Monday, December 17, 2012

By going back we never have to return

By: Josh

Remembering where I came from helps me never have to go back.

Last night I had an opportunity to take an NA meeting into a jail and share my experiences and recovery with inmates.  It was a very humbling experience for me in many ways. 

First off, it was the first time in my recovery that I have walked into a jail as a free man and got to leave the same way without having to post bail or get assigned a court date. :)  Was actually quite nice.

Second, I have been to numerous meetings while in jail, but always as an inmate.  This was a very simple change in my life of recovery that helped me put into focus just how different my life is today.

Lastly, getting to hear inmates open up and share their own life experiences and struggles with drugs and addiction was absolutely incredible.  I didn't even have to try to relate to many of them because I've said some of the very things I heard them sharing and felt much of the fears, doubt and shame that were all once so familiar to me.  And by hearing them share and sharing my own story, I was reminded of all of those feelings and exactly where I never wish to go again.  The miracle is that I never have to. 

For me, the Narcotics Anonymous program and the 12 steps have given me a new life.  With other addicts in recovery helping show me a different way to live, and sharing their own experiences; I've been given hope.  I was shown(and continue being shown) how to surrender to my disease of addiction and a way of living by putting my faith into a loving, caring Higher Power of my own choosing.  Was it easy, hell no.  Has it been worth it? Not a doubt in my mind.

I've put alot of work and time into my own recovery and try to stay humble and know that I have to continue working at my recovery today and learning more ways to change my life and grow in recovery.  Yet, for me, one way that has worked for me to always remember where I came from is working with newcomers or those who think they may have a problem.  By hearing their experiences, questions and struggles it always reminds me of where I used to be.  And by this, I can see where I'm at today which further motivates me to continue in my recovery. 

My past is my past and I choose not to live in it today.  But I've learned the strength and wisdom that comes from remembering where I was, seeing how far I've come, and that I never have to return to the person my addiction made me.

Grateful today for such amazing opportunities to share with newcomers and other recovering addicts.  Blessed that my Higher Power helps me to remain humble and for all those in my life who have helped me get to where I am today.

Today, I'm still powerless over my addiction, yet I've been given a Power greater than myself and my addiction to show me how to live and stay clean just for today.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Is it worth it?

Hi everyone. I realized how much I missed blogging when I was doing the November thankful post, well I realized it before then but that’s when it intensified.  

On black Friday I finally bought a laptop. Which means that I don’t have to wait to get to work to write a post, so I have added blogging into my schedule, so hopefully I will have a post once a week. I’m not promising anything but I will do my best…now if only we can talk Josh into writing a post or two we might have more!

This weekend was a tough one but I really just need to let it go and know that my higher power will work everything out. But other than that everything is pretty good in my life. Work is going good, Kelli is doing great…her Christmas program at school is tomorrow night so I am really looking forward to that.

So I was reading an article today online-“Is drug rehab worth the cost?”

*I know not everyone will agree with me, but please remember that everything that I write is my opinion*

After reading it a couple of times, I have to say that I agree with the author of this article. I do believe that drug rehab is worth the cost IF the person going to rehab actually wants to change and they are not doing it to “get people off their backs.”

I would like to mention that I have never been to a traditional rehab, the only treatment that I have received was treatment in prison, and do I feel it helped me? Very much so, but only after I opened my mind, heart, and ears. But with that being said, if I just went to prison treatment would I still be sober today? Probably not. That was not enough for me. I needed my outpatient treatment and then NA.  

But that is me, what worked for me might not work for Joe Blow. I feel that each individual PERSON is different. Now the addiction (rather it is to drugs, pills, alcohol, sex, gambling, etc.) is all the same. Addiction needs to be treated on a daily basis, as addicts we will never be cured, but there is always hope! As the NA basic text says “We suffered from a disease from which there is no known cure. It can, however, be arrested at some point and recovery is then possible.”

What do you guys think?

Friday, November 30, 2012

The last day...

Man, I can not believe that it's the last day of November. That means this year is ending fast! So with that said here is my last thankful post for 2012:

30: Today I am thankful for this blog and the people that I have meant because of it. I have a really great support system in real life but the friends that I have meant on her have just added to it. I know that there are many that I can e-mail when I have an issue, and for that I am truly thankful!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Waking up

29: Today I am thankful for waking up this morning. It is a new day and I choose how to use it.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The past

28: Today I am thankful for my past, if I had not gone through what I have been though I would not be where I am today and have the amazing people in my life. There are days that the past still hurts, but those days are few and far between.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I can see!

27: Today I am thankful for my senses…I’m so thankful for eyes that see, ears that hear, a nose that smells, skin that senses touch, and a tongue that tastes, even if 3 of them don't work so well :)

Monday, November 26, 2012


26: Today I am thankful for my responsibilities. I never really had any in my past life other then keeping Kelli alive, thankfully I did that. But now I have a bunch and sometimes they get bothersome and overwhelming, but I am an adult and a better person then I used to be, so I am able to handle them so much better now. If it were not for responsibilities I am not sure that I would do anything that I need to do. More days then not I like being and adult.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thankful for so much...

