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Jeff's Sober Living Success Story

Jeff's Sober Living Success Story

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Sobriety Date: 1/24/18
Age: 33
Drug(s) of Choice: Alcohol/Xanax
Alumni Interview Date: 11/10/2022

I was introduced to the steps at my first rehab in 2014. I had all good intentions of going through them but I didn’t have the proper guidance.

– Jeff H.

Personal Background

Born and raised in Orlando along with three brothers. Stable, loving household with
both parents. Home-schooled until the seventh grade. The transition to public school
was not as difficult as one would think considering I played pop warner football with
most of the kids. My parents instilled in me the importance of being respectful, and
hardworking and we were rightfully punished when I was not.

Recovery Background

Right after my freshman year of high school, my dad had a really bad relapse with drugs
and alcohol for the first time since having kids. Little did I know that was my first sign of
what happens when you put all of your energy into work, family, and anything else
seems more important than your recovery. So my dad was not living with us
anymore, and mom was too focused on keeping the ship afloat. Allowing us kids to
have a lot less oversight.

My drinking and drugging career was never a successful one. I had consequences from
the very start. Now obviously not as catastrophic as things to come but slowly
progressing over time. So from 15 years old having alcohol poisoning to 28 breaking
my pelvis in a solo drunk driving accident you can see it progressed, was unstoppable,
and self-inflicted.

How were you introduced to the 12-step program and recovery?

I was introduced to the steps at my first rehab in 2014. I had all good intentions of going
through them but I didn’t have the proper guidance. I attended a lot of meetings after my first
rehab but did not let anyone get to know me or properly get involved. At the time I
thought I was doing a textbook job but that was in my head, and I still had a lot of
garbage I was carrying around in that head.

Jeff's Journey at Real Recovery

How was your experience at Real Recovery?

Overwhelming, intimidating, new, scary, fulfilling, sad, eye-opening, insightful, and humbling. I
was an emotional wreck coming to my first sober living after my second rehab. So full of
fear, self-doubt, and confusion like what the fuck have I done. All the while deep down in my
heart I was exactly where I needed to be.

Was there anything that you did while you were in sober living that you think made a difference this time?

YES. AA meetings (arriving early and staying after not matter how uncomfortable it was)
The home group that I was at every week, expressing my emotions regularly (lots of crying),
focusing on helping others, being accountable for my actions, not staying out late, setting
goals and achieving them no matter how minuscule they seemed.

What was the hardest or most challenging step for you?

Well, the 5 that step is the one that I see most people not follow through on and go
back out. On the other hand, the ones who have success have done the proper 5th step. Oh
and the majority of guys that I take through the steps are selfish cunts and don’t work 12
and start sponsoring other men and IN MY OPINION, it takes them back out.

Was there a step or a point where you felt that things shifted or that you got the most relief from?

I was miserable, angry, and felt like I was coming out of my skin after doing my 5 th step for
about a week. Everyone was telling me I was going to feel great and it was the complete
opposite. I told my sponsor about it at my home group and he told me that everything I had
been doing was such a drastic change in my psyche that I was changing and my body was
not used to it. After that conversation and an overwhelmed cry, I felt better and that was
a turning point for me.

After Real Recovery & Life In Sobriety Today

How’s life now?

Life is different now, it is a life that I honestly don’t know if I would have been ready for any
sooner. I try to operate under the guidance of a higher power and be a more selfless
person. The crazy thing is that when I go out and do things now I don’t have the compulsion
to drink or do drugs. I am very content and comfortable with who I am, what I’m doing, and
where I’m going. With that being said I am still a crazy person, and me going out into the
world fearless takes a lot of work and a lot of hours spent STILL doing a lot of recovery-related
things. Sponsoring, meetings, AA peers.

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What three things/tips would you tell your past self or share with someone considering sober living/recovery?

  1. It’s okay to not have the answers

  2. It’s okay to ask for help
    and embrace fear

  3. Stop taking myself so seriously

Do you have a daily routine that helps you stay sober?

The steps are always swirling in my head and are a design for living in my life.
1-3 are my go-to in the morning. I have minimal control over today, I need help, please
guide my thoughts and actions, and give me strength. And my morning connection or
prayer is ever-changing considering the contents of my life but that is the constant in my
daily routine and from there I get direction and inspiration.

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