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