Looking back gives us an opportunity for perspective. There our times in life when we don’t see clearly until we are past a thing and looking back upon it. In many ways this describes my experience at Nathan’s House. After nearly six months as a resident there it was time for a transition.

Life Lessons

During my stay many changes and realizations took place. The moments spent there were filled with life-lessons and principles that have carried over into everyday life. Three things in particular are noteworthy: Community, Honesty, and Responsibility.

No More Isolation

Addiction is very opposite to the idea of community. There is a loneliness that the Alcoholic/Addict feels that is beyond words and is without comparison. For years that oppressive feeling of isolation has led us to substance abuse and kept us in the cycle. Like minded people with similar experience gave me the peace that comes from knowing you are not alone. So taking a chance and becoming vulnerable I shared, talked, and opened up. This resulted in a sense of belonging and acceptance that is truly healing.

Be True

Now if one is to be a part of a community then one must be willing to practice honesty in all of their affairs. A familiar adage, “To Thine Own Self Be True,” is applicable at so many levels. So I sought to be open and honest. By no means am I saying I did this perfectly. Yet somehow I felt it was core to my recovery and so I gave it a go. I was not disappointed. Nathan’s House facilitated a lifestyle of accountability. As a result I made life-long friends and learned the value of truth. Each one a tool for maintaining a sobriety worth living for.


Lastly there is responsibility. Daily chores taught the importance of faithfulness in the little things. Opportunities to help created moments where I could give back. Things as simple as making your bed and keeping a clean room do wonders for your overall mental health. Giving of your self is a real simple idea but many of us have lived selfishly for a very long time. So living responsibly will be a fight. But one worth fighting for!

Just the Beginnings

Nathan’s House was a training ground. A place where change can and will happen if you are willing, open, and ready for it. I am seeing just the beginnings of the joy and happiness that take place in this new life. Let me tell you, with beginnings like this, I am more than willing to practice what I learned. So take a minute and look back. If addiction, pain, and carnage are in your wake it may be time to take a leap and work for change. You will not be disappointed.  
J.P. Nathan’s House Guest February 2018