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Fear and Timing

Sooner or later we understand that although we can’t make fear look pretty, it will nevertheless introduce us to all the teaching we’ve ever heard or read.

— Pema Chodron (When Things Fall Apart)

The reaction an individual has towards fear will either set them back, or set them free. That may be a lengthy mantra but it is original to me, and I have believed in it for a long time. I have feared a lot of situations in my life, both at various times and within various settings; and now I face a new one.

I have struggled the last few months to find an increase in purpose and identity. The feeling has become an annoying, gnawing pest that needs to be addressed. In order to eliminate the feeling I have tried writing (a novel, a series of short stories), recording music, photography (everything posted is from my camera), wood turning, landscaping my yard and restoring a classic car. All of these interests have helped, however, the void is ever present and I believe I’ve known why this entire time.

I feel the need to share a story of recovery, my story. This is not a generic story of beating the demons of addiction; no individuals story is; that’s what scares me. Each story is unique and carries a deepened meaning of life that cannot be looked over. I have been able to open up in small settings and flay complicated life issues in those moments, but never to a mass audience.

My story, like anyone’s, is large and consists of fights lost and of fights won, of time lost and time gained, of damning loss and redemption and of coping through it all. I too have asked if the cards I have been dealt are fair. I have seen the loss of others, watched my own downward spiral, instigated it and fearfully avoided change through eight years of active addiction and a damaged mental state.

Whether addiction recovery and mental health is a familiar territory or new one, I encourage you to provide input of achievements, struggles to triumphs or just a warming quote to ponder. It is healthy to generate inspiring conversations and to read the accomplishments of others. So I am deciding to act upon the timing of fear and put myself out there in a new way. My comfort zone will be fearfully tested with this blog, however, I am hopeful that embracing fear and vulnerability will bring the soulful increase I have sought.

Through this cathartic blog, I selfishly hope to find that purpose I have been longing for in my long-term rehabilitation. Additionally, I hope to selflessly inspire others to do the same. There will be humor, sad dealings, inspiring moments and the occasional conflict of opinion. I plan to list books, music/songs and other media I found helpful in my recovery at the end of each post. So, if its drudgery to read through my story of addiction recovery then please enjoy the posted Inspirational Suggestions located at the bottom. In sum, let’s just see where this goes and enjoy the ride. Fair enough?

Overall, I am not confident if my story will be a healing balm or pure acid for individuals (self deprecation is a characteristic of mine). Though I am confident in saying that I have come to understand sobriety, I have a sober understanding, or as I have coined it in my life: Soberstanding.

If you are a person experiencing your own addictions (drugs, alcohol, opiates, eating disorders, body dysmorphia, gaming, gambling, food, sex, excessive exercise and pornography to name a few) or you are the recipient of a loved ones addiction fallout, this may be a blog to help shed perspective. With new perspective comes strength and risk. Those two features are great tools to have when fear approaches. We do not always know when, we just need to know how to deal with navigating a successful outcome.

Inspirational Suggestions:

Book: When Things Fall Apart (Heart Advice for Difficult Times) by Pema Chodron

Music: Hold your Ground (Album & Song) by Todd Whitener (Artist)

Quote: “We can’t make fear look pretty” Pema Chodron

A Snippet of Soberstanding’s Purpose

The term “Soberstanding” came to me in the wake of my first round to get sober. Being sober for the first time in years helped me to gain an understanding of addiction. Hence, sober +understanding = Soberstanding. The meaning is also a way of saying to stand for your own sobriety.

Though I am not a licensed addiction recovery coach, mentor or counselor, I certainly have some credentials via personal experience. I am less of the college book educated and more of the person who has had a career of field experience. My model for recovery is a bastardized version of several programs. My program is not your program, and vice-versa , and that is OK. Find what works for you and stick with it for the long run.

This blog may not be pretty or flattering to the eyes, it may fail to captivate everyone. In fact, it may look cheap, bland, tasteless, and created by a fashion minimalist. That’s not the point of the blog. The beauty is in what is written and not charmed with elaborate graphics. Remember, you can’t please everyone. If you spend your life trying to please others you will find hollowness and a shattered confidence at the end of your day.

This blog is a culmination of eight years of active addiction followed by three years of sobriety. It is a journey. It carries the characteristics of intimate and personal depth, but it is not to be withheld and kept secret. That aspect is a tad fearful for me, but I would be remiss to keep a lid over light.

I tend to not fit the molds, contours, conventional pressures or expectations of those around me; I am a bit against the grain and that is how I am wired. I don’t implore others to be fake and I certainly don’t self-employ that behavior. I have always asked “why?” and find myself to best be described as a pensive introvert.

Ultimately, this is a place for real world, shoot straight from the hip stories and how they have molded my person; the benefit is that others may find hope from reading, even if it is only in shards.

A few key takeaways that sets this blog apart from the rest:

  • There is hope for every situation. Experiences will be elaborated with the tools I have been given through various programs, books and good people.
  • Some posts will have answers and guides, while others will be left open ended and ready for the readers interpretation.
  • This is meant to be cathartic for me and you. If it’s not your cup of tea, grab some sugar on the way out and move on.
  • We have good days and bad days, we lose and we win. This blog is a journal of my experiences and it will cover everything from triumphs to the hell I put others through.
  • I want others to re-ignite their passions. Find what makes you happy and eliminate the things that won’t.
  • Glean inspiration from what is shared and use it in your recovery and rehabilitation.

In sum, enjoy and fall in love with life again!