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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1000 Days Sober

Hello Friends,

Today I’m 1000 days sober. I feel nothing but gratitude for the wisdom I’ve gained in my time sober. I know myself more than ever, “who I am” and “who I am not”.  I clearly see my innate gifts and what my issues are.  Since my mind is clear and sober i get to act on my innate gifts while working on my issues. Issues I find deep in my soul. There’s still a lot of learning ahead. Some lessons will be through pain and some will be easy. I just have to accept whatever the universe gives me. Know there is a reason why things happen. I might not be able to see the lesson right away so I just have to accept what is. The lesson might arrive later once the pain subsides. I can’t always know why everything happens, i just have to accept that it does. I can’t run or hide or bury what is, i have to fully embrace it and make the necessary changes. The universe is very powerful and has magic  my human eyes can’t always see. I just have to stay open for the lesson.

I’ve been working on my first novel that has turned into a three book series. I use to think it had to be done right away or within a years but I can’t rush this process, I just have to let it come alive. All three books are basically done and the editors are ready but I am still making some small adjustments. There’s only been one person to read through all three books. This person is an avid reader, who usually finishes two books in one week. They loved the series so that was huge relief and a boost in my confidence. Right now I am in a stage called “The Middle” that’s in between the realization of the goal or dream and the achievement. I am finding “The Middle” to be the most important part because it defines the destination. The middle has also been the most fun because it’s where I am most creative. The middle might is where i spend most of my time, so I have to enjoy it. I have to allow space, failures, growth and change to happen. The middle part is where I see what needs to be change, what work needs to be done, and it allows me to put in a plan of action. In this stage I have to be kind to myself and enjoy the ride, dream big, and put in the work. I’ve been writing six hours a day for the past two years. The middle part has taken time but it’s necessary. My persistence overpowers my failures. Failures are necessary and rejection is inevitable, but it’s not the end destination.

 

I don’t have all the answers on how to stay sober or be successful in life, all I can do is work towards my goals and dreams. All I can do is live one day at a time and try to be present in each day. I know that my ego is the creator of all misery. If I’m upset or angry somewhere in that pain is ego. I know I will always have Alcoholism, Alcohol-Inside Self and Mind. I know my disease centers in my mind that creates the body craving. That’s why I have to always be aware of the mind voice, but it has gotten very quite since I’ve been sober. As of now, my true self seems to be stronger than my disease but I know it wont always be this way. There will be extreme pain ahead, people will die in my life but my recovery program is my safety net. My second year sober has been pretty effortless but there have been some life challenges. I now face life challenges head on and embrace those uncomfortable feelings instead reaching for a drink. Feeling life is very important in recovery, feeling everything and not burying it. So I cry when I need to or laugh when I want to. My feelings now live on my skin and not underneath whiskey poison. Burying my feelings will create an infection that creates holes in my soul. When holes in the soul are created we try to fill them with outside false happiness like shopping or food or sex but the goal is the not let the holes get there in the first place. So I can’t bury my feelings I have to embrace my feelings. The more challenges I face in life, the more wisdom and strength I will gain. If life becomes too hard, drinking is off the table, I can write or do something that can calm my soul. I’ve only had one craving for that whiskey poison and that was in my first months sober, cravings have seemed to vanish. I make sure to stay grateful for my sobriety, if i wasn’t sober than i would have nothing. My home, my partner, my family or friends. Human connection is the most important thing in my life.

