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5 Reasons Why I Love My Life Sober

by Natalie Mosqueda

 

When I get sober at 16, I thought my life was over. I  thought I would be doomed to a life of bad coffee and old people, there would be no more friends and no more fun. I was taught the complete opposite. My life was just beginning.

Here’s is a few things I’ve learned on my journey…

  1. The friends I make in sobriety become the strongest relationships I’ve ever had

    The friends and relationships I have today are built on trust, respect, and mutual understandings. I can be open and honest about myself and what I am feeling and I am only greeted with love. My old relationships were based off who had what substance, today my friends don’t care about what I have or have not done or what I do and do not have. Being sober has shown me what true friendship and compassion looks like. 

  2. I remember what happened the night before

    A common phrase of the black-out drunk variety is “What did I even do last night?!” Today, I get to wake up every morning with no fear or shame of what could have possibly happened the night before. I get to be proud of the decisions I have made and be able to own up to my mistakes. Sobriety gives me a sense of comfort and ease in my life. 

  3. I have tools to handle stress in my life

    Just because I got sober doesn’t mean my life is now peaches and cream. Life still happens, but today I have the tools, skills, and my recovery community to carry me through tough times. Sobriety has taught me that I am strong enough to get through the bad days. 

  4. I save money

    I never knew how much of my (parent’s) money was truly spending until I get sober. Today, I get to save money for my future, buy what I want, and have my parents trust me with money again. Being sober allows people to trust me again. 

  5. I get to do what I love

    Today, I have the best job possible. I get to help others and have fun doing it. My using and drinking would have never allowed me to accomplish my goals. Sobriety has taught me to find my dreams and follow them. 

There are many more reasons why I love being sober, these are just a few. For me, sobriety is totally worth it. 

 

I want to be a pumpkin cleaner

A Poem by Natalie Hope Mosqueda

 

Age 1 – The world is my oyster and I am here to eat it.

3 – I want to be a pumpkin cleaner, but only the insides, because the outsides are gross.

6 – I have all the art I made that year and I am so proud. I am an artist. But it is raining and mommy doesn’t come to pick me up. By the time I make it home to find her passed out on the couch, my art is ruined. And I am nothing.

7 – The car broke down before we even made it out of Oregon. Even the car knows leaving is a bad idea.

8 – The teachers tell me I am special. But, the other kids tell me it’s not the special I think it means. I twirl my ABC’s in a plate of sugar. It is so sweet. Yet, I am in the 3rd grade and still get lost by the time I make it to the letter E.

10 – I feel sad. And not the kind of sad where your best friend doesn’t text you back. I am the kind of sad where getting out of bed feels like you are jumping out of plane knowing you do not have your parachute.

12 – I get a suitcase. This suitcase is not for happy family vacations. This suitcase is to lug my life from one side of the planet to another. But in reality, we are going five minutes down the road. I love you mom, I will see you next week.

13 – The drugs are not working, the alcohols not working, nothing is working. I will see you next time you come to visit me in these sterile white walls.

15 – They say a closet drinker is someone who drinks alone, but I am literally drinking in a closet.

16 – I am greeted by an empty room. Where is my bed? Where are my clothes? Where is my life going? The bathtub fills with blood. And instead of seeing the face of God, I see the back seat of a cop car.

16 – I have a breakdown in front of the school. I will see you next time you come to visit me in these sterile white walls.

16 – I begin to pick up pieces of my life from the rubble and put them together like a jigsaw puzzle.

16 – I want to be a pumpkin cleaner. But only the insides, because the outsides can be primped and pressed and the inside is where the real work happens.

 

My story doesn’t end at 16. At 16 I was broken, alone, and afraid. And my parents were also broken, alone, and afraid. I was shipped off to rehab for 4 months, and when I came home it became a game of what will Natalie do next. I was going to 12-step meetings with people double my age, and couldn’t relate. Everyone was getting married, and I was just trying to finish high school. A girl told me about Rise Recovery, so I went and checked it out. The first thing I noticed was kids my age full of hope, full of love, and full of recovery. I took this program and ran with it. I quickly became a volunteer, a college student, and a productive member of society. Thanks to Rise Recovery, I am 21 years old and celebrating 5 years of sobriety.

