Peace From Addiction

For so long I lived in fear. I thought the only way to cope with emotions, be they negative or positive, was to numb myself.
The negative emotions completely overwhelmed any positive emotions that I was having.
__________________________________
At first, it was shyness. I couldn’t talk to people comfortably, unless I had some liquid courage. Then, it was love. I never felt it. In walked Molly. Then, it was body image issues. I didn’t like the way I looked. In came steroids and cocaine. Then, it was mental illness, particularly PTSD, anxiety and depression. I was absolutely terrified to go to sleep, because of the night terrors. In walked pain pills, heroin, and fentanyl. Then, I hated myself so much. I didn’t recognize myself. I had no self worth. In walked suicide.
_________________________________
There were so many other drugs, people, places, and things that walked into my life. I always tried to fix myself with something outside of myself. I allowed people to determine my self worth. I know that way will never work for me again.
_________________________________
I can not fix myself with anything that is external. Relationships may bring me happiness, but not peace. Drugs may bring a temporary solution, but not peace. Alcohol may make me comfortable for a while, but it doesn’t bring me peace. Shopping may make me happy, briefly, but it doesn’t bring me peace. Sex may make me blissful, but with the wrong person, it does not bring me peace.
_______________________________
I’ve always been told to find “happiness”. I’ve come to realize that what I’m pursuing is a higher goal. PEACE. Since I’ve been pursuing peace, everything else has fallen into place.

Happiness.
Joy.
Freedom.
Courage.
Fortitude.
Integrity.
Honor.
Loyalty.
Strength.
Honesty.
Calmness.
Accountability.
Love.

I choose to pursue peace everyday. I hope everyone finds their peace today. – J

Advertisements

Thoughts for the year so far and I share my story

So in my last post I promised I would share the link to the story I was going to share with a Canadian mental health advocate. I was only able to tell a layer to the story as I only had 4400 characters to work with. My story is so much deeper than the layer I was able to share in the post. But I’m incredibly grateful that I was asked to do it, and that I was able to be completely vulnerable with a stranger. So it’s available in three parts on the links below:

Part 1: https://www.instagram.com/p/BscGdT7nvYl/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=bhmhpodifopn

Part 2 (just a picture and a few words: https://www.instagram.com/p/BscHaGUnrxt/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=1fh1pyil79kjk

Part 3: https://www.instagram.com/p/BscJHgEntqT/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=h4oqqenwlh1e

_________________________________

Now back to the show… Lol

_________________________________

For the first month of the year I’m really focusing on inner peace and self value/worth. I’ve been taking my time and letting things unfold around me.
_________________________________
That was definitely not my plan for the year. The universe seems to have other ideas for me thus far. I’ve felt the need to slow down, look inward, and truly find the joy and peace in the moment. The right here, and the right now.
_________________________________

I’ve been diving deeper into meditation and yoga. It has been beneficial in enhancing my mind, body, soul, spirit, and energy. It’s given me peace in the craziness of this busy world and the monotony of everyday life. I thought I was going to start this year just like the last – off to the races and never letting up on the gas pedal. Ramming my foot on the gas pedal helped me out a lot last year, but it also overwhelmed me. It depleted me.

________________________________

An unfortunate accident at the beginning of this year caused me to pause for a little while. I’ve found peace in the stillness, something I’ve never been comfortable in…. I’m truly enjoying life right now. I’m going to continue to enjoy the stillness for a while. I’m meeting incredible people in all areas of life. I’m developing deeper and more meaningful connections and relationships with people. I’m focusing inward for peace instead of outward for acceptance.
_______________________________

I’ve always allowed other’s value of me, determine the value that I have for myself. I’m focusing on trying to change that this year. It’s definitely not easy, but I feel it’s something that I would really like to learn. I think it will be incredibly valuable in my life.
_________________________________

Remember that you have value. Even if you don’t feel it now, you have value. Even if you feel beaten down. Even if you think you have nobody in your life. Even if people put you down. Even if you feel isolated… Just remember, you have value to me.
_________________________________
Peace, light, wisdom, courage, strength, integrity, and love –
Jay

My truth in addiction…

“Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.”

