Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Failing health

Unfortunately I spent more time than expected trying to get my health stable. In addition to not being able to continue writing my blog, I also was not able to work.
A few months back someone reached out to me to fill out a profile for an interview on a recovery website. After a long time they finally are sending my profile to the editor. I look forward to sharing it with you all when it is ready.
For today I would like to share my gratitude list for the day.

1)good coffee

4)my desk

5)a growing relationship with 6)God
7)my bed
10)clean clothes
11) a gas stove
12)fresh fish
13)my car
16) Electricity
17)2nd chances

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Wrote this a few years ago... was kinda in my feelings a bit.
Thought I would share.

The nameless faces.
The forgotten places.
Time wasted.
Death tasted.
Forgetting what it was to enjoy..
A beautiful life so quickly destroyed.
The Pain I was feeling used as my compass.
The drugs and blast...
comfort in numbing...
Using to bypass.
My life, and all that's in it, quickly slipping through my fingers like sand.
Lost to the nameless faces.
The forgotten places.
The time wasted.
The death I tasted.
Losing myself... Living a lie.
Scared and alone...I left to save my life.
Seeking my soul and searching for strength through my travels many.
As weeks went on happiness and hope were felt once again!
Surprising me, for I had been convinced happiness was no longer in my plan.
Thrilled to Reveal the me I found within while travelling the land. .
I had fallen once more to that demon I chose to cater.
After having endured the miles in distance
And heart longing pain...
Now proving I had done so in vain.
All those tears that had been shed
For what?! For NOTHING!
Never had I felt so much shame.
Much deeper and darker I fell into the depths of my hell.
Isolation and self hatred...
No reminisce of self, just an empty shell.
Didn't know who I was anymore. Sobriety and my life...
Why wasn't I choosing what I longed for most?
Who i was...
Who I had been...
Had vanished in anguish..
As if a ghost.
Hitting my knees
Asking for strength
But praying even harder that my life He would take.
Utterly desperate to end the pain. For if losing what mattered most didn't make me change...
I was certain then, my soul it had claimed.
Exhausted by my walk through hell.. Sick of being Sick!
Instead of pushing me forward these feelings only kept me an active addict.
Not understanding.
Now barely crawling... lucky at times to be standing.
Those forgotten places.
All the time wasted.
And longing for the death I tasted.
Pain used as my compass...
And the drugs used to bypass...
Now my trials and pain exponentially larger all while thinking i was coping...
When in reality, these were the cards I was dealing.
Choices made.
Morals shifted.
Friendships severed.
Tough Lessons given..
Second chances not always a given to make things right..
The hands of time don't turn back for my loss of sight.
So much time spent in a daze... final goodbyes said, regretfully in a dope haze.
Only hoping now to find myself which seems a distant dream.. By far the hardest battle I've ever fought, by all means.
It's difficult to find strength when all one feels is pain and shame...
But life worth every damn strain.
I am determined that I will be whole again someday.
Everyday learning to love myself more...
In hopes that my broken heart will be mended where now torn.
For now it's life I've tasted!

 I am available to speak in your city, for your organization, school, or synagogue.
Please contact me at 443-415-0449 or at rabbischoenes@gmail.com for fee and scheduling information.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Update (Health Struggles)

As you probably have noticed, I have not written a new blog post in a while. You may be wondering what has happened? Is everything OK?
 A little over a month ago, I went to the doctor for frequent and persistent nosebleeds. After running some blood work, he found that I had critically low platelets in my blood. For those who may not know, the platelets are one of the major cells in the blood, that help a healthy person's blood clot properly. If a person does not have enough platelets, they can bleed out, sometimes even internally, without knowing.
 I spent a few days in the hospital, where they ran many tests, and concluded that I have a condition called Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura or ITP for short, and they do not know the cause.
Among the many symptoms are fatigue, low energy, easy bruising, and pain.
  While doing further research into my condition, I have found that some of my favorite foods can have negative effects on my platelet count, while other foods can have a very positive effect. I now understand more than ever, how diet can be instrumental in one's health.
  I hope that now that I have learned how to manage my physical, mental and spiritual health, I will be able to start posting regularly again.

 Thank you all for your patience while waiting for an update, and hope to continue sharing my experience, strength and hope with you all.

 I am available to speak in your city, for your organization, school, or synagogue.
 Please contact me at 443-415-0449 or at rabbischoenes@gmail.com for fee and scheduling information.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017


Accepting reality enables us to live in reality.
What does this mean? When life pleases us and flows in accordance with our needs and desires, we don’t think about acceptance. But when our will is frustrated or we’re hurt in some way, our displeasure causes us to react, ranging from anger to withdrawal.
We might deny or distort what’s happening to lessen our pain. We might blame others or ourselves or we try to change things to our liking and needs.
Most of us alter our reality to some degree by perceiving reality with our personal biases. We sometimes use denial unconsciously to make reality more palatable.  A few such examples are:
  • Minimizing
  • Rationalizing
  • self deception.

