When she spoke those words my world turned upside down. There we were, her first time in my new apartment my 2 year old daughter sat on my counter top dancing to PPP by beach house as I stood there over my electric stovetop cooking cheese tortellini for lunch, I looked to her and asked her if she liked the song, “I like this song, this is our song dad” I couldn’t help but let the tears run, my whole world stopped, everything I’m going through right now paused completely, not a worry about finals or things I still need for the apartment or groceries or bills or being alone or the money. Nothing mattered, and after she said those words I couldn’t help but fast forward 20+ years at her wedding to play this song during the father daughter dance. This small human has me wrapped around her finger, no matter what else is going on in my life the good or the bad, she has the power to take me out of myself for even just a moment. She shows me the purest form of love. God shines through her when I need it the most. Everything is going to be okay just for today. Tomorrow may burn me down but today is all I really need. I love you so much Paisley, maybe one day you will read this. You make being a dad the greatest gift on this planet.
I got a 98% on my PowerPoint presentation today, my topic was opiate addiction. 🙏🏼 I guess I can consider myself a subject matter expert. So much has been happening lately, I promise to write more once I move into my apartment on Saturday. I have so much to write about. God is good, you’re right where you’re supposed to be. If no one has told you they love you today…. I love you, yes you. Thanks for reading, thanks for listening. You could be doing anything in the world right now but you’re wasting your time reading this entry. Thank you
one of the best days of my life was yesterday. the hike to Arch rock, alone was so peaceful. Arch rock is a cove off the coast of Corona del Mar/Newport beach. i guess its more popular now but a buddy of mine showed me the spot for the first time last week. i fell in love with that spot. i just had to get back. i went yesterday and it was high tide, i actually had to legitimately traverse the rocks to make it to the cove, once you reach the cove you drop your stuff and swim out to arch rock itself and from there you have to climb up the face of the rock then you can jump off. it was overcast and the sets were coming in rather big…. i sat at the top of the rock, my feet dangling freely over the edge. i saw the sun just barely cutting through the clouds. the sound of the birds in the sky above and the howling of the wind. that was all, you could see for miles out into the open ocean and for just those few minutes….nothing was on my mind. not a worry in the world as i sat atop arch rock. then a seal surfaced at the base of the rock. he wasnt worrying about a breakup, or the exams he had to take next week in school. he didnt need a new place to live, he was just happily flopping around on the shelf before he plunged back into the dark water. and then i was alone again. i felt so small with many miles of unknown ocean all around me. the sets crashed violently against the base of the rock and they barreled so perfectly through the arch before crashing against the cove. I have such a deeply rooted respect for the ocean, it will never fail to humble you. even the biggest, strongest human being is no match for the biggest and strongest set in the ocean. I move into my own place this saturday. im so excited. im growing. life is good, theres always someone who has it worse.
today has been fucking awesome. things are gnarly. i love my life today. woke up with some excellent recovery, then a buddy and i from the meeting mobbed out to Inspiration Point out in south Newport beach….this is the first leisurely activity i have done for myself since the breakup. i think thats why i appreciated it so much. just the boys, cliff jumping, snorkeling, a little hike and wrapped the day up with some body surfing. so peaceful. just us the cliffs and the water. i even left my Oakley Frogskins out there but my day was so good i didnt even care. someone else is getting lucky today when they find them…youre welcome. i have been bumping back and forth sleeping at different spots. i move into a place to call my own in 13 days and i cant fucking wait. with so much chaos and so many moving parts in my life right now… im at peace. i know im right where im supposed to be. im so grateful to have collected 9 months of the most solid recovery i have ever experienced in my life. things never got easier, in fact more difficult however today ive got tools to use and a Higher Power who is there to back me up. life is good. get to the beach if you can. soak in that peace, become humbled by the water. enjoy your life. dont spend your reality waiting for the next vacation…enjoy every single day. we dont have any guarentees in this life besides death and taxes unless you evade them. do something today that you havent ever done before. try something new. appreciate something you used to dread. love yourself. and i cant stop listening to magic spells by crystal castles. maybe check it out? but most importantly. give yourself a break. go enjoy something new for a few minutes. break that cycle if its not working for you. i love you. whoever is reading this. thank you.
