I No Longer Ride The Roller Coaster

I No Longer Ride The Roller Coaster

roller coaster

Some days are better than others when you’re sober.  That’s a given.  Life on life’s terms, so to speak.

Most days are good.  Most days are even-keeled, some would say almost boring, and I’m fine with that.

When I was an active alcoholic, my days were a roller coaster ride of emotions, with treacherous lows and amazing highs.

I’d either be on top of the world, partying it up and feeling like I was invincible when the drink was working and doing it’s thing or I’d wake up with a sense of dread and anxiety so strong it was palpable.

What did I do last night?  Who did I offend?  How did I get home?  Where the fuck am I?  Where’s my truck?  Is that blood on my shirt?

It was exhausting.

And the only thing that would get rid of the dread was another drink.

That was tough, taking that first drink in the morning.  I’d do a shot because the thought of sipping on a beer, which felt like razor blades on my throat, was too much to handle.  A shot would be quick, and instantaneous.  Once the first one was in me, it’d be easier to get the second one down.  Then I could deal with the beer (didn’t want to do three shots first thing in the morning-that’d be something an alcoholic would do, and I wasn’t an alcoholic).

Finally, I’d start to feel some sort of normalcy.

But there were some days when I couldn’t drink.  I couldn’t wake up and sneak the hangover away.

Those days were the worst.

My emotions were at the forefront of everything, like a live wire inching dangerously close to open water.  Everything was electrified.  Everything was sharp and had angles.  My head felt like glass and my eyes felt like they were ready to pop out of their sockets.  Everything is too bright and everything is annoying.  People smile too much.  Loud noises set me off.  So do sudden movements.  Happy people suck.

I can’t quell my restlessness.

The only thing that’ll help is another drink, but on those days, the days when I actually have to be a responsible adult, I have to suck it up.

Of course, as the day drags on and the shakes finally dissipate, the shame and remorse and guilt set in, so now I have to deal with being an emotional wreck too.

I can’t deal with that barrage of garbage though.  No thanks.  I’m not going to address any of the wreckage I’ve caused.  I’ll just get through the day. All I have to do is wait til later, then I can sneak a drink or three, just enough to feel normal.

But today, after being sober for a little while, and after doing a little work on myself, most days are good.

There’s no more roller coaster.

I don’t even entertain the thought of going to the amusement park anymore.

People ask me what I do for fun, now that I’m sober.

“You don’t go to bars.  You don’t drink.  You don’t smoke pot.  So, like, what do you do?”

I live my life.

I walk my dogs.  I go to work.  I read.  I write.  I go to meetings.  I travel.  I help others.  I spend time with my family.  I go to the library.  I exercise.  I hang out with my friends.

So no, I don’t go to bars.  I don’t go to nightclubs.  I don’t drink and I don’t do drugs.

But you know what else I don’t do?

I don’t wake up not knowing where I am.  I don’t wake up wondering if I had hurt someone the night before.  And, most importantly, I don’t wake up with tears streaming down my face, with the weight of the world on my chest, wanting to end my life because I have no idea how to stop pouring that insidious poison down my throat.

If that constitutes living a boring life, then sign me the fuck up.

Jay Keefe, staff writer at The Addictions Academy

National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer

Published Author of “And Drink I Did”

Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/1MBF5fo

Are We Really Sober? Is Sugar a Drug? Is Marijuana a Drug?

 

Are We Really Sober?  Is Sugar a Drug? Is Marijuana a Drug?

drug

Dr. Cali Estes LIVE on My Recovery Radio with Kent Paul!  Listen in as Cali discusses the hot topics of Marijuana and Sugar, and can you call one a drug and not the other?

Learn more about Dr Cali Estes and her work in the addictions recovery field.  Call our elite team at 1.800.706.0318

 

“I Found Solace with a Four-Legged Friend.” -Jay Keefe

 

friend

During my last few years of drinking, I had alienated everyone in my life.

I stopped hanging out with my friends because they knew I was out of control.  I distanced myself from my family because I knew they’d catch on to how bad I had become.

My wife asked me to leave the house too.

Whether my friends and family were judging my behavior at that time, I don’t know.  But I felt they were.  And I felt unbelievably alone.

Then, after I got sober, an enormous amount of shame, guilt and remorse set in and I couldn’t even look people in the eye.  I knew I had a lot of work to do.

