Profiles in Recovery

Ahmed Hosni

Support for college students in recovery is growing rapidly – and Hosni is a leader in the movement. As coordinator of The Ohio State University’s collegiate recovery program, he oversees a 28-bed sober residence hall, organizes popular events such as sober tailgate parties, and helps students succeed without alcohol or drugs.

In 2000, there were just four collegiate recovery communities like the one at Ohio State. Today, there are more than 90, according to the Association of Recovery in Higher Education.

Hosni’s own recovery from drug and alcohol addiction inspired his passion to help other young people. “When I started down this path, I just wanted to get off probation,” Hosni writes. “I’ve long been off but haven’t turned back because life keeps getting better by the moment!”

Day Job:
Program Manager, Ohio State Student Life Collegiate Recovery Community

What worked for me:
Early in recovery, I attended outpatient therapy and was referred to mutual help groups. Attending these groups helped save my life by introducing me to a new way to live.

Also, having a community of like-minded people in recovery made abstinence feel less like a curse and more like a decision to keep on living, truly living!

Advice to my younger self:
I would tell myself that by making decisions based on what I thought I’d miss out on, I almost lost the things that truly make me happy. Drugs and alcohol only distracted me from reality. Recovery helped me recreate my reality. #NoFOMO (No Fear of Missing Out)

Rules I live by:

  • I try to live each day like it’s my last. #YOLO
  • Recovery is more than just not drinking or using. Approach it with a focus on your whole self. For me, that means get lots of sleep! #NoCoffeeAfterSix, #DontForgetToFloss
  • Good is the enemy of the best! I need to be the best version of me that I can be every day!
  • Take life one day, hour, or even moment at a time. One foot in front of the other. #ODAAT
  • Don’t take yourself so damn seriously

On my bucket list:
I’m a simple man. I want to watch my kids graduate from high school and then college. I want to meet my future grandkids and love them unconditionally. I want to be a small part of the recovery movement that changes the way we talk about recovery and how we treat individuals with a substance use disorder.

Poem that inspires me:
Lying, thinking
Last night
How to find my soul a home
Where water is not thirsty
And bread loaf is not stone
I came up with one thing
And I don’t believe I’m wrong
That nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.
Alone, Maya Angelou

What I value most in recovery:
Today I get to go to work at my dream job, supporting students in recovery at Ohio State. After, I’ll go home and eat dinner with my beautiful wife and two sons, help them with their homework, and then thank my Higher Power for all of the people he has put in my path that helped me get to this day in time. There is no life I’d rather be living and no people, friends, family, colleagues, and students I’d rather be living it with.

What I learned about myself:
That I’m not a bad person. Having an SUD isn’t a sign of some moral failing or flaw, it’s a disease. When I started treating it like a disease, I started seeing how resilient I am and that I can do anything I want, as long as I take care of myself. #RecoveryStrong

Best advice for newbies:
The best recovery advice I ever got was this: do these things sequentially:
1.Get a sponsor
2.Get a home group
3.Work the 12 steps
4.Give it 6 months
5.After 6 months, if your life isn’t better, your misery will be refunded free of charge.

SHED THE STIGMA:
If you’re a person in long-term recovery who wants to share your insights, please contact us at [email protected].