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Wreckage of My Past

So I went to court this morning for my third and last DUI case… The case has been being continued for the last year so I could keep bring in progress reports showing that I’m living clean and sober, and getting better every day.

So basically I’m going to have to go to DUI school and that bummed me out at first but then I started thinking… 3 DUI’s and I never hit and killed anyone, I never injured myself, never spent more than a night in jail due to me DUI’s and amazingly I still have my driver’s license!!!! It’s easier to see the few bad things in life than to see the many many good things that you should be grateful for.

My lawyer was telling me that he’s in the middle of a case right now of a 21 year old girl who is being charged with vehicular manslaughter because she hit and killed someone while driving drunk. He said she is a sweet girl from a nice family and this has ruined her life, they are trying to give her 9 years in state prison. That story gave me the chills because that could’ve been me (or any on of us) sooo many times. So today, I’m grateful for my freedom.

New To SobaLiving

Sitting in my car on a Sunday afternoon, feeling like I had no hope, I was all alone.. Looking down at my bag full of syringes and heroin, disgusted, yet in love with the sight, I took the bag and threw it in the trash can. Immediately I regretted my decision. What am I supposed to do now? Do I tell everyone I had been on another long run, relapsing yet again? I felt so much shame. I ended up in a local area detox center and it opened my eyes. This time I really want to be sober. I asked for help this time on my own.

Once I got out of detox my parents were not sure what they should do with me. The hour I got out of detox I started talking to one of my friends who I have know for two years from a previous treatment center who had also gotten sober again. She was telling me about this sober living she was at and I was so excited. I thought a fun sober environment to live in would be the best possible recovery plan for me, because I knew that I could not go back and live at home. I am 18 years old and need to learn to take care of myself and be in a sober environment.

I excitedly mentioned the sober living to my parents but they had a different game plan for me. They wanted to send me to an 18- 24 year old womens twelve month wilderness program in North Carolina to teach me to feel better about myself, which I was not having. I was so upset and tried to help them understand that after being in a inpatient facility before I have learned a lot about the AA program and I know how to stay sober, and being in another year long program would not help me. I know how to be sober, I just really need to do it and live in an environment that would help me. I was packing my bags, they were set on the idea that I either go to North Carolina or I would be out on the street. I begged them to call Greg, the owner of Soba Living, and they agreed to at least talk to him.

They talked to Greg for a while and I just remember feeling so anxious. After a few phone calls, they agreed to come up to Soba with me and talk to Greg face to face and check out the place. After sitting down with Greg and talking about me and my using history and then sitting with Todd, the calming and helpful healer that works with some of the Soba clients, my dad broke down crying because of Greg’s words of experience. Without even looking at the actual living spaces my dad automatically agreed to let me come live at Soba.

You have no idea how grateful I am. Having parents who aren’t addicts makes it a little hard for them to really understand what is best for me. At Soba, the managers and Greg are all people active in recovery that create a great support network to guide me in my recovery and help me live my life. The philosophy at Soba for recovery is something that I am responding to very well. Living here doesn’t feel like you are at some treatment facility where you have no freedom and feel like a piece of meat, it is a beautiful place, where you live in your own apartment, you have to do your own laundry, go grocery shopping, and you have the basic responsibilities of a normal adult. Living here I feel like I am living my life but I have to be accountable and responsible. I have to make sure I go to meetings every day and call my sponsor, and I drug test and show up to daily reflections, all basic responsibilities that are easy to follow and that are great guidelines for my recovery. Soba is a place where I always have someone to talk to if I am struggling or even if I am doing well, a place where I have made friends that I can talk to and have fun with. I have progressed so much with the outlets that have been given me, Todd has helped me more in the past month alone then the two years of countless therapists and treatment centers I have been to. I meet with a Life Coach, who is really helping me plan my life and schedule out with college, exercise, meeting and sponsor time, family and friend time, relaxation time, budget, basically helping me plan all areas of my life that are fit for me and helping me take control and become the women I want to be. After moving to Soba I have gained so much, I finally feel better about myself and I have let the AA and NA programs into my life. Not only have my relationships with my family and friends gotten better, my relationship with myself has improved. I have gained my life back where I can be active in recovery and be available to show up for college and work and start my future.