...just having a hard time putting it in words.

25: I am thankful for people accepting me for who I am. Before I had to live up to what people thought of me-or so I felt. Today I don't have to do that. Today I have amazing friends that love me for all that I am and all that I am not. There are many that know my flaws and still accept me. For that I am truly grateful. I no long have to pretend.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

A story told and some shopping done.

23: I was thankful that I could share my story with someone was going though a tough time and share some hope that one day it will get better.

24: Today I am thankful for having half of my Christmas shopping done.

Friday, November 23, 2012


22: I am thankful for the wonderful food we had today. Thanksgiving is my most favorite holiday. I had amazing family with me and even lost ten bucks at the casino. But we all laughed and ate and had a great time!

I hope all you guys had a great thanksgiving :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


21: Today I am thankful for indoor plumbing and electricity, although when the morning comes and that said electricity causes my alarm clock to go off I am none to happy. But I digress…seriously although I love to camp I am not sure that I could live in a time when electricity and indoor plumbing were not available.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

My boss is great!

20: Today I am thankful for my boss.  Today is Kelli’s thanksgiving play and it is her first speaking part. My boss has allowed me to take off early so that I am able to go watch her. J To work for truly great people is amazing. I could not ask for better bosses.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Just catching up :)

16: I am thankful for TRUE friends. They are always there no matter what I have or don’t have.

17: I am thankful for weekends. Just being able to do anything you want and not have to worry about the time or day. Weekends are great for naps!

18: I am thankful for shoes. They are the greatest, and oh so pretty.

19: Today I am thankful for laughter. Having a great laugh on the way to work in the morning makes Monday’s ALMOST bearable. J

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A couple more thankful days :)

14: I am thankful for my health. Although I have a couple of issues when it gets cold outside from my using days over all I am healthy. I considered myself lucky, the damage that happens to other people that used for as long or longer then I have is sometimes irreparable.

15: I am thankful for my NA group. They are like family; they are always there around those tables when a person needs them. They are willing to listen and help when needed. I can call anyone from my group at any time, day or night, and know that they will be there for me, just like they would anyone else in that room. I am lucky to have found such a loving group.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Home is where the heart is.

Today I am thankful for my home.

In my 10 years of living by myself I have had lots of houses, apartments, duplexes…just places to live in general. But I have never had a home.

Today Kelli and I have a home; there really is nothing different between this place and the places we have lived before. All of stuff is there and it is arranged the way I want it. But it feels different.

There are not tons of people running in and out, there are not people “living” with me, Kelli has her own space and she loves it.

Today this is our home; we are there more than anywhere in this world. It might not be much to some people’s standards but it is amazing for us.

We love, laugh, cry, and play here. This is where we choose to go when we don’t want to be around anyone. This is where we share amazing moments together and with those closest to us.

Today we are happy that we have a home when so many people do not.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Dad's and Car's

11: I am thankful for my (Step) Dad. He came into my life when I was 16 and has never left mine or my mother’s side since. He was there when Kelli was born and any other thing that is happened. He loves us all even when we were unlovable and he didn’t have to.

12: Today I am thankful for my car. I haven’t had it for long, and I miss my other one, but this one is a good car. It gets me from A to B. It is not fancy or new and has a lot of miles, BUT it is mine and I don’t have to worry about how I am going to get to where I need to go.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


Today I am thankful for my church family. They are a loving and caring bunch of people. Most everyone there knows that I have been in prison and they love me anyways. I could not ask for a better church to attend.

Friday, November 9, 2012


Today I am thankful for feelings.

There are times that I hate my feelings, this week has been a hard one for feelings. But I am thankful that I can feel them today and that I can deal with them head on. I might not deal with them in the easiest way, and when I try to explain them to someone they might not come out exactly how I want them to but I can do something about it today.

In my active addiction if a feeling came up I would go get high to cover it up. Today I don't have to do that. I know a better way.

But it is not easy, at least for me. My best friend told me the other day that she envy's the freedom I have for honesty. I can understand in the context that we were talking about why she would feel that way. But I don't, I hate that I told someone how I felt and now because of me opening my mouth I am hurting.

But I didn't know any other way to do it. I am new to this. Even though I have been clean 2 years, feelings are new to me. I really want to just shut them down and keep them hidden and put on my happy face "everything is fine".

But if I do that I will be hurting myself more. I can no longer keep things hidden from myself or anyone else. If I do, there will come a time that will no longer work and I will try to find something to get rid of the pain. I have been there, done that and do not want to do it again.

So I hurt this week, and I have tried to explain myself, I have tried to make things better. None of it worked. So what now? I don't know...all I know is that, for me, if I keep looking for my higher power to lead me and guide me to his will I will be ok.

Just one last thought: Try to be more understanding of people's feelings. You might not feel the same way in the situation, but that doesn't mean their feelings are wrong. They might not be trying to transfer their feelings onto you, but are just trying to explain. I think if we all try to listen with our hearts instead of hear with our ears, people might actually get to a place of understanding. (I need to work on this as well.)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Things to be thankful for are hard to find if you don’t want to look for them.