But through it all, through the drinking and the blackouts, and a drunken car ride home where I almost killed my entire family, my two golden retrievers, Elle and Grace, were unconditionally by my side every step of the way.  And they were with me as I took my first tentative steps in recovery, horrified, fragile and confused.

One night, about a year into my sobriety, my ex-wife called and told me that Grace was sick and that they were on their way to the vet.

I told her I’d meet her there.

When I got to the vet my ex told me Grace was in the pre-op room.  She was heavily sedated because they were going to operate but I wanted to see her anyway.

As soon as I walked into the room, I started crying.

My little Gracie, with her eyes drooping from the drugs, and looking completely confused, got up from where she was and stumbled over to me, trying to wag her tail and pulling her IV contraception behind her in the process.

I have never seen, heard, or read about such an act of loyalty in my life.

Not even fucking close.

And that’s when I lost it.

I sat down right there in the middle of the room and cried harder than I ever have, as Grace crawled into my lap and rested her tired head on my knee.

All the pain I had felt, and never let go of, for my entire life, came to the surface and I let it all go.

I let go of the confusion I felt when my dad told me he and mom were getting divorced.  I let go of the anger I felt when I walked into a hospital room and saw my sister, my blood, crippled from the waist down.  I let go of the guilt I felt during the relationship with my ex-wife, of all the hurt I had caused her and the kids.  I let go of the anguish I felt every time I put the bottle to my lips, knowing it was wrong and knowing I was killing myself, but not having any idea how to stop.  I let go of the pride and ego that had been holding me back for as long as I can remember.  I let go of the fear that this unbelievably sweet and loyal fur baby in my arms wasn’t going to be with us forever and hoped and prayed that we had given her a great life, because she deserved it.  She and Elle both deserved it.

But most importantly, I let go of the grief I was feeling over the loss of alcohol.

I knew I would never be able to drink again in safety and it scared the hell out of me.

Alcohol had been my best friend for all of my adult life and I was so afraid to let it go.

But I knew I had to.

So I did.

I let it go as I sat on that cold concrete floor, cradling Grace, and sobbing like a child.

I couldn’t stop.

I held that sweet puppy in my arms and I cried.

I was finally ready to let go of the insane grip alcohol had on me for decades.

I knew I would never be able to conquer alcohol.

But I could surrender to it.  I knew I could do that much.

So I did.

I waved the white flag and let it all go.

 

 

friend

Jay Keefe,  Staff Writer at The Addictions Academy

National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer

Published Author of “And Drink I Did”

Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/1MBF5fo

The REAL Wolves on Wall Street.

The REAL Wolves on Wall Street

wall street

It’s no secret that drugs, specifically cocaine, have been a major factor in what makes the motor of Wall Street run. But, it may shock you to know just how much and just how many new drugs are running rampant in the world’s financial hub.

As it has been for years, cocaine is being used by an alarming rate as Wall Street workers all the way up to high-end executives are using cocaine to stay up for extended periods of time to make trades and gain a competitive advantage. These high dollar users are spending top dollar to get the purist coke and it gets delivered into the financial district as multiple dealers race to get to these users first.

As of 2012, cocaine was no longer on top of the list of drugs consumed on Wall Street. Adderall has quickly climbed to the top of the list due to its evasiveness of drug tests. Users also claim they can stay up longer and stay more focused than when using cocaine. A trader confided that a $20 pill, once consumed, has contributed to a trader making over $20,000 by staying up and alert for over 18 hrs. This type of financial gain seems worth the risk to these traders and executives.

Of course, the spike in these new users has called for more resources for those seeking help with addiction. If you are a Wall Street trader or executive struggling with any addiction contact us here at http://www.theaddictionscoach.com

 

NFLPA to Propose an Amendment to Marijuana Drug Policy

NFLPA to Propose an Amendment to Marijuana Drug Policy

marijuana

Is this a chance to help with pain management and not use opiates?  NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith may think so.

In the excerpt below Smith told the Washington Post that there are reasons other than recreation that players might use cannabis, such as depression and pain management.

Read on and tell us your thoughts!  Should the NFL change the way they handle players that use cannabis?  1.800.706.0318

 

Proposal For A Less Punitive Approach To Cannabis Use In The NFL

The NFL Players Association is coming up with a proposal that would amend the league’s drug policy to take a less punitive approach to the use of cannabis. According to the Washington Post, NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith said the proposal will be presented first to the NFLPA’s board of representatives, and if approved, will then be presented to the league.

