July 25, 2018
Eduardo Glen Mora
The more time I am granted to stay sober, the better I understand why surrender is the first step into getting better. It took me 18 months to finally have that last drink/use and being able to keep myself in recovery for 30 months now. Acceptance is big, it is made of honesty, we have to be humble for it.
I fought my addiction all that time telling myself I honestly wanted to get sober. I went to meetings, shared, read and study every day and it wasn’t working. “AA must be wrong. My sponsor, people in the room, everyone was wrong. This is not for me, this doesn’t work.”
That was my story. I was doing everything right and still failing. Then, one day my mind stopped in a page I had read many times. But now it clicked, “Who wants to accept complete defeat”. In that moment I got it, I finally accepted that was my problem, I understood I was wrong, that I hadn’t done everything right. I was defeated, I couldn’t deny it anymore. Since then, I was able to work on myself, I kept quiet, listened and did as I was told. Everything started to work, I stopped failing.
I believe that for me, this is a program of continuous acceptance of my character defects, of my shortcomings, little defeats that humble me and take me to the winners side.
I no longer want to be right, I don’t want to have control. I accept life and try to grow by living life in life terms.
It is funny how we surrender in order to win. How we accept we are defeated by our addiction to be able to live life at its fullest. To grow as a person. To get well.
July 24, 2018
Eduardo Glen Mora
I found this in my notes today, powerful reminder of where I come from and who I really am.
Mon 5 sept 2016
This morning arrived to my usual meeting when in AZ; a group I like because has a solid community of sobriety and newcomers regularly.
It’s a time in my life when I start seeing the good, growth and serenity coming into my life and it’s clear to me the difference of the then and now.
But today was not like the usual; today was painful, shocking, even that it is a true I well enough know about. Today a 3 year sober member came back after a binge of a week or so of alcohol and drugs. That took me to the place I was 2 years ago that scared me enough to ask for help. I saw I was going to die if I didn’t change mi lifestyle. Everyone who shared welcome him back, but one member said something different that clicked on my mind and provoke a lot of thinking:
“Not everyone who pats your back is your friend and not everyone that kicks you in the ass is your enemy.”
So true for me, I have always been welcome in AA; and still went out and relapsed numerous times; after that I’ve been welcome again and again with open arms and every time I went out I ended at the same spot I was before AA; in my case it never got worse cause for me would have meant death.
I never came back for the welcoming; I always came back cause I didn’t want to die, plain and simple.
So, what I get from today and think I want to say is that I feel of course some happiness, empathy and some sense of hope when someone comes back but I also know that every time gets harder to come back, like other person said every time someone goes out there is a chance he/she won’t make it back.
Someone said to me once:
I don’t want to try to find out if I can manage my drinking after 20 years sober; why would I gamble with my life?
Today I can say that there is no gamble in that, in gambling there is a chance for you to win; in picking up I know I won’t have that chance.
Stay strong, accept defeat. Stay alive.
July 19, 2018
Eduardo Glen Mora
The topic of this morning meeting was Serenity. Definitely one thing I know today is that there are no peace, clarity or serenity in addiction. It is a constant battle and exhausting. You have to lie, manipulate, hide, just to get what you want.
How then we can achieve Serenity in a world like that? Acceptance, it is the main catalyst to start the journey to sobriety. For that we need to accept complete defeat, it’s in our literature. But how can we get that? It’s hard, you need humility, honesty, discipline, awareness. This are qualities we addicts lack of utterly.
Once you are able to accept who you are you take the first step. That will be the first time that we feel what serenity is.
In a way our program is about acceptance over and over, first with our surrender, then with our character defects, later with our inventory, and the result is peace.
It does get better.
July 13, 2018
Eduardo Glen Mora
I am reflecting a lot in my life lately. These are times of big changes around here and I want to be ready, want to be up to the task. The worst years of my addiction started about 9 years ago; I had just open my second restaurant and was motivated and excited, happy, fulfilled professionally. Personally I had lived a good life but was about to change.
