The Consequences Of Skipping Sober Living After Recovery

Sober Living After Recovery | Transcend Recovery Community

Sober living treatment differs from other treatment methods in that it tries to mimic the challenges and responsibilities of normal living, without the temptation of drug use. Sober living environments are heavily tested and probed for drugs, while making it mandatory to work/study, join a form of therapy, obey curfews, and pay rent. While it is not strictly a treatment method, it has been growing in popularity, and the merits of sober living after recovery grow as research continues.

 

Why Sober Living After Recovery Matters

Sober living facilities are often ideal as post-rehab treatment, to help patients better transition into life after recovery. Yet they are more than just an optional extra form of treatment for individuals who struggle to stay sober. Recovery in rehab, while difficult, is not comparable to the challenges in real life including the memories of old habits, the stressors of finding work and coping with a drug-free life, and the constant temptation of knowing where and how to find drugs for a relapse.

Going back into real life can be wondrous for some, and nightmarish for many. To make the transition less painful, sober living after recovery can help train you to live life normally, despite the cravings and urges.

 

The Importance Of Support And Community In Recovery

The reason sober living after recovery does not simply focus on treating people one-on-one is because the aspect of community is central to sober living and recovery in general. Addiction recovery is an individual journey, but we all need to rely on each other to make it through life’s biggest challenges and hardships. To suffer alone is to subject yourself to your own negative thoughts, without the interjection of a fresh and healthy perspective. By supporting one another when the going gets tough, we make life – and in turn, recovery – easier.

It can be difficult to adjust to this, especially early in recovery. But the merits of group therapy are undeniable, and when amplified by living together in a sober living after recovery, you can develop the communication skills and the bonds necessary to survive life’s wildest curveballs without relapsing out of despair or out of a need for comfort.

 

Learning How To Manage Sobriety Through Sober Living

Sober living communities teach you to live life without drugs. They make you prioritize having a stable schedule and things to do. From work to hobbies to group therapy, sober living after recovery can teach you that fighting to stay clean is worth it because:

  • You forge real meaningful connections with people.
  • You fulfill a purpose and provide for others and become an accountable individual.
  • You work as part of a community, helping others and accepting their help.
  • You can pursue your personal dreams and aspirations.
  • You have the time and money to live life and see the world through a much clearer lens.

People struggling with addiction cannot reach out to others and help them. Addiction forces the brain to turn inward, satisfying only that inner need for the next high. Addiction means your decision-making becomes deeply flawed. Sober living communities can help people remember and understand what it means to be there for others, to derive pleasure from being an important and respected person.

When your stay at a sober living after recovery ends, and you decide to go back to reality, little will have changed. Sure, the world is open to you, and you are free to go back to your old habits. But you are also free to live life in sobriety and continue to manage that sobriety by living a much more meaningful life.

 

Looking At The Long-Term

Addiction recovery is, in a way, a training program. Recovery facilities specialize in many different therapies, treatment types and methods to help you understand your thought processes, regulate your emotions and impulses, and control any urges and cravings. Some thoughts will stick with you much longer than others, but the key to proper recovery is not completely silencing all memory and thought of addiction, but rather, learning to live with it, ignore it, and cherish your sobriety far more than any possible escape back into old habits.

As such, it is important to see the long-term roadmap. Yes, in a way, relapse is always there. The dangers of using again are always there. You are one step away from tragedy, at every second of the day.

But you must make that step. You must make the conscious decision to use again, especially after recovery when you are equipped with the tools and the reasoning to stop yourself. While it is a valid fear, life is full of such risks. Every day, we make the decision to continue living, doing the things we do, even if we do not enjoy them, to provide for ourselves and our loved ones, to experience moments of bliss and make everlasting memories of happiness.

That is why sober living after recovery is such an important treatment option. It is the bridge between overcoming the challenges of withdrawal and early recovery in rehab, and learning to cope with all of life’s problems, struggles and temptations without falling back into a worsening spiral of addiction and depression. Sober living after recovery teaches you that life is routine, discipline, work – and self-fulfillment. Life has stress and struggles, but it is also filled with fun and wonder, adventure, and mystery. Your way of thinking and your mindset dictates how you will perceive life going forward and be adopting a positive outlook and sticking together with others in need of support, you can forge your way ahead through even the toughest challenges and come out the other end, still sober and feeling accomplished.

You have the power and the control to maintain your sobriety indefinitely, and never use again. That power is in you. There are days when it weakens, and those days are why we keep company. Friends, family and loved ones to help support you and keep you on the right path when the temptation is at its strongest.

You do not have to relapse, even if you always can. And addiction treatment – specifically treatment programs that specialize in coping and managing urges and stress – will train you to catch yourself in certain thoughts and turn them around before it is too late.

You Have A Responsibility To Yourself To Stay Sober

Responsibility To Stay Sober | Transcend Recovery Community

Addiction is a long fight – for many, it takes years of trying to stay sober to find the point in life where you feel like you can put it all behind you. Staying motivated throughout that fight can sometimes feel like an impossible task. However, thousands of Americans do it every year, tackling their addiction, and living day after day as a sober person.

While there is nothing wrong with sourcing your motivation externally, there comes a point in life when you must be the source of your own motivation – because if you do not truly want to stay sober, then no amount of support will help carry you through the time it takes to grow beyond an addiction.

