Thursday, February 28, 2013

I Am Sorry Just Doesn't Cut It

     On Sunday morning I was getting ready for my niece’s first birthday party, listening to music, reading my morning meditations.  Suddenly I had an overwhelming feeling of guilt and shame come over me.  It was so oppressive all I could do was sit at my desk and cry.  I cried like a little baby for a while, a long while.  It was really strange.  These were feelings I have not felt in a while, not since the fall.  I felt so guilty for all the shit I had done and the person I use to be.  It was almost as if I was afraid that my little niece would somehow, some way, see through all my progress in recovery and see the person I use to be.  Maybe she could see the raging drug addict inside me, kicking and screaming to get out.  
     Tonight, the meeting I went to was about all the times we had said we were sorry for all the shit we had done when we really did not mean it.  I thought about all the times I told my parents I was sorry for running out of money and that I would never do it again.  Or all the times I was late to work or too hung over to get the job done. Maybe, I had apologized for disappearing for days upon end not letting anyone know where or how I was.  I said I am sorry so many times for so much, and I knew I was lying.  I was just trying to get myself out of whatever predicament I had gotten my self into and needed help getting out of.  It was all bullshit.  For all the wrongs I committed, I have made my amends.  I have admitted my wrong doings and asked how I can fix them.  Today, those amends are real and sincere.  The difference is now I have action behind the amends.  I work diligently to be a different person.  I show up when I say I will be there.  I don’t lie like I did before to the people I love.  I honor those amends by keeping my word and changing my life.  Today, I admit when I am wrong quickly and try to bring resolution to the situation I have disturbed.  Today, I examine my part in everything that happens in my life.  I try hard to own up to my actions instead of playing the blame game.   For now, there are no more empty apologies.
     Something else that this episode of guilt, shame and remorse, has caused to resurface is the fact that I have not fully forgiven myself for the way I treated myself.  I have not fully forgiven myself for the financial situation I have put myself in.  For all the money spent on school and still not having my degree.  For allowing myself to be hurt over and over by people that are bad for me.  I have not forgiven myself for the damage that I have done my body from excessive consumption.  Today, I realized that I have to go to the doctor.  I am having serious weight issues, and this has come about from years of cocaine use, lack of exercise and poor eating habits.  I cannot blame anyone else for any of these poor choices.  They all rest upon my shoulders.  They are my mistakes and I have to own them.  And like the any other relationship, I can no longer make false apologies for my actions.  What I must do is everything I can to make amends to myself and continue to live in a healthier, responsible manner.  Today, I am all I have, and without that forgiveness, I will stay out of God’s light and continue to spin the wheel.  My friend shared tonight that his ego can burn him on both ends.  His ego makes him think he is better than or worse than those around him.  But only through humility and keeping the world at eye level, will he continue to move forward.  You see, I am no better than the gutter drunk, and no worse than the billionaire on the yacht.  Through self forgiveness, I will find my way.
     Tonight, when I shared about my breakdown on Sunday, I shared about the blessing that my niece never has to see me intoxicated.  The reality is that as long as I stay sober and continue to do the next right thing, that old devil will continue to fade into the past and even though my memory of him will burn bright for survival, he will never have the chance to haunt her.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


I have been a drug addict and an alcoholic for most of my adult life if not all of it.  Because of this I turned my back on God and the whole concept of a higher power.  I would even go as far as belittling people for their faith.  When I think about how I would do that to people, especially people I loved, I feel so ashamed.  I was even doing this in sobriety up until a few months ago when I actually heard the words coming out of my mouth in a conversation with a coworker who has great faith.  Who the fuck am I to challenge anyone's personal beliefs in God?  What a freaking ego I have sometimes.  Over the last fifteen months I have made the decision to believe in a power greater than my self.  Its not that I did not believe, but I did not believe that higher power wanted anything to do with me.  When in reality he was there all along keeping me right on the edge, showing me what it would look like if I jumped. Over the last few months I have been very willing and open minded.  I have been working on my prayer and meditation, albeit there is much room for improvement. Things in my life have steadily improved over the last year with some high peaks and some low valleys, until today I have finally reached a super sweet medium.  The other night I was sitting in a meeting and all of a sudden I felt an overwhelming sense of warmth, comfort, and safety.  Which was a little weird since I was in a detox center.  But I realized that warmth I was feeling was the faith that I had wanted and searched for my whole life.  At that very moment, I knew, truly, that everything was going to be okay.  I have finally found a God that is sufficient to all my needs, as my friend Mike would say.  My prayers are simple today.  They consist of things like God help me today or God give her everything she wants and needs.  I keep it simple and ask only to know his will and support. I make sure there are always words for someone ease's needs.  I was taught selfish prayers go unheard.  I ask to know his will because I do not know it in detail, but I do know that I am suppose to stay sober and help others.  Everything else will be revealed in his time not mine.  I no longer ask when or why.  Those questions have no realistic answers for my life today.  I do owe a huge bit of gratitude and thanks to my sponsor who laid out the bread crumbs for me to follow.  I surely could not have found this peace with out him.  Last night I was discussing having lived two lives with my friends.  My life without God is over. And I am only an infant in this new life with God, and that is amazing, because it is better that I could have ever dreamed.  The future is so bright!!!!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


