There Is Another Way

If I could go back in time and talk with this young man what would I say?

I would tell him that his fear of missing out would cause him to miss out on his full potential.

I would tell him that his wish to escape would come true but in a different way than expected. He would find himself isolated and alone.

I would tell him that he’s an alcoholic and that he is going to hurt the ones he loves the most.

I would tell him that there is another way.

I would tell him these things… but… He wouldn’t listen.

I wrestle with this notion, because I feel called to help youth around the same age as I am in this picture (17). Knowing that there is nothing I could say to that kid to change his mind is disheartening.

I believe there is a way to get through.

Maybe we can’t prevent kids from experimenting with drugs and alcohol but I think we can give them a safe place to go when they have found it to be an empty promise. We can set the example of what life with true purpose looks like.

I’m really just thinking out loud here. I have this vision and I hope it resonates with people. I truly believe it can make a positive impact not only in my community but be a model of success for the nation.

Posted by Groundedfish, 0 comments

No More Excuses

I woke up on my parents couch hungover, confused and disoriented. It was Easter Sunday 2016. Resurrection day.

I cycled the tiny fragments of the previous day I had in my memory. I tried to piece together what the hell happened. Why am I here? Why am I not in my own bed with my wife Olivia? Where is my daughter? I notice my parents sitting on the sofa across from me with the look of disappointment and concern. We have a bit of small talk, they say something along the lines of “You were snoring pretty bad last night”. They fill me in on the part of the story they know. As I listen, I am embarrassed and in disbelief. I’ve experienced blackouts before but none this severe.

A party was planned that day at my parents house with the entire family. Olivia showed up an hour early with my daughter Faye. I didn’t know what to expect, would she be hysterical with sadness or exploding with anger? No, her demeanor was different… she was done.

She was calm but firm as she explained to my parents exactly what I had done the day before. I don’t think she realized at the time that she was also explaining the day to me. As she spoke I was mortified.
I put my daughters life in danger…

You see my sweet girl in this photo, she is my world along with my boy Phoenix. If something would have happened to her that day I would not have gone to prison, I would simply cease to exist.

That day I rolled away the stone to see a new way of life. I surrendered. I stopped making excuses and started putting in the work to heal. I only wish I had done it sooner.

Thank you God for second chances.


Posted by Groundedfish, 0 comments
God Is Not A Distant Echo But A Familiar Voice

God Is Not A Distant Echo But A Familiar Voice

My grandfather shared a story with me years ago that he heard from his pastor. I think the message is so powerful. I’m sure I won’t do it justice but the story goes something like this:

A hurricane was headed for a coastal town and an evacuation was ordered. A stubborn old man decided he would ride it out. As the town evacuated, he watched from his porch. A truck pulled up and the driver hollered “Hop in! Come with us to safety”. The old man replied “I’m not going anywhere, God will protect me”.

The storm slowly approached and the flood waters rose. The man found himself on the second story of his house, watching from a window. A boat paddles by, one of the passengers yells to the old man “Get in the boat, we will take you to safety!” He replies, “No, God will protect me!”

The hurricane is inching closer. The man is now on the roof clinging to the chimney, praying fervently. A rescue helicopter appears and drops a rope. From a megaphone, the old man hears “Grab the rope we will take you to safety!” The man yells “My God will protect me!”

The old man washes away in the storm. He finds himself face to face with God. Confused the man looks to God and says “Lord, I thought you would protect me?”
God replied, “I tried 3 times. The truck, the boat, and the helicopter.”

The saying goes that God works in mysterious ways. That may be true sometimes, but I believe it is we who mystify his intentions for us. We are too afraid to let go of our own desires. As a result, we become deaf and blind to his direction. I am guilty of this, especially during my struggles with addiction. In retrospect I now know that God was offering me a way out and I continually denied him. He spoke to me through my loved ones. My mother saying, “I think you have a problem.” My wife saying, “I can’t do this anymore, something has to change.”

The more I held on to my own will, the louder his voice would grow. I finally had a moment of clarity and I let go. Be still and listen, open your heart and know that God is not a distant echo but a familiar voice that’s intimately close.

Posted by Groundedfish in Recovery, 0 comments
How Meditation Can Help You Recover From Addiction

How Meditation Can Help You Recover From Addiction

Meditation has changed my life. It’s helped me to reduce my stress levels, calm my racing mind and connect to the present moment. I’m so glad I found it; I don’t know how I coped without it before!

The Benefits of Meditation for Recovering Addicts

Recovery from addiction requires a long road of hard work and changes. These changes are often difficult and painful, and we often have a lot of trouble relaxing in order to process them. Our brains have the ability to forget trauma and to repress memories, which can lead to intense emotional distress when we return to old triggers. Thanks to meditation, I’ve become much more comfortable with the discomfort of memories that I had been trying to forget. A good meditation can help you move through your memories rather than letting them overtake you. This is a great skill to have as you transition into the next stage of your recovery, which is finding ways to work through painful experiences rather than repressing them.

How to Use Meditation When You Feel Anxious

When I feel anxious I’ll do something as simple as meditating for five minutes it’s that simple. Once you’re in the present moment, there’s so much potential to calm your mind and improve your mood. For example: You’re bored. Your body goes into “fight or flight” mode. You start sweating. You panic. You can’t stay focused on anything else because you’re concentrating on how you’re feeling, which makes you feel worse. 1. Simply breathe normally and notice your body. Inhale, and feel the air enter your lungs. Exhale, and notice your body exhaling. Notice the breathing in-and-out, in-and-out, in-and-out. 2. Let your thoughts drift away to a pleasant memory. Notice where they are and where they are not.

