Josh Horton joins us today on The SHAIR Podcast, and Josh’s story was featured in the Oxford Eagle online newspaper titled, Meet Joshua Horton: Ole Miss Law student overcomes odds, fights to make difference. Josh is a second-year Old Miss law student who finished magna cum laude from the Ole Miss Honors College, but prior to his achievement Josh was a train wreck, wreaking havoc everywhere he went. That sound about right, Josh?
Josh Horton: Yeah, I don’t know. It might be more of a plane crash than a train wreck but yeah, it was pretty bad. A little bit’s happened since then. That was a few months ago. We’ve had a lot of progress since then. Matter of fact, I’m from Atlanta originally which I’ll get into in my story. We had a large center feature on the front page of the Atlantic Journal Constitution talking about “No Matter What” and what that means in my recovery and the story of my journey that has brought me to law school.
But before I do anything else, I got one request from you O, and that’s the next time we do one of these interviews, I want to be down in Costa Rica with you. I’ve got a really cool story about that. It’s funny that we’re actually broadcasting from Costa Rica because from the time I was about 13 years old, I really think maybe even before that when Jurassic Park came out. Jurassic Park was filmed in Costa Rica or parts of it was. I can remember seeing that and I was like, that’s where I’m going to retire. I just envisioned this surf shop on the beach or a coffee shop and sit there right by the Pacific Ocean.
What’s funny about that is I spent about 13 years of my life on probation in the state of Georgia and I could never leave the county much less the state. After I got sober I got the opportunity to come down to Costa Rica. It was really a blessing. The crazy spiritual side of all this is my sponsor and I had been talking about what was I going to do for a recovery meeting while I was down there and he sent me this picture on Google. It was a wrought iron gate with this logo. This was three months prior to me even going down there. I get down there and I go to Mt. Arenal and then we go to Quepos and we go down to Manuel Antonio. I end up at this little town … I always thought I wanted to live in Jaco Beach, retire in Jaco Beach. I’ve decided I want to be in Quepos now because I just fell in love with that town. What’s funny is I walk up on this meeting and out of all the meetings in Costa Rica and all the places, it was the exact meeting he had sent me on my phone that he had googled from Memphis, Tennessee.
Omar: Oh, wow.
Josh Horton: Yeah. I looked at the emblem on the gate and it was the same thing I had on my phone. I almost had to do a double take. All my years drinking and using, I could never get out of the state of Georgia but it wasn’t until I got sober that some of my dreams started to come true. One of those dreams was being in Costa Rica. The fact that I got to do that on Christmas Day with these other alcoholics, addicts, overlooking the Pacific Ocean eating a beautiful meal, was probably one of the most spiritual experiences of my life. I wanted to talk a little bit about that before we got started because I know you’re in Costa Rica. It brought back some of those emotions.
Omar: Over in Manuel Antonio, it’s one of my favorite meetings. It’s in a hotel/restaurant called Mono Azul. I made some amazing friends there. Just like you, you show up and no matter where you go in the world, they are friends just almost instantly. You go in and you feel right at home, you speak the same language and you feel safe.
Omar: Do you have a Favorite Quote?
Josh Horton: Why yes I do…
“The test of success is not what you do when you’re on top. Success is how high you bounce when you hit the bottom” ~ George Patton
Omar: Absolutely, what a beautiful quote! So Josh, tell me, do you have a favorite book that you would recommend to a newcomer that you read in early recovery?
Josh Horton: I mentioned Sermon on the Mount. I love that book. A new pair of Glasses.
Omar: Chuck C., baby.
Josh Horton: Yeah, I love that book. I thought that was a great book. Another one was M. Scott Peck wrote, The Road Less Traveled. I really liked that one too.
Omar: Those are all three amazing books and so instrumental for so many people in their early recovery because they’re easy reads and their easy to connect with.
Josh Horton: And I needed that. I think AA is really just life for dummies. I needed to dumb down a little bit.
Omar: I hear you brother! So what is the best suggestion you have ever received?
Josh Horton: My sponsor made a comment to me once. I told you my father was killed when I was a young man or a baby actually. For a long time I was looking for a father figure and I was looking for somebody to show up and rescue me or take care of me. I was talking to Tim about this and I said, “I’ve always just wanted a guy to show up and be that father figure.” He goes, “Josh, when you going to stop looking for that guy and start being that guy?” That really I think was a pivotal moment in not just my recovery but my entire life. He was right. When I started to do that, my life changed. My whole … Everything started to kind of shift and I realized I don’t have to wait on anybody else anymore. I can go do that now. I can go be what I’ve been looking for my entire life. I don’t have to wait on somebody else to show up and do it for me.
Omar: That was another beautiful God shot right there, the miracle of sponsorship. So Josh if you could give a newcomer only one suggestion, what would that be?
Josh Horton: Surrender I think. That’s the answer to most of my problems today is the ability to surrender in whatever I’m doing. It’s kind of like that spiritual jujitsu. If I’m willing to surrender I can overcome just about anything. My pain usually comes from my resistance to the process and the more I try and resist the more pain and discomfort I have and the more mental anguish and turmoil as well. That’s the biggest piece of mind I can get today. It’s just this ability to surrender.
Omar: Surrender to win, they say.
Website – Southern Recovery Advocacy
Twitter – @Legal_Rebel
Facebook – Josh Horton
The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth – by M. Scott Peck
A New Pair of Glasses 9th Print Edition – by Chuck “C”
The Sermon on the Mount: The Key to Success in Life Paperback – by Emmet Fox
See you then!
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Disclaimer – The opinions shared on this show reflect those of the individual speaker and not of any 12 step fellowship as a whole and though we discuss 12 step recovery and the impact it has had in our lives we do not promote or endorse any 12 step anonymous program.