Thursday, April 25, 2013

God Smacking Me in the Face

     Today, for the first time in a few months, was a real struggle.  It was a day when stuff that I have been burying deep inside finally boiled over.  I will spare you the details but I got to sitting in my own shit and was happy there in that stench, for a little while at least.  Eventually I grew tired of feeling angry, lonely, and full of self-loathing.  I prayed hard today.  I prayed for guidance, relief, wisdom, and a few other things that I will keep to myself.  After I had dinner with my mother at her church, I stopped by the house for a bit before I had to leave for my meeting at my home group tonight.  I picked up this month’s issue of Rolling Stone and read an article about a 33 year old vet that is choosing to take his life because he can no longer live with the pain of being paralyzed from the chest down.  By the time I got to the end of the article I felt like the dumbest, most self-centered, selfish prick on the planet.  What the fuck do I have to complain about?  I am getting almost everything I want out of life, but for the last 24 hours I chose to have a little pity party.  After I read the article, I remembered praying for the relief from myself earlier in the day.  Boom, there it was.  I needed to be grateful for all the amazing blessings in my life.  So after sharing about my need for gratitude tonight at a meeting, I am sitting here doing what I have been taught.  These are the things I am grateful for today.
     Today, more than anything, I am so very grateful for the fact that I can have bad days, moments of stress, ill thinking, and yet my mind does not wander to medicating myself today with a bag of blow and a bottle of whiskey.  I am grateful to have a place to go and share about the crap in my head, not be judged, and get some solution to the problems in my life today.  Two years ago, a day like today would have sent me into a week long bender. That is not my solution any more.  Today, my solution is to use the tools I have been given and work my head out of my ass.  This concept is so new to me, but the further along I go, the more I see it work, and that is growth to be proud of.  I am also so very grateful to be in a position to change gears and figure out where I want my career and my new company to go.  I have been blessed with some major opportunities here in the last few weeks that are almost in explainable.  I am getting that second chance to be involved with the music industry and give back to my community at the same time.  These kinds of second chances shouldn't happen to a wretch like me.  But they are, so I will be grateful and try to remain humble.  Last but not least I am so very grateful for my wonderful family.  I am not sure if I would be alive today without them.  Life became perilous for a while, more so than it is today, and they surely played a part in saving my life.  They helped me get the help I needed and now I am living my second life and that is amazing.   Not many people get to say they get the opportunity to live two completely different lives in one lifetime.  I cherish every single moment I get with my beautiful niece, and hold her, kiss her, and tell her everyday how much I love her.  She has definitely played a role in saving my soul.  For that, I can only try to be the best I can every day.  Some days are better than others, but it is the trying every day that counts, progress not perfection.
                There it is!  These are some of the things I am grateful for tonight.  Sure there are more, but these are the ones that made the list tonight.  Today was a very powerful day for me.  I saw God do for me what I could not do for myself.  So I will be grateful for everything, and continue to work on that conscience contact with my higher power and leave my life to him. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Closing the Book

     The past year and five months have been a long and hard journey.  It started with me in a very low and dark place.  This is a place which I had a really hard time getting out of even after getting rid of the drugs and alcohol.  Reluctantly I have held on to a life that once was and thought somehow, someway, I would fix myself and return to quickly.  Well, after a lot of learning, prayer, introspection, and hard work, I have finally reached a point where I am ready to close the book on my life out west.  It is finally time to let go of all the bad memories and pain and get on with my life.  I am not sure what I was thinking, that I could just move back to Colorado and I would pick up right where I left off.  The reality is for the time being I need plenty of distance between myself, that state and some of the people in it.  Those wounds are no longer sore to the touch, which thankfully lets me know they will be completely healed soon.  The events of this weekend shed light on where I am supposed to be and it was not in Colorado.  Denver will be a place I hold dear to my heart, I did meet plenty of wonderful people and have some amazing times there.  It will always be a very big part of my story, and a part I will not want to leave out.  But for now the dream of living out west has to be put on hold for many reasons including my safety and sanity.  In a lot of ways it is not a healthy place for me and it may never be.  For now my place is here in Georgia with all roads leading to Athens.  The road is full of education and hopefully a career in writing, one way or another.  For the first time since my arrival in November of 2011, I am truly okay with this path headed east and I am no longer looking back.  What’s done is done.  Now it is time for a new future and all the blessings that it holds.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Women Without Cocaine

