent. We would lose everything in storages. I have nothing from my childhood except a few photos. I only had Trash bags of clothes. In 4 and 5th grade, we were really poor and went to bed hungry often. That’s when stealing really became a family habit. I was put in doggy doors so I can steal food for the family. We squatted in the home for a while didn’t pay rent and the owners couldn’t get us out.

 We never felt Secure. My mom was so abusive, neglect full and wouldn’t really feed us. So between moving all around there was pretty horrible blood baths even at one point living in what now seems like a crack house with a gun put to are heads. I wish I could have saved my brother. My mother had me lie to my teachers and birth father about my bruises and knots. So lying, fear, lack of security, hurt and anger was instilled in me at a very young age and became the foundation of me. I am so grateful I had my brother to lean on and to help pass time. My brother and I became animals stealing food from stores, sneaking food in the middle of the night to are room like rodents. When we had roofs over are head it never was a home. At times we did not have Electricity so are house will get dark really quick. Are fridge would be an igloo cooler and showers would be in the dark. At a young age I lived in my mind the whole time make believe was my best friend.

 There is so much more I can write down but these are the ones that stick out at the moment maybe ill save in for my bio. So now I go and weep for that hurting 3 year old who lives in fear from people hurting him, going to hold his hand and kiss his forehead while he weeps. Going to sit next to him and ease his anxiety with a sweet lullaby. I want to carry him from that past of profound misfortunate and into the moment of endless possibility. So he can see the beauty in life. Sober is the New Black

 

Stay connect with love, Adolfo

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