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It is not easy, but it is worth it

Follow the path

November 9, 2018

Eduardo Glen Mora

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We are continually trying to be better and to stay in the light but; we are human, and it is our nature that we fall short. This is part of who we are and something we can not change, the real job there is to accept it. We are not perfect creatures and have flaws, but we have been given reason and freedom of choice to reach awareness and improve as we walk in our journey.

There have been others that crossed the same path and left their knowledge behind so we can follow their footprints. As someone who found the way out of my hell and was granted a second chance, I see this often. I can fall into my humanity, and it is ok. What is required from me is to apply my tools and follow the path I was taught to accept my shortcomings and get back on track on my way to progress.

I pledge to be aware and humble and to do my best to follow my program. It doesn’t matter how far I am from perfect because that is not my aim. I am thankful for the freedom of choice and the gift of desperation that brought me into a path to recovery and hope I can be a better human being to those in my life who belong to my heart.

 

Stay Sober

October 22, 2018

Eduardo Glen Mora

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AA gave me the structure that I needed to get sober, There was no way I could have succeeded if not for the program. Even my therapist, an old school Psychologist admitted how important was for me and how she could see me growing and improving thanks to that.

For me, it was several ingredients that consolidate my recovery and can’t see the result today if it wasn’t for any of them. But, for sure it was the fellowship the one that guided in “real time” my path to get better. I understand and live my every day using the tools that AA gave me; they seem to be habits and costumes almost as reflexes in my behavior. They are part of me, they make me who I am today.

My life has changed so much, I recovered the ambition and the ability to dream again. At the same time I moved on from situations and relationships, and I am aware I will still be moving on from more as a result of this new journey.

I have met a lot of people in recovery, living sober somehow makes you gravitate with people in the same situation. It is funny, hard to explain; maybe it was always like that but I can’t remember meeting so many people sober in the past. I certainly met a lot of heavy drinkers and users. Nowadays it looks like a trend, a fashion sometimes. I know more and more people want to be healthy but the sobriety thing seems to be becoming more popular (maybe it is just me).

One person was talking about some documentary or film about AA people willing to leave the anonymous part. That how they believe that could help to acceptance from the normies to the disease of addiction and so. Personally, I am not sure, I have been in situations where I saw, losing the anonymity didn’t go well. And still agree with the part that as an individual, you should decide whether you share or not certain personal issues.

Once the obsession is gone, and we are able to build a life that is separate from alcohol (from our behalf), we need to come back to what you may call normal. I understand the importance of having friends and relationships with other sober people and to be close to the recovery community. But isn’t it the real world just a mix of people with different beliefs, ideas, backgrounds, and culture? We can´t live apart from the rest, and we cant either forget where we come from. That is basic for any human being, not only addicts.

So maybe there is not much to search for anymore, maybe this constant looking for answers leads nowhere, it only makes us uneasy; that is what keeps us away from serenity and fulfillment. Let’s live today and accept it the way it is, try to be better and use your tools to be aware of what needs to be improved and to recognize the moment when we just need to see life as a miracle that just happens.

Stay sober.

1037

October 17, 2018

Eduardo Glen Mora

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My daughter just got her first job; she is 18 and hopes to be able to start College next spring. She has worked before (for me), but, this is the first time she looked for a real job (I call it that way) where she can actually get fired if she doesn’t step up to the task. I have to say I feel very good about it. I see it as the result of long talks, and I want to believe, thanks to deep thinking on her behalf about her reality and her future too.

We had breakfast this morning, and she told me about it, how did she found about the job, asked for it and eventually got hired. Then we moved on to less fun conversation. Just recently, we have had to discuss what she expects from me according to the ideas she has about obligations parents have to their children. Our stories are far apart, my kids had a much more comfortable ride than I did; their mother and I worked hard to make that possible, so they hadn’t to go through what we did and so they could enjoy life with better opportunities. I believe we succeeded.

But they don’t necessarily agree with this point of view, and I understand. I never agreed to anything my family thought life should be either, and that is probably just the way it is.

Today, I try to be fair, I had a second chance and wanted to be able to try to make amends and not make the same mistakes again while taking care of myself and without falling into putting myself second out of guilt.

I am an addict, and I have been clean and sober for 1037 days to this date. I was telling my daughter I forget about the 14th all the time, that is my sobriety date, and she says: well, I would say that is something good. In a way it is, I am not worried to count every single month anymore. That gives me some confidence, helps me think my recovery is solid.