– Gautama Buddha

I’ve recently been asked by a woman who works with people with mental illness in Canada to share my story…I have agreed and I will post the link as soon as it’s up.

The above quote seemed to speak to me today. I have to be honest, vulnerable, and willing to share my story knowing that people I know, work with, and my family may read this one day. I’m not afraid to share my story anymore. I’m not afraid to be vulnerable. I know by doing this, it may save somebody’s life.

By the “truth” in this concept, I don’t mean honesty. Honesty is an integral principle in sobriety. In fact, it’s one of the first ones that I think most 12 step programs teach.

But, I’m thinking more about personal truth… Inner truth… Inner reflection… What’s in your head? What’s in your heart? What’s in your soul? What morals do you have? What morals do you actually abide by?

I know in my addiction, my moral compass was pretty much non existent. I hadn’t done x, y, or z…..yet…. Ohh, there’s always a yet. I wasn’t doing cocaine….I wasn’t that bad…yet….. I wasn’t mixing prescription stimulants with cocaine and alcohol…yet….I could stop the cocaine and prescription stimulants, just drink, and never pick up another drug…I wasn’t doing heroin…yet…. Heroin felt good going up my nose, I am not going to shoot up….yet…. Shooting up is good enough, at least I don’t use fentanyl….yet…. I’m just a little depressed, I’ll never try suicide….yet…

That’s what my truth was when I was using. I was better than you because I wasn’t as “bad” as you….yet…

Then came the PTSD when I was 27. I couldn’t sleep. I was afraid to sleep. The night terrors were so bad that I didn’t want to sleep. I was waking up to my room destroyed, having to apologize to people for threatening them, waking up in random places, all with no recollection of it. Always feeling on edge. I needed something to sleep that didn’t allow me to dream. I found that in the harder drugs. My moral compass was non existent.

A week before I got clean, I stood in front of my parents, with a knife to my chest. My Mom laughed… I had tried suicide by overdosing time and time again, with no success. I couldn’t go on anymore. I was ready to die.

Somehow, my Dad was able to talk me down. It didn’t make his job any easier when my Mom laughed as I was ready to plunge the knife in. I will always love him for that. I went to treatment. There was a 4 day wait to get in, so I started to detox before I got there. It was hell. But, I made it through the detox period. –
I’ve never looked back. I got into a 12 step program. That’s what works for me.

This isn’t my whole story. It’s just one layer of the onion that I’m peeing away right now. I’m also aware that 12 step programs aren’t the only way to recover. I don’t care how you recover. Please know that was my truth. I have a different truth today. One that values love, kindness, honesty, integrity, spirituality, courage, determination, open-mindedness, willingness, wisdom, light, serenity, peace, inner peace, and so much more. Your truth today, doesn’t have to consume you anymore. There is another way to live. Please seek treatment and find your new truth.

Peace, light, love, evolution, gratitude kindness, and mercy

– jayicesober

Random Thoughts For 01-08-19

I’ve kind of done something different today. I’m trying to find my voice again. I lost it in my addiction. But, the voice I’ve developed now is deeper, more open minded, and completely not afraid to be 100 percent vulnerable.

I’ve been really focusing on inner peace lately. That wasn’t my plan…

When the year started, I was off to the races. I had so much I wanted to accomplish. I had so many plans…

Last Wednesday, I was attacked by a pitbull. It was pretty gruesome. I couldn’t walk until 5 days later. I couldn’t go to work. I couldn’t do anything but sit in the discomfort. I had to sit in the pain. But, I think it was God, divine intervention, or whatever you want to call it. I think it was telling me to focus inward, instead of outward.

Below are just a few random posts that I made to my Instagram account. Maybe someone will find value in them?? IDK…?? They are at least helping me in the moment.

1-8-19

4:45 a.m.

I’ve been really working on letting go of some resentments that I have noticed recently. I know that having resentments can easily lead to a #relapse . I’m definitely not ok with that.


It’s not an easy thing to do. I can’t really say that I have a total grasp on letting go of resentments. I know that the “victim” mentality doesn’t work for me. I’m tired of asking, “Why did this person do that to me?”. “Why did they treat me this way?”. Bottom line is…I allowed people to treat me the way they did because I allowed them to have power over me.



