“WHAT I’VE LEARNED AT ODYSSEY”
What I’ve learned, so far, at the Odyssey House, isn’t much compared to what I still have to learn. Day to day living, like going to work and being on time, something I have really never done. Being accountable for my actions is one of the first things I’ve learned here. Facing my fears and reaching out to other alcoholics, has taught me to be a friend. Today I am not only a friend , but I have friends that care about me. Allowing people to care about me is something I have come to accept and that came from being here at Odyssey, as well.
I’ve learned to do what ever is asked of me. Being of service and helping others. Willing to take direction and not question the direction given. I’ve learned that I don’t have to know everything or say the right thing. I’ve learned to ask for help, even though it is still hard to do. I don’t think I’ve learned nearly enough, but I do know, I have plenty of opportunity to continue to learn more.
I am honest today, with myself and with others. I’m not afraid to speak up anymore about my feelings or concerns. I have become an example of the program and by continuing to work at this day by day, I am growing in ways others can see, as well as myself. I’ve learned that I am worth fighting for and this only the beginning. More will be revealed as long as I am open to it.
I have become closer with my family and was able to be married here. My greatest dreams are coming true as well as the (AA) promises. Everyday is an opportunity and I’ve learned to embrace each new chance at life. This short time here, has brought me a new life and an awesome chance to succeed at life. I’ve always been afraid of success, but the Odyssey House has taught me that I deserve to succeed, because I am worth it. It is possible to live a normal, regular, happy, content life, without drugs or alcohol.
Most importantly, I’ve learned to have fun. I don’t have to feel self conscience. I can just relax, in my own skin. I’ve learned that I matter and that I make a difference. I’ve learned to accept love and be lovable. Life is good today, because of this house. I am free to grow and I have so much more to do. This is just the beginning, therefore, I feel this paper comes too soon. That’s what I’ve learned, so far. It’s huge, but little in what’s yet to come.
Sober since 3/3/96
Arrested again, this time like a crazed animal. Beating the walls with my head and arms trying to get out of this mess I was in, all the while screaming “I’m not LOADED!”. It was always someone else’s fault, I was always the victim. I know now the insanity that alcohol and drugs had led me to. I awoke to a terrible pounding in my head and great pain in my wrists. As I looked down I could see the bruises up and down my arms.. It was then that I realized where I was and how I got there. You see, unlike most alcoholics, I wasn’t a blackout drinker. I remembered everything from the night before. The humiliation of knowing that I had an alcohol and drug problem and the disgust of not being able to stop was my silent torment. There was the ever too familiar feeling that I had often lived with. It was these feelings I had to numb to make it through another day. The constant running from myself, I knew if I was to live, had to stop.
By the grace of God, my higher power, I was given a one and only chance to live free. I remember the judge at my sentencing saying “ I sentence you to 1 year in a recovery home. If you fail you’ll do 4 years and 8 months in prison”.
I arrived at Odyssey House with nothing but the clothes on my back and a brown paper bag that held all I had left. It’s hard to describe the feeling that I had when I walked into the house. A warmth in the surroundings and love in the women there. In all my fear I felt home.
As a direct result of the Odyssey House Organization and its supporters, today I’m a listener. a contributor, a colleague, a friend but most importantly I’m a sober MOM. Regaining custody of my 7 year old daughter has shown me that this house and this program is a God send disguised in the loving faces of all who are part of it.
The Odyssey House showed me how to live again. Its disciplines showed me how to be responsible, how to believe in myself and love myself for who I am. I truly believe I was headed to an early grave had I not been placed in the Odyssey House.
With all my heart I thank you.