Sobriety is SUCH a Wonderful Thing!!!

Hello all,

I offer my sincere apologies for not having posted here for a while.  I have been extremely busy looking for a full-time job.  As of yet I have not found one, however I am fully confident that I will, and G-d willing, VERY soon. Amen.

But you see, this is already a huge part of today’s topic!

As you all know, I have been sober for some time now, B”H, and the fact that I can even pull myself together, that I even have a brain that works enough to go out and search for work, to even WANT to search for work, is nothing short of a miracle itself!

Many many years ago, when I had my brief stint experimenting with the heavy stuff, drug wise, there were many times each day, when I could have died or even have been killed, and the fact alone that I am not some brain-dead junkie in a gutter somewhere, (which I have mentioned before) let alone have a brain that still functions marvelously, thank G-d, is beyond me.

Today my life is incredibly different in so many ways, naturally.

I work, I am married and we have a son who will be two on August 1st.

The days of staying out all night and partying are long gone, and I don’t even drink any more.

I drink grape juice and not wine for religious ceremonial purposes, and I feel, well, pretty darn fantastic.

You know there comes a point, a developmental stage, which while it naturally occurs in one’s late 20’s to mid 30’s, could potentially happen earlier.

During this stage, an individual, begins to forgive others for either the perceived or real wrongs that those people committed against them.  They begin to forgive themselves for the wrongs that they have done.  They begin to take ownership in the present moment for the decisions that they make, the decisions that they made, and they start to realize the role that they played in the way others perceived them, while growing up.

This developmental stage, I believe, is the most enlightening and relieving stage that I have ever consciously gone through.

I began to take responsibility for who I was, and for who I wanted to become.  I began to say you know what, I am a father now, and I KNOW that I am making many mistakes in the child raising process?

I know that we are all human, and therefore fallible, and if we are normally functioning adults, we know that we do the best that we can, and leave the rest up to a higher power of some kind or another.

We therefore MUST realize that our parents are also human, and fallible, and did the best they could do in raising us.

Did they make mistakes, hell yes!

And did some of those mistakes screw us up for life, until now? Again, hell yes!!! But it is time to take responsibility for our own actions, our own choices, and to stop blaming our pasts for the things that we either do, or do not do today, in our lives.

Yes, I know many people who were violated by adults in their youth.  To me, rape is among the top three most vile and despicable acts that one “human” can commit against another. And I am sensitive to the fact that it is an extremely traumatic experience!  Believe me I am.

But even for an act such as that, and the ensuing trauma, there are groups, counseling, and we have all of course heard of people taking revenge against the criminal animal who attacked them, G-d forbid.

The point is that we can move on from anything, or we can hold on to anything forever.  It is our choice.

Yes granted, some things may seem impossible to overcome emotionally, mentally, physically, but they ARE conquerable!  One baby step at a time, G-d willing!

But let us speak for a moment on those who grew up having had fairly normal lives, average, with reasonably “normal” parents.

Again, yes they made mistakes, but did you have a role in how they reacted, was your behavior a factor?

I know mine was.

I was an impossible kid!  ADHD, ADD, OCD, and a Generalized Anxiety Disorder!

My grandmother of blessed memory used to say, that I was like a lightning bolt, that I would disappear and reappear just like that!

Do you think having a child like that was east for my parents, quite nearly climbing the walls until I was 16, and began to learn how to control it?

Of course not, and this is precisely the point.

Very few things are black and white, and in fact, usually most things fall into that vast gray area called life.

Look, it is time to grow up, accept responsibility for the parts we played in how our lives have turned out thus far, forgive others for the “crimes” that they have committed against us, presuming they are forgivable (some things are not of course), and move on, leaving behind the past that we have used as a crutch for so very long.

We are adults now, we make our own decisions, and we are responsible for the outcomes of those decisions as well.

So, don’t you think it’s time to move on?  I know I do :).

Be Well, and Enjoy!

Sincerely,

Mordechai

But for the Grace of G-d Go I…

I remember, a few years ago, on a Jewish holiday called Purim, where the goal actually, is to get so drunk that you would not be able to tell the difference between Haman and Mordechai (two of the main characters in the holiday’s story; the baddie (Haman), and Mordechai, the goodie.

I had moved way past my drinking phase by that time so I was able, B”H to experience and appreciate the full impact of what I saw.

At the time, say 4 years ago, my soon to be wife and I were living in a small So Ho-like neighborhood called Nachlaot.