I lost sight of my personal worth, and I allowed others to treat me like I was less than. “They” didn’t do this to me. I am not a victim. “I” allowed it. I am truly realizing that all people are flawed. They have their own character defects, just like I do. That doesn’t mean that I have to put up with it though. I am responsible for who I allow into my life. I am responsible for my own actions and choices. I am responsible for my own peace and happiness. Other people, places and things do not have power over me, unless I allow them to have power over me.

1-8-19

5:15a.m.

Woke up in a really negative mood today. No rhyme or reason. Just a knot of twisted, negative energy… When I feel this way, I like to mediate so I can clear my mind. Sometimes the root of the problem isn’t easy to get at. I know that meditation brings me peace. I may not get to the heart of the problem, but, taking a few minutes for myself is a completely loving act.

1-8-19

9:16 a.m.

I started the year off to the races…I wanted to get so many things done, in my time frame. When things weren’t going the way I wanted, I would get upset .


Then came the pitbull attack last week…I couldn’t do what I had planned. I had to sit back and take it easy. I had to heal. I had to be comfortable in the uncomfortably.


I’m actually grateful that the attacked happened. It helped me to slow down so much. I’m trying to find inner peace and self love. I’m never going to find that outside of myself. Drugs and alcohol definitely don’t bring inner peace. Relationships can’t help my self love. Having a certain career doesn’t change the value that I have of myself.


If I can’t find the inner peace and self love where I’m at right now, why should I expect more?? Why should I deserve more?? If I’m not grateful where I’m at right now, why should I expect to be grateful if I’m at a different place in my life? I will constantly be looking outward for something, instead of reflecting and looking inward.


Nothing outside of myself can help with my inner peace, self love, and self value; if I can’t find those things in the here and now. So, I’m slowing down, and looking inward. Peace, light, love, wisdom and kindness…

Just random thoughts today…

Peace, love, light, wisdom, courage, strength, divinity, introspection, and kindness –

jayicesober

Amazing year end reflection

Wow…

What a year. I celebrated one year clean on November 22, 2018. That was Thanksgiving day. My parents and my Aunt came to my 12 step meeting for my anniversary and my medallion presentation. My sponsor almost didn’t make it, because I failed to tell him about it until the day before…(whoops)

It was actually a small meeting. There were only four members there, plus my Mom, Dad, and Aunt. I was excited. Then, I started reading something during the meeting that just made me break down. It was talking about how we build a concrete foundation in recovery, then we find that it’s time to start focusing on our lives, making them fuller….

Why did I break down?

Because I totally and one hundred percent know that I spent the last year of my life laying down that damn foundation: fortifying it, strengthening it, digging a moat around it, putting in ramparts, archers on the towers, soldiers in the fields surrounding it…I did the damn thing!!! It was not easy…

There were many tears shed, much blood shed, sweat, fights, arguments, confusion, happiness, sadness, depression, anxious moments, uncertainty, hurt feelings, feelings of complete and utter joy, dirt under my fingernails from fighting in the trenches of this damn disease…

But, I did it (not by myself – that’s what a 12 step program is about)… And I’m proud of myself for doing it. My family’s proud of me… I’ll say that again… I’m proud of myself and my family’s proud of me…

I’ve literally died…I literally tried to kill myself with drugs… I’ve intentionally overdosed with the intent to die…Things got so dark, that I couldn’t see the light. I was never medically resuscitated… I’ve never been given Narcan…I couldn’t even kill myself successfully… Wasn’t for lack of effort…or lack of funds…Trust me on that one…

I could not kill myself….successfully… Not only did I want to die…I tried…I tried again… And again… And again…

This entire year, I’ve had to fight with, “why am I alive”? There must be a reason…I couldn’t figure it out for the first six months… Then I got a glimpse… People seem to open up to me when I share my story… When I speak from my heart… When I check my ego at the door… When i tell my story in all its grimey details… Trust me, I’ve never told anyone other than the people inside the meetings the darkest parts of me….it gives them strength to speak up… I’m going to start doing it on here too…I never knew that I had this gift…I’ve always known that people have liked my words… I was published at a young age, 14 or 15… But, in my addiction, I lost my voice. I lost my ability to use my words… To speak from my heart… I’m getting that ability back in spades, but I still have some work to do.