This could mean something different to others; my wife, for example. I know it may make her feel a little scared that I am not “as committed” to my recovery as before; that I may be slacking or falling into complacency. I understand, someone told me once: -“You have danced to the left for so long that, now people are a little dubious if you are going to be able to keep dancing to the right. They found it hard to believe, they want to, but, you deceived them many times”- And that is true. I promised to change so many times, I cried wolf for so long, they can’t fully trust me. And perhaps this is for us, the highest price we will pay after all we made people go through with our destructive behavior in our old days.

So, I get it. We are what we do and not what we say. We have to show our loved ones, our friends, colleagues, and society who we are by our actions. We have to do our best to keep our side of the street clean no matter what others think nor waiting for recognition just because we did the right thing. It doesn’t work like that. Life doesn’t give anybody anything they don’t deserve, and other times not even what they deserve. Life sucks but Life is Life.

It is a long road, and sometimes trying to do the right thing and share our mistakes with our children does not pay very well. I know they will have to make their own, but, can’t help to try to be there for them when I can.

I can’t take back time, I can only try to use today to be better than I was yesterday. Because it is all, I have. Not 1037 days, I just have TODAY.

Progress…

October 5, 2018

Eduardo Glen Mora

 

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It is a long road to get sober and in the beginning has to be a priority to build a structure, to grow and mature so we can protect ourselves from the outside factors that cause our addiction. This is hard to do since the real problem is inside of us. Still, the outside consequences have to be isolated in order to have a safe haven to work at peace in our inside.

Once we do this, and the obsession is gone and the habit kicked, life gets better and we may fall complacent. Why is this? Well, we stopped working on the root. This new life, became possible after a lot of work and we know it has to be continuous. It is an everyday task we need to tackle, because we are not perfect, but we can progress.

After 1026 days I finally admitted something wasnt right.I am sober but feel odd. I come to accept that for some time I wasnt at ease and that I let the outside world and the everyday situations take the first role in my head and disconnect from my spiritual care. I was overwhelmed by trying to juggle my life affairs (trying to build a better future for me and people I care for) because, I stopped doing my inner work.

It took a while, certainly the hurt or the consequences are not even close to those in my addiction days but they exist and honestly, there is no need. We know better.

Once again, acceptance and humility lead to awareness. This last one, starts again the work on our character defects and put us back in the road to progress.

 

 

Life today…

September 11, 2018

Eduardo Glen Mora

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Waking up can be surprising, we realize only with time how may moments we wasted, how many relationships we broke or harm and how many good people and great stories we cut off by our oblivious passing through life.

The stories we made up to compensate or justify our actions and to create a false image in order to fit in and be accepted. It is just time that brings to us the truth to the surface and it is disheartening sometimes. It is just sad. There are so many things I would like to say, so many words I would like to take back and so many moments that I know I should have behave differently and decisions that should have taken in a completely opposite.

I know, it is not possible, this is just wishful thinking and not even that. It is over and there is no chance to change the past and many times this will  be the price to pay.

These are thoughts and memories that come back every time; often after making amends with the people involved or better said affected by my actions. I am not going into a victim mode with this or holding in the past trying to duel on the impossible wich would be staying in the past. But this feelings are real and inevitably come and reveal themselves to me. It is the truth of my life and the tools for my recovery and growth.

Today it is clear that as I have a chance to live better and I am granted the chance to do something in order to make it up if possible and  there are many times I just have to move on and accept that.

I am ready to embrace all this moments and memories as part of my story. Use them as a light to guide me through the moments where my old ways come up and crawl into my behavior. It is a good feeling that we can heal and get stronger from the very weaknesses that almost killed us in the past. It is great to be alive and be able to feel again; the hope and the lessons.

Don,t stay still…

September 5, 2018

Eduardo Glen Mora

 

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How Recovery has to change as we all do and become different individuals than we were in the past? I believe and agree that the foundation of recovery needs a very tight structure. Indeed it is this structure and discipline that I lacked of for a very long time.

There are as many say; plenty different options to get sober and clean. Some agree or identify with one or the other and that has a big part in the success in the final result. I have come to learn that in every aspect of life we need to be strict in one hand but we need some flexibility and open-minded on the other.

It is been hard work and a tough road up to here, especially at the beginning of the struggle against addiction. That obsession had control over me and would take over again and again when I let my guard down. I was always a tought from picking up and using every single day, many times I fought every hour. In other occasions, just waking up sober was the single great victory of the day.