Why do we do this?  The reason is that it helps us cope with some uncomfortable feeling or fact. Although denial may be an easier way to cope with stress, suppression is far better. For example, a cancer patient may decide not to think about dying in order to muster up the courage to undergo difficult treatment.  This does not mean to bottle up the feelings and never talk about them, as that will have negative psychological effects in the long run, rather do not dwell on the feelings to long, and find a time and place to talk it out. That may be with a close friend, a therapist, a school counselor, etc.
Denial is a core symptom of codependency and addiction. We have a distorted relationship to reality often acting against our best interests. Addicts and codependents use denial to continue addictive behavior.
Paradoxically change can only begin with acceptance of the reality, including those that are painful. 
Many of us when we here the word acceptance, we think of submission, but acceptance can also be an expression of will, a conscious decision that some things we can not change.  New options present themselves as we shift our focus from changing the impossible to changing what we can.
I wrote that acceptance can be an act of will. It may take the form of a positive a change of attitude. Sometimes, that’s all we can do. There may be nothing on the outside that we can change, but acceptance of a situation brings peace of mind and allows us to enjoy the moment. 

 I am available to speak in your city, for your organization, school, or synagogue.

Please contact me at 443-415-0449 or at rabbischoenes@gmail.com for fee and scheduling information.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


 I was starting to write about this topic, and then had an experience that made me decide to start over.
As a volunteer roadside responder, we also occasionally receive an emergency call for a child locked in a car, a bathroom, etc. Today I was sitting at my computer writing my thoughts to share with you, and a call is dispatched for assistance changing a flat tire about 15-20 minutes away. Before I left the house, the caller called back and canceled the call. A few minutes later, the same person called once again to say that we were needed.I was en-route approximately five minutes away from the location of the flat tire, and dispatch notified me that once again the caller canceled. We all have our own lives, jobs, family, etc. and volunteer our time to assist others. A short while later, an emergency call is dispatched and while en route I hear over the radio that there was another potential emergency call approximately one minute from my location. As multiple others were responding to the first call, I went to check out the closer location and found no such emergency. Not only was there no emergency, there was no one needing assistance.

  You are probably thinking what does this have to do with gratitude?  If you appreciate what others do for you, you will treat them with respect. If the first caller, was grateful to us for giving our time, they would not have had us schlep most of the way to them, and then cancel the call one last time. In the second case, if there was a feeling of gratitude either they would not have called in a fake emergency, or would have let us know that they found a way into the car.

  Why be grateful? There are any reasons, however, I will only share a few of them with you.

  1. If you appreciate what you have you will be happier. 
  2. Gratitude makes people like us. Studies show that people who are more grateful than average had more social capital.
  3. Gratitude makes us healthier. In 2012 a study was published showing that grateful people take better care of themselves. They work out more and are more likely to attend regular check-ups with their doctors. Furthermore, gratitude reduces a multitude of toxic emotions. 
Gratitude is no cure-all, but it is a massively underutilized tool for improving life-satisfaction and happiness.

  I was not always this grateful person, however, I managed to transform my life, and so can you.
I start each day writing down 10 things I am grateful for. They can be small things or big things. Throughout the day, I add to that list and read it over before going to bed. At first, it may be hard but over time it gets easier and easier.

 I am available to speak in your city, for your organization, school, or synagogue.

Please contact me at 443-415-0449 or at rabbischoenes@gmail.com for fee and scheduling information.


Monday, January 9, 2017

Dealing with crisis.

It has been a few weeks since my last blog post. The reason for this is, that I had a fire at home.
Recovery does not promise a perfect life. This raises a question, How does one deal with life, on life's terms?
I would like to share some tips and ideas that help me handle difficult situations.
First and foremost do not try to ignore the situation at hand because if you do, they will get the best of you.
Now, some of the many ways that you can handle difficult situations, no matter how big, or how small:
Stop and take a deep break (think before taking action).
Take deep breaths (pay attention to your breathing. This will help you think more clearly).
Observe what is happening in the situation (pay attention to whether you are thinking positively or negatively).
Call someone else to talk in order to get feedback.
These are just some of the many ways that can help you handle whatever situation you may find yourself in. Through using tools such as these, you will find that many situations can turn out better for you.

 I am available to speak in your city, for your organization, school, or synagogue.

Please contact me at 443-415-0449 or at rabbischoenes@gmail.com for fee and scheduling information.