 I have been putting off the November thankful post because, well to be honest I have been in a “mood” lately, and just haven’t wanted to look. I have been isolating and just wanting to be by myself. BUT I know that with my addiction that can be a serious warning sign, for me at least.

So I am going to catch up on my thankful post today:

1: I am thankful for God. What he has done in my life so far is nothing short of a miracle.

2: I am thankful for my recovery and all the tools I have learned along the way. Without it I would not know what could and will bring me back to my using days.

3: I am thankful for my daughter. She is just like me and we butt heads often, but she is the light of my life and one of my reasons to keep trying every day.

4: I am thankful for my best friend, Debbie, without her support, love, and “friendly” pushing I am not sure that I would be where I am, nor as logical as I am today. And that says a lot because I am more of an emotional thinker then a logical one.

5: I am thankful for my sponsor who is there no matter what time and what silliness I bring to her.

6: I am thankful for a man who was in my life, although we are going through a rough patch right now, I really do hope it gets better. Without him I’m sure that I would be off in my own little world most the time, he bought me back to reality when I need to be. Although I feel like he lectures me more than he talks to me, sometimes that is what I need….but only sometimes.

7: I am very thankful to my mother. No matter the bad stuff that I have done she is always and will always be there for me. If I can be half the mom that she is then I will be doing well!

8: I am thankfully for my job; many people are without one right now and trying to figure out what to do. But these wonderfully people hired me knowing I had just gotten out of prison and that I have a felony. They are truly great people to work for and with, I could not have asked for more.

Friday, November 2, 2012


The dictionary definition of sabotage is “an act or process tending to hamper or hurt” or “deliberate subversion”

As an addict in recovery I can see where I self-sabotage sometimes on a daily basis. It is all subconscious but it is done all the same. My weight and my relationships are the two biggest issues that I have in self-sabotage.

With my weight I eat too much or not enough and don’t exercise, not because I don’t want to lose weight but that I am more comfortable “emotional” being a bigger person, I have a fear that if I lose weight people will look at me as if I am using again. I need to get over that and let myself know that it is ok that I lose weight, nobody will think I am using again and if they do who cares! I know I’m not!

Relationships are a totally different thing, I feel like it is a double edged sword. I have feelings just like everyone else, I am totally valid in the feelings I have…BUT I can’t seem to get past them. So now I sit here and wonder why? Is it because I can’t get past them or I don’t want to. If I get past them, I can move on to the future and be happy and have someone close to me. But when does close become too close for me? I can let people in but they only see what I want them to. Nobody, other than my best friend, is really close. There are those people that think they are and I try to let them, they even know stuff I wouldn’t want to tell anyone else, but is that close or is that giving them a little bit so they stay close enough until I figure things out?

I honestly don’t know, I know who and what I want in my life. It just seems that I am truly scared of it being there and being happy that I do what I can to screw it up. Do I like being happy? Yes. Do I think I deserve to be happy? No. And that is what bothers me. That is what I struggle with.

I know that if I was talking to my sponsor about this she would tell me to get though my fourth step so that I can leave everything behind and hopefully leave my self-sabotaging behaviors behind.

Nobody said that the sober life would be easy…but it is worth it.

I just have to figure things out and realize that I can’t do it on my own; I need the help of my group and my sponsor, as well as family and friends.

I hope that everyone had a great week and that you have an enjoyable weekend!


Monday, October 22, 2012

2 years and still learning

Hi everyone. Sorry I have not written in a while, I just have not been feeling creative or motivated by anything. To be honest if I could lie in bed and relax all day I would take it. I feel very busy and overwhelmed. BUT with that being said I am very grateful that I can today feel overwhelmed as well as other feelings.

Well on the 4th of October I celebrated 2 years clean.  I cannot believe that it has been 2 years already. It seems to have flown by yet dragged at the same time. I am very grateful to have 2 years. My life now is so much better than it ever was when I was using. The healthy relationships that I have now are just amazing as well as actually being a productive member of society.

I am currently on my 4th step, ok let’s rephrase this…I am currently trying to get pass the 6th question on my 4th step. But I have started it and for now that is what matters. I will get through it, I cannot fear it or it has a hold on me. I have to do it and release all the pain that I feel from my past.

I guess maybe I am just not feeling for my recovery as I was when I first started my recovery. Please don’t get me wrong, I am still very glad for recovery and my NA family but it just seems that life is getting in the way, well that I am letting life get in the way. I make excuses for it to get in the way. I have PTO…church…and any other excuse I can make not to work on me or my recovery. That needs to change, but I am the only one that can change it. So I have been reading more recovery related items.

Right now I am reading How to become an oldtimer: Don’t drink and Don’t die. I am a member of NA; I love my NA group/family. I find that NA is a better fit for me then AA. But with that being said, NA received its steps and traditions from AA, so if I can learn something from either group I will take it. This book seems to be written from a person that is more involved in AA. This is fine with me.

There is a passage in the book that I love, so I wanted to share it with everyone:

Lessons I’ve learned in recovery

Day one in the program: I learned that 12-step programs were filled with jovial brain damaged people who actually appeared to be happy to go to those stupid meeting.

