Haven Alumni Highlight - Alex J.

Haven Alumni Highlight - Alex J

Before getting sober February 10, 2013, I spent eight years destroying everything in my life. Shortly after giving birth to my first child in 2005, I found myself a single mom with a new baby. I quickly realized I had no idea how to be a mom or how to get through the heartbreak I was experiencing. I started to look for ways to “feel good”. It started with alcohol but developed into a full-blown opiate and meth addiction. I lost custody of my daughter and was in and out of her life for years. I was lying, cheating, stealing, and doing whatever was necessary to support my habit.

Eventually I was arrested, and it seemed I couldn’t stop going to jail once I started. I lost everything. There wasn’t a person in the world who trusted me. I was basically homeless and drifted from place to place. I would knock on my mom’s door every couple of months for a shower, food, and a safe place to lay my head. It wasn’t until my family shut the door in my face and told me not to come back that I had a moment of clarity and knew I couldn’t stand to live another day the way I had been living. I ended up in the VOA for 30 days and then I landed in The Haven. Even though I was terrified of what was ahead, I was more afraid of going back to my old life.

The work started right away and every day I came out of the fog a little more. I was able to begin healing the wounds that I had drank and used over. I immediately felt a sense of community at The Haven. The alumni would come back and take the clients to sober functions and meetings. The Haven introduced me to Alcoholics Anonymous and had regular meetings at the house throughout the week. It gave me hope to see people who were just like me, or worse, living happy and healthy lives. I began working a program in AA and continue to this day to attribute everything I have to that program, it saved my life. After graduation I went straight to transitional housing. It was exactly what I needed, and I stayed for 13 months. The Haven helped me rebuild the foundation of my life. Transitional living allowed me to live in the real world but provided the accountability I needed in the beginning.

Today I have been sober for over five years. I still participate in Alcoholics Anonymous and most of my best friends were met through The Haven meetings, sober trips, or the fellowship. I have shared custody of my daughter and I am in a healthy marriage with an amazing partner. Together we have a son, a daughter on the way, and we just closed on our first home. My new life has afforded me beautiful opportunities, one of them is being able to work in recovery. I worked in a women’s sober living for three years and gained so many invaluable experiences at that job. Today I am blessed to have started my own Recovery/life coaching business, helping men and women early in recovery rebuild their lives. I am a full -time stay at home mom, but I still get to give back to the community that I love. I never spent much time while I was using thinking about the life I could have, it wasn’t even on my radar because I truly believed it wasn’t in the books for me. In five short years, I am living a life beyond any I could have ever dreamed up. I am so grateful for the people and the programs that introduced and guided me in the right direction.

Tags: alumni, haven highlight, recovery story

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