Once I got here, I knew I wanted to get sober, but on my own accord. I was not able to speak my truth and I held onto my old ways; ducking and dodging questions and believing my morals were above the program. I lied, I bent rules, and truly believed that I was a victim to my circumstances. Once I put down my walls and gave a real effort to the path laid out for me by The Last House and the Alcoholics and Cocaine Anonymous programs, I found joyous and free people. At first, I was there to listen and talk to women. I wasn’t working any of the steps and didn’t get into the real work until it came time to get a job. After working there for only four days I relapsed. Then came what I believe was my first spiritual awakening. I came back to The Last House and felt more shame and guilt than ever before. I was looking my brothers and my house manager in the face, while hiding at the same time. That secret was going to keep me sick and it caused me to not be able to sleep at all. I decided to completely turn my life and my will over to the care of God. I did something about who I was and what I stood for.
I started working with a sponsor who showed nothing, but genuine care. He helped me to see that I would never have to suffer again. I used to think that I was special, not capable of great things, and hid behind a persona that said otherwise. That is until I came to find out that the people surrounding me had almost or exactly the same thing going on. I was able to relate and have friendships where we didn’t depend on each other for validation or need anything from each other on a co-dependent level. I saw my house as a real family and at that – my only family besides my parents, sister, or cousin Josh. I was learning what accountability was, the value of hard work, how to be there for a brother, that the world doesn’t revolve around me, that I need to think before acting, how to listen, how to follow through, how to be honest, how to show vulnerability. I developed new tools that serve me daily such as how to get a job, but most importantly how to stay sober. My family doesn’t constantly worry about me, I have a job, and have reached a place of independence. I have a clear mind, I’m healthy, and, of course, I am happy! I know what it is like to hit the pillow sober and know what it means to live life on life’s terms. My behaviors, outlooks, and attitudes have shifted from delusional and hopeless one to almost mature adulthood.