     One of the best things about getting sober is the light bulbs that have started going off in my head.  Every day that the fog lifts a little more, I get a little more clarity on where I have gone wrong in my life that drove me to drugs and alcohol leaving me in the depths of hell.  Recently, I have really enjoyed the time I have to myself and feeling very satisfied with spending time with me.  When I first got sober I would completely crash after my meetings, feeling lonely wishing I had a woman in my life.  Looking back on the last twenty two years of my life, it occurred to me that women have played a big part in my downfall.  I have spent the last two decades and two years chasing a woman, getting out of bed, into bed, into a relationship, out of a relationship, and everything under the sun with a woman.  The last relationship finally taking me to the darkest place I have ever been finally bringing me to my knees.  Today, I am a new man with a new perspective on self-love, relationships, and what my part in all of it is, was, and will be.
     There is part of me that would like to say that I never let that crap with the ex-girlfriend affect me.  Why would I?  There are so many fish in the sea.  Well I guess you could say I met my match in a sense.  Maybe, I had built a huge wall of defense around me all those years the women came and went without a thought, leaving nothing more than an imprint on the pillow where they had slept the night before.  I wish this was the case with the last relationship but it is not.  It left me depressed, low, full of anger, rage and borderline suicidal.  Now that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and those wounds almost healed, I can honestly look at my part in the whole mess and see why I allowed myself to be treated so poorly.
     Fortunately this clarity has lead me to the realization that in order to not let the horrors of my past haunt me for the rest of my life, work must be done.  I hate to use the word fear, but if I had one today, it is the fear of not being able to trust another woman again.  I think to myself, I did not know the last one was lying to me when she told me she loved me. How will I know with the next one?  So, today I am working on not letting the faults of others control my future.  I am working on building healthy relationships with a few women today.  Women that I think I can trust, slowly building a solid, real friendship with.   Hopefully, this will be the final chapter in healing those deep wounds and I will know what an honest relationship with a woman is like and my trust in the opposite sex will be rebuilt.
     It just occurred to me that I have been intimate with only one woman that I shared a true and honest love with.  That woman is the one I lost my virginity to.  This realization takes my breath away the more that I think about it.  Now, I was not one to play dirty pool and tell women that I loved them to get into bed with them.  Some part of me never felt like that was right, and I have always found it quite appalling.  Now that I have been on the other part of that lie, for whatever reason, I now feel like celibacy is in order.   I no longer want to be intimate with some one that is going to lie to me when they say those three words, nor do I want to be with someone that I don’t have those feelings for.  Lets face it at 38, I am not suffering from a lack of lovers over the years.  Like my sobriety, I am working on this new promise to myself.  To hold myself respect and dignity a great bit higher when it comes to sex and women.   I no longer have any interest in having sex just to have it.  I have enough memories of past experiences stored up in my head to get me by until the right one comes along, that is deserving of my love and affection.
     Reading the words I typed above scare me a little bit.  I have to look in the reflection on my computer screen to make sure that it is Erin who is writing all this.  It is scary and relieving at the same time.  Being able to recognize the growth over the last seventeen months is a beautiful feeling.  I can honestly say I love the person I have become.  It is like a new friendship that is exciting and full of wonder because it is so new.  The best part is that friendship is with me and there is a whole world out there to discover with my new friend.  Today, I am finally ok with who Erin is, where Erin has been, and where Erin is headed.  Yet, another blessing from sobriety.