may quite be the best book ive read to date. ive been exercising those leadership principles in my daily life in collaboration with my spiritual principles and when i heard people talking about how difficult it is in meetings, i didnt honestly quite understand. Now i really do. and yes is it extremely difficult. however, i have learned that huge personal growth for me occurs when i effectively implement these principles in my daily life because doing so essentially suppresses my overwhelming character defects, instead of becoming frustrated with others today when things dont go my way, or when i disagree with their opinions, instead of trying to be understood, i seek to understand. and when things fail instead of looking to blame i look to myself, okay sure she has no clue what stress im under, but what can i do better to not let my stressors affect our communication. she points out what i feel to be insanely minute instances…very well that means i need to step my game up. the group study session wasnt effective because not everyone pulled their fare share of the weight…check. i guess i should be more clear of what each individual needs to accomplish…the easy way out for me is to blame others for the “group” failures….but ive learned to turn the lens inside and exploit my own weaknesses so that i can attack and strengthen them…life begins at the edge of your comfort zone…but things may only be scary the first time. or uncomfortable for a limited time. then that comfort zone stretches a little further and more things can be added to the daily routine or more tasks can be accomplished. so lets get out there and get after it.
today is day number 273 since my last relapse and for anyone willing to neglect conversions, that is 9 months. the yellow NA chip is mine once again. im so thankful and grateful and full of gratitude today. My life has changed significantly since i first walked through those doors of the Loma Linda BMC treatment center on December 11 2014. I know what youre thinking. the math doesnt add up, youre right and in my life it rarely does. relapse is a part of my story and although it is not a “good” or “acceptable” part of my recovery it has definitely brought about a more rigorous application of my program and it has given me a great deal of knowledge about my life. I never thought i would have the dreams i have today and whats even better i never thought i would pursue these dreams and turn them into reality. its been nearly two weeks since we broke up. i move into my own apartment in just a few weeks. August 5th the keys are mine. i am so excited. school has been hectic. life has been hectic. life is in full session and although it’s insane and circumstances can be completely overwhelming more often than not lately. i am right where im supposed to be. and you are too. dont forget that. when you can honestly and consistently give up your will and your life over to your Higher Power things get good, not necessarily good, easier rather. this breakup has given me a really good opportunity to place my principles before personalities specifically with her. my schedule has been so busy since we broke up i have literally been up early and to bed extremely late every day and busier than ive ever been in between. if i havent been studying or in class then ive had my daughter. ive moved my things around from one location to another and now back again. signed apartment leases, conducted study groups, maintained a gym routine attended meetings and worked on step work. and i just remembered she didnt thank me for cleaning her daughters room, but i remember thats not why i did it. not for the recognition but for the principle of the matter. Discussions have been difficult with her and now that im not in a direct relationship with her im truly seeing how difficult it is to handle these important co-parenting and other adult tasks simply because i cannot do them all myself now. I have been upset because she is in a mindset to constantly hunt for something to be upset with me for. an example is the other day when she had therapy she asked if i could watch our daughter and i said no as i was expecting a call from the VA for a doctor appointment at the same time. so we got a babysitter, the VA didnt call so since our daughter was being watched, i went and got a haircut….thats the first time i have done something personal for myself besides the gym or meetings, meanwhile she has absolutely zero outside accountability commitments right now besides caring for our daughter, everything else has been for her leisure. as much as i wanted to just let her have it and unload my frustrations on her….PRINCIPLES BEFORE PERSONALITIES…in essence it means practice patience and other spiritual principles for your own good no matter who it is…do the right thing for the sake of doing the right thing even if that person may very well not DESERVE it…but who am i to judge what someone else deserves or not. so i held it in, talked about it with others and moved on because confrontation is not going to solve any of the issues. she is holding grudges or resentments and thats okay because instead of trying to be understood and let her hear my side of the story i am going to just choose to step it up one more level and not give her any reasons to get mad at all. im going to keep pumping. life is hectic and busy and absolutely overwhelming but im right where im supposed to be.
