My recovery journey started out just like many others. I regained consciousness in a psych ward, unsure of how I had gotten there, wondering how and when I was going to take my next drink. I was promptly shipped off to Southern Florida where I would undergo medical detoxification and stay engaged in an inpatient treatment program for 90 days. Once I had “done my time” I moved into a female sober living home, where I would learn how to function as an adult while trying as hard as I could not to relapse. Looking back, I wish I would have made more of my time in treatment.
I spent most of my time reconciling how something like this could have happened to me.
I was just a run-of-the-mill party girl in her early 20s, living life the way I wanted and saw fit. I didn’t really need to be in treatment. My parents were being a little bit dramatic. Sure, I had driven three hours in a blackout, totaled my car, burned every bridge I ever laid eyes on, and nearly flunked out of college, but rehab was a little much. Yes, maybe I had been drinking around-the-clock for years, but this new life in Florida wasn’t really my style.
Because I am a stubborn alcoholic, I fought the process every step of the way. I certainly didn’t want to move into a women’s sober living home once treatment concluded. First of all, I didn’t like women. They were mean. Secondly, I was tired of the whole “sobriety” thing. I was ready to throw caution (and everything else) to the wind and get back out there.
Fortunately for me, I did move into a sober living home, where I not only learned how to be a functional adult, but where I learned how to develop healthy, mutually beneficial friendships with other women. There are many things I would have done differently, but overall I am immensely grateful that I gave myself a fighting shot at true sobriety.
If you have been struggling with alcohol or drug use and you are on the fence about getting clean, I encourage you to at least investigate. What would sobriety look like? How would your life improve? Change can be very scary — even (sometimes especially) positive change. At Recovery Centers we know how difficult it can be to reach out for help. The majority of our staff members have been through recovery themselves, and they are standing by to help guide you through the beginning stages with compassion. Contact us today to learn more.
What is Sober Living?
A sober living home (also known as a halfway house) is a structured, substance free living environment for people who are new to sobriety. Sober living homes provide an increased level of accountability and support, often conducting drug tests and implementing a set of rules geared towards helping people stay sober. An article published by the National Library of Medicine states, “Lack of a stable, alcohol and drug free living environment can be a serious obstacle to sustained abstinence. Destructive living environments can derail recovery for even highly motivated individuals. Sober living houses (SLHs) are alcohol and drug free living environments for individuals attempting to abstain from alcohol and drugs. They are not licensed or funded by state or local governments and the residents themselves pay for costs. The philosophy of recovery emphasizes 12-step group attendance and peer support.” The study ultimately found that those who moved into a sober home directly following treatment had higher success rates than those who moved home after discharge.
Is Sober Living Important to the Recovery Process?
Sober living is an important part of the recovery process for many individuals. This is especially true in the following circumstances:
- You do not have a safe or supportive living environment to return to once treatment concludes (you are coming from a dysfunctional household or a living environment that condones substance use).
- You have traveled out of state for treatment, and staying engaged in a lower level of care (outpatient treatment) is part of your personal aftercare plan.
- You want to continue seeing the individual therapist or psychiatrist you saw while you were engaged in residential treatment.
- You are still dealing with the consequences of active addiction, and you need extra help navigating these consequences.
- You are in a tough financial position — in many cases, sober living homes take into account the fact that people who are new to sobriety might not have the financial means to pay for a full month of rent, and many offer payment plans to residents.
What I Would Have Done Differently
There are a few things I would have done differently if I could do the process over again. That being said, I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. I learned some lessons the hard way, but that allows me to share my findings with others who might be in a similar position.
I got into a relationship almost immediately. It would have been a great idea to focus all of my attention on my sobriety, but that’s not the way that things played out. Of course, I was not emotionally stable enough to handle a relationship, and it blew up in a hot, fiery burst of devastation and pain.
Follow the House Rules
I didn’t listen to all of the house rules, which I later recognized were designed to help me grow into a functional, self-sufficient adult. Instead, I focused on what other people were doing wrong.
Moved in With Women
Following sober living, I made the decision to move into a house with two sober dudes. They were nice enough, but it would have been a good idea to move in with women, even though it was less comfortable for me at the time. I didn’t follow suggestions, which made my life a lot more difficult in the long run.
Contact Us Today to Get Started
If you or someone you love has been struggling with an addictive disorder of any type or severity, there is help available. If you have never previously considered entering into an addiction treatment program, you might be unsure of where to begin. First of all, we recommend considering which level of care will best meet your unique clinical needs. If you have been using one or several chemical substances regularly for longer than several weeks, we encourage you to begin your personal recovery journey with a short stay in an inpatient medical detox center. Once you have undergone withdrawal in a safe, structured environment, you will be cleared to transition into the next appropriate level of care.
If you need help finding the right medical detox or treatment center for you, feel free to contact us at any point in time. At Recovery Centers we are standing by to help guide you in the right direction. We look forward to speaking with you soon and getting you started on your own personal journey of addiction recovery as soon as possible.