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It is not easy, but it is worth it

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!

Anonymity

August 13, 2018

Eduardo Glen Mora

Sobriety is turning my life around no doubt. It began as a struggle to stay clean, a fight against addiction. Substance abuse was not longer doing its job protecting me and providing the strength and confidence I needed. There was fear to fall as it had happened continuously over the course of Eighteen months. At this point, I finally got it; it  started and stays until the present day uninterrupted for almost 3 years.

What my worries are today nothing have to do with being around alcohol or drugs. They simply don’t appear to have room in my life and happenings.

My work everyday is to use the tools I have gotten to progress in my spiritual fitness. I have the awareness to notice soon enough (not always before it happened), to correct my actions when my character defects made appearance in my interactions with others.

I can notice when I am about to lie, manipulate or wrong anyone. Sometimes I stop and avoid it and some others I have to fix it after  it is done before I go further. It is not easy to do whether is simple to understand. So, this is a fun journey for sure and I can see all this as life´s perks. Definitely a great ingredient that makes life richer and richer.

And as I have been taught this skills I notice, out in the world we are still subject to realities different from ours.

Recovery becomes so familiar to me because it is my way of life now. I am surrounded by people who acts and thinks like me and it makes it solid and stronger. On the other hand, as well, There are others that know little or nothing about our spiritual and mind shift and we have to deal with it the same.

Many people notice our change, they comment about how better we look and are aware of our improved behaviour. It is noticeable of course and this is great as it starts opening back to us opportunities and bringing confidence back on us from the outside. In order to keep this and grow we have to maintain strict and hard work on our program and there lies the difference between we addicts and lets call them ¨normal people¨. Time and time goes and I believe this is common until I get to discuss the subject with someone who is not in the program. Avoid this last at all cost. Sobriety is personal.

I didn’t understand the need for anonymity for a very long time, I had to break it and pissed a couple of people after being so carefree about it, Took me awhile to see I can use anonimity about myself the way I please but I can’t touch others´.

The Real World, wich will be the right way to name it and not The Normal World, doesn’t know about Recovery and cares very little. There is a lot of prejudice based on ignorance of course; and that is where anonymity plays the amazing part of allowing us to navigate safe and without unnecessary difficulties in everyday life.

The fun fact is that we are all looking for the same; Alkies, Normies, everybody. The not so fun fact is that we all think our way is the best, that’s just human, but it is what always screws everything up.

Following what my program for living tells me I try to keep myself inside these basics:

1.- Always be aware of my character defects and how they may suddenly appear and play me in my relationships with others.

2.-Recognize when it happens and fix it right there and then.

3.-Keep myself and others in the fellowship protected by respecting their anonymity and the way they live their program.

4.- No matter how much I want to help; keep my opinion to myself unless I am asked for and/or if it is really wanted.

Character defects.

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.

Reminder

July 24, 2018

Eduardo Glen Mora

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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.

Acceptance

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.

Sobriety brings Hope

July 13, 2018

Eduardo Glen Mora

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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.

Time

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.

Peace.