right at the pinnacle of the toughest and lonliest day since the breakup happened i was feeling down about school, my living arrangement and everything in between..i broke out my step working guide. and finally began to write on my third step, “we made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him.” the last few days ive been feeling so overwhelmed with things i need to do and deadlines that need to get met. i feel like ive been falling behind… i was just on the phone with my sponsor and i suggested to myself maybe i should just pause and write on my steps… so i bust out the guide and the first question is why is making this decision central to working this step. and the second question asked if i could make this decision today….as soon as i answered those questions, i got a message from my aunt telling me to check my email on some awesome places to live, my sister texted me saying she loves me and to keep my head up. and one of my really good friends from northern california messaged me and my buddies dad replied telling me i was welcome at their house to stay while i look for something permanent….thats God working in my life… i just had to pop open the wordpress and let some of this out because i feel amazing right now….God works in mysterious ways but right when he knew i was starting to struggle he intervened.
i had to be clear with her in order for any of this to go smooth, communication has never been my strength, and i was a damn communicator in the Marine Corps, a radio operator. ive always had trouble telling the ones close to me how i feel if it had anything to do with bad feelings or negativity. i never want to hurt anyones feelings and i would gladly torture my soul by holding in devastation if i knew it would cause someone else to feel uneasy. i hate confrontation, either i love you or i hate you no in between i dont want to argue unless were going to physically fight. i have been trying to work on my communication skills over the last 2 years and that has to continue even though were broken up. i had to tell her where my mind was at in regards to our new relationship arrangement. i told her that even though im just living next door for now we still need to treat it like were broken up and keep our space otherwise things will never change. we dont need to be hanging out and spending time together at least for a few months. we need to see if we even miss each other as much as we may think, or if its just the fear of being alone that kept us together. for her i know for certain the fear of loneliness plays a huge part in why she didnt want to break up. things are surprisingly well for what has transpired over the last few days. i told her weve got to live our own lives and minimize our communication unless it has to do with Paisley, although were still civil and pleasant to each other but weve got to take this time to focus on our own goals and strengths and weaknesses. time to grind.
we talked last night we broke up. it hurts but its a sigh of relief. im hopeful that things will change i feel bad that i feel relieved. i know i need to keep pushing on. im grateful for narcotics anonymous and my friends who are there for me today. i know that nothing is impossible or too great of an obstacle. everything can be overcome and this is no exception. i am doing my best to keep my focus on my school studies and keep my motivation and faith high. im trying to improve on my prayer and i need to get back to writing on my steps. i feel slow and exhausted, not so much emotionally as mentally and physically. im tired i have so many things racing through my head trying to prioritize my feelings and plans of action. i need new headphones for the gym. i need to sit down with her and set some ground rules and boundaries because even though im living just next door only a few feet away i think its imperative that we do our best not to spend time together because we need to act like we are really broken up. things wont get any better if were still spending time together when were supposed to be focusing on our own issues. im trying to stay focused on the positive, one of my best friends just went to his first NA meeting and hes starting to make positive changes in his life too, just in time for our Big Sur backpacking trip. its going to be spiritual as fuck and i cant wait. i need to get away physically from this situation so i can allow my mind to rest. ill be able to check where my head is really at when im separated from this situation as a whole. clinicals are about to start. things are going to get really fucking heavy and ive got to be on my A game. im struggling with school, still making good grades but i know i can improve. it feels good to write, i feel relieved when i get my feelings down on this screen from out of my head. even though my head is telling me this story isnt making sense to anyone that reads it, i know its okay because right now its for me, i need to stay centered and it will start flowing soon thats alright. ive gotta focus on the little victories… making my bed, waking up and staying in the