And much like So Ho, there are the creative, cutting edge types, and the down in the dirt addict/alcoholic types there.

So that particular evening, due to the nature of the holiday, it was the alcoholics who were out, but not so about.

My girlfriend (at the time) and I were walking down the road, and as we approached a dumpster on our right, we noticed two or three completely blitzed, and by blitzed, I mean comatose people lying in (what I presumed were their own fluids) face down in the gutter.

Now, I have lived a very unusual life.

Taken all sorts of things, and wound up in many difficult situations.

I have not, however had the distinguished privilege, of laying face down in a gutter, and thank G-d for that!

But of course it is never too late.

IF i were to choose to follow that course, I could easily wind up in that situation, or an even worse one.

You see, I am not an alcoholic, have never been one, and thank G-d for that.

But I could be, if I chose not to keep up my daily sobriety routine.

And, just because they have now discovered that there is a gene for addiction, does not in any way mean that someone without the gene can’t become an alcoholic or drug addict with enough practice.

You see, they are equal opportunity destroyers, drugs and alcohol.

So just think, with enough time, energy, and practice, you too can wind up face down and comatose in a gutter!

Yay!

Mordechai

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…

Mordechai

Schlepping to Tel Aviv, Again…

Just Say No!!!

You know, I am so tired of this bullshit, that I can’t even express my frustration without using profanity any longer, and THAT my friends, is pretty bad!

Seriously, if the withdrawal were not that bad, and my mood swings (mostly bad) wouldn’t 100% (we’ve discussed it 🙂 ruin my marriage, I would shut myself up in the back room and suffer it out.  THAT is how sick and tired I am of this shit!

So I spoke with the bitch last night, she suggests that I come in, “we talk” and that she will give me my weekly prescription of Subutex.

You see, she has me by the balls, and she absolutely knows this fact.

I now NEED this medication, because it is very difficult to get (witch 🙂 she knows) and if I don’t take it I go into massive withdrawal, which she also knows that I really DO NOT want to do.

So, a rock and a hard place? Yes.

But not even my choice!

I did not choose to become addicted to opiates! I fell out of a friggin’ window and was put on opiates because they were the only think that helped the pain.

If I knew then, what I know now? I would have suffered through the leg pain, and dealt with it bitching and moaning the entire time, the best I could.

Alas, cest le guerre (such is war).  And this situation most certainly is what it is!

Am I angry? No.

Am I frustrated? Thoroughly!

This is the day that I am “looking forward” to: 1. Get on a multi-person taxi to Tel Aviv (travel time, approximately, 1 hour 15 minutes). When I get to Tel Aviv, I must then get on another multi-person taxi to the clinic. I must “have a talk” with the doctor, get my prescription, and then walk out to the main street and catch a cab to travel the 5 minutes it takes to get to the pharmacy, which because they are in cahoots with the clinic, charges three times what the medication would normally cost.

Then after I obtain the crap, I need to take the crosswalk on the same side of the road, and stand at the bus stop waiting for the 26 or 70 bus. This bus will take me back to where I arrived in Tel Aviv, at which point I will board another multi-person taxi, wait for anywhere form 1 minute to 30 until it fills up (10 seats) and then travel (now) 1 hour and 40 minutes due to rush hour.

When I exit, the taxi, I must wait anywhere between 1 and 45 minute for my bus home, and once I board, I am on my way back to my sanctuary.  Thank G-d.

Ah yes, and for this glorious, fun filled trip, Bob, I leave Jerusalem at 3:00 pm and don’t return home until roughly 8:30 pm.

Sound like fun, right?

In addition, I do the same EXACT thing EVERY Thursday!!!

Please people, listen to me VERY carefully.  Do not do stupid things, and get yourselves into situations like these. There is an old phrase which happens to apply very well here.

“Measure twice, cut once”. 

Please think before you act. 

No one deserves to be treated this way, or to have to go through this kind of ridiculousness treatment.

Mordechai

To AA or Not to AA, That Is the Question?

I was a member of AA for years.

What did it get me?

Several relapses, many, many people up in my personal business, and experience with several cult(like) steps and principles.

Ok, so not what you would call a huge fan of AA.

Getting together everyday (recommended), and when you don’t you are judged, sometimes harshly, and if you decide to stop attending altogether, then you are cut off, treated like a pariah, and no one EVER believes that you are sober, or happy again.

Why? Because if you aren’t attending meetings, and not hanging out with the “Members”, then you can not POSSIBLY be sober, because AA is the ONLY way!

