God is bigger than Aliens

I have come to believe that the worst parts of me are incognito.  Some of the worst parts of who I am convince myself that they are indeed myself.

I do not want to get into the Ed Id and Ego.  That is so technical.

Let me just call them demons or monkeys on my back.  Whatever you want to call the things that keep you from living in the full light of life?

Lol, I am actually not quite a hipster anymore.  Or a hippie for that matter.  I am Christian but I do not go around telling everyone what God says!

Hey if anyone tells you what God says….  They are probably selling something!

I’ll put it like this.  My Roommate always is curious about alien life.  He watches these stupid documentaries about white trash on NetFlix.   Sometimes he asks, “what about life on other worlds, what do you think bro?”

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I think that this is really stupid to ask.  The aliens probably fly by and say, “look at that planet, we call it the fishbowl!”  The question of alien life shows a genuine lack of fulfillment.  Like this planet is not big enough for me or you….

People feel apart from…   Folks want something bigger..  This charade that we call life…  You ever notice the types of folks that get find alien contact.  They are usually from Arizona or New Mexico.

Hey I am from Michigan, the land of 1000 red necks!  I consider Arizona to be the red neck capital of the west!  These people are so board, that they become self-important.  This is just stupid.  I guess what I am getting at is.

I believe in a higher power.

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I did not mean to upset several groups of people.  I am in recovery.  I am going through a dramatic change.  At age 34, I want to live up to my own expectations of myself.  I mean realistic expectations of myself.

What I am saying is that, I do not believe that I have it all together!  Maybe it was the years of drugs.  Or the self-pity in early recovery.  Maybe the military showed me how to be angry for all the right reasons.

 

I know one thing.  The mess is so crazy inside my head that, I require God to sort it out.  I need my higher power to define me.  If that were to come true, well that would be nothing short of God saving a soul.

I need to be a better person.  Not for my family.  Not so I can make lots of money.  Not so I can die with pride.  I need to be a better person so I can be closer to my higher power.  Call it whatever you want!

Whatever I became in life today.  It was never what I imagined.  I am somewhere in-between my version of honesty, and, the man that God wants me to be.

No matter what.  I am not on here trying to convince you that alien’s fucked up my head!  I actually own that.  Every bit of this craziness in my head, its my doing.

Soon I am going to be Sad.  Soon I start the 12 steps of GA.  Soon I stop my meds.  Soon my son goes back to his mothers house.  Soon I will be alone.  Soon I will feel sad about that.

I think that if I somehow manage that..  Well..  God is bigger than my problems.  God is sure as hell bigger than aliens.

And no, God did not tell me this.  I am not selling anything.  Not today anyways…

I almost called this God VS. The Aliens.  Just for attention.  Then I realized..  If Aliens are, God made them, so he is not against them.

Wondering what this is about.  Check out my introduction video on my about page!  Just click on that link, video should be at the bottom of the page.    Want to follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

Link to cover photo credit.   Alien photo credit.  Faith rock photo credit.

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I Proud Monkey, I More than I believe!

My mind is in the same state as my house.

Well right now, having my 10 year old here, my house is trashed.

Psychologically it’s called the monkey mind.  Always grabbing the next branch or thought.  Lately, I have had a hard time keeping track of my thoughts.  I have had my dad hat on this summer, I enjoy being a father.  But, parenting kind of makes you lose your mind.

My girlfriend took a job in California, central coast area.  Actually, I am about to go on a road trip to the central coast for a visit.  I just needed to blog before the trip because I know I won’t have the time after the 8 hour drive with my boy.

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Family times

I did live in Paso Robles when I was in the military and married.  Great place near the ocean, lots of vineyards.  I can say that, I had fun in spite of myself.

I look back at my life and I know all the problems I created are self-made.  I am a dramatic person, you may not know it by how I act in public.  😉  But if you know me, I create drama, sometimes out of nothing.  I get so wrapped up in myself that I lose track of my feelings and thoughts.  When that happens I also lose track of my actions.

I recently have done a blog on my problems with gambling.  This is by far the most pure example of addiction in my life.  Looking back at drinking and drugs, I had a few fun times.  Gambling, yeah maybe a few moments of great conquest.  I feel more ashamed about my gambling addiction then about drugs or alcohol.

This is just me and where I am at, you may or may not relate.  My counselor recently told me, “You do not have any problem with drugs or alcohol today”.  I was all like ;).  I know the deal, I am kind of cocky, but I am always going to be alcoholic.

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Brandon 19 in ARMY

Yeah, I still struggle with gambling, struggling is all I have ever known.  It’s one of those things where I can be okay for a while.  All of a sudden, I will be in some serious shit of my own making.

There is so little recovery work on this subject.  Reno has only one place to go to GA.  This is in the biggest little city in the world (do anything you want).  Plenty of problem gamblers here, I guess its hard admitting it.  For myself, in 13 years I know I spent over 200K.

