Tag Archives: #coping

The Only Way Out is Through

So many years past where I couldn’t or simply wouldn’t process the events, situations or the emotions of my life. I was stuck in a thought process that says “stuff it deep down inside where it can’t hurt you” “pretend like it never happened” “just don’t think about it” and other avoidance or suppression methods, along with good times and anesthetizing any of my pain or hurt feelings.
I found it didn’t and doesn’t work. I realized about 9 years ago that I wasn’t really ignoring that stuff successfully or glancing over issues, I was collecting them. I tucked feelings away, where I attempted to keep them under wraps. I’d get the occasional hurt out and caress the melancholy memory as wallowed in self-pity. Never taking time to try and put things in perspective or come to an understanding or make peace. Just to play the role of the victim (poor me) and feed my memories fierce resentment even building them into even more than they were. The little box of hurt inside packaged with a bow. (Box of excuses) That’s what my lack of understanding and my seeming inability to deal with life on life’s terms really was. a box of excuses. Sounds harsh, I know, the reality is, I didn’t understand, I didn’t want to feel anything, but really didn’t understand not feeling, really wasn’t an option. Over time those suppressed feelings stack up and reach overflowing proportion and can no longer be contained. For me these problems would compound current events, if I had something upsetting or some stressful situation of life my coping mechanism would already be overloaded, making things worse. Additionally, pent up emotion would fill me with resentment, which would manifest in the form of anger, depression, anxiety, or aggressive behavior. I masked and stuffed things until I hit the point of crisis in my life. I began to seek council and tried half heartedly to sort things out. I only did so, in attempt to fix the present situation I was in. I gave up and started to anesthetize again, until the unthinkable happened. My son Jordan suddenly died (he was 14). Time stopped, everything changed, I was crushed, and my world was forever changed. There’s no stuffing that. Already near crisis, the box over flows. This is what I think people often do.
I tried to stuff it back in, and for short intervals I managed. Invariably, things that need to be felt get felt. In the light of the terror and depth of that pain, all the previous pangs became somewhat trivial. Regardless, my issues required my attention and some real work. Issues that were to big for me all of my life, were still to big for me to sort out alone. If you have struggled similarly for way too long, I suggest you seek counsel to help you through. Whether it be professional counseling, group therapy, a recovery program doesn’t matter. If you get help, you can get through. You will know a peace, happiness, and contentment you never thought possible. I started by surrender. When I couldn’t go on, I asked God to help me and gave Him back the life He gave me, to do with whatever He wanted. “Just please help me?” Were my words. My life is incredible today, God Is Great!

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Just For Today 

This is one of the practices I engaged in years ago, at the suggestion of a man of whom I have great respect.

I’ve never been able to complete all this list entails in a single day.

The part where it says- I will do a good turn and not be found out and if I get found out it will not count, is one of my favorite things. I was told the reasons why are:

  1. You’ve already received your reward by taking credit for your good deed.
  2. It then becomes an act to make yourself look good rather than a good deed.
  3. It is truly a selfless and thankless deed When done only to benefit someone else if your not found out                        .

This whole card helps you to grow in selflessness and humility and grasp the bigger picture, I would recommend it for anyone. I’m not advertising, this is not my business, and I receive no funds for anything contained in my blog. My only reward is if it helps you or someone you love.

You can purchase this card and many other pieces of great literature through your local area Intergroup just search Alcoholics Anonymous Intergroup and your cities name. It’s like a gift store with great recovery items. online at

www.recovery-world.com/RecoveryWalletCards.html

www.walletcards.com/cardlist.html This one has a list of self help, motivational, love, humor and inspirational cards recovery or just because. it’s a great site. i think I’m going to order 1 of each if they’ll let me to see what I can get out of it.

Today I say forget about yourself and think of someone else for a while. It is through self forgetting and helping others that we know peace

Can’t Isn’t an Option

Some of the most valuable things I’ve learned in my life are these quotes;

“Can’t isn’t an option when you have to!”

I learned this during intense training, it was drilled in over and over again at moments I was already well past my limits physically and mentally.

Another pearl of wisdom was this quote which goes hand in hand with the other one:

“Keep moving!!! You slow down, you stop, and you die!”

The quote that probably drives me to blog and reach out to others in my day to day life is this:

“No one gets left behind!”

