Real Recovery Success Story
For this week’s Real Recovery Success Story we spoke with Jeff M, a New Life House alumni who got sober young and has managed to build his life in sobriety.
New Life House: Was New Life House the first time you tried to get sober?
Jeff: No, I was in an outpatient called Kylie’s Group before coming into the house.
NLH: What got you into the house?
Jeff: My older brother went through the house which introduced me to AA and to the New Life House community before ever getting sober. It planted the seed for me. When I hit a point in my own life when drugs and alcohol stopped working, I had seen how New Life had worked in my brother’s life and knew I had a way out.
NLH: How old were you when you got sober and what challenges did this bring with it?
Jeff: I got sober when I was 17. Getting sober at this age there were definitely a lot of excuses that I could have used to continue getting high, and to continue to not take responsibility for my own life so I had to consistently remind myself what my life looked like at the end of using drugs.
NLH: Getting sober so young what made you realize you needed serious help?
Jeff: There were various times while my brother was in New Life House where I was able to identify with the way that he had been using drugs before getting sober. Basically at 15, I knew that I was a drug addict. I had become content with using and drinking until dying at a young age – this didn’t even scare me. By 17 I had started using hard drugs that I never expected myself to use and at this point I had a realization of where my life was really heading, which hit me all at once. That is when I got really scared of continuing to live the way that I had been.
NLH: What have been the advantages of getting sober at that age?
Jeff: Number one I didn’t cause as much harm before getting sober as some of the people who I know in AA that got sober much older then myself. It forced me to take responsibility for my own life at a young age. For example, I’m 20 years old and I handle more responsibilities then I could have imagined at this age.
NLH: Your family is active in Al Anon. How has this changed your family dynamic?
Jeff: It taught my parents to let my brother and I live our own lives as well as know that they are not responsible for what we have done. This has relieved a lot of friction in our relationships and brought us a lot closer as a family.
NLH: What are your current hobbies, responsibilities and goals?
Jeff: Surfing is definitely a big hobby. It is something that I grew up around but before getting sober, I was not willing to try new things and activities. Surfing has brought me closer to graduates I otherwise wouldn’t hang out with and it brings a lot of peace to me when I’m out in the water – definitely puts me in a peaceful place. As far as responsibilities, I have a few sponsees from AA that I am helping out, I am putting myself through school currently and I work a full time job at a restaurant. My goals right now are to finish community college and put myself through a 4 year University, and honestly my biggest goal is to just stay sober and see what doors in my life continue to open themselves up.
NLH: How has young peoples Alcoholics Anonymous changed your life?
Jeff: It gave me a lot of hope seeing so many young people having fun sober, and turning their life around at a young age. I didn’t see this as possible before experiencing young people’s AA meetings as well as events. LA young people’s is truly incredible!
Thanks for taking some time with us Jeff, we’re excited to keep watching you grow!