As one of the country’s most famous metropolis, the City of Angels is as diverse and complex as cities can get. People from all over the country – and the world – come to visit LA, and at least a few million have come to call it home. But with that size and reputation comes a little turbulence, as with any great city.
Crime and poverty are problems LA doesn’t face alone, but these issues are sizeable in comparison to much of the rest of California. Yet like many great cities, the people of LA understand that the health of their community is theirs to protect and promote, and as one among countless initiatives, many in LA work to help the homeless, the mentally ill, the poor, and the addicted.
Addiction treatment in particular has a long history in Southern California, as part of the region’s greater legacy of providing a sunny getaway for the colder, harsher parts of America. What started as a way to evade the brutal winters for those with the funds to afford it became an industry built to help treat both physical as well as psychiatric ills. While Southern California has a reputation for its fair share of dark and controversial rehab stories, LA and the surrounding area continues to be a place for struggling addicts seeking the help and refuge of reputable and qualitative rehab facilities.
It’s not all picturesque and luxurious. A lot of LA’s beauty comes from the ordinary, rather than the extraordinary – while luxury sober living homes and rehab centers help many better tackle the challenges of addiction, it’s how one defines and builds their lifestyle after rehab that matters most. And LA is a great place for recovering addicts looking to discover themselves and figure out how best to lead a sober life in a world rife with temptation.
LA is Incredibly Diverse
As the largest city in California, and one of the largest cities in America, LA boasts a population of millions. Among these millions are people with roots and relatives in countries all over the planet, all of whom are proud to call themselves American. And with that diversity comes the blessing of experiencing a massive slice of the world all within a single community.
Los Angeles is home to families, artists, and professionals from cultures across Asia, Europe, Africa, and Latin America. These cultures, languages, and traditions mingle, creating individual communities as well as coalescing cultures and identities.
This expresses itself in different architectural styles, cuisines, music, murals, and more. People come together to celebrate their old homes and join to celebrate their new home. It’s this spirit of accepting who you are and encouraging harmonious coexistence that many who struggle with addiction can learn from. By embracing your past and looking optimistically forward to a better future, you learn to let go of feelings of shame and guilt and instead find things about yourself you can be proud of. LA teaches people that there is no one right way to live, and no one right kind of identity. Many in California with a background of immigration struggle with cultural identity – it’s hard to identify as American when you feel different, and are made to feel different, or even ashamed. It’s hard to embrace a new culture when so much of who you are is ingrained in the old one.
But just as many struggle with these questions, they also find answers. LA is a great place for self-discovery and realizing that an important part of self-acceptance is learning to embrace the unique elements within yourself, rather than clinging to the stigma attached to your past.
There’s Plenty to Do
One of the great benefits of living in a metropolis is the abundance of activities to choose from. Regardless of what your passion might be, LA has a community for you. Whether it’s music, art, fitness, research, food, gaming, or something entirely different, you’re bound to find a group of enthusiasts in or around Los Angeles who are just as interested and engaged in their topic of choice as you are.
Communities and hobbies are critical to long-term recovery, which is partly why large cities with countless different communities are great places to develop your new sober identity. Communities help us feel accepted and surrounded by others who share the same interests and sensibilities, providing a reliable way to meet new and interesting people, create long-lasting friendships, and feel like a part of something greater. Hobbies help many who are struggling with staying sober find something to invest time in, partly as a distraction from their cravings and temptations, and partly as a new way to cope with life’s stresses without gravitating back towards old habits.
Having plenty to do as a recovering addict is important, and there’s never a shortage on things to check out and people to talk to in the city of Los Angeles.
LA and Active Lifestyles
Living an active lifestyle is important in recovery. Not only is it healthy to get up and get moving, but it can help improve a recovering addict’s mood and improve their quality of life in recovery. Many addicts struggle with health problems as a result of their addiction – getting your diet on point and becoming more active week after week can drastically speed up the physical aspect of recovery and continue to pay dividends to the psychological aspect of recovery for years to come.
Regardless of how you prefer to move, LA is a great place for those aspiring to become healthier. From more ‘hardcore’ communities like CrossFit and barbell training to leisurely walking groups, swimming classes, and beginner’s sports workshops, there’s never a shortage of exercises to try or sports to get into.
To recap, sober life in LA can be great – but it’s important to reiterate that it’s not easy. Staying sober is always hard at first, and as much as it helps to have plenty of options, it’s just as important to choose the right ones. That can be a great challenge.
Sober living homes, outpatient programs, and the support of friends and family can help alleviate some of the pressure many feel while in early recovery, when all choices are overwhelming. With time, it’ll become clearer what works and what doesn’t when it comes to choosing treatment options and making lifestyle choices.