Why I Try to Write a New Post On a Daily Basis?

It's Amazing What Can Save Your Life!

My life has been extraordinary!  There is essentially nothing that I haven’t done, or tried, or partaken of.

Now I am a nearly 40-year-old man, I am married, I love my wife very, very much, and we have been extremely blessed with one son.

But the state of my life today, is not the point, at least for now.

The current topic of discussion is my past.  My life was rough, once I began to make my own decisions.  I made many, wrong decisions, and landed myself in a world of places where I would like to say I didn’t belong, but unfortunately, back then the truth is that I did!

Could I go to AA or NA meetings, yes, I could.

Could I get a sponsor who has 25 years clean, but is still an asshole?  Yes, I could also do that.

And while these meetings work for many, many people, they do not work for me, and yet I have been clean, sober, and happy for quite some time without them.

It is my philosophy that there are only three “principles” necessary, for an individual to adopt , in order to stay sober and happy long-term. 1. Maintain a SOLID spiritual program. 2. Practice RIGOROUS honesty, at all times, and 3. Write, on a daily basis, either an accounting of your day, or some other writing that reminds you, daily from where it is that you have come.  I practice these three principles in my life on a daily basis, and that is why I am clean, sober, and happy, today.

So, Why do I write a new post on a daily basis?

Now you know.

This is the tool, that I use, so that I NEVER forget, what I was, what happened, and what my life is like today.

Without this tool, I run the GREAT danger of forgetting, and that, my friends, is something that I simply CANNOT afford to do.

I have sworn, yes, to my G-d, to myself, to, my wife, child, family, and friends, that THIS TIME, this time I am well and truly done.

And the only thing that would, or could make me break that oath would be my forgetting myself, the things that I have done to hurt others, to hurt myself.

If however, I write, and practice the other two principles, on as daily of a basis as I possibly can, I reduce my chances of relapse, Be”H to almost nothing.

And  so I write…



Sobriety is an Everyday Choice

Temptation is EVERYWHERE!

The wine isle at the grocery, street signs, and magazine ads, tempt us everyday!

Staying sober is tough!

There is only one addiction that is harder to beat than alcohol or drug addiction, and that is food addiction.

An alcoholic can avoid the wine section. A drug addict can avoid movies that they have heard have a lot of drug use in them. Still an addict has to make a decision on a daily basis to not pick up.

I do not wake up every morning and say, “I am absolutely not going to use today.  However, there are dozens of decisions each day that need to be made. There are feelings that need to be kept in check.

Should I take an extra Valium because I feel a bit anxious?  Sure I have a cough, but does that mean that I need to take an extra 20 mg. of Diazapam twice a day, instead of just 10?

I will tell you one thing, there is definitely not a guardian angel on my right shoulder, smacking my hand, or flicking me in the middle of my forehead every time I think of reaching for something, or thinking a thought that I should not.

I have to take it upon myself, sometimes every moment of every day to make the correct choices .  It is up to me to make a decision every moment of everyday as to whether I want to live my life, or eventually wind up as some brain dead junkie in a gutter somewhere.

It is my choice whether or not I decide to hold my head up high today.

It is my choice to decide whom I call on the phone, whether I enjoy spending time with my wife. My son.  Or whether I allow myself to become distracted and not pay attention to the things that really count.

Sometimes, I get a break, things are going well, my head is clear, and I hardly have to even think about sobriety.

I am one of the lucky ones, however, I have a blog, where I get to write everyday and remind myself of who I was, what happened, and who I am now.  And that?

That is a really big deal!

And I truly feel sorry for those who haven’t got a choice.

Who have to go to 12 Step Meetings, who either white knuckle it, or get it, or those who get the chance to go to a holistic program, and perhaps, REALLY make it!

To say that sobriety is a choice and not a guarantee is like saying that you are about to cross a four-lane highway, with your eyes closed at a very slow pace.

Nothing in life is a guarantee, but some choices are far more stupid than others.

Stop, think, consider (hard) the pros and the cons, and then, and only then make a decision.

If I have a bad day, which fortunately I have far fewer of today, then I talk about it with either my wife, or a good friend that is intimately familiar with my history.

If I am having a good day, I do the same.

Having the Strength to Accept the Things That I Cannot Change, the Courage to Change the Things That I Can, and the Wisdom to Know the Difference

I married a woman; she is extremely bull-headed, has very intense emotions, and is 12 years my junior.

She has moments where she is extremely out of touch with reality, I can sit with her, I can try to explain to her what it means to be an adult, and we can go back and forth in her on a. what it means to be an adult, b. discussing, VERY delicately, why she feels that she is 100% sane, and swill not hear otherwise, period.

My wife is not insane, she is roughly 75% crazy, but she is definitely not insane.

No matter what I do or say, I CANNOT change my wife! And yet, just as an addict does, I constantly try to talk sense into her.