      "If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.  Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us—sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them."

The reading above are the 9th step promises from my 12 step program.  It is quite amazing how words written so long ago about being and staying sober still hold true today.  What is even more amazing is that they are true in my life.  Over the last 15 months I have worked very very hard to change my life.  Getting sober and staying sober was just a very small part of the changes I wanted to make.  I wanted to become more honest.  I was so tired of living from one crisis to another as well as paycheck to paycheck.  I wanted to be less selfish and more rational.  When I think about those last few days of my using, the shit that would go through my head was clearly insane.  So were my actions.  Repeating the same mistakes over and over expecting a different result.  My decision making was completely skewed by complete and utter insanity.  I could not keep money around and I never paid my bills.   I trusted the untrustworthy, I never slept, I never ate, and I never saw the sun.  It was obvious I was not living but slowly dying and it was showing in my failing health.  This was the shape I was in when I decided I had had enough.  I can remember going to meetings early on full of anger and despair and hearing these promises.  What always stuck out for me was the last line.  “They will always materialize if we work for them.”  Something some where deep inside me believed this to be true.  Now I have worked hard in my life, but never have I worked as hard as I have for these promises.  I have shared in meetings, talked to my sponsor, worked my steps, done my service work and prayed a lot.  I have cried a thousand tears and shared my deepest, darkest secrets.  Today I have found a new freedom, well for the most part.  I have found a happiness that I have never known.  I absolutely do not regret my past and keep it close for safety.  I do comprehend the word serenity and I am finally at peace.  I share my experience with others and I am not useless by any means.  I am working on my self seeking, and I am far less selfish today than I have been in my entire life.  My attitude and outlook on life have completely changed for the better.  I fear no man and do not ever worry about money.  And slowly I am learning how to handle situations that use to baffle me.  Most of all, I have realized that God did for me what I never could do for my self, and that was make me sain, which I do not think I have ever been in my life.  Today I don’t have everything I want, but I do have everything I need and that is wonderful.  I live life on an even keel.  A happy medium if you will.  Not too high and not too low.  Just perfect.  So, with all this being said, I think I will continue on this path of enlightenment that I have found.  The life I want will materialize if I work for it!

Sunday, February 10, 2013


Tonight I had the pleasure of reality reminding me who and what I am.  There was a young kid in my meeting tonight that shared about a friend of his that was in a 12 step program that got high, over dosed, and died.  This is exactly what I needed to hear tonight.  For those of you that are not like me that read this, that statement might sound cold.  But it is my reality. I am sorry for this person, his family and friends.  For me though, I need to be reminded that my disease is terminal and it wants me dead.  I need to remember that every day.  I try to keep that fresh in my head.  It is one of the ways that I have overcome the mental obsession to drink and use.  Last November, I saw the writing on the wall and new that if I did not change I was a dead man.  I knew of 5 people that had died the last year I was in Denver but wanted to pretend that would never happen to me.  Well folks, drugs and alcohol do kill people every day and I am not going to be one of them.  So tonight I shared about how I can remember every face of the people that I have seen overdose.  I can remember how I felt when I thought I was going to fall out from snorting too much cocaine.  And those memories scare the crap out of me.  I don't want to be that guy who ruins his family by dying from an over dose.  I do not want my sister to have to explain to my niece that her uncle was a selfish dumb ass and killed himself just to catch a buzz.  Fuck that!  My life does not have to end that way.  As long as I do what is suggested I will be ok.  I am a grateful recovering drug addict and alcoholic and today I am alive and happy.  I dug my hole deep enough and have hit my bottom.  I do not have to be a statistic!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Why Am I Still Alive?

