How Sober Housing Saved My Life
Here are 10 reasons I am grateful I was able to live in a sober house during the first months of my recovery from active drug addiction. Some of them were not as clear to me at first as they are now but I am so very grateful that I was able to move to sober housing after inpatient treatment because my life is so much better today than when I was using drugs and alcohol daily. My family and i are close again and I have many friends and life is better than it ever has been and I really believe that it was living in a sober house that helped to make these things possible.
New Friends – I needed to learn how to make friends again. By the end of my active addiction I had lost all of my friends. To make matters worse most of the people I was hanging around were struggling with the same types of drug and alcohol problems I was having. I knew could not hang out with the people I was hanging out with before I went to treatment so I was very happy that I met new friends through my sober house. It did take a little while to develop new friendships but after a couple of months I started opening up to and hanging out with the others that lived in my sober house. I now have a valuable new group of friends that is on the same sober journey that I am.
Avoiding Isolation – I had been living by myself before going into treatment. I learned in treatment that being alone made it harder to stay in recovery especially for the first few months. I still had my privacy but at the same time living with others in the sober house helped a great deal when I was feeling like wanting to isolate too long. It was very valuable to have the chance to talk to others that knew how I felt. Avoiding lengthy isolation helped me learn how to balance solitude with fellowship.Recovery
Meetings- It is always harder to begin attending meetings by yourself. While living with others that were newly sober I was able to attend recovery meetings with others. This helped me to be more comfortable at meetings and to establish regular meetings on my own after I moved out.
Money- When I got to the sober house I no longer had a job. I had been living in an apartment but I no longer rented it. So, my choices out of treatment were either to go to sober housing or rent my own apartment again. I am glad I did not rent an apartment right away because the sober house I stayed at was cheaper than an apartment would have been. Also, they did not require a long lease. This was important because I needed to save money.
New Social Skills- Learning how to make new friends was important but so was learning how to set boundaries with others. I had always had a hard time with relationships. Being in a new environment with others that had the same struggles allowed me to practice and learn from mistakes while being able to help others do the same. I found out that almost all people in active addictions have problems with relationships. I had not even had a roommate since college so at first it was uncomfortable at first. Fortunately, like many new things that are strange at first I now think of it as one of most valuable experiences I have had.
Hard Times- The truth is that there is no getting around the pain of early recovery. Almost everyone leaving treatment goes through a period of difficult adjusting to life. it takes time to learn to successfully practice new behaviors and new coping skills. Living with others was so much easier than trying to do it alone like I had tried in the past.Employment – One of the things that is encouraged when entering sober living is getting a job. This was scary to me because I had not worked for a long time before getting sober. I was not sure I could even do it. It was hard at first. However, because of the encouragement I got from the other people in the house I was soon going to work for the first time in years. It felt so good to be able to be employed again.
Learning From Others- Everyone has different gifts to offer. Some people are funny. Some are super smart. Some are really good listeners. I had the chance to meet some of the most gifted people I have ever met while I lived in sober living. Everyone had a special gift and something they could uniquely bring to my life and that has helped me to notice this in every area of life since that time.
Community Resources – I was not familiar with the city that I had attended treatment in so by living in sober housing I was able to have access to people that could give me advice about the area. I learned about the best places to eat and where to get my car fixed. I also got to know where the best places to go to meet other sober people over coffee were. Perhaps best of all I got to meet others in the community because of the connections I was able to form at the sober house.Feeling Safe- Maybe the best part about sober housing is that I just felt safe there. It was my refuge from active addiction. It was a place I became more comfortable in every day I lived there. I had not felt very safe in many years before I got to the sober house. I was able to get through some very tough times in early recovery there. Today, I remain balanced and happy and I know that a big reason for this is the time I spent in sober housing mn. Maybe the best reason I have for being glad I lived in a sober house is:It worked.I am still sober and happy today!