What Happens When You Meditate

Here’s a brief overview of what happens when you sit quietly and observe your breath. There is an increased production of the feel good hormone oxytocin. If you’re feeling curious, check out the great TED talk by Adyashanti on this very topic. You may see greater relaxation, easier deep concentration, or a stronger connection with the inner self. Additionally, the longer you’re meditating, the more these benefits happen. It took me several months to notice how meditation was working for me, and now I see it several times a day!

Supporting Yourself in Recovery

For years, I had no coping mechanisms for dealing with distressing feelings. Going through “one day at a time” had become an incredible way of getting through the day. However, once you’re in recovery and make the transition to a 12-step program, things become very different. The 12-step program provides structure, a community of support, and a community of recovery. This is incredibly important, and is the cornerstone of my recovery. I’m also very fortunate to have a good partner by my side as I navigate my journey through recovery.

Stay In The Present Moment

If you’re still taking painkillers, using alcohol or experimenting with other substances to help cope with life, I urge you to ask for professional help to get clean. You may have your reasons, but it’s also your responsibility to make sure you’re getting the help you need. The bottom line: get help or face the consequences! It’s that simple. Addiction destroys the quality of your life, causing extreme, severe physical and mental suffering. Sometimes the only thing that helps is the thought that you don’t want to go back to that way of life. Every time you’re tempted, the thought “I don’t want to go back” is all that’s needed to keep you in the present moment.

Posted by Groundedfish in Recovery, 0 comments
Tips To Quit Drinking:

Tips To Quit Drinking:

What Alcoholism Is

Alcoholism is the term used to describe drinking that gets in the way of your daily life and personal relationships—it’s a “big-time problem.” Someone who is severely addicted to alcohol (which can cause life-threatening liver damage) may continue to drink even when it’s harmful to them or those around them. Someone with mild alcoholism may find it difficult to completely give up alcohol—they may have to struggle for years to maintain sobriety. It’s important to understand that alcohol addiction and alcoholism are different. Alcoholism is a long-term, chronic medical condition that affects brain chemistry. It doesn’t take the same form for everyone, but anyone can be affected by it to some degree.

How to Quit Drinking

What it takes to get sober Before you go any further, here are some important factors you should consider before you even think of getting sober. If you’re seriously considering giving up alcohol, don’t wait to take action—be ready and willing to make changes right away. For example, consider whether you’re ready to give up certain activities that can also contribute to your drinking—like work-related parties, socializing, and drinking with others. Or if you feel you’ve had a problem with your drinking for a long time, it might be wise to seek help from a professional therapist or addiction counselor. These programs will help you determine what you need to work on and suggest realistic ways to make changes.

Tips for Staying Clean and Sober

Choosing to quit drinking isn’t easy, and it takes time, but if you stick with it, it will get easier. At first, you may need to avoid situations that give you temptation. For example, try spending time with only your friends and family members for a while. Although this may feel awkward at first, as time goes on, it will become easier. And the more time you spend in your recovery, the more you will start to feel like your old self. Although your life is likely going to be much different from what you’re used to, staying clean and sober is manageable. If you use these tips, you’ll be on your way to living your best life. There’s a reason you are struggling with an addiction, and it’s not because you’re weak.

Stay Active

Physical activity is important when recovering from addiction, especially if you want to cut back or stop drinking. It helps you burn calories and get healthier while you’re recovering. Plus, exercise will help you sleep better and build a new positive habit. Try to increase your activity level after you begin your recovery. Your body may need physical activity to rebuild muscle strength, which is depleted when you’re drunk or hungover. Get Help It’s always a good idea to ask for help when you’re dealing with a life-changing challenge. Whether it’s quitting drinking or recovering from a bad breakup, you’re going to need a good support system around you. Find a friend or family member you can talk to who can support your decisions, both good and bad.

Avoid Triggers

It’s common to have triggers for when you want to drink. Your work stress can be one trigger. Waking up in the morning can be another. Meeting a new person—especially someone you don’t know very well or at a party or at a social gathering—can be another. And it’s easy to have triggers for other emotions, like anger and sadness. These triggers can all trigger you to want to drink, so being aware of them can be very helpful. Find Purpose Once you know your triggers and choose to spend less time around these triggers, you can focus on creating a life purpose that can replace the fun, excitement, and fun that drinking brought you. You can use your new life purpose to hold you accountable for your decisions and make you accountable for your actions.

Build A Support Network

Now that you’ve made the decision to get sober, it’s time to get started. Getting sober is not a quick process; it will take time and energy to work through your problems and find your balance in life. That’s why you need a support system that can provide you with the support you need when you’re in the middle of a challenging situation. Support systems include but are not limited to: Alcoholics Anonymous—A 12-step program designed to assist an alcoholic to the point of recovery and sobriety.

Stick With It

It’s important to remember that it’s not your fault if you have an addiction to alcohol. If you feel like you’re the only one struggling, it’s OK to feel that way. But while many people do experience a sense of hopelessness, it’s also a misconception that you’re doomed to continue drinking because you can’t stop. While there are some people who believe it’s the length of time you’ve been sober that’s important, don’t forget that your recovery doesn’t end when you get sober—you can continue to rebuild your life long after that. The right tools and mindset are what help you stay sober and focused on recovery. Keep these tips in mind, and you can use them to help you get sober and help you stay sober. Always remember, sobriety is a journey not a destination.

Posted by Groundedfish in Recovery, 0 comments