Real Recovery Alumni Spotlight: James K.

Real Recovery Alumni Spotlight

James K.

For this week’s Real Recovery Alumni Spotlight we sat down with James K., a New Life House alumni with just over 2 years of sobriety. He answered some questions for us about sobriety, his experience and what his life looks like today.

New Life: Thanks for taking some time to talk with us James! How much time of sobriety do you have?

James: Today I have just over 2 years sober.

NL: Was coming into New Life your first attempt at getting sober?

James: This was my first program and as well as the first time I’ve gotten sober.

NL: What was the catalyst that brought you to the house?

James: I first went to a wilderness program before New Life House.  It was suggested that I’d go to an aftercare program and we narrowed it down to New Life.

NL: What were your biggest struggles in early recovery?

James: My biggest struggles in the house and in early sobriety were being myself and being transparent. I discovered that I was a people pleaser.  I wanted everyone to like me.  I never wanted to confront anyone even when I knew I’d be selling others and myself short by not doing so. I chipped away at a lot of who I thought I was and I had a lot of help with it the whole way through the house.

NL: What are you pursuing now?

James: I joined an acting school that I go to twice a week. I look forward to going every week. I’m having fun, learning a lot, meet a lot of interesting people and I’m currently working on booking auditions! That’s my goal, to be an actor.

NL: That’s awesome. What were you doing before you got into acting?

James: My first job in the house was at the Redondo Beach Hotel. I was a houseman which meant I cleaned everything, and I mean everything! I got promoted to the front desk and worked directly with the guests.  It was a great time.  It was near the ocean and the view was incredible.  My second job was at True Foods Kitchen and there I was a busser and food runner. I worked with a few New Life alumni and that was my favorite part about working there.

NL: What was it like graduating, moving out of the house, and what’s it like now?

James: I didn’t know how to react when graduated.  It happened so fast and it didn’t at the same time.  Moving out has been a learning experience.  Looking at places to live, furniture, cleaning supplies, etc. was new for me.  I have had my place for three months now and live with two other graduates.  It has been fun so far. Life is in session!

NL: Outside of acting, what hobbies do you enjoy?

James: I love long boarding around the city. I get around almost everywhere on my board. I feel that I explore a new part of Los Angeles almost every day. That’s fun for me. I also am always looking for what is going on in the city that would be interesting to check out, like farmer’s markets, movie showings, comedy shows, etc.

NL: Are you planning on going back to college?

James: I’m actually enrolled at Santa Monica City College for the fall of 2016!

NL: Now that your out of the house, looking back on your experience what did you get out of the program?

James: That I always need to continue to work on myself and keep moving forward, to live with principles, and do my best to be selfless.

NL: How do you stay involved in AA?

James: Right now, I go to meetings regularly, have two commitments, speak on H&I panels, and I go to Young People AA Events.

NL: Are you still involved with the house?

James: Absolutely! I go by the house when I can to visit, I hang out with the guys in the house and take them to meetings and to hang out with me.

NL: Do you have any advice for the guys in the house, their parents, and people in AA?

James: I’d say patience is important for the process. You also should get involved and get active!

NL: Is there anything you’d like to add?

James: I didn’t expect to be here when I decided to get help in 2014. It’s been such an experience and I’m so grateful to have the life that I do today.

Last Updated on February 23, 2024


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