A lot happens in 12 years, and the fact that I have been alive, and had that much more experience then she has, seems to make absolutely zero difference when it comes to trying to explain to her, even a little, about how life works.

So I keep trying, failing, trying, failing, and so on, and so on, and so on.

I would give a tremendous about, to be able to have the strength that it would take to accept that fact that I cannot change her, even an ounce, even an iota.

I have learned in my life, that there are certain things that I can, and cannot change.  My wife, obviously I cannot.  On a good day, a VERY good day, maybe, I have control of the space in-between my ears.

I make mistakes; I don’t listen to my wife fairly.  I don’t let her express her thoughts and ideas fully, hardly ever. Why, most likely, because I am insecure, and afraid that perhaps she is brighter than I am in many areas, and has many more earnable skills than I have.

I would literally give nearly everything that I have.  To be able to change myself, to have the courage to dig down deep reach past all my issues, and change to become the man that she wants, the husband that she needs, and the man that she deserves.

The wisdom to know the difference is the hardest part.

Clearly, if I, had the ability to know the difference, between these behaviors, my life would be a much happier and more complete one. By Far!

It is my fault, because I am an addict, albeit a sober one, that my relationship, and in fact most of my relationships are pretty dysfunctional. The title of this post comes from the literature of Alcoholics Anonymous.

It is also one of the only concepts that I personally consider being of any much value, where that particular program is concerned. Again, this is simply my personal opinion.

I have been and G-d willing will continue to be one of the lucky ones where recovery is concerned.  I have made great strides towards being able to fulfill the concept, which is again, the title of this post.

The problem with being an addict is that we repeat the same things over and over again, expecting different results. I dearly love my wife, I dearly love my son, and I dearly love my life.

I would rather die, than lose them.

What I must clearly do, is to teach myself in whatever way it takes, to: Have the strength to accept the things that I cannot change, the courage to change the things that I can, and the wisdom to know the difference!

How to Handle a Rough Day

Judy Blume, a very famous novelist, and realist once wrote – “If Life is a Bowl of Cherries, Why am I Always in the Pits?”  It has been my opinion, that I am not always in the pits, nor is life ALWAYS a bowl of cherries.  Some days are better than others, some are good and some are a little rough around the edges.  Different people, are, of course different, and handle situations differently. The woman, who lives next door, may go out, but a pint of ice cream, and bury her sorrows within.  The man who lives upstairs, may journal his night away, hoping that tomorrow will be better, if he only breathes slowly, takes a nice long hot bath, and just leaves it all behind.

Personally, I take a nice long nap, put my worries to bed for a couple of hours, and then wake; refreshed, relaxed, and rejuvenated, much more able to handle what ever that particular day has brought along with it.  A rough day means change.  If change did not bring on the rough day, then change in most certainly required in fixing it.  Most people do not like change very much.  Most people like their little bubbles where their comfort zones are, where they do not feel threatened by the outside world, and can simply relax, knowing, that no matter what, they will at the very least, be safe, and protected.

A rough day pops the bubble. Perhaps a little, perhaps a lot, but it pops that bubble nonetheless.

Look, nobody likes a rough day.  There routines are totally blown, they have to adapt, even for a while to a new way of doing things, feeling differently, reacting differently.  A rough day is a rough day. It’s not peaches and rose blossoms, it stinks, perhaps really stinks, and it truly just is what it is.

The wonderful thing about a rough day, is that there is an entire list of ways to make it better!!!

  1. Breathe – Slow down.  Count to 10.  Think to yourself, will any of this matter next week, or even tomorrow? In all likelihood, no.
  2. Why are you having a rough day?  Make a list, and number it. (Much like this).  Why? Laying things out clearly in front of you makes them MUCH easier to break down, and conquer 1 by 1.
  3. Remind yourself, that nothing is insurmountable.  That there is nothing, absolutely nothing that you can’t confront and overcome.
  4. And finally, that there is nothing, absolutely NOTHING that you cannot do if you send your mind to it!

When one is cursed with the desire of addiction, having a rough day takes on an entirely different meeting.  A rough day, can lead to the day when their life ends, or, their life ends, as they knew it.  An addict, unless he or she has beat their addiction, or learned to not let it affect them, even under the worst of situations, can be derailed by a rough day. An addict without the proper “recovery toolbox” – The proper tools to say sober, is upturned quite easily.

I have seen people with 10 years of sobriety fall off of the proverbial wagon when they let enough rough days build up without dealing with them as they come.  A rough day is nothing.  EVERYBODY has them.  Most people get home, pour themselves a nice glass of wine, kick their shoes off, turn on their favorite political debate program, and let the day slowly slip away.

The addict or alcoholic, gets home, kicks off their shoes, pours a nice tall glass of diet cola and proceeds to call their sponsor, or if they are involved in a holistic program, various individuals who understand, exactly, what kind of day they have just made it through.  The rough day, the bane of any addicts recovery, but, in no way necessarily the end.