Seven days: The best diet in the world was to take step one. A hundred pounds was lifted from my shoulders after admitting I was powerless over alcohol and other drugs. The meetings didn’t see so stupid after all.

Three weeks: I learned that the “they” who caused me to drink and drug too much, drive too fast, work too little, be on the FBI’s most wanted list, and my family’s least wanted list actually resided in my head. It was a dangerous place to go alone.

Thirty days: I learned that I can’t stay sober if I take a drink or other mind-affecting, mood-altering chemical. Wow, what a concept!

Ninety days: that people who say you can’t talk about drugs in AA are usually on them.

Six month: That sponsorship was pretty neat. I told the other guy what to do and if it worked, I tried it.

Seven months: I learned I wasn’t ready to be a sponsor yet.

Nine months: I learned that the only time you should look down on another person is when you’re bending over to help them.

One year: I found that once you get your 4th step just exactly the way you want it, your sponsor makes you do it over again.

Thirteen months: I learned that my sponsor is psychic: She said that “rationalization” is when you tell yourself that already know but that when I listen I may learn something somebody else knows.anyone who can stay off alcohol and other drugs for a year cannot really have a problem. How did she know what I was thinking?

Two years: I learned that when I talk I can only say something I

Three years: I learned that religion is for people trying to stay out of hell and that spirituality is for people who have been there.

Four years: I learned only some of us learn by other people’s mistakes. The rest of us have to be the other people.

Five years: I learned most everything there was to learn about recovery and how to work the 12 steps. I knew how everyone involved in my life should work the 12 steps, too.

Five and ½ years: I learned how to piss off my sponsor. Tell her what I learned at 5 years.

Nine years: It occurred to me that smoking pot wasn’t such a bad idea. After all, it wasn’t alcohol and it wasn’t addictive. Then I remembered what I had learned at 90 days. Bingo. I knew why in my heart of hearts I must say “I am an alcoholic. I am an addict.”

Ten years: I learned that I was 10 years away from my last drink and 12 steps away from my next one.

Twelve years: I learned that I would rather have someone sober and hating me for telling them the truth, then drunk and liking me because I told them what they wanted to hear.

Thirteen years: I learned that members of NA who say, “Being clean means never having to say you’re sober,” have forgotten where they came from. I pray for them.

Fifteen years: I learned that I do not believe in miracles. I rely on them.

Twenty years: I learned there is such a thing as the “twenty year syndrome,” meaning that we never stop growing and we only claim progress, not perfection.

Thirty years: Those who say “Long-timer” instead of “old-timer” wear their fear on their sleeve.

Forty years: The way to become an old timer is to not drink or drug and not die.

I loved how you can see the progression in their recovery.

I hope that everyone is doing well!

Hopefully I will write again soon!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Selfishness, Lying to ourselves

          Received an e-mail from Josh this afternoon with the below post. It is amazing when he sends post for me to put up, not only is what he wrote what I am feeling but what I am sure other addicts feel at some point in their recovery.

         So without further ado, Josh's post:

When I lie to others; it affects not just me, but others as well. If I want my life to change, I need to do things differently; this includes not lying to others and myself.


Where are my priorities? My actions will show where they truly lie no matter what my words are. Recently for me, my priorities have strayed fairly far from recovery first. Whether it's Facebook, online games, reading the paper (daily crosswords included), watching TV and sports, leisure reading, eating, smoking cigarettes and going to meetings. Pretty easy to see how only one of those things is directly related to recovery.


Nowhere on that list is reading of recovery literature, praying, meditating, step work, etc. Though these actions have shown where my priorities have truly been lately, I nevertheless continued to try and tell other addicts what could help them? Kind of insane huh? Where is MY recovery in all of this?


As wonderful as it is to share recovery with another addict and offer suggestions; it kind of defeats the purpose when I fail to put my recovery first. It's just another way of me not having to focus on myself and giving the appearance/attitude that I don't need any more advice/help from others. This could not be further from the truth. I'm an addict; I suffer from a mental, physical and spiritual disease that affects every area of my life.

            How am I improving/having any relationship with my Higher Power? My actions tell me all I need to know; my recovery has not been my main priority. Or even in my top five. I've reverted back to my old behavior of talking a good game, worrying about how I look to others. I'm seeking out things I see wrong with others in recovery, which just keeps me from having to look at myself and my own defects.


I'm not just doing this with other addicts/those in recovery, but with everyone in my life. The more I've gotten away from praying, meditating, reading recovery literature and step work (All my Higher Power's will for me), I've replaced it with MY will. I know where this will lead me. So MY will tells me to keep up the front so I don't embarrass myself to others and have them think less of me. This is BULL@%$*!


My addiction wants me to keep suffering, knowing I'll eventually give in and use to escape these feelings and having to face life. Why do I think/feel that I shouldn't struggle or have problems? Why do I put these reservations about my recovery that life should be perfect? That I NEED to be perfect? Here's why: My DISEASE (addiction) tells me I have to be perfect and that I'm better than everyone else knowing that I'll fail and use any reason to escape the pain. As long as I think I have to be perfect, I'm doomed to fail and be miserable.