Smith stated to the Post, “I do think that issues of addressing it more in a treatment and less punitive measure is appropriate. I think it’s important to look at whether there are addiction issues, and I think it’s important to not simply assume recreation is the reason it’s being used.”

Cannabis is currently on the list of substances banned by the NFL and players that test positive for it are subject to fines and/or suspensions under the league’s policy of substance abuse. Smith stated in his interview with the Post that there are reasons other than recreation that players might use cannabis, such as depression and pain management.

Smith stated, “We have to do a better job of knowing if our players are suffering from other potentially dangerous psychological issues like depression, right? So if I look at this myopically as just a recreational use of marijuana and miss the fact that we might have players suffering from depression, what have I fixed? Worse yet, you may have solved an issue that gets the steady drumbeat in a newspaper but miss an issue like chronic depression, where a person theoretically might be able to smoke more weed because it makes them feel better but it’s not curing their depression. So to me, as we’re looking at that front end, and it’s been a long process. The reason why I think it’s more complicated than just making a quick decision about recreational use is we look at these things as a macro-issue. And what we try to do is what a union’s supposed to do: improve the health and safety of our players in a business that sometimes can seriously exacerbate existing physical and mental issues.”

Full article below:

http://marijuanastocks.com/proposal-for-a-less-punitive-approach-to-cannabis-use-in-the-nfl/

Staying Sober…24 Hours at a Time.

 

24 hours

Staying Sober…24 Hours at a Time. 

I’ve been sober for a few twenty-four hours and that’s how I look at it.   

I have to take it one day at a time because today is all I have.

I know I’m not going to drink today.  

I ask for help first thing in the morning, I hang out with sober people, I exercise, eat right, and try to be of service to others.

Alcohol was my best friend.  

I couldn’t exist without it.  I spent over twenty years in that relationship and it took away everything I had.  

It took away my dignity and grace and reason and tact and integrity.  

It took away my sanity.  

A few years ago, a saw an old Cherokee Indian tale and it stuck with me ever since.

Here’s what is said:

One evening, an elderly Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.

He said, “My son, the battle is between two ‘wolves’ inside us all.  One is Evil.  It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego.

“The other is Good.  It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather:

“Which wolf wins?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

I fed my wolf alcohol from the time I was fifteen until I was thirty-six years old.  

And he thrived on it.  

But today I feed it joy.  And peace and love and hope and serenity and humility and kindness and benevolence and empathy and generosity and truth (even if my voice shakes) and compassion and faith.  

I don’t kid myself.  

Alcohol is cunning and baffling and there have been millions of people who have relapsed and hundreds of thousands who haven’t got sober again.  

I know how dangerous it is to get comfortable in my sobriety.  And if I was left to my own devices I’d get very comfortable.  

But that’s not an option for me today.  

Today I have help.  I have help every time I walk into a meeting.  I have help every time I pick up the phone and call one of the handful of people I can say anything to.  I have help when I practice what I’ve learned in recovery. 

I don’t know why I felt so alone for the first half of my life.  It doesn’t matter.  

Today I know I’m not alone (and never have been).  

It took waking up in my brother’s boiler room, with snot and tears almost choking me, with the weight of the world pressing down on my chest and the desire to die so strong that I would’ve done anything to stop feeling the pain I felt, with over twenty years of living in an alcoholic haze, walking around like an empty shell of a person, to realize that I was done.  

And that I needed help.

So I got down on my knees and prayed to a god I didn’t believe in.  I didn’t hate him and I wasn’t angry at him.  I just didn’t believe.

A few years later I was telling this part of my story to a doctor from Montana.  

He looked at me when I had finished and said, “Your prayer was answered Jay.”

I stood silent for a minute, just staring at him.

I couldn’t get my head around what he had just said.  

The thought had never occurred to me. 

“You’re right”, I finally said.  “It was.”