gym and hitting my meetings and pushing myself has to increase even more. ive been going through a funk where i dont want to study or work on school work at all, i dont want to push myself in the gym i feel like im just pulling myself through my workouts and im plateauing. i need to get back in my aggressive grind. my mind has been overwhelming me with emotions and trying to organize all the chaos i have going on in my head. it feels good to get it out. i feel like im halfway free. im keeping my head up and things are getting better. i still dont feel like were actually broken up since im just living next door, so im trying to not worry about her because for a long time in our relationship i always felt like if i left her side she would crumble and i feel like that was one of the only reasons that we were still together, in fact im actually happy that she seems to be doing better without me at this point i want her to be an independent girl and be alright with being on her own. i dont have any hard feelings toward her but im proud of her, and time will tell if maybe one day we do get back together but my biggest struggle is worrying that she is okay. i hope she continues to grow and flourish as a successful young woman and make those improvements to keep getting better in her mental state. i feel a sense of relief knowing that shes not going to be asking me to do everything for her. but i really feel like i need to be in a different location to actually completely comprehend everything thats going on. i appreciate living with her cousin and the generosity of her family but i feel like in order for me to completely move on and only focus on myself i need to spend some time alone, in solitude where i can appreciate everything i have in my life without anything relating to her. i know i have to have a balance between what i want, and what works best for Paisley but i feel like i do need my own place. something i can call my own and look after on my own. because ever since i got out of the Marine Corps i have been sharing everything with her and nothing has been my own. and its not that im selfish i didnt mind it in a sense like that, rather i want things of my own that i am solely responsible for and things that i can directly control or change if i want….thats all for now. back to class
its been a few days since my first entry. today i feel sad, angry, confused and somewhat relieved but lonely. yesterday my girlfriend told me she was packing a bag to go stay with her sister for a week or so while she tries to clear her head and work on herself in order to better our relationship…theres a lot of pieces on my mind…i dont know why shes back at the house. she said she didnt care how much driving she had to do she just wanted to make this happen but now shes at the house talking with her dad….what i find even more absurd is that this morning, being the first time i have seen her dad since she made this move after having a lengthy talk with him about the whole situation….he didnt even mention anything at all this morning about the situation but rather just acted as if everything is still normal…i just dont understand this. im hurt and many other things but im trying to be strong for Paisley. at this point i feel like im on my own team down here. which i know im not but i feel lonely. i have so much pressure from every angle in my life right now, midterms for school, study group commitments and assignments taking care of paisley, hitting my meetings, and still helping my girlfriend with all of her issues. i feel like i just need to detach from this situation. im thankful that getting loaded hasnt entered my mind. i havent even considered picking up any heroin which is awesome for me…. i know i need to move on but my mind is scared of this change, scared because this relationship has been the only constant in my life down here in OC since ive gotten clean…the relationship has been there through my using, through my clean time. all i know down here has either been drugs or this relationship….its hard to let go of something you have invested countless hours and bottom of the heart emotions and conversations but at some point you have to remove yourself from the situation and look at the bigger picture and see if this is all actually worth it….of course it’s worth it to try but at the same time misery can only go on for so long before it becomes dangerous to your health. im fighting strong though it’s been over a year and a half of steady decline of our relationship. ive heard her say she cant wait to have a future together and raise a family, and ive also heard her say she wishes she could go to sleep and never wake up again. i noticed that it is very difficult for me to keep my focus on the positives in my life, but thats all it is, very difficult, not impossible. today was the first time we formally met to exchange Paisley and she cried and said “mom stay with me, come with us” that was hard for her to hear and she cried. things will get more difficult before they get better but they will never be impossible. she wants to talk