If you are familiar with the disease of addiction, it is safe to assume that you are aware of the struggles individuals will face on the road to recovery. When making the decision to get sober, or helping a loved one to get sober, setting yourself up for success should be your top priority.
When I first entered New Life House I really didn’t want any part of it. I had my own beliefs on how i was going to stay sober. Alcoholics Anonymous was a foreign concept to me, and the thought of spending such a long time away from my home-town in San Diego seemed impossible. Fortunately for me, I had nowhere else to go. If I wanted to sleep with a roof over my head, I had to stay in sober living. Luckily, down the line I met some pretty amazing role models, and a community built up around me that I never could have expected.
Late into my first year of recovery my grandmother passed away. It was extremely hard to handle without having substances to numb the pain. I still miss her, and I think about her a lot. But, in some ways I'm extremely grateful for the experience, because I believe that walking through this experience with support and love was one of the biggest reasons why I remained sober through that point of my recovery. Because of the loss of my grandmother it became clear to me what I have gained in sobriety, and how lucky to be alive I truly am.
Sometimes I take a few moments out of the day to look at what I’ve gained in my life since I have been sober. I’ll look back 21 months ago and visualize my life the way it used to be. If it wasn't for my recovery community, I don't think things would be as different as they are.
When I first came into sober living at New Life House, I had little to offer. All I ever really wanted was to have friends, and a community. I wanted to have something to give to those around me, and to feel needed. I tried my hardest to put off an image of myself, and try to be something I wasn’t, to attract attention while at the same time trying to pretend that I was “doing my own thing” and being an original person. That all changed after spending some time at New Life House, and discovering who I truly was, and what I had to give back.
Holidays are supposed to be fun, special and a time for sharing laughs and memories with family. Unless there's an addict in the house. Then holidays are stressful, sad, maddening and just a couple of weeks one hopes to get through without any major disruption, car crash or arrest.
Going through a sober living taught me a lot about what it means to give back and how I can go about giving back to others whether it is in the sober community or outside of Alcoholics Anonymous. I have learned multiple things about giving back and how it can help benefit my life on a daily basis.