I can say I tried everything; and being an entitled, selfish, know-it-all ass, nothing worked and it was not my fault. Coming surrounded by an  “educated background”, people around me were only in favor of Psychology and against 12 steps programs or AA. I was emphatically told not to try any of the because they don’t work, I was going to fail. It was a fact.

Almost 4 and a half years  later and close to 3 years sober and clean, my history  tells a different tale. AA worked for me but, together with Therapy and Treatment. All three of them even failed at some point, but when I joined them as part of my personal development they were the solution.

I get all of them, I understand why people don’t like AA, why they don’t want to go to treatment and why they dont believe in Therapy. Everybody is, at some extent right and also leave room for reasonable doubts. I guess nobody and nothing are perfect or hold the last word about anything. We are all built the same and are completely different.

The one thing that bring us back from the suffering and darkness of self-destruction lies inside of us. We get sober and keep ourselves there. But we need training, we need to learn how to live and accept life. We need to be taught to cope and to feel. We need help and we should ask for it and embrace it in any form it comes. We should try to take it as it fits.

Time pass and we grow and evolve, we change and we can’t always keep with the same solutions or stay ate the same places. Recovery has to move on to a bigger place when our lives grow into busier and more complex times. We need to surround with people in recovery yes, that is crucial for us but, the world is not only people who ar sober and not  all people who is not like us we have to avoid. One of the basic promises in AA, for example; is  that we will become active and productive members of our society and that includes people in or out of recovery. We are part of the same world, we are different but we are the same.

Dont stay still, grow, evolve, embrace the change and live and breathe all of the aspects that are part of the new life youve got.

Find Similarities

August 28, 2018

Eduardo Glen Mora

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¨Is life sober good for you? I was really sick, and my business makes it harder. I am a bar tender. I got really low. ¨ This are regular conversations after a meeting, you get to connect with people you havent spoken to ever and would never have in real life. Here we share no only what it was like then and how it is today. We are together united in a bond that only we understand. We have all been through a lot, we lost a lot and we are building our lives back.

A very difficult thing to do when we first come is to find similarities; we have fought so hard to be different. Some made a promise to grow up and never be like the adults in their life. Some never understood their families and just were waiting for a chance to leave and find their own way. Others were just left alone decided it is better to be apart and on their own.

Still, at some point we found people we thought they got it all and wanted to be around them or like them. Human beings can’t be alone, we need to share, we need to be accepted and a part of something bigger. What a contradiction right?

When I first started recovery I tried everything. Started with trying to control it was the first of course, treatment to find out what was so wrong in my past that made me into the person I became. Self help books, Therapy, you name it. one day someone told me:

What are you doing now to give maintenance to that expensive Recovery you just bought? I would take care of it with some program, what about AA?
Yes, funny. I met him in AA already, but he read in our conversation I was to make a common mistake others fall into. People go to Rehab and then believe they graduated, they feel all the work is done and they can take their life where it was before the way they lived it before. Well, not quite, recovery  is a new life, it is a process that continues for the rest of our lives. If we go back to the life and the ways we had before, history will catch up on us just the same.

Opening ourselves to others is not easy, it makes us vulnerable and none of us wants to go there. We stuffed down our feelings and fears because we don’t want to be hurt. But only when we show are true colors we connect, nothing resonates like that. And that is what makes us one. Once  showing who we really are, people identifies, we find the similarities and we start listening. We relate and that is what makes a program work.  We become equal, we create fellowship.

We tried so hard to be different and failed, and now being part of something (wich we always recoiled from), we find we can  make it work. All walks of life, backgrounds, situations but in the end we find out that we are all the same, we share feelings, fears, hope, dreams, and we want to share it with others. Life is about that and we come from hardships and faraway to find that together.

Growth

August 26, 2018

Eduardo Glen Mora

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Imagine a couple fiends in a bar, sitting at the same corner stools they have  been for ten years. The name and owners of the place have changed. Customers are new but they havent noticed, Addiction is like a white blanket that covers you from what is going on in the world, People move on, things change but one stays the same without realizing any of that.  It is like time froze and suddenly, we woke up and see that we didn´t move at all.

We stayed the same age, with the same old ideas. We didn’t grow up like the rest. We find ourselves alone and unaware. We have no idea what is going on, we don’t understand why people act the way they do.  Slowly however, we are able to see little by little all that happened in our absence from reality¨, It is a hard eye-opener, it is not easy to accept but we are out of choices.