My life now is at a crossroads.  I keep asking myself, who am I really?  Today I am taking my son to the place where he grew up as a baby.  The place I was once married as a young soldier.  Lol..

Down one path is the life that I let go of once upon a time.  The family man in California with kids.  Down the other path is Reno, the biggest little city of degenerate gamblers in the world.

I know moving location will not change the problem.  I told Alex (my son), your dad knows all the places to gamble in California too!  I say sometimes at meetings, “having four years clean in Reno…  Where else would I want to drink myself to death?”  I feel I will be okay anywhere else in the world with my other addictions.  But right now, not so much the gambling issue…

Here is a bit of resolve that I am getting at..  For the sake of who I will become.   The dreams I have above all the goals, of who I want to be.  I will do the Gamblers Anonymous deal here in Reno!  The same way I did AA when I got 3 DUI’s.  The difference is, no one ever wrote me a ticket for gambling too fast!  I have to do this one all on my own (well with a sponsor).  I mean I have no Judge or courts on my ass.

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Alex Newborn, Paso Robles, CA

This Blog, clears my mind.  I mean, it cleans the clutter upstairs.  I know I have to be honest first, when I started this blog, I thought I was.  Now I realize, I am sicker than initially I thought.  Don’t get me wrong, I know a lot about myself.  But through bogging, I feel more right sized.  I know now that I am actually more crazy then initially realized.

I have to continue to self-discover and grow.  Or else, I will never freaking grow..  I will die just another random piece of trash in Reno.  As romantically tragic as that sounds..  I think, I do not want to die alone in Reno.

I have some foolish ambition to be more than a sober judgmental asshole in Reno.  I want to be a sober judgmental asshole with a family and pride that is worth a damn.

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Self-Compassion Sobriety Medicine

One of the best tools is self-compassion.  I want (The easiest way) to be my best self.  I ask myself big questions from time to time.  I also get angry about little things.  For myself, I try to use my negative feelings in a positive.  Like the gym.

Self compassion is a better way.  I accept how I feel and deal with things the best I can.

Generally Self Compassion is not my first thought.  Taking it easy on myself does not come natural.  The things going on my head sometimes can at times be awful!  I would never let anyone talk to me the way I talk to myself!

I have a military personality, it never quite wore off over the years.  Sometimes I know I need a kick in the ass.  Usually I kick my own ass.  I am most hard on myself when I fall short of my own expectations.

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Credit Picture

Being tough, Sometimes is a good skill to have.  I get my ass to the gym.  Or, I get my ass to a meeting.  Or therapy session or I get involved in fellowship.  But sometimes I am sad or a bit low.  Then sometimes I am pretty useless to the world.

I am unable to take action in a extreme sad state.  Up starts in my mind, justifications for my inaction.  I explain to myself “in my own head” of of habit, why I am a terd!  Bro, why am I less then??  I am basically beating the crap out of myself.  When this happens, it can be a terrible experience.

Above I essentially describe a bad pattern.  I describe unhealthy learned behavior.  One of the most profound and easiest things to do in recovery is to realize what your patterns of behavior are.  The same things or patterns in life will continue to happen even after you get sober.  Sometimes it is hard to see given self imposed bullshit.  But it is our choice to change behavior for the better or worse.

Behavior change does not happen overnight.  Dude, gotta be honest.  Identify the thing we think or do that does not serve us anymore.  After we identify, comes the real challenge.  Changing…

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The change is what hurts.  A change in life involves pain in order to grow.  At 34 I find it difficult to question my very identity after 4 years of sobriety.  Part of me says, “I got life handled, things are good, no need to grow!”

 

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How good is good enough?  This is a big question, Ill leave it up to the reader.

I realize now that I can be an asshole in sobriety.  Awareness, does not make me a nice dude!  I can’t afford to say to myself, “this is just who I am!”  If I do not grow, I go!  I go where?  Back out there into the world of hustle and BS.  Back into my addiction and who knows how many more addictions.

I probably will not make it back next time, I will probably die.

There is another way.  I can learn; I accept that some days the best thing that I can do is not drink.  I may fall short of motivation and goals for a day.  This means I watch hours of TV or play video games like a addict.  I have a day or two like that.

Anger must not serve as my only tool for motivation in sobriety!  If negative feelings motivate me to stay sober, in the end, ill relapse.  If my life is not leaps and bounds better in sobriety… Why am I sober?  Why not get good and drunk?

Life is better today than any day I was in my addicted.  One tool I totally recommend is Self-Compassion.  I act something like this….

I have lists of goals.  99% of my goals may work out if 1% of things do not work out.  I will tell myself, “that is okay, take it easy.”  I will remind myself, “some things are more then I can ever handle.”  “That is okay.”  Kind of like a baby.

While I am “Being Nice” to myself, generally I am still beating myself up at the same time.  Give it time, the positive voice gets louder and louder.  In sobriety be intentional with yourself.  At 4 years, I still am.