These fundamentals can bring you beyond your limitations; they’ve brought me through more situations in my life than I have time to talk about. I will say; What wouldn’t you be willing to do to survive, not live well or happy, just survive? When your situation means do or die, I suggest do.

Survival points;

I grew up around the tip of Lake Michigan. This is one of the things that made it easy for me to embrace these concepts because they were already part of my life. It gets cold; I’m talking 20 degrees below zero cold with a wind-chill factor of 60 below. If you go outside after a shower you can hear your hair freeze in seconds. This is a great reference because you absolutely have to keep moving “If you slow down, you stop, you freeze to death” “You never leave anyone behind” I was walking home once and it was a little over a mile, but in this kind of cold and wind 100 feet seem like a mile. It had been snowing for days, all of the roads were closed, and snow drifts were 13 feet high. I had walked about 3/4 of the way, and decided i was going to take a short cut across the golf course. I started up the embankment at the side of the road; my feet were plunging into the snow to my upper thigh with every step (about 3 feet). I got a little better than half way up and WOOOOOFFF! I dropped into the drifted snow up to my armpits. The snow was packed in enough that I could barely move. I was in trouble, already near frozen because I thought I was a bad ass and wasn’t dressed properly. I was wearing jeans with sweat pants under them, 2 t-shirts, a flannel, and a thin Harley Davidson, straight collar, Leather jacket without a liner, two pairs of socks and my hiking boots. With no gloves, no hat, and no scarf. I had been warming my hands under my arms, then warming my ears with my hands, and cupping my hands over my nose trying not to get frostbite. I would run this cycle over and over as my freezing hands were also my warming tools that I would constantly have to reheat.

So, here I am, stuck in a snow drift half frozen and I’m gassed. A real “Uh Oh!” moment. All I could move was my arms and I couldn’t reach anything. I had to do something, but couldn’t do anything. “Can’t isn’t an option when you have to!” There was a tree branch about a few feet away, so I began nudging the snow. Little by little I bumped forward, then back, then forward then back. The snow didn’t move much because I fell in the plow line and the top was packed. I rocked to and fro for what seemed like an eternity and finally I got a hold of the branch and dragged myself out. Freezing cold now, the wetness from being stuck in the snow froze my clothes. I continued on walking in 3 feet of snow feeling like I couldn’t take another step, but knowing to stop is to die. If you’ve ever been out in that environment for a while you know that everything aches, your feet hurt, your ears feel like they’re being cut off by the wind. Your hands and nose feel like ice icicles also being cut and burned, it can be brutal! Obviously, I survived, cold weather situations like that would happen. We broke down in a car with my Mom and she had blankets in the back. She hitched a ride with a trucker, because if we would have stayed there we would have froze to death. I think it was my Mom, oldest brother and I. (extreme examples or rant if you will)

The point is, no matter what obstacles or challenges we face in life we must push on. What matters is our survival. We then have an opportunity to make better choices, be more prepared (keep blankets in the trunk, dress warmer, steak a sign in the ground that says thin ice or crevasse). Over time and through life experience we learn not only to survive but to thrive. We can warn or help others be aware or overcome obstacles or dangers. Look at the Eskimos, look at people who have lost love and learned to love again, or people who were once in a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body, that hated life itself, now love it and are filled with joy. I’m one of these people and you CAN be too.

Take these quotes and add them to your arsenal and when all else fails just keep going!

“Can’t isn’t an option when you have to!”

“Keep moving!!! You slow down, you stop, and you die!”

“No one gets left behind!”

“I can”

“i’m willing”

Love everyone, including yourself, you’re incredible, ~ J ~

So I’m a Little Crazy

Terrific Thursday to you!

I read many post yesterday and was reminded of my own difficulties. You may read my post and say “I’m insightful” or a “gentle soul”. I don’t attempt to speculate or read any minds, I only know from what comments have been made. It is nice to hear those things, it helps my self esteem. This blog is but a glimpse of who I am I would say the “Bright side”. I began producing this to help people who struggle in their present life and/or suffer similarly. I continue to have social issues, especially at gatherings, or when my behaviors matter most. I read yesterday of people talking about similar struggles and some more difficult. I love to look around and see people whom, not just overcome adversity but thrive and find even more fullness of life than they had prior to their illness or debilitating injury. (AWESOME)

For the people out there that read this and may think I’m deliriously happy. I’d like to let you know, it is because I struggle, that I constantly condition and exercise my mind in the positive.

