Category Archives: Recovery

My Christmas Thank You

Just wanted to take a minute to thank all of you for being a part of my life this past year.

Writing has helped me more than I ever dreamed it would and this is where I started doing just that.

So for those of you that have read my posts, I just wanted to say that you have helped me more than you will ever know

Have a Very Merry Christmas and a wonderful and prosperous New Year

We’ll see you around Blogopolis

Much Love and Respect

Mark Eaves

Christmas_Heart


New Beginnings….Again

Sounds redundant, doesn’t it?

Starting over….again. How many times do you actually get second first chances?

Does it matter? When one comes along, better jump on it…NOW!

Grateful does not even begin to tell you how I feel right now, and it has nothing to do with money. It has to do with life. It has to do with being GIVEN the opportunity to live life to the fullest, regardless of what happened before.

Every day is a fresh start. Every day can bring miracles. Usually those miracles come when you expect them the least or feel like you might not be worthy of them, but they happen anyway.

Opportunities come and opportunities go. Opportunities don’t care if they are being taken advantage of, they just happen. An opportunity has fallen into our laps and we have made the prayerful decision to follow it. It is an opportunity that can AND will give us the chance to live the life we dreamed of. To be able to give back to all those that helped before AND to all those that might need help in the future.

After all, isn’t that what life should be about. Freely giving what was freely given to us? I think so.

Here is an opportunity, it is all in your hands now. It costs nothing to click on it and watch the short video, but it just might be the beginning of a life changing miracle.

Won’t know until you try. We did.


Maybe It’s Not Them

What is it that makes people think that if you don’t talk about something, it (or they) will go away?

Present company included. For the longest time, if something came up or someone close to me acted a certain way, then I would do everything in my power to look the other way and hope that it will sort itself out. And the funny part is that it did, or at least I thought it did.

If there was some situation that I needed to address at work or at home, just look the other way and act like I know what I am doing. For God’s sake don’t ask what is going on or try to get to the root of the problem. That would be too much like work. (Gasp!) Eventually something else will come along and that first situation will not be so important, or even better, the situation takes care of itself and then I can stand back, throw my hands in the air and act like I knew nothing about it and none of the ramifications would be my fault. That was my MO, my modus operandi, my method of operation.

Didn’t talk about family issues outside of the house, for fear that “someone find out.” Find out that we weren’t perfect? That we have issues just like every family in the world?

And now Facebook comes along and I am sure that a lot of people that grew up before the internet age (yes, there was life before the internet) are just rolling in their graves because everyone’s dirty laundry is being aired for the world to know about. I was recently warned to be careful about what I put on Facebook, because people might find out stuff about me that could be embarrassing.

eccentricEvery family has someone that is not “normal”. Maybe I am that person in my family. I have done some things in my life that I am not proud of, things that hurt my family and probably embarrassed them. It has gotten easier over the years to talk about some of them, but there are some that are just too taboo to even bring up. In fact there is a good chance that I am the only one that still thinks about them.

But one thing that I have learned very recently is that these things do not go away. They get buried inside and fester and wait, they are very patient. They build up resentments, either against another person or more often than not against myself. I had to do some very serious soul searching and get all of these issues written down on paper, and then talk to someone about them. There was no other way I was told, that if I wanted to start healing, then they had to come out.

Now I didn’t go off half-cocked and start telling everyone that would listen all of the sordid stories of my past, but I did find someone that I knew that I could trust and I told him everything. I talked about things that I had honestly planned on taking to the grave with me. It was a cleansing of sorts. It was amazing the amount of (self-inflicted) pressure that it took off of my shoulders, just being able to get it out, after almost 30 years of just trying to bury it.

What is my point? Just that we often condemn people for being different, for not being like us. That too often that person is just looking, crying out for someone to listen to them and to try to understand why they act like they do. We were just talking last night about a famous comedian who admitted that he often locks himself in his bedroom for days at a time when he is not performing. Robin Williams, one of the funniest men I have ever heard, committed suicide. They try to make us laugh, to feel good about ourselves, but who does that for them? I guess we figure that if we see someone acting a fool and cracking jokes, that he is happy. That might not be the case, at least it wasn’t in my situation. I always tried to put on a happy outer appearance so that people would not try to get inside, it just seemed easier that way.

empathy-quoteI am as guilty as anyone for shunning people for being outrageous or eccentric or just plain different. And I need to stop judging them and maybe, just maybe get to know them a little better, to understand why they are like they are. I know how it feels to think that you are being shunned, so you try to be something that you are not just to get acceptance, just to fit in. And for anyone that I ever did that to in the past, I apologize.

So for all the eccentric aunts and uncles, for all the “Cousin Its” out there that are shunned or cast aside because you are not like everyone else, keep being yourself. You might not be the one that needs to change!

Mark



The Good “Old” Days

Glory Days. . . .