I have been having this conversation with a great friend of mine about the fact that we are still alive after all the crazy fucked up shit we did when we were using and drinking.  We both agree on the fact that God saved our lives to help other drug addicts and alcoholics that still struggle and to carry the message of sobriety.  Being of service to others is a very big part of my life today and it definitely helps me stay sober.  Which is a big reason for the subject matter that I write about.  I am constantly getting emails and messages about how my writing about my experiences is helping someone some where.  Well needless to say the last two days have been very interesting in regards to being of service to others.  Last night I was at a meeting down in the big city and the topic was on God, which meetings are often on.  While people were sharing I was thinking about why I am still alive and how my purpose on Earth now is to be of maximum service.  As these thoughts were running through my head my phone went off.  It was a text from a woman I had met and partied with one night in Denver, maybe three years ago now.  She had reached out to me a few months ago and shared about her own struggles and that she too had moved away from Denver to get away from the blow.  Last night she said in her text that a friend of hers in Denver had overdosed and died yesterday and that she was happy that I was there for her and willing to listen and that she read every one of my blog posts.  Wow, I was blown away.  First, it was a reminder that this disease will kill me and two that I was reaching someone that I knew.  After all, this writing that I do helps me stay sober more than folks know.  Her message just proved that I am doing exactly what I am suppose to be doing.  Sharing my experience, strength, and hope with the world.  And more than anything it was God telling me what I needed to hear right at that very moment.  And what I heard was, yes, Erin, I saved your life so you can help people now get to it.  So tonight I went with a group of folks to take a meeting into a detox facility.  Let me tell you, that was great for me tonight.  I sat quietly and watched and listened.  It was a great reminder for me.  These people were messed up and it was obvious.  They could not hide it. The guilt, shame, and remorse was thick in the air and all over their faces.  It was a great reminder of the road I was on and where I was headed.  I even had the chance to talk with a guy after the meeting about his struggles and hopefully what I shared with him shed some light on his situation.  After that I went directly to another meeting and was able to share about my experiences over the last two days.  This was exactly what I needed to keep my ass on this journey and sober.  I can only keep what I have by giving it away.

God Bless and Good Night!

Monday, February 4, 2013


The truth you like to bend
I don’t accept your amends
As you jump from bed to bed
I remember all the things you said
Do you remember why you are not dead?

Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Time was Wrong

Tonight, I am sitting here at my desk listening to music  like I do on most nights.  I have been doing a little on line shopping, reading and web surfing.  A few minutes ago Dire Strait's Romeo and Juliet shuffled into the mix.  For those of you that dont know, this might be one of the best love songs ever written.  Obviously it is a play on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.  While I sit hear listening to the song over and over thinking about so much that I have been wanting to put into words.  I guess it is time for me to expose a little bit more of my underbelly and get it all out...  It is time for me to put into words about my broken heart.  It is funny how often I think about how easy it is usually for me to immediately forget about people that have wronged or hurt me.  Typically there is only one shot with me.  Screw me once and we are done for good.  Unfortunately, my feelings for that woman were something beyond anything I have ever felt.  My therapist might not approve of me writing this but oh well.  .  In October of 2010 I thought for sure I had met the one.  Now looking back on it, we were perfect for each other in every aspect except for one thing.  She did not love me back.  I fought hard, including getting sober, to prove how much I loved her and what I was willing to do to make it work.  But in the end, like she said in her last email, "I never loved you."  Those are hard words to hear after she had said"I love you" hundred times over, along with many other things that would have made me think other wise.  It has now been almost 6 months since we last spoke, not including the two emails she sent.  One to end it, and the one to tell me that she never loved me and that she never wanted to see me again.  I really thought after we reconnected this summer, we were finally on our way.  I guess not.  Today, I think about her less and less, but still every day.  I have accepted that we will never speak or see each other again.  I can pretend that I am a big tough guy and say that after all this time it does not hurt any more but that would be a lie.  I guess the part that really hurts the worst is knowing the people that never really gave  a shit about how far she had fallen are still in her life but I am not.  She probably has denied most of this and would never admit to any one else that I was the one there that kept her from losing everything. I know the truth and that is all that matters.  I have finally decided that I am going to leave women alone for a long time.  No need in getting mixed up with anyone else until my heart has had time to heal.  And as much as I would like for this healing process to be a quick one, it is not.  I am going to use this time to focus on myself.  I have so much to accomplish in the next few years.  Hopefully the right person will come along and they will be able to love me back.  In the mean time, I love the person that I have become, whether you do or not! As, I listen to the sweet sound of Mark Knopfler's dobro, this is line that bites to the bone, "How can you look at me as if I was just another one of your deals".