In a matter of months my marriage entered rough times that lead to its end. I seeked refuge in work, party and alcohol. No wonder where it took me. This is a spiral I lived having at bay at times and that would take over at moments too. It took a toll in my biz, my family, friends and everybody and everything around me. Incredibly in the next 6 years I managed to open 2 more restaurants in a different city that crashed and burned of course but my first old one survived the storm.
Long years of living with a crescent intake of booze to numb the feelings, cocaine to keep me going, and pity parties to get attention from others. Bad decisions professionally, personally and spiritually. Went from thin, from social drinker, likable, professional and kind person to overweight, bitter, disgusting, careless, blackout drunk and irresponsible.
During this time I managed to start running again and lose weight, open a nice place (the second out-of-town) and get my shit together for a reasonable period of time. Even looked I could be able to start a nice, healthy relationship with a decent woman. As it says it was possible for some time but only last until my decease came back and I went all the way submerged in the final and nasty last blow that destroyed most of all I had in my material, professional, family and spiritual world. Addiction hit me with its last blow and I almost lost everything, including my life.
This story I have shared and is not really what I am willing to talk today. In my present this comes as a reminder of what happens and where I go if I don’t work in my spiritual, physical and intellectual condition. If I let my ego direct my actions and stop paying attention to my life and the people in it. There is a lot to lose, too much.
It is only a few weeks before I come to a new country with my soon to be a College student; my daughter wich I cant wait to watch becoming an adult. To my wife so we can start a new life full of projects and excitement; dreams and hope. We are all working in making this happening. I work with my team in Mexico to leave a solid operation that allows me to focus on what I have to do in the US in order to be productive and with the right dedication and work; succesful too.
This is only possible for one simple fact, I am sober today. I don’t know for sure what will happen, how it everything is going to work out. How easy or hard things will go? but I know all will be fine, that whatever happens I have today the tools to accept life, people, situations and destiny for what they are and go through it with a clear head.
I have a program today and that means I have Hope, wich is something I lost in the past and we know that could be the end of everything for us.
Today I am grateful that I found the gift of desperation and accepted complete defeat to my addiction. After that moment, the world opened to me the best part of my life.
July 10, 2018
Eduardo Glen Mora
Always keep track of my time sober and clean. Sometimes I think of it more than others. I do it in a different way as I use to in early recovery, it was about adding time in order to feel safe. It made me think that with time I was putting distance in between too and that it will help me stay away from danger. Today I think of that time and try to find what is different in my life after sobering up. I look at my progress and how far I have become but at the same time it shows me that I am still myself and that I am far from perfect and I fall from time to time short in my work of becoming a better version of myself. So time has become part of being aware, a tool to measure unbiased my behavior and my actions to keep myself accountable and avoid complacency. I still procrastinate and leave work undone or drift from the best progress I can make but I stay aware and accept my mistakes and shortcomings.
I am grateful for my program and the life it allows me to have.
July 9, 2018
Eduardo Glen Mora
We stay with our people and we protect anonymity for what it could cause to our fellowship, we respect how others wish to be seen and what they are comfortable of their private life to be public. In many occasions people who aren’t addicts or alcoholics don’t really get what we struggle with or the way we see things in our addiction. They wont either had experience nor being affected in their lives like we have. I can understand this, as a matter of fact we alcoholics do, we know the difference and have learned to respect and accept others point of view. Tolerance is a big tool for us selfish beings.
We learn to be discrete, sober, and quiet and don’t give our opinion unless its is required, and many times we succeed but we are not perfect, we just seek progress.