 Age 3

Age 16

Age 21

Rise Recovery joins Bexar County/San Antonio’s Opioid Task Force

By Evita Morin

Rise Recovery joined Mayor Nirenberg and Bexar County Judge Wolff at the first meeting of Bexar County/San Antonio’s Opioid Task Force. The task force brings together public health experts, medical and pharmaceutical professionals, first responders, policymakers, educators and social service agencies. Texas is currently in the top 5 states for the total number of opioid related deaths. Texas has the 2nd highest opioid abuse related health care costs totally over $1.9 billion. Opioid-related overdose deaths in Bexar County exceed the national average. Texas heroin use is 2 to 4 times the national rate in teens. Texas has seen a 60% increase over 5 years of newborns dependent on opioids experiencing withdrawal symptoms. 1/3 of Texas newborns suffering from opioid withdrawal are in Bexar County. As a member of the task force, Rise Recovery is committed to helping develop strategic actions that address the national rise in opioid overdose and newborns dependent on opioids locally.

By Michelli Ramon

Self-care is a good thing, there’s no arguing that. But like many good things, the spirit of its intent is sometimes warped by unrealistic expectations and our tendencies to perfect and compare. In my own life, self-care began to feel like one more thing I couldn’t get to and anytime anyone asked me about my self-care regiment I would shrink from fear of judgment. Recently, a new perspective has occurred to me – a way of thinking about self-care that is radically different from the way I’d been thinking about it. The truth for me has become this – self-care is not something I must do every day, it’s something I can believe in. It is a state of mind and faith in a Higher Power that is set up to support me whether I have time for it or now. I offer you these 10 tips for deepening your everyday self-care frame of mind.

10. Stop beating yourself up about not doing self-care.
9. Think of self-care as a mindset, rather than something you have to do.
8. Make a decision to believe in a Universe that is set up to support you.
7. Accept small moments as self-care gifts from your Higher Power.
6. Smile at a stranger.
5. Take a longer than normal shower.
4. Get a car wash.
3. Have dessert.
2. Ask someone to pray for you.
1. Rock out to your favorite song in the car.

4 Tips to Help Love Ones Stay Sober on New Year’s

The holiday season is full of celebrations – and in many cases indulgences of food and alcohol – especially on New Year’s Eve. But, for many people in early recovery, those occasions present temptations that can derail progress.

While avoiding parties with alcohol and drugs is a smart choice for those in early recovery, it is not good for them to spend the evening alone. The holiday season brings on depression for many people and staying home alone on New Year’s Eve can make it even worse or lead to a relapse.

If you want to help those in recovery, reach out to provide support and companionship during the holiday week. Many teen girls and young women would enjoy going out to a coffee shop where you could talk about what they are grateful for and their hopes and dreams for the future. Young men might prefer doing something active like going on a hike or to a skate board park.

For families in recovery, set aside some time to talk about creating new substance-free traditions and come up with a plan to do something fun on New Year’s Eve and meaningful on New Year’s Day like a service work. Many charities need volunteers on the holidays. Homeless people need to eat, dog kennels need to be cleaned and babies need to be rocked so you can take this on as a new tradition. Doing so will help everyone gain a stronger sense of purpose.

If you are the one in recovery and are alone, don’t wait for someone to invite you somewhere. Do some research and develop a plan for how you are going to spend the evening substance free.

Whether you are in recovery or want to support your loved ones, here are four substance-free ideas for all ages to make New Year’s celebrations positive and encouraging.

  1. Host a substance-free event for those in recovery or just for your family. Talk with your family about what would make it a fun evening. Some may like playing games. Others might prefer to watch a movie with popcorn and their favorite candy. Top the evening off by toasting with non-alcoholic beverages such as grape juice and ginger ale or Cranberry Sprite.
  2. Attend a fireworks show. Amusement parks such as Seaworld and Fiesta Texas host fireworks shows to bring in the new year.
  3. Go to a midnight mass or prayer vigil. For those who are serious about starting the year out on a good foot, attending a church service can be very grounding and meaningful.
  4. Last and probably the most fun in our opinion, hang out at your local recovery center. Many recovery centers offer daily meetings and a special party on New Year’s Eve. The Rise Recovery New Year’s Eve Hoopla is open to the entire family and guarantees lots of laughter without the hangover.

We hope these ideas help you and your loved ones start the new year with no regret and a victorious high that lasts all year long.