Why I love Oxford House
I had the fortunate opportunity to attend the 2017 Oxford House World Convention in Washington DC and I have to say that I was quite impressed. I have been to my fair share of recovery events and this was something a little bit different. One of the things that I love about Oxford House is their focus on becoming better people. I attended a class on improving credit scores. I listened to a speaker talk about how we treat people. I even sat in on a class about how to have fun!
World Convention 2017
I was already impressed with Oxford House which is why I started volunteering with them a few years ago. My personal belief is that if we are to recover from addiction then we have to deal with the issues inside us that drove us to feel like we needed to use in the first place. Another large part of recovery is learning to live without using. This often gets misunderstood when I say it so I will elaborate. When I was using, I missed out on learning a lot of things in life that other people were learning and mastering. I didn't know how to balance and maintain a household budget, pay bills on time, I didn't know how a credit score worked. I didn't learn about the consequences of destroying relationships with those around me.
Much Needed Skills
Oxford House emphasizes the need to learn these things and many other skills. Sure, I've been to the rehabs and sat in the classrooms and listened to the lectures on these subjects with the worksheets and all of that but it is different when you are sitting there with the checkbook in your lap and someone is showing you exactly where your money is going and answering your questions about how to save enough money to afford food all week.
Life After Drugs
When I stopped using drugs, I thought that life as I knew it was over and I was right. I was wrong at the same time. Life as I had previously known it was over but a new and much better life awaited me. I imagined that the fun times were gone and I was going to become this miserable person that just got through each day one at a time by not going out anymore and not having any "real fun". The great thing about having fun now is that I remember it all the next day. We've had movie night at the house with friends in and out of Oxford House. I have friends all over the country that meet up and go to things like wrestling events in North Carolina, camping trips in South Carolina, and conventions in the nation's capital. I have even had the honor of officiating the marriage ceremony of two friends that I met in Oxford House!!
Why I Stay
The best part is that I have grown since I started volunteering with Oxford House and I have witnessed what can only be described as true miracles. I have seen people that came into Oxford House with nothing but the clothes on their backs and now they have steady jobs, cars, family, and goals. I have seen friends of mine leave Oxford House to get married and start businesses while others have decided to stay on and keep giving back to what they credit for saving their lives. Many of my closest friends now are employed by Oxford House or live in one long term and I feel honored and privileged to know them and be a part of the Oxford House family.