Well folks, I’ve got news for you.

AA does work, and can be very effective, however, it is absolutely NOT the only way!

There are certain principles and steps, which are absolutely dead on.  They work, they are tried and true, and they are, believe it or not the only two that one must actually practice in order to remain sober, and happy, without having to suffer the ludicrous nature of the meetings, and more importantly the ludicrous nature of the people.

The two concepts that work are these; A. I maintain a solid spiritual program, and B. I maintain rigorous honesty, and I mean rigorous.

Oh yeah, and there is one other thing.

Everyday, unless G-d forbid I miss a day for some reason, I write a blog post about addiction.

You see, the biggest problem for addicts, without the shadow of a doubt, is that they forget.

The addict, as hard as is to believe, actually forgets.  They forget what the last time was like, how much pain they caused, and all the damage they did on their last bender.

That I have the ability, B”H, to write a new post daily, allows me to never forget.

And it is literally a miracle.

All that any addict, who has actually made a “cast-in-stone” decision to stay sober, needs to do is follow this simple, but in NO WAY softer method, but you can on your own, on a daily basis, stay sober.

Now, we all need support; friends, family members, etc.  But we DO NOT need people who now matter how long they have been sober, ride in on their high horses and judge.

Listen, an addict is an addict, and it makes absolutely no difference how long they’ve been clean.  They still (even though they have no right so at all) judge everyone!

And that’s it.

Mordechai

Becoming Aware that the Things That You Do and Say Affect Others

When we are in active addiction, we do and say things ALL the time that offend, frighten, and even horrify other people.  These others may be friends, family, co-workers, or anyone really.

But the fact that we are so out of control, completely unable to monitor our own words and behaviors, is nonetheless, of GREAT impact to others. When we are high, we are not concerned with our words, not concerned with others.

The only thing that we are concerned about if locating, obtaining, and using more, drugs, alcohol, or whatever it is.  Most addicts, at least the many that I have know, are very creative, loving, and endearing people.

They are, or often become the centerpiece of the family, and the most trusted of friends, when they are sober, that is.  This is why the addict can get away with the things that they can,  if, and when they do relapse (G-d forbid). People trust them.

Generally, the addict does not wake up one morning and say, “you know, today I am going to start fooling everyone who loves me, for say, the next 6 months, then I’ll relapse, and be able to take advantage of everybody, because, I’ll have earned their trust!, hahahahaha”.

An addict wants to genuinely love and be loved.  The addict wants to be a good person, and the addict generally, and especially in the later years, wants to stop using desperately.

The problem with the addict is that they FORGET!

This is why I try to write a daily blog about addiction.

What it was like, what happened, and what I am like now.

It is my belief as well as that of many others, that if remind myself on a daily basis, that it will be very difficult for me to forget, in fact, quite nearly, impossible.

To say that I am grateful for this ability would be a tremendous understatement.

I have hurt a great many people in my life, emotionally.  I am not a physical person, and was blessed with literally having no temper, so I have never, and G-d willing will never raised a hand to anyone in anger.

I have, to what was my great regret devastated many lives on the levels of trust and emotion.

I am not proud, but also no longer have any regrets about who I was, or the pain that I caused others.

I work exceptionally hard today to be rigorously honest, and to practice a solid spiritual program.

Do I always succeed?

Certainly not!

I do however, try the best that I can.

The way I see my choices are these; I can wallow in my past, feeling sorry for myself, and wanting to destroy the “monster” that I was, or I can move on, make a new life for myself, and continue to be happy, joyous, and free, a loving husband, and a good and loving father.

I choose the later.

Primarily because I see no reason to be miserable for the rest of my future, by holding on to my past.

Mordechai

10 Ways to Know You’ve Hit Rock Bottom

Rock Bottom - You'll Know When You Get There

  1. You have no money.
  2. No one will lend you any money.
  3. You owe a lot of money.
  4. You have no place to live.
  5. You own parents won’t even look at you let alone talk to you.
  6. You have no friends.
  7. You have no job.
  8. You have no clothing, but those on your back.
  9. You have not showered in a month.

10. You are an outcast, everywhere.

This is a VERY, very “over-the-top” scenario, and there are, of course, many varying scenarios ranging from very-low to very-high in between.

You have had an example of an extremely “bottom-of-barrel” low, and now I will give you an example of a much less noticeable one.

