in 2019. Looking back now at everything I was able to accomplish, I can honestly say if it was
not for the house and the founder I would not be where I am today.
Coming into the house in 2017 I was apprehensive to say the least. I had been
incarcerated and placed into a treatment center with the promise of an early release. When I
finished the program at the treatment center, they suggested that I go into a halfway house. At
the time, Up & Out Sober Living was new but I met the founder a few times and could relate to
his experiences. I felt that he could help me.
When I got to the house I was welcomed and treated by the other residents like a friend.
All the guys went out of their way to help me expecting nothing in return. This was definitely
something that I was not used to with my past experiences in other halfway houses. I was given
a set of rules, curfew, and another promise. The promise was that my life would get better if I
followed the rules which consisted of getting a sponsor, finding a fellowship, work the 12 steps,
and eventually finding a job. So that was exactly what I did! Having rules and structure helped
me see where I failed in the past. It opened my eyes to people within the fellowship here in
Frederick, and it was life changing.
I remember going to a convention held in Ocean City that the house sponsored. It was a
gathering of people from across the country all involved in the 12 step fellowship. Seeing all of
these people come together who shared similar pasts, and all of them being able to enjoy life
today, was when it really hit home for me. This showed me that there was a better way of living
life and being genuinely happy. I owe the house for that experience because I never knew these
events and gatherings existed. During my time at the house I attended many events like this
which helped me gain meaningful relationships that I still have to this day.
After living at the house for 6 months I was asked to be the house manager. Which to be
honest, was something I didn’t think that I deserved at that time. I had a very negative opinion
of myself and my abilities, but the founder saw something in me that I couldn’t see. He helped
me see the growth that comes from being uncomfortable and reassured me that he would be there
to help with anything I needed. From that day on until I moved out a year and a half later, I
remained the house manager. I gained so much from becoming a leader at the house. I got to
witness others grow while paying forward the knowledge that was given to me. It is something I
still reflect on today which helps me remember that growth starts with being uncomfortable.
Some of the accomplishments that I was able to achieve during my time at the house
were finding a career, saving money, rebuilding my credit, purchasing a car, and transitioning
into my own apartment. Above all, I was able to build a solid foundation in my fellowship and
find purpose in helping others just like me. To this day I show my appreciation by staying active
in the houses. I am truly grateful for Up & Out Sober living because it was instrumental in
changing my life. Thank you for showing me the power of trust.