If morning's a bitch with open arms and night's a girl who's gone too far
Whiskey is harder to keep than a woman and it's half as sweet but
Women without whiskey, Women without whiskey
Whiskey is hard to beat
Whiskey is hard to beat

(Cooley / DBT)

Monday, April 8, 2013

Needing Gratitude

     My sponsor taught me when I first got sober that an attitude of gratitude will usually heal any feelings of self pity and doubt.  Now that I have a few hours sober I have learned that being grateful and writing a gratitude list is like my secret weapon.  It is a cure all today for any negative feeling or shitty place my head might be in.  In light of today's events and feelings I have no choice but to trudge through the pain and focus on what I have instead of what I don't.
     This afternoon I got some news that an old friend of mine passed away last night.  We had not seen each other since 2008 I think.  But, we were the kind of friends that could always pick up right where we let off.  We meet several years ago when I was selling wine.  Funny how I remember ending up in the back of his BMW after our first wine tasting for his bar, zooming down I-75, headed to the strip club of all places.  I remember that night and many others like they were yesterday.  My friend was always good for a dirty joke, a pat on the back, a conversation about music, anything to make you smile.  I always kept up with him even though we did not see each other much any more.  Its weird how some people just have that impact on us.  Despite the sadness I am feeling from knowing I will never see my friends crooked, devilish smile again, I am very grateful for the time we did have together.  I am grateful for the nights he answered his phone when I was to wasted too drive and too broke for a cab.  I am grateful for all the times he made me laugh.  I am grateful for all the times he was OK with me being me even if I was not.  RIP my friend.  I know your heaven is full of harmonicas, sport coats, and pretty women.  See you on the other side!
      Tonight as I was getting ready to head out to my meeting, the feelings and pressure from trying to loose weight started getting really heavy.  No pun intended there.  Unhappy with the way my clothes looked in the mirror and feeling the constant pain from hard and diligent exercise, I lashed out at myself in disappointment and shame.  You see I am a drug addict and an alcoholic, which means I want immediate results.  In my mind I should be 60 lbs thinner yesterday, and can only focus on how fat I still am rather than the progress I have made.  As I sat in my meeting thinking about my friend that died today, I realized that I need to be grateful I am alive today to go to the gym and to be sore from a great work out.  I very well could be dead in a ditch somewhere or killed in a drug deal gone bad.  Today, I am blessed with the privilege of waking up every morning sober to fight another day.  I need to be grateful to have the gym memberships I have so I can work hard to get this weight off.  Most of all I am grateful that it is only my metabolism that is fucked up and not my heart or my lungs from all the cocaine and cigarettes over the years.   I am in really good health according to the doctor and that is a miracle.
     I have to remember it is the simple things in life that help us through. Some days will be hard and some will be sad.  But if I take a few short minutes out of a really shitty day, I will find plenty of reasons why life is grand and why there is no need for me to ever pick up another drug or bottle ever again.  Thank you God for everything.  I may not have all I want but I surely have all that I need.

Good Night

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Came to Believe

“Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”