Romeo and Juliet

Songwriters: KNOPFLER, MARK
A lovestruck Romeo sings the streets a serenade
Laying everybody low with a lovesong that he made
Finds a streetlight steps out of the shade
Says something like you and me babe how about it?

Juliet says hey it's Romeo, you nearly gimme me a heart attack
He's underneath the window she's singing hey la my boyfriend's back
You shouldn't come around here singing up at people like that
Anyway what you gonna do about it?

Juliet the dice were loaded from the start
And I bet and you exploded in my heart
And I forget I forget the movie song
When you gonna realise it was just that the time was wrong Juliet?

Come up on different streets they both were streets of shame
Both dirty both mean yes and the dream was just the same
And I dreamed your dream for you and now your dream is real
How can you look at me as if I was just another one of your deals?

When you can fall for chains of silver you can fall for chains of gold
You can fall for pretty strangers and the promises they hold
You promised me everything you promised me thick and thin yeah
Now you just say oh Romeo yeah you know I used to have a scene with him

Juliet when we made love you used to cry
You said I love you like the stars above, I'll love you till I die
And there's a place for us, you know the movie song
When you gonna realise it was just that the time was wrong Juliet?

I can't do the talk like they talk on tv
And I can't do a love song like the way it's meant to be
I can't do everything but I'd do anything for you
I can't do anything except be in love with you

And all I do is miss you and the way we used to be
All I do is keep the beat, the bad company
And all I do is kiss you through the bars of Orion
Juliet I'd do the stars with you any time

Juliet when we made love you used to cry
You said I love you like the stars above and I'll love you till I die
There's a place for us you know the movie song
When you gonna realise it was just that the time was wrong Juliet?

A lovestruck Romeo sings the streets a serenade
Laying everybody low with a lovesong that he made
Finds a convenient streetlight steps out of the shade
Says something like you and me babe how about it?

You and me babe, how about it?

Friday, February 1, 2013

Getting in Where I Fit In

“When I stepped out into the bright sunlight, from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman and a ride home...”  This is the opening line to my favorite book as a teen.  S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders was definitely my coming of age book.  Tonight, I have two things on my mind.  Pain and not fitting in. I felt like a quote from The Outsiders would be a perfect way to start this entry since the book is about being on the outside and not fitting in. Over the last few months I have been hearing other people in 12 step programs share about how they never felt like they fit in and some still have that feeling today.  Tonight I was given the opportunity to hear a story from a man who had those feelings of being an outsider.  I related so well to his feelings, wanting so bad to fit in and to feel normal.  I too, can remember being a very young boy and knowing that there was something different about me.  I was never comfortable in my own skin.  Once I hit my stride in early 2000 with the Widespread Panic party crowd I finally felt like I belonged.  I could consume as much of anything you could put in front of me and still walk in a straight line.  I felt so comfortable submersed deep in a drug subculture and surrounded myself with people just like me.  Only to find out eleven years later that I still hated myself and as I looked at that cop on November 4th 2011 I was so confused.  How did I get here? How had I fallen so far?  At the time, I was out of work, out of money, and was being escorted out of my blacked out girlfriends apartment.  Where had everything gone wrong? Tonight, after hearing the speaker talk about not fitting in, I thought about it.  I always felt that way.  Drugs and alcohol gave me a common bond with others.  And the really scary part about it is that I was good at it.  I could fucking party.  So it makes sense that the more shit I could get my hands on the more I was liked and the better that made me feel.  At the time I might have known it was a false sense of security who knows.  What I do know now is that I have finally found a place where I do feel like I fit in, even on days where I hate myself.  Those are few and far between now but they still happen.  Now, I surround myself with people that know exactly where I have been and have had the same feelings I do.  And they ALL turned to the bottle or the bag to get themselves through.  Now I spend my days knowing that I DO fit in with these people.  We all have one common goalSTAY SOBER.  Sure there is more to it that just staying sober, but ultimately that is the main goal.  The people I speak with and see on a regular basis have all hit a bottom and are willing to do what ever it takes never to be in that place again.  Some one shared tonight when they picked up their 5 year chip that they were proud today to be an alcoholic.  This is something my father will never understand and that is ok.  But being a drug addict and alcoholic has brought me to a place where peace and serenity exist, so I too am proud of what I am.  I am at peace and I finally fit in.