 Jay Keefe, Writer and Director of Happiness at The Addictions Academy

National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer

Published Author of “And Drink I Did”

Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/1MBF5fo

Dr. Cali Estes Discusses Meditation in The Washington Post

 

Dr. Cali Estes Discusses Meditation in The Washington Post 

meditation

“Meditation can be achieved in the middle of Times Square,” says Cali Estes

Dr. Cali Estes explains what meditation is  and how it can clear the mind in any profession or even in life, to get the desired results.
Visit Cali Estes  or give her a call at 1.800.706.0318

What Other People Think of You is None of Your Business…So Stop Worrying

 

You cannot let everyone else’s opinion of you become how YOU think of you!  Yes, we all want to be liked, but if we spend all our time worrying about what other people think of us….we may start to believe it.  This may lead us to feel stuck in moving forward with our goals and letting a passion for something fizzle, all because we hear that negative chatter in the back of our mind.  Dr. Cali Estes teaches you to move from unstuck to SUCCESS! Turn down the volume of the negative voices and turn up your own voice! Check out a great article below on How to Stop Worrying What Other People Think of You then visit http://www.caliestes.com/life-coaching/ to find your voice and reach success!

 

How to Stop Worrying What Other People Think of You
By Lolly Daskal President and CEO, Lead From Within, published on Inc.com

*People will love you, people will hate you, and none of it will have anything to do with you*

We all want to be liked and appreciated for our many talents, our ferocious intelligence, our good nature, our sparkling personality.

But when we start to rely on what other people think of us, and we make their opinion pivotal to our success, we get into trouble. We start tailoring our lives to fit the expectations of others, and from there it’s a vicious cycle.

When we give over our power to others and allow that their impressions to become how we perceived, we lose out on who we really are. The only reality we can see is  how we believe others see us.

Focus on what matters. When you concentrate on what’s important,  you think less about your individual role and more about the bigger picture. It takes the glare of people’s spotlights off you individually.

Remember, most people aren’t paying much attention. People spend more time thinking about themselves than thinking about others. If they’re expressing an opinion about your life, it’s probably not something they’ve given much thought to but just a passing thought.

 Keep perspective. Another person’s opinion is often based not on your beliefs and behavior but on theirs. What’s good for them may be terrible for you, or vice versa. Be who you want to be from your own perspective.

 You know best. Nobody else is living your life. They might have opinions or ideas, but the only person who knows what is best for you  is you. And that means you need to learn about yourself through your own mistakes and failures.

 Mind your own business. Stop asking people what they think of you. Stop worrying about their opinions–especially if they’re critical, unsuccessful or unhappy. Most of the time, the negative feedback is coming from negative people.

Desensitize your triggers. Are you too sensitive for your own good? Do you get triggered when people say things about you that you know aren’t even true? It’s easy for a sensitive nature to blow things out of proportion, but try to build the thick skin that lets you shake it off.

Continue to the complete article below:

http://www.inc.com/lolly-daskal/how-to-stop-worrying-what-other-people-think-of-you.html?cid=email

“My first year of sobriety was a nightmare”. Thoughts on his early days of recovery by Jay Keefe

nightmare

My first year of sobriety was a nightmare.

I knew I didn’t want to drink but I had no idea what to do with my time.  My mind was constantly racing, I couldn’t sleep and I actually convinced myself that if being sober was this exhausting, I’d be better off drinking again.  At least if I was drunk I wouldn’t feel anything.

“Fake it ’til you make it”, was one of the more popular slogans for newcomers.

So I kept going to meetings.

I went to a meeting every day.  I went to work.  I exercised.  But I still felt like a zombie.

And that was no one’s fault but my own.

I was still so afraid of talking to people.  I could never introduce myself and when they’d introduce themselves, I’d say hi and keep walking.

I hated going to meetings at first.  It was suggested that I go to 90 meetings in 90 days.  So I did.  I didn’t want to, and thankfully I was never “told” I had to.

If that had been the case I never would’ve went to a single one.  But I could take a suggestion.  And the alternative was something I would not consider.  To go back to my life as an active alcoholic would’ve been the worst possible living nightmare I could imagine.

So I took the suggestions that were offered.  I didn’t take them all but I took a few of them.

Luckily, that was enough.

At first.

I went to meetings but I really didn’t listen.  I didn’t understand the language of what they were saying and I certainly didn’t understand how these people could smile and joke.

I fucking hated them for that.

How the fuck can you smile?  

You’re stuck in a church basement, drinking bad coffee, dying for a cigarette, and listening to Bob A. talk about how happy, joyous and free he is.   

This is sobriety?  

Really?  

This is it?

Are you fucking kidding me?  

But I kept going.