Living Proof

Things were not looking on the bright side for me when I came to Soba Living. I had been to three rehabs in less than two years and continued to relapse again and again. My latest relapse had landed me in jail with a DUI charge. I decided to give Soba a try in order to improve my chances of staying away from jail time. As I soon learned, coming here improved my chances at everything I wanted to accomplish. Since coming here I have remained sober for longer than ever before. My parents can’t believe how well I have done. After spending a fortune at the other rehabs with little or no positive results, they were amazed to find something that seemed to work at a fraction of the cost. I have almost one year sober and clean, and for me, that is a miracle. I was on the fast track to jail or an early grave, and now I have a life worth living. Soba Living saved my life and the lives of countless others.

Clean and Free From Drugs

I went to my first treatment center in 1983 for drugs and alcohol. I was twelve years old.

Thirteen more rehabs, two prison terms, and several near death experiences later, here I am today, alive by the grace of God and clean and sober. This is truly a miracle. I am a firm believer that God has plans for this addict.

I now work a program, have a sponsor, a home group, commitments, and I work the steps on a daily basis. I am not from California, but I do reside here now. I live in sober living at Soba and it is the best thing that has ever happened to me. This place is awesome. The staff and owner truly cares about what happens in my life today. I would not trade this experience for anything in the world. Life is great..

Parental Perspective.

The day my husband and I found Soba was the beginning of the answer to our prayers.

We had managed to get our daughter Joy through a 30 day rehab program and had learned that it was imperative for her to stay in a sober living program for at least another month if she were to have any chance at all with her recovery from heroin addiction.

Sadly, she was very resistant to the idea of sober living and had rejected the place that had been offered by the rehab because it seemed too institutional and restrictive. After talking with John Tarasi and Greg Hannley we felt we might have a chance to save our daughter, if we could just get her to meet them. She agreed, as she said, only because she felt that she owed us that much. John and Greg responded immediately to our call and arranged to meet us within the hour. The girl we brought to them was angry, frightened and had a chip on her shoulder!

We were amazed to see the change come over Joy as she listened to Greg explain the lifestyle and program at Soba. His honesty and understanding disarmed her and we could see her sit up and come alive as she realized that Soba was a place that she could be safe and also be allowed to be her own person. About then a few of the residents came in to meet Joy and share their experiences and stories of how they’d come to Soba and the good life that they’d found there.

After touring the apartments, and falling in love with them, she was happy to sign up for a month at Soba! Greg gave me permission to stay the first night with Joy, as my husband and I was reluctant to leave her there without thoroughly checking out the whole situation. After getting settled in and meeting her roommate we all went to our first NA meeting.

There we listened to the speaker share his story of addiction and redemption, which was very inspiring. It was a large meeting with folks of all ages, many very young, and I could see that Joy was feeling better and better about her situation as the evening progressed. After the meeting we went back to Soba and joined her roommate and some of the other residents out on the deck overlooking the Pacific. Before long we were all laughing and talking and sharing experiences.Joy and I began repairing our relationship that night.

The feeling there was magical, very spiritual and comforting, in that everyone there was on the same quest for peace and dignity in their lives. Joy and her Dad and I were confident that we’d found the place for her to continue her recovery. We visited many times during the next month and each time was special and fun and we were so encouraged by Joy’s progress. Joy decided to stay after the first month and that stretched into nine months, moving to the Villas for the last few months. She became very involved with her twelve step program and began working hard at her recovery process.

After a few months she was hired to work at a teen rehab near Soba. She loved working with the teens and discovered a real passion for helping others. She’s realized that this is her calling, to share her hard earned wisdom. To this end she has left sober living to return to school to get her masters in social work.

Yesterday she called to tell us she has been accepted at NYU! She attributes her success to the support and guidance she received while living at Soba and the Villas and working at the teen rehab. She is so excited about going to the school she dreamed about years ago, and is really fired up to work even harder now! Her father and I know that without Greg and John touching her heart that first day we might havelost our Joy. We will forever be grateful to them and dedicated to supporting and advocating for Soba and The Villas at Malibu.Hopefully in a few years Joy will have her masters in hand and return to work with the people who restored her to a life worth living!