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  • Jonathan Odle shared a letter in the Group logo of Surviving AddictionSurviving Addiction group 2 weeks ago

    Never quit.

    Dear all who read this, I would like to start by saying I’m not going to be delving into the depths of my addiction voyage, but rather my journey on the other side of it. What I mean by this, is the sober side of the expedition. Perhaps in another letter, at another time, I’ll dive into the intricate stories concerning the dark side of my addiction, but for now, we’ll remain on the light side of this thing.
    I’ve now been sober for eight months. I’m approaching the highly spoken-of one year mark that’s often mentioned in the recovery community. Recovery community, as in AA and NA. So far, my favorite effect of sobriety is the major improvement in brain function. My ability to process things with shrewdness has not only returned, but also improves daily. My overall health has improved exponentially, in both the mental and physical departments.
    I contribute a large portion of my success in sobriety to what’s known as “Oxford House”. This is a company founded in the seventies by a couple of gentlemen with an idea. That idea was to buy houses, and fill them with alcoholics and addicts in order to recover, and get their lives back on track. I’m sure you can understand why investors would probably frown and/or laugh at the idea of this. It sounds crazy.
    Fundamentally, Oxford House is a place where no drugs or alcohol are allowed, and each member holds not only themself accountable, but also hold other house members accountable to ensure stability and a safe place to recover.
    Here comes the part that is currently, and probably for some time into the future be frowned upon in regards to the path I have been paving continuously since I’ve been here. It is Oxford House tradition and rules that each member attend several AA or NA meetings each week. I do not do this. I’m not attempting to devalue AA or NA in anyway whatsoever. I’m genuinely glad that the two are a major help to those that attend, and I fully believe the two are great programs, and there is certainly data and studies that show the benefits to attending them.
    Anyway, throughout my addiction years, I Told myself many times that I would drop the drugs and alcohol at a time when I had an opportunity. I have done just that. I’ve done it alone. I consider it a measure of self-discipline and will, as well as determination to become the person I’m meant to be. I believe all those times I would feel certain vibes while being messed up, was my higher-self whispering to me, “You know that this isn’t you, so why are you doing it again?”.
    I’ve become much more in-tune with myself in the last eight months. I was born with a gift that I deem very valuable: perspicacity. With this gift, I’m able to see and feel things that others seem unable of even comprehending. I don’t say this to make myself seem as if I’m somehow above others, but rather because throughout the years, and countless attempts to explain to others what I see and feel (using meticulous detail), they just don’t comprehend. This happening time and time again caused me to think on why I’m so not understandable. Now I know. I still continuously do my best to help others see their higher selves and nudge them out of their darkness. Sometimes I’m hated for this, sometimes it’s appreciated.
    Anyway, my way of thinking is often met with opposition (I believe it’s mostly due to cognitive dissonance, in short) or criticism in some instances. However, I also am able to discern between those that are able to perceive from a point of view other than their own, and those that cannot. Generally, the ones that lack perceptive abilities are the ones that criticize. It took some time, but I’ve learned to properly handle said criticism in the best way possible.
    One reason I’ve stirred up some controversy in this Oxford community (its huge, much bigger than I originally knew) is because I seem to have become a walking contradiction to their traditions and rules. Again, I don’t attend AA or NA, as their rules state. I’m also not relapsing, nor am I showing any signs of doing so. One reason for my not going, is because I hold my own beliefs and philosophies, some actually align with AA or NA traditions, but only a small handful. One thing that I just cannot agree with concerning these programs is that I often here this: “AA/NA literally saved my life.” When I hear this, I immediately think to myself, “No it didn’t. YOU literally saved your own life, by choosing to attend that meeting.” I cannot count how many times I’ve heard people say this. I feel they are taking away from themselves blindly by saying this. We as human beings are capable of incredible things and to devalue oneself in order to comply with something that a corporation tells them to say, is something I will not do. Again, AA and NA does help the majority of those that attend, and that makes me happy for them. however it’s just not for me.
    I’ve been threatened to be evicted for not attending AA or NA because the rules say I’m supposed to. If I’m doing just fine without them, under my own set of morals and values, then why is it such a big deal to those that do attend? I believe because of the dissonance. My actions conflict with their beliefs and they literally don’t know what to think of it, it seems. I don’t let it bother me. Another observation of mine, is that often times, the very ones that attempt to chastise, or point a finger at me are the same ones that are living a lie. They are the ones who reveal their true colors via behavioral and manipulative patterns. I’ve also become versed in how to deal with these things because of this.
    In conclusion, I just wanna say that if you are battling addiction, or are in your recovery, keep going. Although things never get easier, we become more equipped to handle life’s challenges and difficulties as we move forward. It makes us stronger in many ways. I guess what I’m getting at here, is that we as individuals are capable of literally anything, no matter what opinions people may cast, or what obstacles we face. Keep making waves. If anyone is struggling, or if you need/want someone to talk to, feel free to reach out to me.

    Jonathan Odle
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    • Jonathan!!!!! This is great! I am so proud that you are eight months sober. That is incredible!! Getting sober is not an easy thing, so you should definitely pat yourself on the back for that. And also, I think it’s great that you figured out what works best for you and you stuck with it …even thought it’s different than maybe other people’s path. I love your advice at the end. You are right, humans are capable to anything! Keep pushing. Keep getting healthy. Our community is so proud of you and we got your back. @shelleybrill @oneturbobenz @jim-c

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    • Jonathan,

      This place that you are in your journey is one that you can be very proud of. Recovery is one of the toughest things a person can go through.
      The courage one takes upon themselves during this journey is beyond inspiring. Addiction is not an easy foe to vanquish. I know because I once walked that road. After struggling with anxiety for years, I was prescribed Ativan for it. In time I became addicted to it as well. I know the path you’re choosing because I chose it as well.

      I applaud you for endeavoring this journey and if I can support it in any way I offer it anytime. I am proud of you!

      -Roger

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    • Hey Jonathan
      Congrats on being sober 8 months. I can’t imagine that it’s an easy process to do so. Sometimes people are stronger and more capable of what they even know. Good job by you in realizing that. Everyone is different of course. Good luck maintaining this going forward. Have yourself a great day and stay steady
      @theunsealed
      Jim

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    • Congrats on your recovery ! It takes balls to finally WANT to experience the benefits of having self control because being strong minded does not come from one day to another.. you have to feel to heal…its a painful process for an addict to finally want to feel whatever the drug/alcohol is numbing them from and then comes the crucial process of healing all those wounds that were always avoided..sheeshh! GREAT JOB dude !Consider yourself blessed not everyone makes it out …God /universe/ whatever you believe in obviously has bigger plans for you. Keep surrounding yourself with friends that enjoy life being sober to continue making things smooth for your future journey .❤️‍🩹❤️‍🩹❤️‍🩹❤️‍🩹

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