Why Going to a Sober Living Home Can Benefit Your Recovery
If there is one word that I could use to define my style of living during my addiction, it would be undisciplined. I was always late to work, or leaving early. I would procrastinate just about everything, I never really learned the importance of paying bills or keeping up with chores, or even how to cohabitate in healthy ways with other humans. I had always believed that I had a grip on my life, that I was independent and free-spirited, and I believed that I just wanted to have fun and not become another rat in the race. I always knew I had my priorities in line, I just never knew that my priorities were only to drinking and using.
When I got sober, I had to relearn how to do these things. Thanks to a good case manager at treatment, and a sturdy sober living home afterwards, I was able to successfully stumble my way through early sobriety and become someone who pays their bills on time, always shows up for work, and appreciates the fun and relaxation I get AFTER I have met all of my responsibilities.
First, Let’s Talk Sober Living Homes
In recent years, there has been an explosion in the amounts and types of different sober living homes out there. Most treatment centers offer a step-down program for the clients who have graduated from their program, and other homes out there act independently from rehabs.
The cool thing is, there is pretty much a sober living to fit everyone’s needs.
If you are someone who needs to stay close to home and work, there is more than likely a sober living home in your area. For those sent to treatment on the other side of the country, staying in sober living after the inpatient phase allows for a gentle reintroduction to society before heading back to the place where you used to drink or get high. It also keeps you from going back to the same old people, places, and things in your hometown.
Benefits of Sober Living
Apart from the reintroduction phase, there is actually a lot of good that can come from staying in a sober living home. Sure, you are going to have new roommates and will most likely share a room with someone, but besides that, sober living homes offer:
Many sober living homes create space for people to take a short period of rest upon arrival but encourage getting a part-time job after that. Reason being, left to our own devices, many of us would sit around watching Netflix, isolating, or focusing on all the wrong people. Having a job and accountability gives us
- the ability to save money
- to explore working in sobriety
- practicing responsibility
- learning how to budget
- time management skills
Most homes also follow specific curfews, house duties, and expectations. These are not meant to punish, but to create an environment of stability, safety, and respect in the house, and in your program.
It’s common for newcomers to have difficulty with personal relationships. We are often guilty of either people pleasing or pushing people away. Shared living environments in sober living homes create a space for newcomers to:
- Explore their personal boundaries
- Learn how to respect the needs of others
- Find their voice in personal relationships
- Navigate through conflict in a healthy way
It can often take some time for us to find our voice, or to practice acceptance and compassion, and sober living provides a safe container to explore boundaries for our future recovery.
Many of us come into sobriety alone, isolated, and filled with shame or embarrassment. We don’t need to feel like that forever, and getting involved in a community of recovery is vital to overcoming those old ideas. Sober living homes immediately open us up to a group of like-minded people who have experienced the depths that we have, and are looking to start a new life. This community will support us in our sobriety, with making sober supports, and with insight into recovery.
When times get tough in early sobriety, relapse can sometimes look like the only answer to our problems. We often feel as though we have to deal with and control everything on our own, which perpetuates the negative thought patterns in our heads. When we make friends with people in our sober living homes, we have a shoulder to cry on, someone to make us laugh, and someone who is there during the hard stuff. Many of us had burned a lot of bridges before getting sober, or we may know that it would be dangerous for us to reconnect with our old using buddies. This is why making sober friends is so beneficial to your program. Not only will they share your experience, but they will also hold you accountable to yourself, and they will empathize with you on your journey.
For many people in sober living homes, they are either far away from their vehicle, they have lost their driving abilities, or just simply don’t have a means of transportation. Many sober living homes offer transportation to meetings, work, and other activities for the people living there. This helps people who otherwise wouldn’t have the ability to resume a normal daily schedule with access to getting around, getting a job, and going to meetings.
Recovery Encouragement and Guidance
Figuring out where to get started in the program can sometimes seem overwhelming. Luckily, many sober living homes provide guidance and support in this arena, and it is common for the staff at these homes to have experience in recovery themselves. This means that they can point you in the direction of good meetings to attend, people you could ask to sponsor you or answer any questions on the program that you may have. It takes a village!
If you are wondering if staying in a sober living home is the right choice for you, the answer is probably yes!
Get Help Today Through Our Enhanced Sober Living Program
If you are in treatment and planning your aftercare or you just need a stronger support system, our sober living program can help you. We offer safe and drug & alcohol-free homes so that you can adjust back to life, work and family without worrying about a relapse. We will guide you in early sobriety and give you the tools to thrive in all aspects of your new life in recovery!