The longer I am sober, the more I forget that I was once an addict. Since being sober I have created so many amazing memories, it seems like the new great memories are erasing the old past pain. The past is the past, it’s not my current moment. I can’t use my infected past guide my day or I can’t react to the present with the past. Now that I am sober, I have a clear slate to create anything I want.  The past doesn’t play over and over in my head, I no longer feel that deep shame of my past addiction. We are not our addiction symptoms, not the past pain, the shame or guilt of hurting loved ones. We are the courage and strength it took to change, that’s our True self.  There has been a lot of happy memories made in my 1000 days sober and I focus on those. I no longer wake up to blackout crimes or wake up with hangovers, now I wake up to goals and dreams. I’ve been working on achieve those. If we can overcome addiction, just imagine what else we can accomplish. If we took that hard work  and dedication we put into our recovery program and apply that into a relationship or career we would see success in those areas.  Meeting small goals in life will build confidence and small goals lead to big goals or life changing goals. Small goals are very important and should be celebrated, like making a month sober, how incredible is that. The courage it took just to get sober for a month, go for another month. Months add up and eventually you will be a year sober, and years add up too.

The people I lost due to my addiction are back in my life, but my relationships are better than before. I feel a deep connection to the people in my life, it’s as if my compassion and empathy for other humans have grown. I love bigger and unconditional but not just other i have deep love for myself. I feel like i am own greatest fan and best friend. I treat my body, mind and soul with deep respect. Our body is the only real home we have. I now understand what it means to be good to other humans and  enjoy human connection more than ever. Every single day I try to be as present as my mind allows. I trust others but more importantly I trust myself in taking charge of my life and making decisions.

Healing is not about becoming happier, or feeling bliss all the time. Healing is more of letting go of everything that isn’t my true self. Letting go of child abuse, letting go of my traumas, letting go of the addiction, letting go everything that is preventing my full potential and only than am I healing, and left with my true self.

Below is some New Poetry  since my last blog post.

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Stay Connected with love, Adolfo Vasquez

18 Months Sober: Finding True Self

Hello Friends today is 18 months sober, some time has past since my last blog post. In that time a lot of changes, growth, vacations and challenges have surfaced in my life, some amazing and some fearful. One thing remained the same. The want to stay clean and sober. Sobriety is the foundation to grow endless possibility. On November 11 2015 I turned thirty. I celebrated with family and loved ones. My twenties were filled with many beautiful lessons I will take into my thirty’s. In my thirties I will work towards a more balanced lifestyle in all aspect of my life, taking actions in facing my fears, working towards whatever my head can dream. Taking what I’ve learned in my twenties applying them in my thirties. I never thought I would make it to my thirties, but I now know its because of the higher power or ultimate creator, I will no longer take for granted this beautiful gift called life. Looking out the window knowing God created air for our lungs and our five senses to experience the beauty in life.

 

Everyday we experience something we will never experience again, you just have search and be open. Today I was driving and looked out a bumble in a window and at that moment a light shine through creating a beautiful pattern of colors, the minute I drove off it went away. Life is beautiful and moves quickly, slowing down allows our eyes to see the beauty in everything. Be inspired by the light shining in a cracked window to the dust floating in the light. 

 

One of my fears growing up has been a fear of flying so for my thirtieth Birthday I wanted to overcome this fear. For the first time I took my first plane ride. It felt incredible pushing past my fear. I even looked out the window as we landed bringing me to tears. The city lights glowing like a million stars in a galaxy.

 

 A while back I started finding the things I identify myself with. The “My’s” of life. When I say, “This is my home”, who is the one saying my home? That is “I” or the soul. The “my” and “I” should always be separated like two parallel lines that should never become one. They can work together throughout life but separating these two helps me find true self.

 

So I made a list of all the “my” in life.

 

My home and all the things in my home, my friends, and my family are all on the “My’” line. I can no longer identified myself with the “MY” of life. I am not my home or the stuff that surrounds me everyday. So I started to dive deeper in separating the “my” and the “I”. My past, my addiction, my situations, my current circumstances, and my experience’s are not “I”. They are here to teach me who “I” is but they don’t define me.

 

I don’t say I am past, I am ego, I am experience I say my past, my ego, my experience. The “I” is a soul having a human experience with the “MY”.