Ah. . .those were the best days of my life!

Hey, you remember that time. . . . .?

It just don’t get better than that!

Umm. . .yeah it does!

Yes, it WILL

There is nothing that has happened to me in my life that I cannot improve upon (wedding day and birth of children excluded).

Why does everyone talk about the past as if it was the best time of their life? What about today? What about NOW?

Why can’t this be the best time of your life?

There is a saying that goes like this. “If I have one foot in yesterday and one foot in tomorrow, then I am pissing all over today!”

Living in the past wondering what I could have or should have done differently had gotten me nowhere. The only thing that I can do about my past is to learn from it, and there are a LOT of lessons there, trust me!

Worrying about what is going to happen tomorrow, or next week, or next year just tends to leave me wondering about the past when all of my grandiose plans do not come true, mostly from my inability to start things or see things through to fruition.

It needs to start now. No more excuses!

Now here is the point where everyone rolls their eyes and I feel good about what I just wrote for about 15 minutes, and then life goes on.

I can’t keep doing that. I am pretty much out of options at this point if I do not get my sh!t together. I could have written about all of the bad things that have happened to me in my lifetime, and there have been many, most of which were self-inflicted, but that won’t mean much.

I could write about what is on my bucket list, which I kind of have up in one of those rusty old file cabinets in my head, but how is that going to help to talk about the good ol’ days?

For me, the good ol’ days need to be every day that I wake up and am able to get out of bed and live life. To be able to be thankful for all that I do have, not be regretful for all that I don’t have or never had.

The good ol’ days need to start every morning with me getting on my knees and thanking God that I have another chance, that I am alive for one more day.

The good ol’ days need to end every night with me getting on my knees and thanking God for that one day.

Falling LeavesThe good ol’ days need to be everything in between, and if I do everything in my power to live, to be a good person. To tell the people that I love, that I love them. To be there when someone who is struggling needs someone, just like all the people that were there for me when I was struggling. To look at the trees and the green grass and just know what a miracle it is that we all are living on this planet that can sustain life the way it does. To breathe in that cool crisp fall air as the leaves say good bye to the tree that they have been holding on to for months and fall to the ground, knowing that come spring there will be new leaves on the trees so that the circle of life can continue.

So yes, I do have stories about the good old days in my life that I wish to share, and they are happening right now.

So join me if you will on this new and ever changing journey that I like to call. . . . Life

life

 


The Key Is Willingness

I’ve been on a journey for a little over 8 months now. It has been a good journey, learning a lot about myself. Learning a lot about living life on life’s terms. Trying to make some positive changes in my life.

I have not kept it a secret that I am in recovery, hell it says so below in my “bio”. Some people wish that I did not speak so openly about it. I respect and understand their opinion, but they have to understand that this is what I am and talking and writing about it is part of what I need to do, so I am going to continue.

When I read the daily prompt this morning talking about a key, the very first thing that popped into my mind was that Willingness is the KEY to Recovery.

Willingness to try a new way of doing things, a new way of treating people, a new way of treating myself.

The next thing that popped into my brain was a song by one of my favorite bands Dream Theater, it is called “The Glass Prison”. It was written by Mike Portnoy about his path to recovery, or at least the first steps to it. I honestly do not expect anyone to listen to the entire song, as it is almost 14 minutes long (but it would be cool if you did), but I have put the lyrics below it. . . .so consider it like a poem.

The part of the song that I was reminded of was the third part:

III. REVELATION

Way off in the distance I saw a door
I tried to open
I tried forcing with all of my will but still
The door wouldn’t open

Unable to trust in my faith
I turned and walked away
I looked around, felt a chill in the air
Took my will and turned it over

The glass prison which once held me is gone
A long lost fortress
Armed only with liberty
And the key of my willingness

Fell down on my knees and prayed
“Thy will be done”
I turned around, saw a light shining through
The door was wide open

I still get a little teary eyed when I listen to this song or read the lyrics as it reminds me of how it used to be, and how it could be again if I do not do what I need to do to keep this disease, yes it is a disease, at bay. For those of you that are fortunate enough to have never had to deal with addiction or with someone that is in addiction, then please read the words to the song. I honestly think that this explains it much better than I ever could.

