To an outside, luxury rehabs and beachside sober living might look like resorts that “miss the mark” on what sobriety is supposed to be. They might look more like a vacation from home than serious treatment, and some resent that. But nothing could be further from the truth.
Getting sober is incredibly hard no matter where on Earth you get sober, but there are quite a few reasons why doing it in a good quality treatment facility is a much smarter move for your long-term recovery. This is not a vacation and getting started on sobriety will never be easy – but it does not have to be a painful start, either.
Sunshine, sand, sea breeze and a system dedicated to eliminating temptation and relearning level-headedness. Beachside sober living is just one of many countless options for supplementing and continuing your treatment past rehab, and there’s merit to the argument that it is the most crucial step.
What Is Sober Living?
Sober living first became popular when the rise of residential treatment programs revealed that the medical community was catching onto the importance of improving a patient’s environment in the hopes of defeating the addiction. More research proved that a person’s social network – the people they interact with daily – have a massive influence on not just their lives, but their addiction, helping them sway towards getting better or spiraling out of control.
Yet many residential treatment programs do not do enough to help patients stand on their own two feet out in the world in early recovery. They help a person go through withdrawal, survive the earliest recovery symptoms, and hand them the knowledge they need to better understand the disease and themselves – but the transition is still incredibly jarring.
Sober living housing traditionally offers a transition between rehab and the real world, a buffer period to help them adjust and prepare, and teach them to be with others again. Unlike most programs, sober living housing does not usually have a limit – people are encouraged to stay as long as they need to. Life in sober living environments is controlled to a degree: drugs are completely forbidden, and tenants are removed from drug temptations. Instead, they are given a long list of amenities, chores, events, and a few simple responsibilities, as preparation to adjusting to life outside of treatment.
Most sober living environments require tenants to have a job or seek out a job or continue their education while staying at the sober living facility. This, alongside a structured schedule and community-based lifestyle emphasizes how sober living facilities are built around helping tenants find their place in the community, fit in, contribute, and become productive through sobriety, anchoring their recovery in their accountability towards others, and the responsibilities they assume as they step back into their lives and into the lives of others.
Why The Community You Live in Matters
We’re never emotionally invulnerable. Every stressor life throws at us gets added into the mix, no matter how much we try to ignore it. And without a healthy outlet or coping mechanism, all that pressure will make you pop and go off. For people in recovery, that is never a pretty sight.
Understanding the dangers of losing it means it’s important to prioritize your mental health and happiness when trying to stay sober. And a big part of that is living in an environment that makes you happy and keeps you healthy. Perspective has a lot to do with it. You might feel miserable and alone in your apartment building, because you’ve been fearful of getting to know other tenants. Being a bit more open to the people around you might lead to interesting surprises, such as acquaintances and relationships you would have never guessed might happen.
Look around for things to do – things you enjoy. If you live in or near the city, then there’s bound to be a class you can join, a club you can sign up for, or a hobbyist meeting you’d be interested in. Live out your passions in a way that is conducive to healthy social behavior – get out there and use the things you know and care about to meet other people that share your interests.
Beyond perspective, it’s also important to cut out unnecessary and harmful elements. Your environment goes beyond just your physical environment, but your emotional one, too. You need a support system of friends and family – but if some of your friends and family do you and your recovery more harm than good, then you need to get them out of your life. Have a frank discussion with the individuals you feel pose a challenge to your sobriety, and either try to talk it out, go your separate ways, or drastically cut off communication and lead your life without them entirely.
Kicking Sobriety Off Right With Beachside Sober Living
The unique factor in beachside sober living is the beach – and the ocean. Beyond a pretty scenery and plus points for postcard-worthy pictures in recovery, there is a good reason to pick a beachside sober living treatment facility in a state like California – that reason is the coast.
Living near the ocean, even if briefly, has a positive effect on the body and the mind. While the ocean is a source of many human fears (from storms to tidal waves), it’s a bringer of a great deal more than just destruction. It’s a fact that living near a coast is naturally relaxing – not just because we think of vacation, but because the breeze and the tides are calming. Ocean views are incredibly therapeutic, the blue color of the sea has a natural calming power, and sea breeze in particular can soothe the mind. In a way, it’s the perfect storm.
This isn’t inconsequential to your sobriety. Early recovery can be a very stressful time, wrought with moodiness, temperamental changes, and more. Anything to help you relax and give you the perspective you need for a better, more helpful long-term outlook can go a long way, and beachside sober living is there to help you with that.