     I heard in a meeting tonight that hope is faith with a track record.  When I look back on working my second step in recovery, I knew I was insane, and I had hoped that the actions I was taking would restore me to sanity.  I had the hope that if I believed that a power greater than myself could restore me to sanity, it would be done.  Now, having worked all twelve steps with my sponsor and reworking them again with my sponsee, I can see that taking that leap of faith worked.  But, I had to take that first step. 
      When I finally saw my insanity in a way that I had never seen it on that fateful night on November 4, 2011, I knew I could no longer go on living that life.  Looking at those Denver police officers, hearing the toilet still flushing my bag of blow in the background, thinking I was going to jail, I knew my life was completely out of control.  The insanity had finally reached its pinnacle.  And in turn, I had reached my bottom, right there on Columbine street.  At this point, I believe that my mind opened, honestly, for the first time.  I could fight no more.  I was willing to do whatever it took to never be in that moment ever again.  I knew, it was all downhill from there if I did not change my ways.  I had to get help or I would surely die.
     My sponsor broke it down to me in very simple terms.  At two months sober, I needed everything to be simple. I was broken and damaged and he knew exactly how to explain this step so my polluted mind could understand and accomplish what I needed to.  He said first we came.  You came to this 12 step program to get help.  Then, you came to believe.  I think that belief for me was that I was in the right place and this program could work if I worked it.  Then he said, you came to believe that a power greater than yourself can restore you to sanity.  I remember this moment vividly.  I believed that with my sponsor having twenty plus years of sobriety that these steps had worked for him so they had to work for me.  All I had at that time was hope.  What did I have if I didn’t?  A life full of pain, misery, and a horrible death was what was left for me if I did not have hope.  SO, I leaped, with both feet, into uncharted waters.  No human being, including myself, had been able to restore me to sanity in 36 years, so I had to believe that this would work.
     It has now been over a year since I first worked step two with my sponsor.  Now that the fog has lifted and the pain and misery have subsided, I fully believe that my higher power did for me what I could not do for myself.  Today, my mind is the calmest and quietest it has ever been.  Even before drugs and booze I was completely out of my mind and that is not the case today.  I do believe, however, that my higher power did not necessarily, intervene in my life and restore me to sanity.  What he did do was give me a daily reprieve by showing me the next right step to take to restore myself to sanity. He gave me the opportunity to put in the work to achieve the sanity I have today.  And just so I am clear, the sanity I have today, is not a clean slate.  I will always be insane; the difference is that I have tools today, to keep me as sane as I possibly can be.  If I deviate from this path, the insanity will come back with a vengeance and my life will become unmanageable again, and I will surely relapse.  So, I take life day by day, doing what I need to for myself to prepare for the next.  It has taken a lot of practice, prayer, and pain to learn what to do and not to do.  The nice thing is that everything I do came in the form of simple suggestions in this program.  I am not perfect in these actions every day.  I am however progressing in a matter that shows growth and for that I am grateful.
     I have found a beautiful and simple substitute for drugs and alcohol today.  I will continue to do what is suggested, and I know I will be ok.  I no longer have any urge or thought to drink or drug.  I am warm and safe in God’s hands.  I will continue to be grateful for all that I have especially my sobriety and sanity.  And in that I will continue to find a little bit of humility, which reminds me to give what I have away.  Today, I am sober and my life is manageable by the grace of God.

Happy Easter 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Two Choices

      I think I have finally figured out what it means to learn from the mistakes of others.  Over the past month or so I have been hearing a lot about relapse, death, and misery.  I want nothing to do with any of these things.  Sure death is inevitable and bad shit happens to everyone.  But I don’t have to be the cause of it by not doing what I have learned over the last 16 months.  As I watch these people leave the program, talk about their relapses and all the other chaos and bullshit that is out there waiting for me, I realize that does not have to be my story.  I have two choices, do what is working and stay on the path of success and happiness.  Or go back to living a life full of shit!
     I know there are plenty of stories of bottoms much further than mine, but my bottom works just fine for me.  As much as I hate to see people in the rooms struggle, come back in after a relapse, or share about the death of a friend from this disease, it brings me a bit of pleasure.  That pleasure comes from hearing about what not to do.  When I think back on my life while I was out there using and drinking I can remember the pain that I lived in.  I was completely miserable, lonely, and desperate.  It finally got to the point that all I had in my life was drugs and alcohol.  I would like to say that I still had the music, but even that had turned into a playground for my intoxication.   I had zero hobbies, I did not do anything without a bag of blow in my pocket, and my health was on a rapid decline.  In the Big Book this big pile of crap is called the four horsemen.  They are described as terror, bewilderment, frustration, and despair.  These four words summed up my life completely.  There was no other way around it; I had officially reached the status of a coke head.  I was living in filth, pushing the boundaries of my mortality, and saw no way out.  Misery and death were my future.
     After figuring out that if I wanted to live my life had to change and I stopped digging that hole and got help.  That help has taught me a way of living that I never knew existed.  I have learned to let go of that control that I never really had in the first place.  I have learned that as long as I stay sober and help others, especially other drug addicts and alcoholics; I will get everything in life that I need.  The voices in my head have quieted down to a whisper that I can barely hear, and I can actually see the time where they will be gone for good.  I don’t fight any more.  I am no longer the center of the universe.  Today, my serenity and peace are way more important to me than being right or even being loved for that matter.  I am content alone, and for the first time in my life my goals are attainable and I am focused and motivated.  I work these 12 steps to the best of my ability and work on keeping in conscience contact with my higher power.  I do this simply by asking for his help throughout the day, and thanking him every night for another day sober and alive.  For the first time ever I have gratitude and peace.  Thank God!
                It is unfortunate that not everyone gets it.  I am so grateful for the stories of the ones that don’t make it.  It reminds me quickly of where I will end up.  So since I have a choice today, I am going to stick with what I have been taught and continue to work this wonderful program of recovery.  Thank you all that share your stories of fucking shit up over and over again, you have no idea how you help me stay sober.  I will continue to pray for those that still suffer in hopes that they too might see the light, stop fighting and find peace.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


