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

1 Year Sober

Today is one year sober; today I feel nothing but gratitude. A sense of self-awareness I have never felt before. In one year I’ve learned more about me than in the 28 years of living. What I’ve learned in one year sober is I am not my past, my mistakes, and my past addiction. I’m whom I choose to be today, in this moment.

A year ago today, I was sitting on a mattress on the floor in a new apartment, I’d lost the love of my life because of my addiction, and I was ashamed and embarrassed. Little hope, lost with no purpose or sense of direction.

Today every aspect of my life is amazing, like I am walking in a dream. I see the world with different eyes. Eyes that is clear and filled with hope and compassion.

Sobriety does not fix everything but it allows me to have a clear mind so I could fix my life. The first few weeks into sobriety my emotions were up and down. Happy, Sad, Hopeful, defeated, angry, confused, blissful, inspired, sobriety allowed me to feel life on life terms.

The list of gifts sobriety has brought into my life are endless. Surrendering everything to the power greater than myself has been beyond rewarding, it taught me a word called forgiveness. Forgiving everything including forgiveness for myself.

Sobriety put purpose in my writing. I heal through my art. Hopefully inspiring others to heal through art. I now see love in all aspects of my life. When I was using I was blind from the love that surrounded me. I was caught in my mind that created false stories that brought me pain so I would use, creating a vicious cycle of using.

Now I see love so big, I feel love so much it’s as if my heart going to explode.

The ISM in Alcoholism is Alcohol-Inside Self & Mind. My disease centered in my mind creating the body craving. I had to become aware of the mind voice. Once I was able separate the voice from my True self. I could stop the voice dead in its tracks. The voice would speak to me like just have one more drink or only wine. The voice would bring up my past; you had such a bad childhood, you should be angry, he’s cheating on you, blah blah on and on. How dare you, you offended me, blah, blah on and on.

The voice sounded like me, it knew what to say to get me to the next drink.

I’m stronger than the voice because I’m aware of my true-self. My true-self is stronger. I can shut it down. if it starts feeding me negative thoughts from my past.

Today I woke up happy, aware, with purpose; fire in my heart to create art, wanting to be a better me. Still working on love for myself and compassion for others. Staying open to learning new things. Sober is the new black.

I want to say thank you to the readers of sober is the new black. That allowed me to share my journey. There are no words that i can write down to show my gratitude. Thank you friends with more days sober who are my teachers and thank you friends with less days sober who my inspiration.

Sober is the New Black will continue on, my book will be out at the end of this year also an apparel line. Sobriety brings dreams that seemed unimaginable. God bless and until next time. Going to turn off my computer for the day and just live!!!!!! Seeing new sights with these clean and sober eyes.

Stay connected with love, Adolfo Vasquez

This video below was one year in the making. Hope it inspires.

 

 

one year sober

 

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adolfo vasquez

Special thanks to Roxy Shih for the video

Vincent Sandoval for Photography

Stay connected with love Adolfo Vasquez

Day 265 Sober: A Sober Valentine

Today is Day 265 sober; it’s been such a wonderful day. Tomorrow is valentine’s days. Last year I was in a sober facility in the valley trying to stay sober with a broken heart. I was confused, but I knew I wanted to be sober, but I relapsed a short time after because I did not know how to stop and I wasn’t at my bottom. When I look back I feel bad for my old self. I was trying to keep all together, just got out of 3-year relationship, Losing love was more difficult than staying sober. I had really nowhere to go, lost, scared and felt very defeated in life. I disliked myself in every way. Swimming in a river of guilt. Lonely to the extreme.

I now sit here in tears because I’ve come so far in my recovery; life is great in every aspect of my life. My rent is paid for the rest of the year. I am taking 5 months off of work to write, rewrite and live like a traveling nomad. Started investing in mutual funds for the future. Working on my book that will be finish in April 2015 I am still not the person I want to be but I will continue on in sobriety. I want to be more compassionate to others, less attach to material things, let go of needs, pray more, write more, live in the moment more, help others whether in service or poetry, surround myself with only positive and mindful people, take some creative writing class. So those are my short-term goals. I am also very inspired by dark and gritty might be from my past. I love using it in my writings. I do have some dark writings I’ve been working on; I don’t want to alarm people so I might just post them on Instagram and facebook. You can follow me at http://instagram.com/soberwriter

This valentine’s day I’ll be spending it with an incredible man who wants to take me on a date, excited and a bit nervous. Sober is the New Black. I hope you all have a wonderful Valentines day and know the most important love is for oneself.

These are some of the latest poems I cooked up

be

 

Alcohol

 

Died

 

 

Me at day 264 Sober

Adolfo Vasquez

 

 

 

Lykke Li is one incredible artist, writer and performer. Her music inspires me to feel, weep and heal. I hope you love this visually striking video

 

 

 

Stay connect with love, Adolfo Vasquez

DAY 79 Sober: Lesson Learned and Wheels Keep Turning

Hello friends, today is day 79 sober. It’s been such wonderful day so far. Last night I was up till four in the morning finishing up my poems. Almost done than they will be off to an editor to look it over, I think they are perfect but its good to get an opinion. I feel like there might be more then twelve but we will see. I spent the day shopping away at a flea market and thrift stores. I love finding eclectic pieces. I found some cool glasses. I going to spend the rest of the day writing the final installment of my mini bio and try to finish up the series I’ve been working on. No cravings at all since, I got sober. I am about to hit 3 months and that’s around the time of my last relapse. I was in a sober living, I started boozing it up there than shortly after checking out.

 

 

My mind was so different back than and my life was chaotic. Getting sober at the time, going through a break up and not having a stable place live. At the time I didn’t realize it was all my doing. I am glad I can go back and reflect on some of the things, so I can do differently. I did at the time get some vital information that planted seeds in my mind. I use to think my Addiction was in the booze so I just stop drinking. I was unaware that Addiction is a disorder that centers in the mind and self. So that was the biggest Aha moment, But at the time I did not want to accept the fact that I wasn’t in control. My relapse hit hard and fast, I am so lucky to be alive. It consisted of court, keying a car and a MRI. Lesson learned and the wheels keep turning. One of the biggest gift I found in sobriety is forgiving others and forgiving myself. It took a lot of work but I can honestly say I sit here with no guilt from those things. It was a beautiful disaster; Because of that bottom I am here not only alive but also living! Living my life to fullest in the moment. I cant wait to see what life has in store for me next, whatever happens I will be grateful, appreciate it, put lots of love into it, have my thoughts, words, and actions match, as I am doing now, Keep evolving and growing, non stop writing, going deep in my self so I can continue to heal and hangout with my inner divine or higher power. I have so many dreams now, love is one but also to be a writer, make a film, act more, become a journalist. Make a home with my love and have some Golden Retrievers. Watch them all play in the front yard while I drink my coffee. I want to write constant love letters to my love. Get married and be inspired everyday from those lovely eyes staring back at me. Hell, maybe ill even write a book all about my love. I get inspired by everything now days, from zombies to shoes. I cant have any of that unless I stay sober. Life is pretty amazing, Sober is the New Black. I am grateful for these awesome glasses in the pic I found, for my readers and I am grateful for everything.

 

Stay connect with love, Adolfo

 

 

Ingrid Michaelson The Way I am is perfection. Hope you like

 

Day 79 sober cool shades

Day 79 sober cool shades