The bright side: THIS IS NOT REALITY! I don't have to be perfect to stay clean. I don't have to be perfect to have a healthy recovery. I don't have to be perfect to find peace and serenity. I don't have to be perfect to be loved. I don't have to be perfect for a Higher Power to care for me and show me how to live.


Perfection is not success. Life is not a math or grammar test; perfection isn't attainable. CHANGE is realistic. PERSONAL GROWTH is attainable. Daily recovery, staying clean can be accomplished. Learning to be grateful, honest, compassionate, open-minded, loving, forgiving, and understanding; all realities and possibilities without ever nearing perfection.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Josh is back...

...and with a great message :)

I have a CHOICE on whether or not, and how I let others affect me.  I have no control over how they act or what they say; but I DO have freedom to CHOOSE how I react. 

It all starts with me, I'm an addict and no better/worse than anyone else(addict or not).  Especially when sharing with other addicts(even more so with newcomers), I must try my best to stay humble.  Lest I never forget where I came from, may I never have to go back. 

In sharing my experience, strength, and hope with others; the message of NA and recovery is rendered moot when I talk AT others and judge their choices.  In seeking my Higher Power's will for me, staying open-minded, and accumulated recovery (reading the literature daily), I'll better be able to share my message in a clear manner to others.  Thus, leaving it their decision to listen/not without feeling judged by me/others. 

When I get away from the Basics, my message becomes mixed(sometimes saturated) with MY will, not my Higher Power's, and doesn't carry the message of recovery that NA stands for.  As a member of Narcotics Anonymous, I have not just a responsibility, but also the blessing for every opportunity to share with others seeking recovery.  Not only does the message I share with others provide opportunity to give hope for the still suffering addict, but it strengthens my recovery when I practice the NA way and follow my Higher Power's will. 

I may not be able to share anything that will make another choose to attend NA or seek recovery for themselves; but I certainly can avoid saying things that may push a still suffering addict further away from seeking recovery.  My voice and actions are my most powerful tools.  I should stay conscious of these, and learn how my Higher Power guides me and wants me to use them. 

"My gratitude speaks, when I care, and when I share, with others the NA way." -gratitude speaks from NA

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


POA's being good or otherwise have no effects on addicts. We can have the best parents and be addicts or we can have the worst parents and be addicts.

My mother was an amazing mom and I am an addict. She did everything she could and yet I sat in prison.

Addiction is a cunning and baffling disease

Sorry I have not been keeping up on posting at all. This has been a busy summer full of many mixed emotions. I am not sure where to start.

·        I guess I can start with the loss of a great man. He was an amazing man with a smile for everyone and hugs out of this world. He was a main fixture in our NA home group and an inspiration to us all. He had many years clean and would help a fellow addict (or anyone for that matter) that needed it. He went through a lot in his last few months. His son was in a horrible accident and he was right by his side every moment. He knew that God would take care of it and looked to him daily. He also stayed sober though-out the whole thing. When many addicts would have used he gave us the inspiration and example. When I go to meetings and I am not able to see him anymore I get sad, but then in our meetings you can feel his spirit and know that he is there with us even if we cannot see him! There are so many good things I can say about him, and there are so many stories of the people that he has helped. I along with many others miss him and love him so much. Until we meet again.

·        Last month I (along with others from my home group) went to an NA camp-out called High on Life. It was so much fun. It was great to be surrounded by people in recovery. It was great to get away for a relaxing weekend as well. The stories and the fresh perspective were amazing to receive. Plus just seeing so many people have fun sober when everyone is used to doing stuff in an altered state of mind is amazing. I can’t wait for next year! I will be going back.

·        And last, I found out that a friend of mine passed away this morning. She was also in recovery and had been sober for 18 months. As most addicts know it does not matter how much clean time you have this disease can sneak up on any of us and take our lives. And that is what the disease of addiction did with my friend. In NA many people say “If I go back out I might never make it back in.” Death is a very real possibility for addicts who decide to use again. Jennifer was an amazing person and the mom to one of Kelli’s best friends. Her family will be in my prayers. She will be missed.

That’s all I have for now. I hope that everyone is doing well!

Monday, July 16, 2012

I am so sorry everyone!

OMG! Life has been busy and I have not been blogging! BUT although I do not comment on them I really am reading your blogs. I promise that I am working on a blog, it is a hard one to write and I am finding it very difficult. But I promise as soon as it is done I will have it up.

On a good note! The fourth of July I celebrated 21 months clean! YAY ME! lol :)

But honestly can I just say that I am not the only one slacking on this blog Josh hasn't wrote anything either. Yep totally going to throw him under the bus on this one to!

Just wanted to say hi...everything is ok...just really really busy!

But I will provide proof that we (well at least Kelli) is still alive. On the Fourth of July Kelli went to get her hair "trimmed" I am one sad momma.

See her beautiful long hair?!?!?


It's so short! Although it is cute and I am getting used to it! Mommy did not want it that short AT ALL!