So… I’m coming up on 14 months… I’ve built that concrete foundation… No one can destroy that… Trust me, I’ve been shook, people around me have hurt me tremendously… But, they can’t even touch that foundation. They can’t reach it. The archers on the towers pick them off… The soldiers in the battlefield meet them head on. The ramparts slow them down, they drown in the moat… Nothing can penetrate my foundation.

So, it’s about to be a new year… That’s when people make “resolutions” right??….F that.. I don’t wait until a new year to be a better person. I’ve been putting in the work. I’ve been writing… I’ve been reading… I’ve been meditating… I’ve been doing yoga… I’m involved in service positions… And… I’m already adding more… I’ve enrolled to become a peer recovery support specialist. I’m joining student ministry. I’m helping addicts… I’m helping the mentally ill… I’m helping the homeless… I’m helping the down trodden… I’m not waiting for a new year… I’m not going to do something just because it’s convenient for me… I’m choosing to live a life of servant leadership….

That’s why I’m here. That’s my mission on this planet. To help others…I believe this deeply in my heart… I’ve never felt this about anything… But, I know why I went through what I did. I’ve seen how broken the system is from the inside, through personal experience… I’m here to help everyone who is struggling. To help anyone who feels alone or forgotten. I know how that feels. Never again… Not on my watch…

If you are struggling, please reach out…I will never ask you for money and be leary of people who do…I will help you to the best of my ability…I will put you in touch with resources, people who can help…I want you to think about this statistic: 8 out of 10 recovery centers are corrupt. You are a number to them. They will milk you or your insurance agency. Research where you go for your recovery. Check their track record. Ask as many questions as you want. Be your own advocate. Nobody else will.

Peace, love, light and wisdom,

Jay Ice Sober


What a Week





11-4-18





Wow! That’s all I can say. What an amazing week this has been. A lot has happened in the span of one week. It just shows me how much fun you can have in recovery. It shows me how second chances are always possible. So, let’s start with the previous weeks.





It got off of Facebook. I like it for some reasons; networking, planning activities, and my non-profit was solely based on Facebook. But, there is so much negativity that I couldn’t stand it anymore. I was so sick of hearing people talk about addicts, when they know nothing about addiction. That we “chose” to become addicts. I was also tired of the political rhetoric. I was tired of the overall negative attitudes that I saw. Those were some of the reasons.





The main reason? I’m tired of talking to “friends” who I haven’t seen in 20 plus years. You know nothing of what I have done for the past 20 years, and I know nothing about you either. Friends call each other, come over, hang out, and are always one call or text away. We only post the positive mask that we want people to see. I’m guilty of that as well! We can portray ourselves great, outwardly. But inwardly, I know we all struggle to some degree or another. So I decided to get off of Facebook.





So, down went my account and with it my non-profit presence. I’m ok with that for now, I’m re-tooling that. I have a lot of people that want to help, but I think it’s better to do it myself for now. I’m focusing on having the website up by December 1st. But, I don’t think I’m going to make that goal. So, I had to lower my expectations, yet again. It’ll be up when it’s up lol. I really need to focus on content and I’m researching facilities and resources by myself right now. I know if I give myself a time constraint, then I’m not going to get it done. I hate time management. I struggle with it. I’m not good at planned activities. I prefer to work and live wherever my passion takes me. Time constraints overwhelm me. Being overwhelmed is terrible for me, personally. I think it is for a lot of addicts. I’m glad that I was able to recognize this, because I have a tendency to have two speeds: sleep, and full throttle.





