Meet Us Monday: Xavier, Assistant House Manager

This week’s Meet us Monday highlights one of our amazing and motivating Lifers – Xavier.

Xavier’s enthusiasm and optimism is inspiring and others in the program agree that he is a strong leader. His journey has had its ups and downs, but in the end Xavier is able to reflect and appreciate how far he has come. Xavier grew up in Richmond, and after having struggled with drug addiction for a period of time, Xavier was incarcerated. Xavier was able to find patience within himself as he spent time in prison, and when he heard about REAL LIFE, he was immediately open and enthusiastic to begin the program.

When in court, a number of people spoke on Xavier’s behalf in order to allow him to pursue the REAL LIFE program. Among them was Thomas Young, one of our amazing pathway navigators. The way that Young spoke for Xavier truly motivated him to approach the program with the confidence he needed to be successful. Xavier remembers not only the words that Young said but the way he said them – Xavier expresses his gratitude for this moment and the whole journey that has occurred since.

Once he began the program, Xavier explains that he was ready to learn and actively be a part of his journey to recovery. He worked very hard on the program modules and secured a job within a short period of time. He now leads by example for others in the house as he works hard and keeps a positive attitude. He also lends a listening ear for those who need it, and is always willing to help others.

Xavier has many pieces of advice for those starting out in the program or those who need an extra push of motivation. He explains that patience is so necessary when it comes to all aspects of life, and especially during a recovery program. Xavier knows this from his own experience, and that recovery does not happen overnight. He explains that he has seen others try to rush through the process who unfortunately end up unsuccessful. His own patience, he explains, is what has gotten him through so many challenging times.

Xavier also emphasizes the importance of trusting the process of the program and enforces the fact that “the program really does what it is meant to do.” While it can often be hard to trust others to lead you in the right direction, Xavier explains that the REAL LIFE staff always have your best interest in mind. Similarly, he says that a main difference between REAL LIFE and other recovery programs is that the REAL LIFE staff truly care and want to see everyone succeed and finish the program in its entirety.

Xavier was also able to share some advice for anyone working to improve themselves. He says that “you are the only person to control your journey” and that in the end, the decisions you make are what will change you or keep you the same. He explains the importance of accepting who you are and appreciating what you are doing for yourself, no matter what anyone else thinks. He says that “as long as you’re doing what you need to do for yourself, it doesn’t matter what other people say.”

After listening to his words of wisdom, it is no wonder that one of Xavier’s goals moving forward is to become a motivational speaker. Xavier would love to be able to share his story and help others with their own journeys. He also hopes to spark change in others going through similar situations using his own experiences for inspiration. Xavier also wants to open his own business, either a restaurant, barber shop, or even his own recovery program.