And of course Kelli thinks it is great fun to go around telling everyone that it was mommy's idea! But let's be clear about was not my idea...someone, not naming any names KELLI, could not hold still during the cutting process which caused a little more hair on the floor! So the lady kindly evened it out while I was on the floor crying asking for super glue (ok, ok, not really but I did think about it)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Well, we made it!

Today is Kelli's last day of kindergarten, at 11:06 she will officially be a first grader. WOW!

*Yes, I have cried today, mainly when I was putting her on the bus for her last day of school! Ugg I am going to cry again*

I can not believe how fast they grow.

I am so proud of her, I can not express how much.

There are time's that she annoys me and I look at her and think, Really?, there are time's (ok alot of them) that she doesn't listen to me and thinks that she knows it all (I have no idea where she gets that).

But all and all my baby is a good, sweet, loving, and charming girl.

She has more of me in her then I would like to admit. BUT I hope that it is more of the good then the bad.

I have hopes and dreams for her, like all parents do. I just have to remember not to push to hard for her to be more then me, or she will run the other way.

I am having a hard time with that here lately.

Kelli's last kindergarten report card. Look at the bottom! Placement for Fall 2012-Grade 1!

Kelli getting off the bus on her last day of school.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Write about it.

Today at work is slow. So I decided to finish up my 3rd step…after I finished it up after working on it for over a month (my poor sponsor). I decided to check out today’s Just for today.

May 9th, 2012

Write about it!
Page 135

"We sit down with a notebook, ask for guidance, pick up our pen, and start writing."

Basic Text, p. 30

When we're confused or in pain, our sponsor sometimes tells us to "write about it." Though we may groan as we drag out the notebook, we know that it will help. By laying it all out on paper, we give ourselves the chance to sort through what's bothering us. We know we can get to the bottom of our confusion and find out what's really causing our pain when we put the pen to the paper.

Writing can be rewarding, especially when working through the steps. Many members maintain a daily journal. Simply thinking about the steps, pondering their meaning, and analyzing their effect is not sufficient for most of us. There's something about the physical action of writing that helps to fix the principles of recovery in our minds and hearts.

The rewards we find through the simple action of writing are many. Clarity of thought, keys to locked places inside of us, and the voice of conscience are but a few. Writing helps us be more honest with ourselves. We sit down, quiet our thoughts, and listen to our hearts. What we hear in the stillness are the truths that we put down on paper.

Just for Today: One of the ways I can search for truth in recovery is to write. I will write about my recovery today.

Copyright (c) 2012, NA World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

I have a journal that I write in almost every night. I love to write about things that are bothering me. It really does help to just sit down; just you, paper, and pen. You get the thoughts out there that you can’t voice. You can figure out why you are feeling the way you are feeling. As well as being able to go back on your past writings and look at how far you can from just a few short months ago.

Whenever a friend or family member approchs me with a problem, more times then not the phase “write it out” is said.

I love how free you feel after you have a good writing session. Not all that I write down makes sense to others, but it makes sense to me!

I would recommend to anyone (addict or not) if you have never tried to write it out, try it! You never know what something can do for you until you try it.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A different story!

A couple of post ago I asked for stories that other addicts would like to share, and today's post is the first one I have received, please feel free to send your stories in, they do help people.

The only way you can keep what you have is by giving it away.

I hope you enjoy this story of addiction and the road to recovery. (Names have been changed)

I have always been a troubled kid. I was 14 when I started gang banging and smoking weed.  I was influenced by my friends and family to that lifestyle. I was getting in to gang wars, stealing bikes, wallets and stealing from my enemies.  There were never consequences for me. My Mom was rarely home and visited another City a lot of the time so I was by myself.   I basically had a place where my “homies” could come and party.

It wasn’t long before I was expelled from school for fighting. My Mom sent me to live with an Aunt and go to a school in the middle of nowhere. That was the worst thing to have done. This new school was full of “G’s” and I was back in business quickly.

That school didn’t work so my Mom brought me to live with her in L.A.  She put me in another school. Eventually, I met an older guy and started selling Cocaine for him. I still had only smoked pot and never really didn’t want to do other drugs. The older guy and his gorgeous girlfriend convinced me one day to take it.  I was mad at myself. My promise to myself to never do anything other than weed was gone.  Pretty soon I was doing coke and ecstasy.  At one point I took so much ecstasy I was high for two weeks.

By the time I was 17 I moved on to Norco’s, somas, volume, and then Roxy’s which became Oxy’s and of course I was selling them. By the time I was 18 the State of CA stopped making Oxy and everyone was left withdrawing including me.  Soon I moved on to Heroin. I myself was smoking 3 grams a day. Life as a dealer/addict was great.  I had money that I never had before and respect. People had to come to me for drugs and I was always up for a fight if need be. I earned a lot of respect but it was from the wrong people. Over time I was getting depressed and realized that my future was held together with a thin string that was about to break. I was tired of looking over my shoulder or my heart dropping when I saw the Police. I was also tired of depending on a drug to get me through the day.