I try to keep this values. And as much as I can try to stay away from promoting my new lifestyle or the benefits of a life free of substance stimulation. Every time I see the effects of this abuse in the life of others, some who I care deeply and some others I don’t know. In any case, I care and wish for the best. I don want to be lecturing the world about their doings or seeking for global sobriety. Still there is something that bothers me and every day I feel less willing to accept. I can not talk anybody into my beliefs but I can’t stay quiet and accept that there is nothing wrong with it. I grew up in a family of heavy drinkers, Bohemians they liked to call themselves and was introduced to alcohol with the idea that if it was done the right way it would keep me from abusing it and end up holding a bottle in the street wrapped in a paper bag. I didn’t end up like that but learned that there was no difference between me and the man I just pictured. We are both alcoholics, we both lost control and both our lives became unmanageable. We were both going to die sooner than we should and today we both as well share Recovery as we walk one thought away from going back to our personal hells if we don’t do the work.
I see how much our society is brainwashed about the use of alcohol and how important people believe its role is in our lives. This is where I draw the line, I wont keep silence when such absurdity is killing women and men.
In recovery many things change, we grow up, get healthier, fix relationships and businesses, get better jobs, houses and thrive in any possible way we can see. But we also lose a lot, not only friendships we ruined with our behaviour, lies and manipulation but we see others die; this is always painful and hard to go through but specially hurtful when we lose them to addiction. They go to soon, and in ugly painful ways.
All kind of people die to this disease, some never look like the typical alcoholic (not to Normie though, but we know), some are great women or men, succesful, caring, with social committment, religious, family people, good people, They would die suddenly and too young and everybody around would express their surprise and say why, he looked alright, he wasnt sick, etc. Well guess what, he /she was sick, he/she wasnt ok, and nobody wants to say it.
We can’t keep quiet anymore, we can’t ignore the facts and we have to educate kids and change the way we initiate our daughters and sons into adult life. They need to know alcohol and drugs kill, they need to know that nobody needs them to be funny or smart or to have fun or mor important to be accepted or be worth it.
WE DONT NEED ANY OF THAT!
Stay strong, speak up, educate, protect the kids, tell the truth.
July 5, 2018
Eduardo Glen Mora
Recovery never stops, and is not only about the work I have to maintain in order to build my spiritual strength and achieve personal growth. It is always bringing answers in the form of flashbacks of my old behavior.
It is so obvious where I was wrong, how I acted recklessly and so out of the basic common sense. It puts a cinic smile on my face cause there is no doubt today but it was not the case years ago. I didn’t have a clue, I was so wrapped in my egotistical little world I couldn’t se beyond my nose.
Sobriety brings this answers along as tools to cope today against my character defects. It comes with awareness that keeps my ego at bay so I can stay humble and look first at me and my actions before I judge others. Sometimes I fall in feeling that because of all the world I’ve done I can teach or guide others. I am not much different than when I was using but I recognize that just being able to stop 2 seconds after I exaggerate or brag about my spiritual fitness or lie or turn condescending and apologyse and correct cleaning my side of the street.
I am capable to live in gratitude for what I have and what life teaches me even in a bad day or through a bitter experience.
I have acceptance in my heart of who I am and know that I can use my mistakes as tools to be a better version of myself tomorrow.
I’ve learned and witness the importance of one step at a time in working a strong program in order to have a solid recovery.
Love is here.
May 27, 2018
Eduardo Glen Mora
|Dignity, common sense, pragmatism, practicality, self-control, self-restraint…|
Among other synonyms this is basically the definition. We all have listen to words of wisdom that click on us when we attend meetings. For me it was an old-timer that delivered one that made a solid impact in me: I havent drank alcohol in many years, however, I have to stop from time to time and ask myself
Am I living sober?
Dignity is made of self-esteem, people who live with it are considered being worthy of honor and respect. These are things that contrary to what I tried to show in the outside I was never good at. I presented facade of a strong, fun; caring person to people but inside I wasnt feeling enough and was completely self-centered.
Common sense, well no need to say that in the life of an addict this is the one thing I totally lack of. Everything in my behaviour was against it, after all the problems I caused and got into, I kept doing the same over and over until it almost killed me in order to ask for help.
