Addiction changes the way the brain works. It makes a person compulsively seek out substances as though nothing else in life matters. To recover from addiction more than just the removal of drugs has to be achieved. For recovery to be successful, the way a person lives, thinks, and functions have to be entirely rewritten healthily.
Many clinical treatment programs in a rehabilitation center can help, but the journey doesn’t end there. For those new in their recovery journey, they may seek out secondary support to help them learn the skills necessary to function away from addiction. Aftercare resources, sometimes known as continuing care, is crucial to long-term sobriety.
Sober living homes, one of the most effective types of aftercare resources, offer a supportive and structured environment that helps an individual learn important life skills. The time a person can stay at a sober living home varies by each case, however sober living homes do not offer permanent residency. They act as a means to ensure the success of a resident’s recovery and then aim to transition them back to life once again.
So how does one successfully transition from sober living and back to life? This article offers supportive tips and methods to find lasting recovery.
What is Sober Living?
A sober living home acts as an in-between a rehabilitation center and transitioning back to life. There are many reasons a person might use a sober living home, some being increasing success of recovery or life circumstances that prevent a person from being admitted to a program.
Sober living is a place where residents can have more freedom in their recovery, but still have to adhere to a certain amount of structure. There will be curfews and rules in place to keep the success of the resident’s recovery in mind. Some places may require residents to go to school, have a job, or be actively looking for one. Others will simply require residents to be active in the community events and meetings to create lasting bonds.
Sober living also acts as a place for residents to learn responsibility and important life skills to manage triggers in life. They try to replicate life by requiring residents to have responsibility for themselves while also providing them with a safe and sober place to better themselves.
How Sober Living Can Help Your Path to Recovery
While learning important life skills and coping methods can be beneficial in lasting recovery there is a very important part of sober living that helps even more: social support. Often those struggling with addiction will feel like those around them do not understand. This isolation can keep them from succeeding in recovery. However, in a sober living home, residents will be encouraged to attend events and meetings where others will go through similar struggles. This social dynamic encourages recovery and offers later support if the risk of relapsing arises. In fact, people who have attended sober livings have lower rates of relapse years later due to the social support they have.
Outside of a nurturing and supportive community, sober living provides residents with a structure that will help give them the framework to make lasting changes in life. It will teach life skills, such as stress management, that can easily transition to life.
Sober living also offers tools to help residents find jobs in life. If addiction made it difficult to maintain a job this feature is especially helpful for many residents. Furthermore, goal setting and practices such as art and exercise help residents find hobbies that can be useful outlets.
Transitioning from Sober Living Back to Life
Sober living gives residents a chance to get to know themselves better. This allows them to understand their triggers and what they can do to manage them. More than that, it helps them learn self-reliance and community. Both of these aspects can mean the success or failure of recovery.
While the community is great and offers support when needed, residents cannot always rely on someone else to creature structure for them. In sober living, staff will aim to keep residents busy by always having things to do, but once a resident leaves sober living they will have to find that structure on their own. For some this is difficult. While also managing triggers and all the challenges of adjusting to life again, finding a way to keep busy may be difficult.
There are some important elements a resident can take with them from sober living to help ensure their success.
Support Systems in Sober Living
Residents need to have a support system not only in sober living but also outside as well. This can be done by creating bonds and friends within the sober living home. Still, a resident will have to return to the family at some point. If a resident does not find support at home they must find other means of support. Support groups, individual therapy, and even fellow residents can help the overall success of a resident outside of a sober living home.
Having a place to turn for support when facing life challenges can be beneficial in reminding a person of the tools they picked up in sober living. No matter how confident a person is in their recovery, addiction has a way of altering the way the brain responds to triggers. Recovery is the constant practice of better coping skills and sometimes a person might need a little boost from system support to stay on track. Utilizing a support system is not only beneficial but wise for a person and an indicator of their commitment to recovery.
Create a Sober Social Life
Substance abuse is linked heavily with social lives. Many fall into addiction through social circles or by attending hang-out spots where substances are common. Leaving a sober living home and returning to those friends or places only sets a resident up for failure in terms of sobriety.
While it may seem difficult, a resident will have to cut out people, places, and activities where substances will be. Even if a sober living resident feels confident in their new life skills, being around these places and people puts them at risk of relapse. Considering the hold addiction can have, a resident shouldn’t take the risk if they want success.
Rebuilding a social life can seem difficult, but with the new community found in sober living, it may not be so bad. Many sober living homes aim to help residents find new hobbies that will help this as well. In any case, finding a new hobby, joining a sports team, or visiting new places that fall into your new (sober) interests can be good for an individual.
It may seem difficult at first, but adjusting to the new sober living will soon be second nature.
Helping Family Members Adjust
Returning home and to life can be an adjustment for a sober living resident, but also the family around them. Things may be awkward or the family may not understand the struggles a resident faces. This can be discouraging, but that does not mean a resident has to struggle forever. Encourage the family to read resources that may help them understand addiction and recovery.
Be clear with expectations about substances when around family. Open and honest communication can help everyone feel more comfortable. It can also help a resident discover who is supportive and who isn’t. This can help keep the atmosphere positive for recovery.
Apologize for past struggles or hardships with family. This can be the first step to showing the family the changes made and help rebuild trust. Clearing the air can help act as a bonding moment as well.
To have a lasting recovery, a person has to take care of themselves. If an individual does not feel well, they cannot be expected to think or perform well. Allowing stress and tension of life to bog them down may lead them to old habits as a means of coping. By regularly practicing self-care a person can be in the habit of ensuring their well-being. It is important to eat well, exercise, and sleep well to function fully in day-to-day life.
Helping Others Can Help Your Recovery
Many find that the best way to transition to life and put their new skills to use is to help others. This surrounds a person with constant reminds of the skills learned in sober living. Also, puts them into practice in teaching others. Leading by example is a great way to help recovery last and to find success in everyday life. The meaningful work of helping others might also help a person stay focused on their recovery.
Recovery and life outside of a sober living home are possible, but a life free from addiction can be difficult. To ensure the success of recovery, a person should take as much as they can from sober living and use those tools in everyday life. Over time it will seem less difficult as the process of living in recovery will become normal for them.
Recover Today at Design for Recovery
Design for Recovery is a structured sober living home located in West Los Angeles. Our sober house is a place for men that offers a trigger-free, supportive, and safe environment. No matter what a person’s drug of choice was or how damaging their addiction was, they can turn their life around while living in Design for Recovery. Our clean and sober residents work hard to develop the skills, values, behaviors, and peer support systems that they need to maintain long-term sobriety. In the process, they work to build fresh lives for themselves beyond their wildest dreams.
Design for Recovery was founded on a basic notion: that addiction recovery involves more than just putting away drugs and alcohol. Rather, it means developing a way of life that is meaningful, joyful, and free. Housemates at Design for Recovery work to develop a firm foundation of values to live by. The vital principles that form the foundation of their lifestyles include responsibility, integrity, honesty, and accountability. By cultivating this value system, a new way of life becomes achievable. Relationships improve, career prospects change, and the future opens up. More importantly, long-term sobriety becomes achievable.
If you are ready to escape the vicious cycle of substance abuse and addiction, contact us today. Recovery is possible at Design for Recovery.