1. The Glass Prison

[music by Myung, Petrucci, Portnoy, Rudess]
[lyrics by Mike Portnoy]

[I. REFLECTION]

Cunning, Baffling, Powerful
Been beaten to a pulp
Vigorous, Irresistable
Sick and tired and laid low
Dominating, Invincible
Black-out, loss of control
Overwhelming, Unquenchable
I’m powerless, have to let go

I can’t escape it
It leaves me frail and worn
Can no longer take it
Senses tattered and torn

Hopeless surrender
Obsession’s got me beat
Losing the will to live
Admitting complete defeat

Fatal Descent
Spinning around
I’ve gone too far
To turn back round

Desperate attempt
Stop the progression
At any length
Lift this obsession

Crawling to my glass prison
A place where no one knows
My secret lonely world begins

So much safer here
A place where I can go
To forget about my daily sins

Life here in my glass prison
A place I once called home
Fall in nocturnal bliss again

Chasing a long lost friend
I no longer can control
Just waiting for this hopelessness to end

[II. RESTORATION]

Run – fast from the wreckage of the past
A shattered glass prison wall behind me
Fight – past walking through the ashes
A distant oasis before me

Cry – desperate crawling on my knees
Begging God to please stop the insanity
Help me – I’m trying to believe
Stop wallowing in my own self pity

“We’ve been waiting for you my friend
The writing’s been on the wall
All it takes is a little faith
You know you’re the same as us all”

Help me – I can’t break out this prison all alone
Save me – I’m drowning and I’m hopeless on my own
Heal me – I can’t restore my sanity alone

Enter the door
Desperate
Fighting no more
Help me restore
To my sanity
At this temple of hope

I need to learn
Teach me how
Sorrow to burn
Help me return
To humanity
I’ll be fearless and thorough
To enter this temple of hope

Believe
Transcend the pain
Living the life
Humility
Opened my eyes
This new odyssey
Of rigorous honesty

Serenity
I never knew
Soundness of mind
Helped me to find
Courage to change
All the things that I can

“We’ll help you perform this miracle
But you must set your past free
You dug the hole, but you can’t bury your sole
Open your mind and you’ll see”

Help me – I can’t break out this prison all alone
Save me – I’m drowning and I’m hopeless on my own
Heal me – I can’t restore my sanity alone

[III. REVELATION]

Way off in the distance I saw a door
I tried to open
I tried forcing with all of my will and still
The door wouldn’t open

Unable to trust in my faith
I turned and walked away
I looked around, felt a chill in the air
Took my will and turned it over

The glass prison which once held me is now gone
A long lost fortress
Armed only with liberty
And the key of my willingness

Fell down on my knees and prayed
“Thy will be done”
I turned around, saw a light shining through
The door was wide open


The Best Gift

Store bought gift?

Handmade gift?

Which is better?

For me there is one gift that far exceeds any other. It doesn’t come from a store and it cannot be created or hand made.

Nothing else even comes close to it.

For most of my life I always thought that I had to buy happiness, to buy love. That the most important thing was to always have money in my pocket and feel like a big shot by buying useless things for people that really didn’t care one way or another.

That the only way to be successful was to make as much money as possible and that the only way to succeed is to work, work, and work and then feel superior to others because I worked harder than them. The thing about that is that no matter how much money I made, it never seemed to be enough. And no matter how much I worked, it was never enough. I lost track of everything that should have been important to me. No, let me rephrase that.

I NEVER GAVE MYSELF A CHANCE TO LEARN WHAT SHOULD BE IMPORTANT TO ME.

I am writing this after spending the last 3 weeks working 12-14 hours a day, so does this make me a hypocrite? Maybe. . .

I am hoping that the difference this time is that I have had several months to learn about myself and to learn about the people around me that love me, because I am ME. Not for what I am, but for who I am.

I still need to work and it felt good to go to work every day and to get done what we set out to accomplished. Sure I was tired and sure I missed all the people that I have surrounded myself with at this point in my life, my support group or whatever you want to call it. But I think that might be the difference. In the past, I worked without thinking about anyone but myself. I worked and left others to take care of things like raising our kids. I missed out on so much and it is something that I can never get back.

I am writing this as a reminder to myself. That even though I do have to work, I cannot let it become “my everything” again. I have learned so much and been given so much over the past 8 months, given freely I might add, that I have to remember what got me to this point. It was not my doing. There was definitely Divine Intervention happening in my life, and there still is.

So that gift I was talking about earlier, the best gift ever?

To me, it is the gift of unconditional love that I receive every day from family and friends, and especially from my Higher Power, who I choose to call God.

Without it, I am nothing.

With it, I can be anything


Much Respect and Love

Mark

 



Going to Any Length.

Would I go to any lengths?

That is the question that has been on my mind the last couple days

Will I go to any lengths to accomplish anything? Or do I look for the path with least resistance?

That path of least resistance has been my chosen path for most of my life.

I stop doing things because they get complicated, or become difficult

I stop doing things because I think people would not approve of my chosen path

Is that what I want? Is that the best I can do?

Going to any lengths can sound intimidating, can’t it?

Being fearless in the face of adversary, trying to go against the norm. Stepping outside of my comfort level.

There it is, my comfort level. I like being comfortable. I like it too much to where I do not want things to change and I am willing to settle, to accept things for what they are instead of pushing them to new levels, new limits.