So , I’m glad that I’m trying to find the happy balance in the middle. I think balance is great for all of us. Now, a few weeks ago, I prayed for something. I’m going to tell you exactly what I prayed for. I asked God to help surround me with positive people. People who are walking in love, light and wisdom, just as I choose to live my life. His answer was astounding! I started going to places and started random conversations with people, something I actually do quite a bit. This time, I only approached people who were smiling. I just thought, “I wonder what they are so happy about? How can I get some of that?” So I just started approaching random people and I met some great people, who I can call friends. Actual friends. People I reach out to. People that I take a genuine interest in, and they actually take a genuine interest in me. It’s been really fun to see the change from the negativity I see on Facebook, get out into the world, and meet people who are real. People who return calls and texts. People that I just met, but are already there for me. When they struggle, I help them. When I struggle they help me. But, it’s not about that for the most part. It’s just being present in someone’s life, with them wanting nothing in return. That’s friendship to me.





I used to have that “how can I help” mentality. That “people pleaser” mentality. I really needed to branch out and meet some people who don’t want anything, maybe just a good conversation and a cup of coffee. But, we do lift each other up, just by being there for one another.





I also met someone whom I didn’t approach. They actually approached me. It was a random chance encounter, and I really don’t want to get into the full details of it, because not only do I want anonymity for myself, I value others’ anonymity too. But, we got to talking, and I asked this person what made them decide to approach me. They said something that truly lifted my spirits. “You just seem to have this loving energy, or a loving presence about you.” How cool is that? I try to walk around being loving towards all, but for someone to sense that? That was truly mind blowing! It’s made me feel incredible that someone else could see/feel that. These are the type of people that I am now choosing to surround myself with.





People who care about others. people who are shining!!! I have also gotten deeper into my step work. I am now on step 11. It’s been an enjoyable experience. I have never really had a deeply spiritual outlook on life. But, throughout the process of my step work, I have developed so many spiritual principles that I apply to my everyday life. I really urge people to get into a 12 step program. You can’t pray away the disease of addiction. It does help. You can’t wish it away. Nothing magical is going to happen by just standing around and complaining. Go to a meeting and complain. I promise it will help. They will completely understand what you are talking about. Nothing is too crazy for a meeting. I’ve actually gotten to the point, and I have been for some time, where I truly look forward to meetings. I’ve actually started going to more than usual. It’s really helpful. I’ve made great friends. I can’t explain it, it just works. Maybe that’s where the magic happens? But it doesn’t start without you putting in some work. It doesn’t start without you going to a meeting, sharing and speaking honestly.





I remember my first meeting. I was fresh out of a treatment center,one which I didn’t stay the entire time, because I didn’t feel safe in the environment I was in. But, I still made that choice to go to a meeting and ask for some help. I got some phone numbers. I used them and I found a sponsor the next day. He is a really great guy. I can’t imagine my life without him. I don’t think anyone else knows me deeper than him.





That was exactly what I needed. Someone who could help sort out the bull crap that was in my head. We have developed such a cool relationship. I still call him everyday, I’m going to right after this actually. He never judges me. He never gives me “advice”. He only speaks of his own knowledge from his own experiences. I’m free to do what I want, I can listen to his suggestions or go tell him to take a hike.





9.999 times out of ten though, his experience sheds light on my situation and is really helpful. What about the other .001 percent of the time? Remember those phone numbers I told you I got? I started reaching out to other people. Addiction is tough to fight alone. You don’t need to. It’s so much easier to use the group conscience. 





Once I started to do that, life got so much better. “I” can’t do everything by myself, but “we” can do anything together. That’s how I was able to get to this point in my life where I wanted to start surrounding myself with only positive people. I have a choice. And I have a choice everyday: How do I want to live? Do I want to surround myself with negative people who are always complaining and whining? That’s one of the reasons that I was an addict!





If I surrounded myself with negative people. How could I expect to get better if all I heard was negativity? So, my choice today, and from here on out: Well, it’s a scripture quote from the bible. Even if you’re not religious, just remove the source but listen to the message.




2 Timothy 2:22 New International Version (NIV)





22 Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.





Just surround yourself with people who want the same thing that you want. You want to get clean? Don’t hang around with people who are using! You want to walk in love? Surround yourself with loving people! You don’t want to be around negative people? Surround yourself with positive people! It’s pretty damn simple. But I get it. People over-complicate everything, myself included. But it is simple!!





I urge you to go to a meeting if you are struggling. Speak up. Ask for help! You will be surprised at how much better life can get! 