Right after I was 20, I told my business partner that I was going away for a few days. I left everything, all the money I had made all my clothes, everything.  I didn’t want to bring with me anything that I had bought as the result of drugs. I could not tell my business partner what I was doing it was a very dangerous game I had been playing.  I went to my Mom’s house to stay and tried to get through the withdrawals without her knowing. Within a couple of days it was too extreme to hide. I broke down and told my Mom and for the next two weeks she helped me. I went through this cold turkey which I knew was deadly but I had no means to get help and decided that I had to do it.

I had a few friends who wrote music but didn’t use anything but weed.  I used to write with them and started hanging out with them again.  Soon after my best friend who is like a Brother to me was also sober and he went back home after jail and then I moved in too.  I was living there when they did his intervention and was actually not doing anything at that time. Even though I was living with him back then we didn’t hang out much. Now that we were both clean at the same time for once it was a good time to go back and live with them.  We helped each other. I had gotten sober about 3 months before Bryon.

I didn’t think much of it but I still smoked weed occasionally. I didn’t see the harm in smoking weed.  One day I left my backpack on the porch.  Bryon’s dad saw it and went through it. He found a small amount of weed.  I knew I couldn’t justify it but he said some things that made me think about what I really wanted out of life. I thought I had come so far being out of the thug life and off drugs but I have so much further I need to go. Basically, because Bryon has to be free of everything and they did not want anything around the little Brother Dane or Bryon. Cliff told me that if Dane had found that then he felt not only would Dane feel it is okay that we as the Parents were allowing someone to stay here that was smoking weed and that it was okay. It was also a concern because weed is still a big issue with Bryon. He doesn’t see why he can’t smoke it. I can’t do weed as long as I am staying there and they are testing all of us. So I made the decision to stop.  I realized it wasn’t helping me in my life and I needed to make bigger changes.

I decided that I was finally going to work on my dream of being a pro fighter. Bryon’s little Brother Dane found me a Gym to train at close by and Cliff (the Dad) and Dane took me to the Gym to talk to the owner.  I train every day now at the Gym and have already done some “legal” fighting.  I have not smoke weed at all and do not even have a drink anymore. After I was caught with the weed and decided to go in to fighting I stopped everything including eating fast food.  There is no point for me to smoke weed occasionally or to even have a beer anymore.  I suppose it could be argued that I was not sober but I feel I was. It has been almost one year that I have not had Heroin or any hard drugs.  It has been about two months since I have had weed or any alcohol or fast food oh and I even quit smoking.  I am healthier than I have ever been.  I will be 21 in the next week and I am very proud of myself for where I am today.

I still have a long way to go and I know it would have been very hard for me if I hadn’t been able to move in with them.  I couldn’t stay at my Mom’s any longer and I think it is probably good for both Bryon and I that we have each other. I hope that I have helped him with his sobriety as much as he has helped me. I have been here since November 2011 this time.  I am looking for a job so that I can get my own place.  I will continue to train to be a pro fighter and for once I am excited about my future.  I am taking it slow and working on my life free of drugs.

For anyone fighting to be sober, don’t give up.  No one thought I would get sober or stay sober.  It doesn’t matter how you get sober, rehab, jail or just because you want to.  Just don’t give up.


Not all addicts get sober the same way. What works for one addict might not work for another. Although NA has helped me, that doesn't mean that just because an addict does not go to NA he/she will not be successful.

It doesn't matter how you become long as you get there!

Thank you so much Darren for sharing your story! :)

Friday, May 4, 2012

Enabling gone to far...

I was visiting Recovery Now Newspaper and came across this article: Grandmother Arrested for Aiding Her Granddaughter's Heroin Use

Enabling is a touchy subject:
Addicts are very manipulative; we will do anything to get what we want when we want it.

Parents, or loved ones, are willing to do whatever they need to do to help their child….or should I say what they think is helping their child.


This (in my opinion) is taking enabling too far. You have to wonder what went through the grandmother’s mind when this was happening.

What do you guys think?

And to the POA’s out there, would you ever do something like this, if you thought it was "helping" the addict out?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

A year...A big difference

I have wanted to write this post since April 19th….I just now have gotten around to it! Sorry guys!

A year ago April 18th at 5:30 pm I was walking out of Prison.

Until that point when someone would ask me what I was doing a year ago that day, I would flash back to pictures of the chow hall, other prisoners in their fashionable get-ups, and CO’s running our lives…a miserable time in my life.

NOW, when someone asks me, I no longer have to say sitting in prison…I can tell them enjoying time with my daughter and family, being and feeling free, working on myself.

Let me tell you a year makes a lot of difference when you are sober!

In active addiction the hours, days, months, and years are all pretty much the same…they all revolve around addiction.

In my sober life I have seen the changes from a year:

·       I got a job 3 weeks after I got out of prison AND I still have it.

·       I bought a car AND I still have it.

·       Kelli and I moved into our home AND we are still there.

·       I was sober for Kelli’s 6th birthday AND I will still be sober for Kelli’s 7th birthday.

·       I was sober for the start of kindergarten AND I am still sober as kindergarten ends.

·       I have actually seen Kelli grow…every day she wakes up I swear she is another foot taller!

