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A New Way of Life

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I want to start out by thanking God for my recovery. It is a sheer miracle that I am sober. My life is good today, not because of anything materialistic or external, but rather because of how I feel on the inside. This is a direct result of working the twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous with a sponsor. Individual and group therapy sessions also played a critical role in creating a foundation for my sobriety. Clear Behavioral Health and their individualistic approach helped me enormously.

My name is Dorian Oscal. I am thirty-three years young and I currently live in a sober living called Bodhi Casa in the beautiful city of Hermosa Beach. Nine months ago, I began this journey not really knowing what to expect or how it would work out for me. I was scared, full of fear and very insecure. I did not know how to be loving, vulnerable, openminded and most importantly I did not know how to ask for help. My ego took over whenever I felt threatened or uncomfortable. I was not accepting and always needed to be in control. I knew that something had to change and for the first time in six years, I was willing to try the one thing that I had been running from my whole life. I was finally ready to admit that I was an alcoholic and that I needed to get real help.

How does an alcoholic get help? For me, it meant attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, beginning therapy, participating in therapeutic groups with strangers and allowing myself to be real, open and honest. Most importantly it meant surrendering my will and crying out for help. Sounds easy enough, right? Try telling my ego that.

Today I have nine months sober and it is amazing to look back and see how far I have come. I have cried more in the past few months than I have in my entire life because I am finally emotionally available. I have cut out sugar and now have a strong exercise regime consisting of Crossfit and running. I used to think my opinion was the most important opinion in the room and that I always needed to be right. I have learned how to actively listen without interrupting or interjecting and I am now able to support others in expressing themselves.

Today I am able to be a part of the solution. Nine months ago, I was ready to die. I was ready to give up and drink myself to death because I could not stop living in self-pity, shame and guilt. I lost my passion for life and my connection to people became non-existent as I did all my drinking in isolation towards the end. Because of Bodhi’s consistent and structured routine living, I am a different person today.

Today I practice acceptance, surrender and humility. Clear Behavioral Health helped me to let go of my baggage. I was so delusional in my thinking, my attitudes, and my perceptions towards life. I thought that the world owed me something and that I was a good person. I judged myself on my intentions not my actions. Today I actually do the actions of a good person instead of just saying that I am one. I used to blame my alcoholism on my mother for leaving our family when I was four years old. Thank God for individual and group therapy. The group therapy at Clear helped create a platform where I could open up and let people in. I was able to trust complete strangers with my thoughts and secrets. Though the groups made me feel uncomfortable at first, they forced me to grow internally. I was able to walk through my fears. I heard sayings like, “you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be,” “let go and let God,” “stay out of the results.” I am grateful I had enough willingness to stay and listen. I found that by trusting in the process I have begun to find the peace I had been seeking.

Life has not necessarily gotten easier in sobriety. In fact it can still suck at times but because of the tools I have found in recovery, I am able to walk through my fears and discomfort instead of picking up a drink. I’m able to be honest with people when I get angry, frustrated or scared. I am able to open up when I am uncomfortable and need help. I trust in God and believe that there is a plan in place for my life. I no longer need to “figure it out” nor do I need to know the future. I have a daily spiritual practice of prayer and meditation. This practice allows me to be of maximum service to those around me.

Today I love myself and my life. Today life happens for me, instead of to me. I am no longer the victim of circumstances of my own making and I find gratitude in the simplest of things. I am able to be of service to those around me instead of living the selfish lifestyle that I was accustomed to in my disease. I feel so good today and I have filled up the bottomless hole inside my soul with love. Sobriety has been the hardest thing I have had to do and it has been worth every moment of effort. If I feel this good at nine months sober, there is no telling how good I will feel in the future. I used to be frightened of the unknown. Today I welcome the unknown because life is exciting again for me and I have a passion for people, places and things the same way I did when I was just a little boy. I could not have done any of this without the help of my sober living, Bodhi Casa, Clear Behavioral Health, the program of Alcoholics Anonymous, my sponsor, my family and of course God. Thank you for taking the time to read this and just know that if any of this made sense to you than God bless you. Take comfort in knowing that you are not alone in how you feel and that somebody out there does care about your life. As a matter of fact, I care about your life! Stay blessed.

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