Pragmatism and Practicality, both of this again are even out of consideration in a world surrounded by chaos and instability. lies and deceit. Really nothing more to say.
Self control and Self-restraint this two especially sounded like a joke.
This looked like a lot more work, definitely stop drinking and using caused me a lot of problems and put me in dangerous or shameful situations. I had to stop before it got worse. Later in recovery I realized that there are too many more behaviors, bad habits I had to get rid of and many other skills and values I needed to learn if I was to be a productive, valuable and decent members of society.
I made meetings my primary goal when I just got clean, that and literature took good part of my time, It was a time when any excuse would make me pick up and from there anything would go. So being around AA and “my people” was pretty much what kept me in the right path. I needed to learn that there are many other things in life though, we have professional, family and social relationships and the most important, the one with our own self. And we have to work on all of this as well so, not drinking is just the beginning.
Three years and a half ago I was not struggling, I was fighting to death to keep myself away from my addictions, I would give anything to be able to stay sober for just a week. Listening to people with 15 years in recovery sounded like a far dream, today I am still not close to them but I feel even this many years are too little time to enjoy life´s journey. It does get better and better.
Today I finally have been able to stay stopped. Sober for twenty-nine months i think : What is my goal now? What is next? Well, I am positive that finding out what to LIVE SOBER is. Besides of all the situations one experiences in life, good moments and memories enjoyed as well as the bad or unfortunate everyone had to endured, a particular ingredient is what in the end makes us find Hope and Purpose. Spirituality, is what allows human beings to accept reality.
Then, how do I apply all this everyday in order to live a life that is worth of respect, self-esteem, with common sense, self-restraint and being able to deal with things sensibly and realistically in a way that is based on practical considerations? Honestly I can’t say I know, even understanding the concept feels hard to grab at once but I have no doubt based on how recovery has turned the mess my world was wrapped around into the gift I get to wake up every morning to.
May 23, 2018
Eduardo Glen Mora
It is hard to look within in a deeper fashion, I get distracted to easy and that is why many times I don’t do the proper work to achieve a better self. I started my recovery going to a meeting everyday for 155 days straight. I needed that, the struggle to stay sober was every minute, every hour, every day.
After 29 months, I rarely think about it or crave it, I have thoughts of how it was and it is present in my senses and I am sure it will always be. Maybe the things that worry me the most are not related to the actual perform of my addiction but to the behavior and thinking that use to lead me there. My “isms” where a consequence, that’s why I still and always will have to work on the causes. This is why I need to go deep onto myself when I realize old thinking starts its move to take over.
A few months ago I found myself sitting at meetings without being present. Like the way school was in my early childhood just about repetition and memorizing rather than understanding. My first to years were of constant changes in my personal and professional life and I see definitely a lot of progress in every aspect of it. But I believe I got to excited and pleased about the changes that I got complacent and stopped really improving and failed to see that there was really still much of the debris from the past 26 years of addiction (the white blanket in front of our face). How arrogant is to think that in less than three years you can rebuild the destruction of our past.
So I focused on my work and family and put most of my hours on them and new projects. That left AA aside and when I found out it had been months without attending to meetings. Recently one person from the fellowship died after relapsing, He had stopped going to meetings, normally that is the result. So it is a common thought for us alcoholics that when someone doesn’t attend meetings for a while, we assume they are drinking again. Today I drove my car to the mechanic to get serviced, a couple AAs where there too, we walked together for a while, it took three blocks before he asked: Are you still sober? I mean if you are not it is ok, just don’t die (this far from making me feel bad shows me that he cares.) Yes I said, and you know I expected that, not everybody asks but, we all assume the answer is relapse, and even when someone says they haven’t we stick for a while in our the idea that the person did picked up; we doubt. I have done it. We are what we are, we think the worse, it is like if we like others to fail, it is human nature. Non offense taken. We lied and failed for so long that everybody expects that from us, I know that my kids, friends, fellow alcoholics, my mother and even my wife they all still do and they always will. It is what it is, I understand. It is part of recovery.