      I laugh sometimes when I think back to the first few months of my sobriety.  I seriously thought that just getting off the drugs and booze would be enough for my brain and body to start working correctly and I would get back on track immediately.  I swore I was going to be back in Colorado in six months, a year maybe.  I can remember applying for all these jobs back then that I was in no way ready to do.  A lot of those first few months is really hazy.  I remember being angry, guilty, sad, depressed and every other feeling one goes through when getting sober after twenty two years of mass consumption.  Now, at sixteen months clean and sober, I can say that those feelings are long gone.  I have even managed to fill that big gaping hole in my heart that left me feeling lonely and low for so long.  I remember what it was like leaving a meeting high from recovery and crashing rapidly because of that emptiness. It is quite amazing what a year and four months and a lot of hard work can do for a person.  I look in the mirror now and I do not recognize the person in the reflection.  This person is new to me and new to the world.  This brings me a huge level of excitement and motivation.
      Since I graduated from high school in 1992 I have had moments of motivation.  I chased a culinary career around for years.  I never did challenge my self to move up the ranks how ever.  I stayed where I was comfortable.  My sales career went about the same way.  I have never been interested in a management position of any kind, most of all I just wanted to make my money and be left alone.  This cycle has been repeated over and over for twenty years.  All that time I never thought to myself that maybe the whiskey and cocaine were sucking the life out of me.  This was also the same story for school.  Every time I have gone back, the first semester or two usually goes pretty well, and then partying would quickly move in and become more important. Within a few months I would withdraw from my classes or just quit going.  Now, when I look at my transcripts, all I can do is shake my head in amazement at the track record of dumb shit, year after year.
      This year I am going to attempt finishing my degree.  I have a friend that keeps asking my why I am doing this and what is going to be different about it this time.   My answer to him is that, I don't get fucked up any more and I have a program of recovery that I work diligently.  And to add to that, I know what direction , finally, that I want my education to go in.  I now know with out a doubt what I want for a career and what I need to do to get there.  For the first time in my life, I know it is going to be hard, and I am excited about it.  I no longer have any excuses.  I am no longer the lazy, druggie, dumb ass, I have been in the past.  Now it is my time to shine...  Heck, I have even been thinking about grad school.  But one thing at a time right!
     Along with neglecting my career and education, I neglected my body all those years as well.  I knew I wanted to change that about myself, but I never had the balls or the drive to make any sort of commitment and stick with it.  Hell, its pretty hard to quit smoking or exercise when I was wasted all the time.  At the end I was eating so poorly it is amazing that alone did not kill me.  The real funny part is that I knew better, I just did not care.  Fuck it, I am a junkie is what I thought.  These thoughts today are long gone.
     I am taking these few months before school starts to focus on my health.  I do not want to have a heart attack at forty  and both are right around the corner.  Now, I have had brief moments of motivation in this part of my life, but not like it is today.  I have never been so sick of smoking cigarettes the way I am today.  When I do look in the mirror, I am disgusted with what I see from the neck down.  My goal is to have a really good routine set by the time school starts in May.  I spend everyday day watching what I eat, and I am exercising six days a week.  Hard.  I am so sore right now I cannot sit still.  Once again the question pops up in my head.  What is going to be different this time?  One big difference is that now I have a niece that needs me to be healthy in every aspect so I can be the uncle to her that I am suppose to be.  Heck, she wears me out now and she just started walking.  I will never keep up if I don't take care of my body.  I definitely do not want my sister to have to explain to her daughter that her uncle is gone because he was to selfish to take care of himself.  I will admit, there is a little bit of motivation coming from the ex.  For all the times she bitched about my weight, I'm healthy now so fuck you too!  Ha!
     It is nice to have finally rounded the corner in my recovery and be heading forward, and not looking back for a minute.  I am a completely different person today and I am happy about that.  I am slowly getting to know my self, finding new hobbies, and getting involved in some that I never could or would have living that other life.  Today, my heart is full with love and gratitude.  Everyday is a new adventure with new goals that keep me busier than I have ever been.  So for today, I am going to to continue to keep doing what I am doing, because it is working.  Thank God!  I am a lucky man, not many people get to live two lives!


