Transitioning into the real world as a newly sober individual can be risky, difficult, and downright scary. Without a proper support team behind you, it can be even worse. Thankfully, there are sober living homes available that can provide you with so many positives that you will wonder why anyone would choose to forego the opportunity.
A sober living homes are residences that you move into once you complete your treatment program. It is a stepping stone, in a sense, for your transition back into reality since there are so many things you need to learn about facing the real world as your newly sober self. A sober house provides you with a high level of support and guidance as you find your way back to independence. In other words, it is a safe way to get back on your feet.
This transition is a scary time – and you may be wondering what you can expect to encounter while living in a sober home. Although not all sober living homes are exactly alike, they follow some of the same basic structure.
So, what can you expect? Check these out.
Perhaps one of the biggest things that you can expect in a sober home is structure. With many things in life, having a sense of structure is a way to set boundaries. When you are in recovery, having strict boundaries can mean the difference between relapse or success.
You will find that there are rules that must be followed in order to remain in the home. For every broken rule, there is a consequence (just as in real life), as well as the potential for removal from the home. These may sound harsh, but it is a proven method in keeping the structure for those who are serious about having a successful recovery.
Some common rules relating to:
- No drugs or alcohol (expect random drug tests).
- No overnight clients.
- No sleeping outside of the home.
- Attendance at meetings and groups, both inside and outside the home.
- No stealing or destruction of property.
- No violence.
- Adhere to a curfew
- Participate in goal setting and taking steps to secure employment or further your education.
Living in the real world without this structure puts you at risk to break your own rules. That is why the structure and rules are strongly enforced.
Chores & Responsibility
When you integrate back into society as a functioning, sober adult, you will have responsibilities. You will need to maintain a clean and sanitary place to live. You will need to know how to cook, clean, do laundry, and so forth.
Chores are a part of living in a sober house and should be expected. Not only will they give you a sense of responsibility but living with others – and each being responsible for something – makes you learn how to work with others for the greater good of everyone.
For example, many sober homes require you to take turns cooking dinner for the residents in the home. While you are cooking, someone else may do the dishes. Another person may set the table or take out the trash.
All of this combined leaves you a stronger individual.
A Sense of Family & Community
Living with others forces you to get along. In a sober living home, you must share a space with (likely) strangers – and make it work. Be prepared for the fact that overcoming struggles can make your bonds with one another get stronger.
Before you know it, you will want to see your housemates succeed – just as they want you to do the same. The dynamics begin to resemble those of a family, including the good, the bad, and the ugly.
There will likely be arguments and struggles, but there will also be celebrations and achievements. You will grow closer with everyone you live with and become a beacon of support for the future.
Idle minds are not beneficial to anyone who has a history of addiction. Those who run sober homes know this which is why remaining productive is a must.
Choosing to live in a sober house means you agree to be productive. You will not sulk in your bed, ignoring the world as if it didn’t exist. And, you won’t be able to participate in negative behaviors either. Instead, you will find that you will likely have a choice of obtaining employment or getting an education.
While you are not out of the home taking care of these tasks, you will be doing your chores at home, participating in meetings, and so forth.
Endless Sober Support
Imagine having support at every turn in your recovery. You can expect to find this in a sober house.
Keep in mind that the idea is to get you on your feet by becoming a responsible, structured member of society. So, don’t expect those around you to hold your hand every step of the way – as this would only hinder you. Rather, you will have cheerleaders who will teach you the tools you need to accomplish anything that comes your way.
For example, this support comes in the form of:
- Resume writing and interview skills.
- Completing school applications.
- Learning to handle financial matters, such as set a budget, pay bills, write checks, or maneuver online banking.
- Weekly or daily support group meetings with your housemates. This teaches you to overcome disagreements in a positive manner, as well as how to become a means of positive support to those around you.
Expect this support to carry into your life long after you leave the sober living home. The bonds and friendships you create can have a positive impact on your future.
You will not find a defunct, disorganized home when it comes to sober living houses. Instead, you will find great accommodations, support for your ups and downs, and an open toolkit for anything life throws at you. Expect to succeed – and you will.