Another one of the suggestions was to do the work that had helped millions of other alcoholics stay sober for years.  And it was advised that we have someone of the same-sex help us with the work.  They’re someone we can talk to if we were in a jam, someone with an unbiased opinion about our problems.  And, most importantly, they are there to take us through the 12 steps of our program.  The 12 steps are a blueprint for life, not just for sobriety.

Of course I didn’t want anything to do with the 12 steps.

I got this.  I’ll be fine.  I’ll figure it out on my own, thanks.

There was no way I was ever going to let a strange man help me.  And he was fucked if he thought I was going to share my deepest, darkest secrets with him.

At my third meeting, when the alcohol had just about left my body for the final time, a guy volunteered to help me.

I reluctantly agreed.

Then I joined the same home group as him.  The purpose of having a home group was to keep yourself accountable to showing up to that group’s weekly meeting and if there was a job available (there was always a job available), to volunteer for it.

So every Thursday I’d go to my home group meeting.  I liked it because it wasn’t in a basement.  I also liked it because most of the guys were well-to-do guys.  They wore suits and had nice watches and drove nice cars. They were well-spoken and well-groomed and it was a little bit surprising that they were all, in fact, drunks, just like me.

But I liked my home group because it was a mens meeting.  We could be as open as we needed to be because there were no women.  Meetings with women at the beginning, for me personally, were completely distracting.

When people put down the drink or the drug, there is an emptiness that is so vast and all-encompassing that we think we need to fill it with something.  Naturally, a relationship seems like a good idea at the beginning.  But two newly sober people in a relationship can be toxic.  They are both sick people, trying to fill their voids with each other.

I’ve seen it with other things too.  People new to recovery try to fill their void with anything.  Food may work for a while-caffeine, nicotine, sex, relationships, a new pet, a change of address, exercising, a drastic diet, etc.

I tried to fill my void with a girl.

Right around the time I realized my home group wasn’t a good fit for me, my therapist suggested I join a home group that went on commitments.

Commitments were when a group would go to another meeting and speak.  Sometimes it would be a regular meeting and sometimes it would be at a detox or rehab.  During my three stints in detox we had in-coming commitments every night but I didn’t listen to a word they said.

I had been going to the same Monday night meeting for a few months because there was a cute girl there.  I didn’t listen to anything that was said at the meeting and I was the last one in the door and the first to leave, always sitting at the far back of the room with my arms crossed over my chest and my baseball hat pulled down almost over my eyes.  But the girl was cute so I kept going.

I walked into the kitchen after the meeting one night and asked to join the group.  The girl was with her mom so I knew it was destined to be.  But the thing that took me by surprise was when the mom told me a bunch of them were going out afterwards and that I should join them.

Huh?  

You guys do stuff outside of meetings together?  In public?  

What the fuck do you talk about?  If it’s only recovery talk, I’m all set.  I go to seven, sometimes eight meetings a week.  The last thing in the world I want to do is talk about recovery at a restaurant. 

But I went.

And I have no idea why.

That is something I never would  have done without being drunk, girl or no girl.  I just wouldn’t have.

And the amazing thing was, they didn’t ask me anything personal.  They didn’t pry.  They didn’t ask how long I was sober or what my drug of choice was or what kind of wreckage I had caused.  They accepted me for who I was.  There was a lot of goofiness and a lot of small talk, and although I was completely new to the group, they never once made me feel like an outsider.

I felt abandoned as a kid.

I felt almost invisible as a teenager.

As an adult I was so lost and so full of alcohol most of the time that I had absolutely no sense of identity.  I had no idea who I was, what I wanted to do or where I was going.

But that Monday night, after almost thirty-seven years of feeling apart from everything, I was finally a part of something.

Finally.

 

Jay Keefe

Staff Writer and Director of Happiness at The Addictions Academy 

National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer

Published Author of “And Drink I Did”

Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/1MBF5fo

Dr. Cali Estes featured on The Concierge Coaches Show on LA Talk Radio

 

Dr. Cali Estes featured on LA Talk Radio with her unique methods to help those with addiction.

Listen below.

cali estes

http://latalkradio.com/content/coaches-011717%20#audio_play

Visit The Addictions Coach to learn more about Dr. Cali Estes’ unique approach to helping each individual.  If you have a passion for helping others the  The Addictions Academy is the premier online learning academy for addiction recovery coaching courses. 1.800.706.0318