Monday, March 4, 2013


     At the beginning of my recovery I was very unwilling.  I was only going to go to certain meetings, I was only open to this or closed off to that.  My preconceived misconceptions were going to guide me in my recovery hell or high water.  Thankfully, I listened to my sponsor and the people around me.  I do not think I would be here writing this today if I had done it my way.  I know I have shared this before but I want to emphasize how much of a fighter I was the first 37 years of my life.  I fought everyone about everything.  I could never take anyone's advice or learn from their mistakes.  I had to prove that everyone was wrong.  Most of all, I wanted everyone to look at me and see how great I was because I was right.  Well, I was wrong.  Way wrong.  Today, I have finally stopped fighting and am keeping an open mind and my willingness is off the charts.  For me at least. 
     Because of this new found willingness my life has grown leaps and bounds.  My willingness to believe that a higher power could restore me to sanity and do for me what I could not do for my self has changed my life completely.  Through working the steps with an amazing sponsor I have finally found the God of my understanding.  I would have never learned about this new way of life, much less experienced it had I not been willing.  I would say it is the one action that has completely removed my stubborn blinders.  And for that I am so very grateful.
     Despite my very pleasant up brining in the Christian faith, today it is still something that I am very uncomfortable with.  It is something that I do not agree with in a lot of ways.  Most of all I do not understand it.  But, I do believe that my God and the Christian God are one in the same.  Mine just does not have a whole book about him.  I am not sure if that makes any sense, but it is the best way to explain it.  Well, yesterday I had an opportunity to spend some time with my sponsor and go to a Christian meditation/reflection group at a Jesuit retreat center on the Chattahoochee river.  The place is very welcoming and serene.  I was nervous upon arrival, but I knew I had to remain willing in order to get something out of the experience.  The participants were very kind.  We had breakfast and coffee together before we started.  I was the youngest person there by at least ten years.  When we started we went around the room and shared something about who we were.  I shared that I had not known God for a long time and was there to help with my new found relationship with him.  Two women shared two scriptures and gave us questions on each that related to our own lives.  After they were read and their thoughts were shared we all went our own way on the property and took the time to meditate and reflect on the readings and answer the questions.  The first reading was on temptations.  How appropriate is that?  Well needless to say after my time of reflection I had plenty of answers to the questions that were asked.  After we reconvened, they asked us to share our answers or thoughts.  I went first, which surprised the group I think.  I shared my views and thoughts and how they related to my recovery.  It was such a surprise that one of the women gave me a big hug when it was all over and commented on how brave she thought I was for sharing all that I did.  It was by far one of the best decisions I have made in recovery to attend this seminar.  I thuroughly enjoyed it.
       What I am happiest about, is the fact that after this weekends events, the changes I have made in my life are becoming visible.  I was able to set all my doubts and grievances aside and in return I was given a great experience.  This is truly a miracle.  I never thought I could be this person I am today.  I thought for sure my life was always going to be a struggle in every way.  Tonight, I am so humble and full of joy in the changes I have made.  Thanks to my program and my willingness, I am slowly becoming the man I always wanted to be.  And it feels GREAT!

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?