 

True Self is the ‘I” and is precisely what I am. Whatever remains after the separation of the “MY” is true Self. ‘I’ is the Real me. I am totally separate from everything that is mine. If I lost my home, a family member or friend, the “I” or true self remains whole.

 I am put on this earth to find true self and experience life with the human body. Striping myself from the “My” and “false self” becoming one with the “I” and soul.

 

Diving deeper, am I my emotions or feelings? I am not my emotions or feelings. Emotions are a beautiful thing that the body brings the soul to experience this thing called life but the soul or “I” controls the emotions and embrace’s them for exactly what they are.  Emotions are passing and will go away and the “I” or the soul is still left.

The I and soul are born pure and innocent, my natural state is joy and happiness

In my early stages of sobriety when I started striping away my false self. A fear of society came over me but I had to accept myself whole. What I like about myself, what I disliked about myself, everything in between. I had to be my own greatest fan and best friend. I also had to accept others for who they are without my own expectations or ego. My Relationships have improved with loved ones, friends and family. People who I lost due to my past addiction are coming back into my life. I no longer focus energy on what others think of me and focus my energy where it really counts: achieving my own personal growth and achieving dreams.

I am also becoming aware of my strengths and weakness. Building on my strengths, recognize my weakness and building that gap between the two. I believe connecting with my feelings and writing is strength but grammar can be a weakness so I work extra hours, or will eventually take creative writing class or hire an editor. Being aware of my weakness is a great gift to myself.

 

 I wore labels on my skin my whole life. I thought I was the label like an abused child, a drug addict and alcoholic, or my political stance, a writer, a friend. If I took away any of those labels do I become any less? No I don’t. If I lose my fingers and can no longer write. I am still whole inside. The “I” is still intact. I was in 3-year relationship that consumed my whole being. When we split up, I felt lost because I allowed my identity to become defined by “My” relationship. Those labels aren’t who I am. If I was a husband and got a divorced, I am no longer qualified as a husband and if I defined myself on that one label I would be lost when it gets taken away. The more labels I put on myself the more I bury my true self.

 

I use to thrive on the labels, a collection of pain. While in sobriety I came to find I am greater than any label. The labels and the “my” were ingrained in me by my past and parents. My mother is a catholic and so I grew up thinking I was going to be a catholic but as I got older I did not connect with those beliefs. Our parents have a huge part in burying our true self from what we are taught at an early age.

 

Letting go of the Ego is hard but is done in small sections like the tree in my stepmother yard. We can’t just lift it out of the ground and throw it away but instead we’ve been cutting off pieces at a time. The same approach is with letting go of the false beliefs that make up my ego. Detaching myself from individual thoughts that reinforce my ego. Letting go of beliefs, separating True self from false identity. I have spent years building my ego living inside my mind, and reinforcing it through my thoughts, feelings and actions. It will take a while to learn just like any subject in school or riding a bike for the first time.

 Important things to learn or worth doing takes time and practice.

I work six months out the year and have six months off, the work season has slowed down, so I can spend more time writing, blogging and working on the second draft of my book. I have some vacations in the works going back to my hometown of Palm Springs ca. Hope you all have a great Sober Thanksgivng. Sober is the new Black

crowns

 

darkness

 

each day

 

feel

 

GOLDPOEM

 

ODAAT

 

peace

 

sync

 

 

healing

 

 

SIA music is poetry that comes alive, bringing me inspiration. Bird Set Free is incredible.

500 Days of sober: Alcohol is a Drug

Hello Friends today is 500 days of sober. This past month has been amazing, the longer I am sober the clearer life gets in making right decision even small decisions. I am finding my true self more and more everyday. Things I enjoy doing and things I don’t enjoy doing are being easy to spot. Having an addiction to Alcohol is different than any other substance because it’s legal; it’s at every dinner table, on signs and billboards. I cannot hide from alcohol, I just have to see past the alcohol. It’s at every family event. It is deemed acceptable from society. Alcohol is publicized in film, TV, music, artistry, and celebrities as something cool, fun and freeing without repercussions.