·       I have a relationship with my friends and family that grows stronger every day.

·       I have friends that are there for ME not the DRUGS, and that love ME not what I can give them

There are so many things that have gone on in this year that I could not possibly list them all. Good and bad…BUT the difference this year has made is that when the bad times come I know that I do not have to use because of them. Today I have a choice and that feels so great!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Calling all Recoveries… :/

I want you! Yes you! To write a story for me!

I would like to get stories from all in recovery who would like to share and are comfortable sharing it on this blog!

Also, anyone with questions that they would like answered pertaining to addiction and recovery!

Just e-mail your stories or question to me! Little ole me!

I will try to answer all that I can and if I can’t I have connections hee hee :D

I hope everyone had a great week! And enjoy this beautiful weekend!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Gifts of Recovery

By: Josh

     One gift of a life in recovery, is that I can now choose to "start fresh" at any given moment of my day.  If my morning isn't going well, I don't have to let it ruin the whole day.  At any point, the past is done; over with and unchangeable.  Even 10 seconds ago! 

     Staying aware of this newly found reality, can allow me to avoid my old habits of the F-its and staying in my funks; which slowly keep getting worse the longer I'm in them.  I have to live for today, and right now.  

     I can look into my past as a means to learn how to change my future and not repeat mistakes; or as a way to look at my "negative" behaviors/actions.  This does not give myself a license to look at my past and dwell on it and fill myself with regret, shame and guilt.  I can also glance into my past as a means to see what has worked well for me in the past in situations.  This can become especially important in my new life of recovery; going back to what's helped keep me clean, and face life in positive/productive ways. 

     These kinds of reflections are a great tool to help keep me motivated in my recovery and to continue pursuing more that recovery has to offer me.  I need to stay open-minded and teachable; constantly doing my best to keep learning and putting into practice new ways of living.  I just find what works, and leave the rest.  It's really that simple, and this is a simple program. (Addicts just have a knack for complicating simple things, lol) 

     I've found, for me; that giving my will and my life to my God/Higher Power and continually seeking a stronger/closer relationship is what works for me. This is what the program suggests, and I can tell you it's working for me in my life.  When I let go (of everything: the past, control, my will) my Higher Power can guide me to live TODAY, and stay clean for another 24 hours.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Addiction: Leads to death, but doesn't have to.


Ok, I have put off posting about Whitney Huston’s death because, well…many reasons. The biggest one is that I am mad about what people have been saying “She was an addict, who cares”

Well, her mother cares, her daughter cares, the rest of her family and friends care. SHE WAS STILL A PERSON regardless of rather she was an addict or not. She had feelings, she had issues, she had a life; rather it was the way it should have been lived by “people’s” standards or not.

So I wrote a whole post and sent it to Josh to edit…I got back “No” lol.

So because I can’t write this kind of post without being or sounding angry, Josh took over the post for me.

Thank you to Josh for bring the rational one on this blog J


I've been hearing alot of negative comments and opinions concerning Whitney Houston's death; many of which hit close to home. I am an addict (in recovery) just like Miss Houston was. Does it make her death any less tragic or worthwhile because she had an addiction to drugs? Was she still not a person, a mother, a daughter, a friend? She suffered from the DISEASE of addiction; and sadly her death is just one of many examples which shows what this disease ultimately leads to.

 People say "well she had everything; money, fame, talent. She didn't have any problems the world was given to her and she just threw it all away on drugs." This herein lies the problem with the majority of what is being said about her life and death; none of us knew her. We assume she had a "perfect" life; though none of us can have any idea what was going on in her head or the pain she experienced on a daily basis. Yet as an addict myself, I can probably easily relate to some of what she felt because I've been there.

Addiction does not discriminate in any way, shape or form. It doesn't care what race you are, your gender, your education level, how much money you do/don't have, whether you’re famous or unknown; it can affect anyone. Many people out there (I used to be one of them-later found out) believe that it is a simple matter of willpower. I'm sure you've heard someone say "Well that will never be me because I have too much self-control and will power." Oh how nice this would be if only it were true.

Addiction attacks one's whole being; their mind, body, and soul. How can someone have more willpower than addiction when the addiction controls their willpower? Some may think, well I can do it for my kids because I love them so much. Yet again, if only our addiction didn't take over our power to love.

Addicts still love their kids, among many other people and things; yet only as much as the addiction allows them to. I'm not a doctor, scientist, or psychologist; just an addict in recovery who's lived it. Whitney Houston, and anyone else who is an addict or addict in recovery isn't weak; they simply have a disease. Though there is no cure, it is treatable. We learn to ask for help and rely on a power greater than ourselves (many call it a Higher Power or God) because we need a power greater than our addiction.

So unless you've lived in her or any other addicts shoes, maybe one should think twice before putting them down and assuming that it was their choice to become an addict. Do people choose to get cancer?, or become diabetic? Would we call these people weak because of their disease? I sure hope not.

Instead of knocking Whitney Houston and other addicts; we can use her death to help educate others about this fatal disease and maybe save many others from suffering the same fate. Thank you.