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Giving and Receiving

Updated: Feb 23, 2022

“Self esteem comes from esteemable actions.”

We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Michele R, outreach coordinator for the Western North Carolina area of Oxford House. The quote above resonates from our conversation as one of the fundamental reasons the Oxford Houses work so well in helping people achieve longterm sobriety.

I first met Michele in a meeting about 4 years ago, a beautiful, young, fun loving and hilarious woman in early sobriety. I immediately felt a connection with her because we spoke the same language - we both had a very deep gratitude for the program which had saved our lives. A gratitude which ran so strong in Michele that she has been able to dedicate not just her personal life, but her professional life as well to assisting others in finding a way to live free from alcohol and drugs.

Michele first came to Oxford House fresh out of a 28 day rehab program. It was just what she needed to gain her footing in learning how to live a so-called “normal” life. The houses work in a very democratic manner, self supporting and self sustaining, giving most of the power to the residents that live there. They are responsible for not only the way the house is run, but also in interviewing and accepting new applicants. The few requirements for being accepted involve maintaining your sobriety and being active in your recovery. Living with others who are on the same path helps to keep each other accountable. The houses also have support from other Oxford Houses in the area.

Michele credits the Oxford House as a main component in her sobriety. She helped open the first women & children’s house in the Charlotte area, providing a safe place for mothers to live while they started their recovery journey. She now works with jails and treatment centers, connecting with people who are seeking long term sober living.

Michele’s life and story are intertwined with Oxford House. They provided her a place to not only gain stable ground in early sobriety, but also an opportunity to be of service and help others from the very beginning. Thats the beauty of an Oxford House, as well as of 12 step recovery. The more we give, the more we receive.

To see openings in Oxford Houses across the US go to

To learn more about Oxford House visit their website

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