Understand that you are sober now!  Calling yourself insulting names is not helping what you do and who you are today.

Self-Compassion means eventually I want to stand on my own two feet without having to put forth so much effort.  I want to be sober in a natural way.  Someday I want to be okay falling short in life, just a little.  I still want to have a good day or week despite my short comings in this moment.

Today, “I may not be strong enough to handle it.”  It is okay, I will take a breath, or a walk.  I will come back to the present moment shortly.  I will remain focused as I have been.  It is okay to also ask for help.

If anything I did not drink or use today.  I love that saying.  Also, I have a list of accomplishments that I can see every day if I choose to look at them.  If I need to, I remind myself of everything I have done this far in sobriety this far.

What I have fallen short on..  This feels so small because where I am today is so huge.  Where I am today in this moment is the only thing I have.  I can Love myself.  I do not need any validation or approval.  All this is possible in recovery.

Surprise yourself in spite of yourself.

This type of stuff is my recovery.  How do you personalize your recovery?  Also, please follow me on Twitter.  Link: to my most popular blog on how I got 3 DUI’s when I hit bottom.  Thanks for being a part of my community.  Keep your head up.  Try Self-Compassion.

Breaking the mold with CBT

I was not fully aware at how difficult some of my own family would make the process of forgiving them.  Lets call this person family member Z.  Oh by the way, Family member Z is a self-proclaimed alcoholic.  I did in fact do the work with family member Z (9th step).  I was over the past, or so I thought.  Family member Z did say the words “I forgive you”.

We had one of those AA moments you only get doing 12 steps.  However Z would bring up all kinds of past events at the past at random times.  I always felt so sad around this person.  I would eventually make some judgement about them and try not to show it.  Overall, what I am saying is that the relationship was unhealthy.

Boundaries were needed for this person in my life.  Good thing I was court ordered to therapy 3 times a week for 3 years.  I knew what boundaries were and how to communicate them, that was for sure.  I clearly told family member Z.  However, they did not understand what I was doing.

They would tell me exactly how I felt.  I was being a bad person by putting up a wall of communication.  Eventually I just stopped talking to Z (I had to stay sober).  At times I was sad about it, so eventually (6 months) I did talk to them again.  But, it took everything I learned, Ill tell you why.

I did some CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy).  Really this is just mindfulness over every single thing that has ever happened to you in your entire life!  It all gets worked out in counseling something like this.  The counselor asks you over and over, “So what happened to you?”  Eventually you talk about your parents.

Here is the thing, my past is really not that interesting.  I grew up in Detroit.  Mom and Dad both drank alcoholically.  I fell in with the wrong group and learned some bad habits.  Now I am 34 years old so big deal.  I try to own my own shit.

Brandon on vacation in Portland, OR.

Understanding yourself is not at all judging.  CBT is like a microscope on how you really feel.  In life we have problems, Shock!  Some of my examples are women or gambling issues.  Oh, sometimes I am a dramatic dude!  If you relate then ask yourself, why am I drinking or using drugs?  If you’re drinking or using drugs to excess because that’s just what your parents did.  Okay get real, why do that?

I am asking, what is the real reason?  You may say something like, “umm, dad worked hard and he felt like he deserved beer”.  “Mom was stressed from life so she needed pills to escape.”  Those things may be true.  But why do you personally drink or use?

Whatever those reasons are for you, there are feelings behind that event or person.  I arrived at some kind of realization.  If you know therapy, then you have heard this first part before.  I learned and accepted, “my parents did the best with what they had.”  Okay great, acceptance.

Later on I added to that, “I do not have to be anything like my parents, as an adult I get to choose.”  No big deal, I am a adult, wow!  Look again, what are the values behind this thought?  Freedom or courage, or both?  Once I started doing this second part, I more clearly understood the reward center of my brain.

The bottom line for me was; I never had to do one thing with the expectation of another again unless I choose too.  So I do not owe my family anything.  And that is not being selfish if your family is full of unhealthy alcoholics.  Rocky said “People do cause they want to!”  I eventually want to count myself as a person who gives back to others what was freely given to me.

I do not know how to be unselfish if I am trying to live up to my parents expectation of me.  I have to live up to my expectation of me.  So who the hell am I?  I wrote down some values that I want in my life and I try to think about them in prayer or meditation.  Some of mine are self-compassion, discipline and faith.

Do you know how to get any sanctification out of life at all?  This alcoholic does.  I need to have, Discipline and dedication.  Whenever my mind wants to take the path of least resistance that I learned as a youth.  I start to ask myself, “What must happen?”  Then I get a laundry list of goals that leads to my vision for my life.  Values, goals and vision!

I did all this stuff in my life to find freedom.  I never knew what freedom was until I got sober.  I always had someone telling me what to do in life until I was middle aged.  Have you changed any values in your life?  If so comment below some values that have helped in your sobriety.

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