This time of year is especially difficult due to the social and family gatherings. I don’t have full control over my attitudes, moods, actions, or what I say at times. This causes my family and I embarrassment and makes others visibly uncomfortable on occasion. I’m like the fidgety kid that has to sit on his hands to keep from flipping them around and banging, tapping, or knocking. (I used to be)It’s funny, because I just realized that this was probably caused by my suppression of all of the other actions and talking manifesting themselves in that way. Anyway, I find myself nearly every time I go to a gathering saying something or many things or acting out in ways that even I find inappropriate. The problem is stressors and sometimes other people can become a catalyst energizing or exacerbating my nervous or manic condition. I often find myself during these type events constantly trying to check myself (seldom successfully). Usually afterward having a conversation with whoever was my “designated handler” (LOL) about what they thought the perception of others might have been or if I upset anyone. I try not to beat myself up for it anymore. There’s not a lot I can do other than isolate and not interact or try to get someone I know (That knows me) to stay close by and attempt to keep me in check with the occasional shhhh, or nudge. This is not always effective and sometimes raises my defensiveness causing me to lash out justifying my behavior. Thank you to all that have helped me function in these situations and stood by me in anticipation of what I may do or say. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, and also for preparing me beforehand and consoling me in the aftermath For any that might be blessed to have me at their gathering this Christmas season or any other time, I will try to be on my best behavior, please don’t take me to seriously. LOL

Remember if it’s not within your control you really can’t blame yourself.
Try to manage your symptoms and learn to use tools and rely on others to help you be well.

Love yourself, you’re very special, ~ J ~

Independence or In dependence

 

I rebelled and struck out on my own as early as I was unable. I wanted to be my own man, I felt alone like it was me against the world and that nobody truly cared about me. I didn’t realize until years later how wrong I was. I see today by forcing my independence and not allowing anyone to get close to me out of fear of being hurt or letting them down is what lead to my isolation. I told my Wife before I married her “That I was going to do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted and would not answer to her”. The reason I said that, or so I thought, was to proclaim my independence. In reality I was trying to shrug accountability and responsibility. The two words I just typed struck me funny, because that’s exactly where I was going with this. Allow me to clarify, both words have ability in them and that is it in a nutshell. I drank and when I did, there was no telling what would happen, where I might end up, when or if I’d even come home. So rather than continually having to apologize or justify behavior which was really beyond my control, I created my escape hatch. The irony is that I proclaimed my independence because of my dependence on alcohol. No excuses to be made, no arguments to have, I do what I want! right? Of course, this thinking was as flawed as my drinking. I built walls made of false fronts and bravado, I covered myself with a mask where you could no longer see me. There I was trapped by independence, a prisoner in my own mind

image

I had all of these preconceived notions about everyone. Hiding inside, I’d think to myself I wonder if you like me or if you think I’m crazy. In nearly the same thought, think that I didn’t care, I don’t need anyone I’m my friend. I’d them assess your flaws and think of what I didn’t like about you in case you didn’t like me so your opinion wouldn’t count. I could then preserve my false pride and superiority while I battled my inferiority. I noticed over time how my scenery changed. The group of people and the establishments I frequented became, let’s say, less sophisticated. Seeking to be accepted yet never wanting to join. I was independent other than the fact that my entire life was dependent on the people around me and how long they’d tolerate the insanity. The very systems and thinking I put in place to maintain my independence finally succeeded and I was independent, in dependence and completely alone, with the exception of God. I talked to Him a lot but wouldn’t hear Him. At that point, when I didn’t understand why my life was like it was, I started to seek answers. I became honest with myself, I opened my mind to new ideas and principles, and most of all I became willing to change. I’m going to play on words because this came to me suddenly and made sense. I realized in any relationship which I am a partner I have to do a part. Also, that the whole world didn’t revolve around me and when I refused to participate it would just pass me by. Again, in order for me to be an active participant in my own life, I had to do my part. I began to tear at my walls. I found that I built the walls a long time ago, when I was a scared child and while in there I couldn’t see everything clearly. My vision was obscured by my perception. Like a plant without the proper son light I didn’t grow much emotionally and stayed a small scared child inside. Once I started to break down the walls and barriers that kept me inside I found they were primarily constructed of bottles of booze, drugs, cemented with lies I told myself to justify my behaviors and the things that brought me pleasure. When I discovered that was what had blocked me all these years, I began to kick and strike at them. I became angry but the walls were amazingly strong and I couldn’t break through on my own. I was dependent upon them to secure my independence. I began to cry out for help, it seemed nobody was listening. When I stopped yelling I could hear a faint voice say just stop drinking, start to do the next right thing that is in front of you. Trust another person who had walls like yours and together we will take them down.

