Real Recovery Success Story
For this weeks Real Recovery Success Story we had the opportunity to sit down with New Life House Alumni Mischa G!
New Life House: How old are you?
NLH: What’s your sobriety date?
Mischa: July 9th 2007.
NLH: So with 9 years sober that means you’ve been house of the house for 8 years; what is your involvement like with the house now?
Mischa: I enjoy coming around in my free time to see old and new faces, keep my foot in the door and my roots in my sobriety, it has that home kind of feeling for me so I enjoy hanging out.
NLH: What about the structure of New Life was particularly important for you to gain 9 years of sobriety?
Mischa: The regimen was very helpful, getting up and doing what you have to do etc. But being shown how to create relationships with other guys, whether I wanted to or not, showed me how to build relationships with people that I didn’t think I wanted to care about. I learned how to care about everyone around me and this has been important in my life moving forward. I also learned how to have fun in sobriety, which made the lifestyle more attractive, and it definitely dwarfed my old way of living; sobriety went from something that I had to do to something I chose to do.
NLH: What kind of hobbies or passions have you found since graduating the house?
Mischa: I got really into my own personal health, and adopted the fact that I must take care of myself first to take care of others. I have fallen short at times, but my own personal health has been a major passion of mine. I work in recovery now and I find a great passion in helping others, which is why I still come around the house. I got to dive into the music and the acting world too, and I like to do this when the opportunity arises. But I have really made being of service second nature in my social life and at work as well.
NLH: Have you always been into health?
Mischa: I was familiar with health and wellness; my father is a personal trainer. I had this arrogance before I really got into it because my dad knew about it. But once I adopted the foundations of humility it became apparent to me that there was a lot more I could learn. I have learned how to keep an open mind about things, and I have found that it is forever evolving, like my program, and I have taken that into my lifestyle as just something I do. There is always more to learn and something new to do, and someone else to help. Practicing these principals in all my affairs has been beneficial in my pursuit of knowledge in the health industry.
NLH: What’s it like working in treatment?
Mischa: It’s great, like any job there are going to be hard days, but I am grateful for where I am at and being surrounded by the disease everyday – I am even more grateful for my sobriety now. I think everyone wants to hit their pillow at night and feel like they made a difference that day and I feel like I am making a difference so I enjoy that.
NLH: What do you do at work? And what’s that like?
Mischa: I’m a medical technician at a dual diagnosis detox facility. It’s challenging and very rewarding. I have always gravitated towards newcomers because I relate to where they are. Part of the program that keeps me sober is working with newcomers, and I get to do that daily for work. I get to set an example to them and I like that. It’s difficult, but at the same time it’s very rewarding.
NLH: What have you overcome since leaving the house?
Mischa: Many things actually, I think the difficulty facing life situations as a sober man really started when I left the house. The house really got me ready for this, and I have had to continually face challenges with my own defects and I have had to take corrective measures at times.
NLH: What was it like getting sober at 19?
Mischa: Emotionally it was very difficult – I was very fragile and passive aggressive, and a scared little kid. Coming into the house so young it was hard not to take things so personally. But in terms of sobriety I feel like coming in at 19 was very helpful because it was easy to look up to the guys and it helped me stay sober and in the house because I looked up to the guys in it. I wanted to be apart of and at the time I had a very naive idea of “fitting in”, and I put up a mask and a facade at first but over time I have had to really figure out who I am.
NLH: What has been like going through your 20’s in sobriety?
Mischa: At first I thought I was missing out a lot because a lot of my old friends are doing all those cliché things people think they’re supposed to do in their 20’s. But through talking with people I have developed this sense of achievement because I was lucky that I got to take a look at these things in my life, like how to be a productive member of a community and a family, and I have worked through a lot of things that most people don’t confront till their late 30’s in my early 20’s. SO I have developed a lot of gratitude for tackling these issues that most people aren’t forced to confront till later in life.
NLH: So I know you came from Taos, New Mexico, how did you hear about the house?
Mischa: My addiction was bad by the end, and my parents had started to take me to meetings, there I met a guy who knew a manager at New Life. I heard about the house from him and he suggested coming out here to get sober. Getting sober in LA instilled a lot of pride at first from where I came from, but I was scared and it was difficult. It played out in my favor because I was forced to stay at first and had no idea where I was or where to go.
NLH: Do you go back to Taos often?
Mischa: Yes I visit a couple times a year.
NLH: Do you have any advice for guys in recovery?
Mischa: Yeah, what I have learned that has really helped me is that this is a very serious thing, and it is really life or death. If you let the addiction take control it will really control your life, but even though this is a life or death issue I have found it important not to take everything so seriously. My friends still hold me accountable, but that’s because they care about me. It was really hard for me to learn that I wasn’t getting shunned, but I have had to learn how to own my mistakes and move forward because there is more respect in confronting that than running away. Whatever you have to do to learn how to have fun in sobriety, then do it, because if you were not having fun in sobriety then I would imagine you’d get burned out. SO don’t take everything so personally, have fun, and ask for help.
NLH: Is there anything you’d like to add?
Mischa: Yes, it’s amazing that my relationship with my family has become exquisite, and I feel like I’m apart of the family rather than being a member of it whose causing confusion and turmoil.