 

Young kids see this and the want starts. Kids hear, “I need a drink” after a hard day of work. “Lets celebrate with alcohol” or today was a shitty day so “lets party”.  Escaping through substance instead of finding a healthy positive way to spend their time. I started drinking at fifteen but it turned into a disorder in my twenties. There are many outlets that can help escape from the moment like creating art, writing or reading a book. Trying to master a hobby or skill. Putting all the dark feelings or pain inside us, into an art, turning them into gold. Find happiness in partying sober. Society needs to stop pushing the substance abuse agenda through the media. Alcohol is not fun or cool or freeing. It’s caging the youth from reaching their full potential, their talent, and their strength to deal with life adversity. Alcohol kills millions of people a year.

 

When I first got sober, I did not have balance in my life because I was focused and obsessed with my recovery program. Excluding everything else, stuff vanished because of my addiction like friends, my last relationship, and my drinking. Freeing up most of my time so all I did was work my program. I guess, early recovery isn’t so much about balance as much as it is maintaining sobriety. Now Balance is the most important action in my life. Balance is something I had to learn, when I was an active if I liked something whether in food or in shoes or drinking, I did it until I was sick or broke. Chasing outside happiness to fill the deep emptiness inside. Keeping balance in every aspect of my life, like work, writing, working out, healing, prayer and meditation. If I feel like I am getting burnt out than I change it up.

 

Balanced lifestyle helps  lessen obsession, which will lead to unhappiness as it did with my obsession with alcohol. Striving for balance gives my life mixture keeping life interesting. Balance helps protect me from relapse. The ability to respond with strength to instant gratifications. Doing different stuff keeps me open to new concepts, so I’m always learning.

Reducing my everyday stress by building up my body and mind in some down time or a power nap. Creating discipline is something I’m currently working on at the moment, I have to learn how to walk out of a store with one pair of shoes and not six pairs.

Pushing myself for personal growth can become an obsession as well so I have to take it easy some days and enjoy this new person that is here now in this moment. Slowing myself down helps keep my life in perspective. It’s not all about personal growth and achievement, all the time. Slowing down will allow me to reflect and enjoy the progress I have made.

 

Discipline is the foundation for a balanced Life.  Taking inventory on what needs to be worked on is something that needs to be done often or even daily. Maintaining awareness about myself takes discipline. Not everything I’m trying to achieve in personal growth is going to be fun. Some will be painful and cause tears.  There will  be some scary stuff on the path to personal growth. Pushing past fears like facing my parents help creates discipline.

Getting positive results from forgiving my parents is a sign of personal growth. Pushing myself to make small goals and achieve them in different areas of my life like eating better, going on a daily walk, or becoming more skilled in a talent. I am building the discipline that is necessary to work towards long-term growth in recovery, life and in dreams. The pursuit of a balanced lifestyle will help me grow in many new directions. Seeking balance in life and working towards all around growth will maintain success in my recovery as I evolve in different paths of my life.

 

Quitting an addiction is a source of strength and motivation for other areas of my life. The first months of recovery I thought things like “My liver will be better”, “I’m going be so much healthier”. That turned out to be an understatement.

 

Now my thoughts are “I am powerful beyond anything” I realized, I could set goals and achieve them. If I can over come addiction, imagine what else can be accomplish, if I take what I do in my program and use it in a talent or skill. I can use that powerful focus to accomplish nearly any goal that I choose. Getting sober awakened a fire within me. It gave me the positive inspiration that I needed to tackle some monumental challenges like writing my first novel that will be out in 2016. Sober is the New Black.

 

 

birth

 

gray skies

 

uncondtional love

 

 

a suffering addict

 

 

 

pieces

 

 

pursuit

 

 

 

 

 

Stay Connected with Love, Adolfo Vasquez

 

 

 

Sia new song called Alive is a such an inspirational song.