Why Waiting on College Was the Right Call

Waiting on College in Sobriety

After 6 six years of sobriety, I often reminisce about the series of events that lead up to me getting sober, and also theorize about what has made my sobriety so successful. It was an incredibly humbling experience for me to drop out of my university to get sober when I was 19.

In my head, I was attending a prestigious university and was on track to graduate and secure a lucrative career for myself. To put that on hold to address a drug and alcohol addiction that I felt I could handle myself was placing my future in jeopardy, according to my thinking at the time. The truth was that I was on academic probation, I lacked funding and secure housing, I had burnt bridges with my family and friends, and I was concerned only with acting in a way in which I could perpetuate my drug and alcohol abuse.

I am so incredibly grateful for the recovery community and support system I was placed in which showed me that my very thinking was influenced by the disease of alcoholism and that the true nature of my situation was more subversive and morbid than I could see for myself at the time. Even after I fully understood that I had a problem that needed to be addressed, I felt like I could take this newfound knowledge with me back to my university. My desires in early sobriety to re-enroll in school and continue my education, while benign sounding, were rooted on a desire to create a situation and place myself in an environment where I could continue to drink and use drugs. It is this insidious nature of the disease of alcoholism, in which the slippery slope back to relapse masquerades as benevolence and logic, that requires a robust and thorough grounding in recovery especially in early sobriety.

Because of the strong foundation in recovery I developed as well as maintaining an avocation of spirituality in alcoholics anonymous, I am now entering my senior year in university and have goals and aspirations for furthering my academic career by pursuing a PhD in my field of study. I wholeheartedly believe however, that I needed to address the root issues within me that caused my maladjustment and poor reactions to life before I could hope to go back to college in sobriety and succeed. My early days in recovery in which I was faced with my character defects and lacked outside outlets or distractions allowed me to develop daily routines which work for me in any situation and give me the ability and confidence that I can stay sober independent of what’s going on around me. The subsequent, drive and passion I have found in my academic pursuits augment and support myself sobriety today by giving me purpose in life. Because I was able to put my academic pursuits on hold in early sobriety, I am able to pursue my dreams and desires today.

-Brian H., New Life House alumni

Last Updated on May 24, 2022


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