Peace, love, and wisdom –





Jay Ice Sober

Forgiveness

110-30-18

I’m kind of free styling today. Thinking out loud I suppose. I usually try to work on a theme around my blog post, but today, I just have this overwhelming desire to write. I don’t know what about, where this will go, or even if I’ll post it in the end. If I feel it has value, I will post it.

I’ve been feeling completely overwhelmed today. It hurts me to even write this. I mean, I’m sober, I’ve been sober, I’ve even been through these feelings a few months ago. But, I guess just as life situations change, feelings change too. They come and go, then come and go.

I have trouble making new relationships with friends. I’ve isolated myself for so long, that I struggle in this department. It’s not for lack of effort. I really try. I really do. However, it seems like I have a shelf life to people for some reason. What that reason is, I can’t understand. I’m hoping that by writing this, maybe the answer will be revealed in the writing, or that it may help someone else.

So yes, I have decided that I am going to post this. For some reason, I meet people, they come into my life, I let them in, and then they ghost. I don’t understand why. They all have the same reoccurring characteristics. They all seem to be into me for about a month, tell me how amazing I am, then they just completely vanish for a while. Then, as soon as I am getting over them and trying to move on, they magically reappear out of the blue.

I don’t know what to make of this. If I’m so great and amazing, why did they ghost? I show everyone nothing but unconditional love. You can ask anyone who knows me really well, that I truly wear my heart on my sleeve, I always have. I have a huge heart, and unfortunately, people take advantage of that. The slightest scratch on my heart, feels like a gaping wound. Do I keep letting people in? Should I let people back in that have hurt me? Do I close myself and my heart off to the world? Forever??

I am someone who truly believes in the goodness of all people. I’m a believer. I believe that everyone is capable of amazing things. I choose to look for the good in people. I don’t choose to look for differences in people. I think that’s a huge mistake that the entire world makes. It breeds anger, it breeds contempt, and most of all; it breeds hate. Hate leads to resentments, and I can’t have that in my life. If all we see is the differences in people, we will never find common ground. We will never understand that an Islamic mother has the same values as a christian mother. They both just want to see their kids grow up happy, healthy, and safe. They both want their children to go on and be fruitful in their endeavors.

This is why I look for the similarities in people. It’s why I choose to believe in the good in people. It’s why I get along with so many people. I don’t care about the differences. Differences can be fun, but not if that’s all we’re looking for. When I started writing this, I was thinking about closing my heart off. I don’t want to. I have never wanted to be the person who walks around, closing myself off to the possibility that light does not exist in other people. I don’t want to close my heart off. I can handle the pain. It’s temporary. But, it suuuuuccckkkkssss!!!!

Why do people continuously come into my life, tell me how great I am, then just exit my life, most times with no rhyme or reason? No explanation? Is it me? Is it them? I get that everyone is fighting a battle that I know nothing about. Maybe they are stuck in their own pain perhaps? I know for me, I have no trouble opening up to people. Maybe they do? Maybe I should stop? I don’t want to! I love having a huge heart. I give everything I have to others.

Maybe they just haven’t been taught the same spiritual principles that I have? Maybe they have difficulty opening up to others? I don’t freaking know. But I refuse to close my heart to others. I refuse to not give people second chances. Hell, I’ll give them as many as it takes. (Insert the image of a light bulb turning on over my head)

Forgiveness…. I guess that’s the underlying spiritual principle that I just realized that I uncovered in this writing process today. I know people have forgiven me many times. I know my higher power has forgiven me more times than I can even imagine. So, I’m going to do the same exact thing. I’m going to continue to forgive people. I’m going to continue to walk in love. I’m going to continue to walk in wisdom. I’m going to continue to walk in light. I’m going to continue to walk in peace. I promise you, it’s so much better than living defeated, dragging around baggage wherever you go.

Forgiveness… I’m so glad that I sat down and wrote this tonight. I didn’t know if it was going to go anywhere, but it really helped me. I’m sorry if it’s not really as deep as some of my other posts, but I do think it has value. It does for me today anyways. I don’t feel overwhelmed anymore!!! Forgiveness… How simple!!!

Forever walking in peace. Love, light, and wisdom 

Jay Ice Sober