True independence is based on total dependence and reliance upon God. He is the One who created us for a special purpose. We are designed to seek the peace and euphoria only He can provide. Drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling, eating, pain and all of the things that bring some of us a similar feeling will not suffice, so we need more. We find in time, as you might expect, they stop working and the very thing we use for reliance, independence, and peace becomes our captor.

Break the chains of addiction and the vicious cycle of self will, seek the purpose of your creation, and ask God to help you offer yourself and your life to Him with complete abandon and fulfill your purpose. He will help as long as you’re willing to follow His gentle direction.

Good life to you, Jason

Conscious or Unconscious

I see you being very happy and contented with your life in the very near future. You’ve probably heard that happiness is a conscious decision that can be made at anytime. I think there’s some truth in this, however happiness is an emotion not a thought. I believe that adjusting what you’re thinking about can create happiness and contentment.

What activity, treat, or thing makes you happier than anything in the world?

When was the last time you made it a point to enjoy that?

Unconscious unhappiness or discontent can set in quickly and go on unnoticed for as long as we allow it. I call it being in a funk or stuck in a rut. That’s when we need some “me time” to go and do what we love. Something that makes us feel younger or reminds us of great times. Still better, do something new and exciting. I’ve said play music from yesteryear or think of fond memories. Photo albums are good tools as well.

Then there’s the conscious variety which can be very comfortable. Where we may become melancholy (feeling sorry for yourself or having a generally down disposition). This is actively embracing misery and super-sizing problems instead of looking for solutions. Let’s face it, that’s a straight up cop out. A reason not to participate, continue a pattern of isolation, or to have the excuse at the ready of “If your life was like mine you’d be this way too.” (Another Irish word “Malarkey”) I’ve heard it said “Poor me! Poor me! Pour me another drink?” If we are not in the solution then we are the problem. Enough of that HAPPY THOUGHTS

Our problems most often center in our mind regardless of the external stimulus/situation. It’s not what happens to us or around us, it’s our reaction and/or our ability to accept or understand. Some things are easy just as simple as changing our environment or refocusing our thoughts onto what makes us happy. Other deep issues or circumstances of life we are unable to accept, need real attention. We cannot easily gloss over serious issues or stuff them down successfully for long. These will always manifest themselves. Usually at the worst possible times. We may displace that emotion in the form of anger or bitterness toward an undeserving person.

This makes us mentally, spiritually, and sometimes physically ill. If you have any resentment or deep hurt that you’re holding on to. I recommend that you put pen to paper and right out the issue and try to look at it from another perspective. We look at our part. If you believe as I do ask God to help you to understand or accept what has happened, pray for the ability to forgive anyone you may have a resentment toward.


This is part of what I used to become the way I am today.
Bottom of Pg. 60-69 Pg. 552 and 417
Can be read on line at AlcoholicsAnonymous.org Big book

One of the best things I can do if I’m having any problem of self is to immediately think of someone else and how I might be helpful to them.

I CAN’T THINK OF MYSELF WHEN I’M THINKING OF SOMEONE ELSE.

Flip the script change your thinking, if the records skipping, pick up the needle and put it on the next track.

Peace and goodness to you, Jason

Smoke and Dreams

It often seems like smoke and dreams,

I’ve been led to the end of my schemes.

I wonder what it would be like not to be me.

If only for an hour, or just one minute, could I be free, could I forget?

If I did I’d likely have regret.

Is this my reality, is this only smoke and dreams, or is everything just as it seems.

I’m sure I will get the answers when it’s my turn to die, I don’t need to understand, or go crazy asking why?

I have to accept things just the way they are, and say good-bye for now.

We will meet again someday somewhere somehow.

My heart is broken and my eyes hold my tears in,

I will always love you my eternal friend throughout and beyond my lifes end.

In memory of my son Jordan Timothy Byers 3–05–91 to 6–23–05

By Jason Byers sober since 6–23–05