Once taking all he could from his family and friends, this recovering addict devotes his life to being of service to others. Sobriety is its own reward.
The idea of giving was a foreign concept to me. My life, before getting sober, revolved around taking from others, especially during the holiday season. The extent of my Christmas spirit only went as far as drinking all the eggnog that was in sight. The thought of my family’s well-being or cares immediately fell to the wayside when the thought of what I wanted, what I could get out of them or how I could benefit from them entered my mind, which was the entire time. During some holiday seasons in the past, I stole, not only friends, but also my own family as well. I remember a few Christmas’ ago, I was invited into a friend’s home to celebrate with his family. Not only were they welcoming and giving but the holiday spirit that filled their home would have been enough to fill anyone’s heart with appreciation. Unfortunately that was not the case for me and in spite of their generosity I felt the need to steal their gifts from under their tree. One Christmas Eve, after digging through both of my parent’s personal belongings and thieving their money, I decided to steal their car to fulfill my own selfish desires to buy drugs. This is what my beliefs and values consisted of, and it sums up the person I had become. Now, after a year of being in New Life House, I am happy to say that my attitude and outlook has completely changed and this holiday season has been all about giving back.
Finally, after all those years of taking advantage of others I’ve come to realize the importance of the holiday season. Sobriety has shown me the rewards that can be received by helping others and putting them first. Before entering New Life House, my world revolved around my needs and my wants and although I’m not perfect, the changes that I’ve made so far have built me into the man that I am today. I got the opportunity to volunteer and give back to the community by helping out children that were mentally challenged. The feeling I got after helping those children was priceless and this is the kind of behavior that I strive to have so I can continue on this path. My life today is simple and it brings me more fulfillment than my complicated life before getting sober ever could have. I helped decorate the house this year and my main focus has been about how I could be of help to others and give back to the world. Through this my perception has changed tremendously and the joy I have this holiday season is one of the best gifts I could have ever asked for. I was able to help prepare an amazing dinner for all the parents at the New Life House holiday party. This is what I consider important nowadays. Showing up for my family and my friends is a part of my life today and it’s how I chose to live my life. Just the thought of spending time with my family brings me more happiness than any Christmas gift ever has. Even though I can’t spend this Christmas with my family since they live so far away, I am pleased to know I showed up for them mentally and emotionally this year and I look forward to doing the same for the years to come. I am eternally grateful for the new life that I have been given. There is nothing better that I can think of than to continue to lend my helping hand and see where this journey takes me.
Written by Matt M.
New Life House L.A. Alumni