This awakening is brought by sobriety, we come to see for the first time in years, a new life and find along the way opportunities and feelings we never experienced or we rejected before. It is hard work, we have to accept mistakes, take care of responsibilities, and put up with the consequences of the chaos we created when numbing ourselves into oblivion.

Step by step we come back to the human experience, we reconnect with our feelings and spirituality. This is probably the toughest part and many times brings a lot of shame. The thing is we always knew; deep down every one of us had the moral basics but we decided to ignore them and even buried them as much as we possibly could. After the process we find growth, peace and serenity. We find a way to acceptance and development through a clear mind and a strong spiritual condition. We begin to live unafraid and accept our journey without any attempt to control the outcomes. We do what it is right, we serve others and create our world putting one foot in front of the other. We stay in the moment.

The shame and fear become hope and gratefulness. Growth is happening.

Stay strong.

As good as it gets…

August 23, 2018

Eduardo Glen Mora

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They say that the darkest hour is the one right before dawn. For most of us this is the ugly truth. Personally I knew for a long time that I needed to change. Every morning I promise myself that I would drink differently to avoid the outcome that kept repeating itself every night. I hated the person I turned into and the situations I put myself and others through. I understood that it had to end and that I had come to a place I  didn’t want to be. I could agree that it wasn´t healthy and that it was destroying everything and everyone around me. Making my life Chaos and taking me to a lonely and ugly end. Still, and even after all that, I wanted a drink with every fiber of my being. I couldn’t stop anymore. Somewhere, somehow I had lost the ability to decide and what it was once a choice; took over and  became a disease. I couldnt manage my life. So, in my mind I was aware of all this; in my heart I honestly wanted to quit. It took me eighteen months though, to be able to accept complete defeat. This was for me, the end of that and the beginning of a life full and plenty, beyond my imagination.

Many times I tried to analyse why I couldn’t achieve what others did. Look at my work as just a project in progress and never finished. At the same time  I set goals and work hard in order to get them; succeeded every single attempt and right after I would always quit. It seemed like escaping, running away. I had the sensation that nothing I ever did was enough. That once arriving , I didn’t want to be there anymore. Never feeling that I was accomplishing anything. There was no sense or proof of getting anywhere. And that simply, says it all.

I spent all my energy and time chasing success as a destination. Never being able to set feet on the actual time. There lies the problem. With sobriety came growth, maturity. It is a big eye opener. I got real, I woke up.

Awareness set foot in my world and made me understand that this is it. That nothing gets any better than the present moment. Life happens every second, it is lived one step at a time; it is not the past of the future.

I am able to see that there are many things I can and should be proud of.  That it is not arrogance but  appreciation for what life has brought me and recognition to the people who has had a part in making that possible.

Embrace the good and thank the bad that taught you how to improve and grow a better human being.

One thing sobriety has brought to my life is that most of the time I live the moment and are able to appreciate the miracle of being alive. Recovery gave me the tools to understand that I am not perfect and never will be; but that I can be aware and detect my character defects right when they appear. I am capable of turning that thought around and stay in the progress shift and avoid the perfection mode.

It is a hard struggle, it is permanent but it pays with a life that keeps getting better and bringing more and more of it every time. A simple program for complicated people. It works, it really does.

 

 

 

Rock Bottom

August 18, 2018

Eduardo Glen Mora

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Nobody wants to be an alcoholic, no person looks forward to be sick. At the same time the insanity of keep drinking and using after countless proof of our physical, spiritual and mental health going down. The fact that we addicts wont stop until something terrible happens; I will never understand. Therefore, I just come to accept it and moved on into Recovery.

This moment of acceptance first, followed by surrender is what I can call Rock Bottom. Many times interpreted as the worst we can imagine happening to someone. And as it is  devastating and final, it happens in many different situations and personalities in this world. What Rock Bottom is for me as many may relate, it comes after personal experience and so its meaning.

It can be a near death experience or just a “common sense” or an a-ha moment. Not everyone has to lose everything, die, end up in jail or go insane but, we all most hit the lowest point where we realize we can’t keep going like that and the only option we have is change.

Finding ourselves in that place is brutal and so strong that literally starts the mind shift that makes Recovery possible. It is spiritual, whether religious reasons have something to do with it or not; is the less that matters.

Recovery is a place we addicts come to  start growing into mature human beings. At some point someone asked me once: How does it feel being human again? As insensitive as this question may sound to many; it really hit home.

Whatever it was or is that led you to free yourself from addiction. Embrace it! It was a gift and it gave you a second chance.

Stay strong!