  1. The bank is beginning to breathe down your neck.
  2. The only people that will still lend you money are your parents.
  3. The bills are starting to pile up.
  4. You have not paid your rent in months.
  5. Warnings are starting to come from loved ones, that, if things don’t straighten out soon, your life is about to change dramatically.
  6. Your friends are thinning out.
  7. Your boss says, one more time, one, and that’s it.
  8. Your clothes are running low.
  9. You are starting to care less and les about your appearance.

10. You re beginning to be less and less welcome wherever you go.

Whether you are attending a holistic program, or a 12 Step Based program, “your” goal, actually, is to hit a bottom.  It is – bottom line – the ONLY thing that gives you a real chance at staying sober for any real length of time.

When I first got into trouble with the law, I had still not yet hit rock bottom. I was one of the types that had to learn HARD to learn at all.

It took a huge amount of pain and suffering cause by me, to both others, and myself to finally realize that enough was enough.

I still pray daily, that I never feel the need to return to that place, and those places in my life.

I would have to say that realistically, I had to hit roughly 10 different bottoms, or what I thought at the time were bottoms, before it all made sense in my head, or at least I pray to G-d that it has.

Today I feel good, I feel centered, I feel grounded. I pray everyday, maintain a solid spiritual program, and am as rigorously honest as humanly possible.

And yet, sobriety is an extremely tentative thing.  Or at least it has been in the past for me, and many others I know.

I know that I have hit rock bottom, literally.

I know that my Higher Power has saved my life directly, and left me with, Him willing, all of both the physical and mental scars to prove it.

When one has such an accident as I did, and lives to tell the tale, with all the pain to back it up, they should be incredibly grateful. I could easily have died.

I did not.

I could easily have been partially or fully paralyzed, but was not.

And I most certainly have been maimed beyond recognition.

I was not.

You see, G-d has always known, or at least it appears He has, that if I am to be taught a lesson, that it must be in a big, loud, screamed out way.

I must never be allowed to forget, ever.

I must literally hit rock bottom!

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.

10 Ways to Know That You’ve Hit Rock Bottom

  1. You have no money.
  2. No one will lend you any money.
  3. You owe a lot of money.
  4. You have no place to live.
  5. You own parents won’t even look at you let alone talk to you.
  6. You have no friends.
  7. You have no job.
  8. You have no clothing, but those on your back.
  9. You have not showered in a month.

10. You are an outcast, everywhere.

This is a VERY, very “over-the-top” scenario, and there are, of course, many varying scenarios ranging from very-low to very-high in between.

You have had an example of an extremely “bottom-of-barrel” low, and now I will give you an example of a much less noticeable one.

  1. The bank is beginning to breathe down your neck.
  2. The only people that will still lend you money are your parents.
  3. The bills are starting to pile up.
  4. You have not paid your rent in months.
  5. Warnings are starting to come from loved ones, that, if things don’t straighten out soon, your life is about to change dramatically.
  6. Your friends are thinning out.
  7. Your boss says, one more time, one, and that’s it.
  8. Your clothes are running low.
  9. You are starting to care less and les about your appearance.

10. You re beginning to be less and less welcome wherever you go.

Whether you are attending a holistic program, or a 12 Step Based program, “your” goal, actually, is to hit a bottom.  It is – bottom line – the ONLY thing that gives you a real chance at staying sober for any real length of time.

When I first got into trouble with the law, I had still not yet hit rock bottom. I was one of the types that had to learn HARD to learn at all. It took a huge amount of pain and suffering cause by me, to both others, and myself to finally realize that enough was enough.  And I still pray daily, that I never feel the need to return to that place, and those places in my life.

I would have to say that realistically, I had to hit roughly 10 different bottoms, or what I thought at the time were bottoms, before it all made sense in my head, or at least I pray to G-d that it has.

Today I feel good, I feel centered, I feel grounded. I pray everyday, maintain a solid spiritual program, and am as rigorously honest as humanly possible.

And yet, sobriety is an extremely tentative thing.

Or at least it has been in the past for me, and many others I know.

I know that I have hit rock bottom, literally. I know that my Higher Power has saved my life directly, and left me with, Him willing, all of both the physical and mental scars to prove it.

When one has such an accident as I did, and lives to tell the tale, with all the pain to back it up, they should be incredibly grateful. I could easily have died.

I did not.

I could easily have been partially or fully paralyzed, but was not. And I most certainly have been maimed beyond recognition, but I was not.

You see, G-d has always known, or at least it appears He has, that if I am to be taught a lesson, that it must be in a big, loud, screamed out way.  I must never be allowed to forget, ever.

I must literally hit rock bottom!