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Sober living Works – The story of Noah.

Addiction continues to devastate our towns and divides our families. Our belief is that sober living works if coupled with the appropriate staff and provides a supportive environment where recovery can begin. So many of our young adults are shuffled into sober living homes without the appropriate guidance only to relapse and end up back in treatment. Surfside Structured Sober Living is more then a house…it is a family. It is an opportunity for men to grow and become accountable to the people around them. It is an opportunity for them to really get a grasp on recovery, build self-esteem and thrive in a new life. 

Born and raised in the Bronx, NY, Noah began his battle with addiction at a very early age.  At 10 years old, Noah had his first drink. Like many alcoholics and addicts, drinking was fun at first.  It allowed him to feel part of the group and enjoy life without any worries. But eventually, drinking and drugging took a much larger role in Noah’s life.  Plagued by mental health and personal trauma, Noah began to use drugs and alcohol as an escape from reality. It allowed him to forget memories and become numb to the world around him.  

After high school, Noah did some traveling out of the states. Once he returned he went to Elon University in Elon North Carolina. Noah completed 2 years and during the 3rd year things really got bad. Noah was waking up every day and thinking about using or trying to use. His girlfriend would not see him for extended periods because he was chasing drugs. He secretly hoped each night he would fall asleep and never wake up. This pattern continued until his drinking and drug use eventually brought him to his knees.  

Noah was arrested for position with the intent to manufacture and other things. He went to jail for a few nights and his parents bailed him out and took him back to New York. With potential criminal charges lingering, he felt the world cave in around him. Every morning he pleaded to himself not to use anymore.  But every morning, he would return to the only solution that he knew.

In the end, Noah found himself at Pinelands Recovery Center. He had expended all options and became hopeless. Following treatment, it was recommended to him to try out Surfside Structured Sober Living for a chance at recovery. His family new going home was not an option anymore. This is where his journey begins.

What is your sobriety date?

January 13, 2018

What do you do for work?

I am in office administrator at a real estate company in Margate, NJ.

What are some of your hobbies?

Going to the gym,- which I never thought would be one of my hobbies- playing video games, and fashion.

What were your biggest concerns before coming to Surfside?

My biggest concern was that I wasn’t going to click with anyone in the house, and that I didn’t want to be in South Jersey.  I thought I was going to be miserable and not be able to stay sober no matter what. I mean, the first few weeks I think I packed my bag and said I was going to leave every other day. 

What was your biggest takeaway from Surfside?

The community.  The community and how to live in sobriety were absolutely huge.  Being able to have a group of people around me that are also sober- it’s pretty incredible.  That’s why I didn’t move back to New York when I left Surfside. That’s why I stayed in the area.

How was Surfside Structured Sober Living different than the previous programs you have attended?

So before Surfside, I had been to some inpatient and PHP programs.  From my experience, Surfside genuinely cared about your well-being more than anything I’ve ever seen.  They actually understood where you were and where you’ve been and the exact position you were in.

What are the best and most challenging parts of living independently after Surfside?

The best part is having my own space to live. I love having my own space. And the freedom of being able to work and try new things.  I just got my driver’s license. Before Surfside, I barely knew how to ride a bike! Being able to go back home or out with friends is huge.

The most challenging part, for me, is staying on my spiritual program and forcing myself to do the things I’m supposed to do.  When I’m not staying plugged in and going to meetings, I can easily get depressed and in my own head. Staying accountable to myself is by far the most challenging.  

Now that you are out of the program, how do you stay involved with Surfside and your recovery?

I sponsor one of the guys in the house, and I try to go by the house 4-5 times per week to hang out with the new guys.  

I stay involved with my recovery by working the principles and going out and doing stuff with other people in recovery.  Like tonight, my home group is going out to a diner after the meeting. It’s important to do that stuff in your recovery.  

Any final thoughts on Surfside?

Surfside saved my life.  I never thought I would say that when I came in to the house.  But it really did. It’s incredible what this program can do when you actually want it.  I’ve seen people come in who did not want to stay sober- like me- and come out a completely different person.  

What is your 5-year plan?

I am an entrepreneur. I have several business plans I would like to see come to life, such as a fashion line, music studio, and an advertising platform. Currently I am working on a streetwear company called “Children of God”. I would like to be back in New York and be involved in the recovery community up there.

Noah’s mother reported that because he was potentially going to jail, a long-term option may be helpful for his recovery and his legal situation.  They looked at alternatives to Surfside, which included a six program.  Kathy did her homework as she considered Noah’s options and shared that after speaking to Ian, Surfside’s Executive Director, she knew this would be more comprehensive than the other options. She liked that Noah would be held accountable and that there was no set timeline for completing the program. She felt hopeful knowing that his completion was dependent upon Noah putting in the work in versus waiting for the insurance to cut off and tell him he needs to go. After she spoke with Ian, she started doing research and found that the longer someone stays engaged, the better. She also understood that his other “long term” options were only 60-90 days.

Now she feels extremely grateful. She is thankful that Surfside helped him grow up when he could not do this himself. Noah always worked, but could not hold a job long; now he is employed at the same job for 6 months. He is a 22yo who now has the whole world ahead of him. Surfside gave him a foundation that the family could not figure out how to do.

If you are looking for more info on Surfside Structured Sober Living or need help finding resources for a loved one please do not hesitate to call 609.709.4205. For more articles on addiction and recovery please CLICK HERE.