Sobriety is a personal journey, we do it for us because that is the only way it works.
I have to stick to it because there is a lot to do still, and there are times when i have to make what its best for me and the most important is to be honest to myself and when I am just pretending just try to find a solution. AA saved my life, but therapy and treatment too, as well as hope, purpose and love.
Do whatever you have to do to stay clean and sober, even if others don’t understand. Stay humble, be honest and just do it!
May 10, 2018
Eduardo Glen Mora
How do I put my ego aside, I’ve learned in recovery that if the moment comes when I have to share something I should speak about myself. It is easier for others to let us in and listen when they don’t feel lectured. On the other side there is something in my mind telling me that I should not be using “I” or “me” words all the time. Some people in the fellowship say WE is the way the program works since it is the group that bring us back from hell.
The point is, whether it is right or wrong, I should only focus in being honest.
I know that besides the different backgrounds or situations, we came to recover in similar conditions. We all came defeated and asking for help.
When I decided to do something about my problem, I wanted to pick the best option. Right, like if I was shopping for something or I really had a choice. This was obviously me still trying to have control.
My first attempt was science, went to talk to a psychiatrist and my personal doctor. That didnt convinced me at all. AA came as the second option since I knew people in recovery for many years, and of course they were glad to help. I tried this and felt a little more confident but still was holding on to my own ideas. I manage to stay sober though for a couple of 30 days and a couple of almost 60 as well. Then I thought I needed something else and went to treatment.
One time, talking to my sponsor in AZ he asked what were my plans to keep my sobriety after treatment was over. He suggested that maybe after spending all that money I may want to protect that investment by giving it some regular maintenance service in AA wich is very cheap (actually a great deal comparing).
Therapy played an important role in this journey too. I was referred to by an old ex girlfriend who is a Psychologist and a strong opponent to 12 steps programs. She suggested me to go to therapy after my final and most painful relapse, arguing that this programs failed 90% of the time. So I started working with her colleague wich mentioned as well her professional distrust to the 12 steps methods but was interested in listening to what I thought had helped me in any way. This was key to help me accept her help and trust the approach that at the beginning didn’t work for me. She cared for what I had to say and I open my mind to what she had to give to me.
Later on she told me: “you already know I am not fond of the 12 steps programs. However, after all the time that we have been meeting I have to admit this: I don’t know what it is, or how it works but I can tell that you have changed and that somehow there is a change in your mindset so I propose we work together using what is best for you from what I have to give and what you get from AA”
We found the “golden nuggets” she said, lets keep looking for them with both approaches and I am sure you will succeed. She was right, and in my personal experience I couldn’t have done it without one of the two, even between them they dislike each other. I am not saying that AA converted a Shrink but I am glad she had the wisdom to see that I was getting something good from it and certainly helped me to finally let go of my resistance and accept all the help available for me, wherever it came from cause I needed it all.
It’s amazing how life can be so different and so the same all the time in the various stages of our development. There are many lessons learned and experience gained or acquired from them yet, always new experiences and opportunities that I appear like second chances.
At this point I am aware of my shortcomings and they allow me to appreciate and see them so I can learn something new. These are the times of many first times for me and for the people that surround me as my new life affects them differently than it did in the past. We are all related and now that I am working in being a better version of myself, I see that every time I get better I bring improvement to others as my actions affect them in a positive way.
There will always be challenges and this may bring the natural fear to the unknown and uncertainty from our own capabilities. Despite, there is no other way to go forward than to risk and adventure into new experiences and bigger and more complex. In the same token I don’t numb my senses because of that.
So here I am myself, in the company of others I share the world with, I need them to get where I am going but this time I care for all of us, not just me. I am are responsible of me and my sobriety, with that I am aware of the impact my actions and my sobriety affect others. We work together and become better together.
Today is a better day for my family, for my crew, for my friends and there is the “WE”.