Look where it got me. Six months ago I was a total mess, trust me when I tell you this. I was emotionally, spiritually and physically bankrupt. Because I always looked for an easier, softer way.

Am I willing to go to any lengths to change?

I have to. I want to. I need to.

Am I willing to step out of this comfort zone and risk actually living life?

God I hope so. Wait, there it is. God….Hope…..God…..Hope

Hmmm……maybe it won’t be so bad. Maybe I can change…..

Screw maybe, it’s gonna be freaking good, great even.

So when is it going to start?

Just as soon as I surrender and stop pretending that I have all the answers and start paying attention.

Time’s up, 10 minutes of writing whatever was on my mind, you just got a glimpse of what is inside of it.

Have a great day, I’m going to

Mark


This Morning’s A-Ha Moment

Changing behavior not goalsThis morning I heard some one say something that really hit home with me.

I need to stop changing my goals to meet my behavior, and start changing my behavior to meet my goals.

That made so much sense and it is EXACTLY what I have done my entire life. When things do not go as I planned them, I change what I need (or want) the end result to be so that I will not have to change what I am trying to do in order to achieve the result.

When things get “hard” or “tough”, I always come up with some excuse to not meet my desired goal, thereby justifying in my head the need to change the goal or end result.

It was an “A-Ha” moment. Now the question is, what am I going to do with it?

Mark


War Inside My Head

“Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.” — Allen Ginsberg

Do you follow Ginsberg’s advice — in your writing and/or in your everyday life?

When I read this morning’s Daily Prompt, the VERY first thing that came into my head was the song “War Inside My Head” by Dream Theater. As anyone that knows me at all, Dream Theater and their music is a very big part of me, their lyrics can touch my soul more often than not, possibly because one of their members is in recovery and I can relate to his lyrics. But they are also classically trained musicians that just ROCK and have done so for more than 25 years, which would seem to be the meaning of them following their inner moonlight. They are also family men that treat their career just as it is, a career. They love what they do so they do it a lot. They don’t take breaks like many bands do, they write and perform music and in my opinion just keep getting better. Here is that song (along with a second song) performed live in Tokyo back in 2004.

The song is about someone that went through the horrors of Vietnam, so I cannot relate to that, but the war inside my head has been going on for quite a while. My problem was always that the war raged inside, but I hid it well. Always tried to maintain outer calmness even when my insides were getting torn up. That is no way to live. I guess that is part of the reason that I love writing. I can use some of that inner madness in the stories I make up, check out Green River Road   which I have been working on and need to get back to. It just keeps growing in my mind and is now a 9 part series with at least 4 more parts already thought out in my head.

Inner calmness is what I desire. It is what I need. It is what I work on every day now, I have to. I will.

So what exactly is my point? Hmm…..not sure to be honest. Let’s summarize

  1. Dream Theater is freaking awesome
  2. There is, and always will be a war raging inside my head
  3. There is a way to channel that madness positively
  4. Inner Calmness (aka Serenity) is my ultimate goal

There you have my Friday rambling. Hope y’all have a great day and an even better weekend

Love

Mark


10 Minutes From My Heart

10 minutes to write about anything……

When I started this blog a couple months ago, I was trying to figure some stuff out. Was trying to figure out what direction that I needed to go, and to figure out why I do the things I do. Well it seems to me that all I have been doing on here is responding to the daily prompt, and even though I really enjoy writing, that just doesn’t seem to be enough for me.

I love writing, I never knew how much until I started writing and sharing on a daily basis. I would love to make a living writing but have not figured that part out just yet. I know that I want to keep writing, but I also have responsibilities to take care of. I do have Faith that everything is going to work out, but it won’t unless I keep moving forward.

Not real sure where I am going with this, but I figured that I would just write what was in my heart at the time. I have started a new venture and it is scary, and frustrating but I feel in my heart that it is the path that I need to take. Life doesn’t wait around for us, it keeps happening no matter what. I lay awake some nights in bed doubting myself, doubting my ability to make this work. But I have to remind myself that God has always helped me through everything, even when I did my best to screw things up. I just have to let Him, and that is what I am working on.

I am not ashamed to say that I believe in God, He is my higher power and I rely on his Grace to get me through most days. I don’t have issues with people of other beliefs, but I am not going to hide mine just because I am afraid it is going to offend someone. When I ask for help, good things happen. Yet I keep trying to do things on my own, keep thinking I can do this myself.

I Can’t

He Can

Let HIM!

I am going to keep plugging away at things, going to keep doing the little things that helped to get me to this point. Just want to take care of my family and to help other people that are going through the same issues that I went through, that is what I want out of life. Everything else is just fluff as far as I am concerned.

My ten minutes are almost up, if you haven’t checked out my new website, it is http://startsat50.com/

Gotta start somewhere, and the time is NOW

Thanks for reading

Mark