Motivation is a central part of addiction. It helps to understand that the disease itself attacks your brain’s reward center, corrupting your sense of what is motivating – in a way, at its peak, nothing is more rewarding and motivating than the high, and getting past that to stay sober takes incredible willpower and lots of help.

That is why addiction treatment centers work hard to keep you sober and remove any temptation for the duration of the program. That does not make staying sober much easier – especially with a painful withdrawal – but it makes is much more doable.

Beyond the initial recovery and treatment, staying sober is something you must work at – and with the right tools, you have a solid fighting chance. But learning how to stay motivated after addiction means relearning what it means to be motivated.

 

What Drives You To Stay Sober?

Is there anything you are passionate about? Addiction is as much a physical disease of the brain as it is an emotional battle – severing the tie between yourself and the emotions you feel when you are high can take a long time, and a powerful substitute. While no one should go exchanging one addiction for another, it is a good idea to find an alternate coping mechanism – something you can focus on when times get tough, to relieve stress without resorting to addiction.

Because of its sheer variability and efficacy as a tool for self-improvement and better focus, exercise can be a powerful passion. The hard part is figuring out what form of exercise suits you best. Running, cycling, swimming, climbing, lifting, fighting – the only way to find out is to try.

Of course, physical activity is not the only thing you can be passionate about after addiction. Just like getting active, exploring your own creativity, and expressing yourself on paper, on canvas or on a recorder can go a long way towards making you feel better, reducing stress, and improving at something.

There are greater nuances to feeling motivated. Some people enjoy exercise, but only with the additional motivator of competition. Being passionate about being the best is a great way to hone your focus and develop a drive entirely separate from your addiction. Others prefer to collaborate, seeking to work with others on creative endeavors, in order to make something truly unique for everyone to be proud of.

If you want to stay motivated, then sobriety alone cannot be your sole motivator. You need something else – a passion that pulls you towards it, something that you cannot risk giving up for addiction, no matter how strong the temptation becomes. It needs to be something you can turn towards when times are tough, but also something you enjoy on a regular basis even when your day is going perfectly.

Once you have found your passion, you are one big step closer to stay sober and build a life that is not easily given up.

 

The Importance Of Support

The people who support you throughout your addiction treatment are more than just your support – they are people, with lives and dreams and goals and wishes. Often, they may be close friend and family, or they could the people you have bonded with while getting sober.

Seeing them as friends to care about can create an interdependent relationship where one supports the other – focus on giving, and you may find that you will receive more in the long run. Doing good for others also naturally elicits a positive response in us – we want to do good things for others, and feel good about doing good things, even if we do not receive anything in return.

Building strong bonds with the people who care for you, and for whom you care, can create a greater sense of responsibility towards not just yourself, but others. This accountability to stay sober for their sake will build upon you and give you another sense of purpose beyond your interests, passions, and dreams.

Your responsibility to yourself deepens – to stay true to the person you are becoming, and the tomorrow you envisage for yourself, you must keep on resisting any urge to go back to the addiction.

 

Staying Motivated During Sobriety

Beyond passion and support, another important aspect of staying sober is finding a way to support yourself financially, without taking on too much stress to bear. If you are in a line of work that is financially stable, but find yourself stressed beyond belief, then leave. Find support, ask for help, and do your best to get into a line of work you truly care about – it can save your life.

There is more to finding a job than really wanting it, and there is more to finding the right job than simply wanting to work in that industry. However, an important goal for anyone on the road to sobriety is living a healthy life. That includes finding work to sustain yourself and help support your family as you stay sober, while enjoying the work you do.

 

This Is Your Fight

Every step in the right direction can be incredibly fulfilling – but you have to make each step yourself. While others can help support you, you must progress on your own and reach the conclusions you need to reach to find an emotionally stable place away from addiction, in a sober life built around your responsibilities to yourself, your passions, your dreams, your hopes, and the people you care about.

This is your fight – and waking up day after day, it’s your decision to stay sober and live in defiance of your past and the mistakes you once made.

 

What Can a Sober Mentor Do for You?

Sober Mentor | Transcend Recovery Community

Sobriety is an individual state – it’s something you have to trigger on your own, maintain of your own volition, and pursue with your own agency. If someone pushes you to get sober, it won’t last. If someone gives you an emotional ultimatum to get sober, it won’t last. Even life itself cannot force you to get sober – until death takes you. And even then, you wouldn’t be sober. You’d just be gone. It’s on you to get sober and stay sober – but there’s more to sobriety than taking step for step on a lonely road. You have to do the lifting and make the decisions, but you can do so with a sober mentor or someone by your side, encouraging you, reminding you, helping you do the things you need to do the most in order to stay true to your own promises and live out the sober life you might have longed for.

That is what a sober mentor initially represents – the person in your life who helps you stay sober. But the keyword here is help. Help is always important. We need help, and support – not just as recipients, but as senders. Helping and supporting others can be extremely fulfilling – and in much the same way as you might need the help of a sober mentor to get through the toughest times of your recovery, someone will one day need you. Or maybe they already do.

 

What Is A Sober Mentor?

A sober mentor is a professional. They begin with the experience and the passion to help others – and then they follow that up with training. Sober mentoring programs exist for individuals who have gone through life facing their own hardships and challenges to meet and help people struggling through many similar challenges on their own road to wellbeing.

Sober mentoring is more than a sponsorship program, and it differs from many other programs. In a sense, it’s a one-on-one relationship with a transitional goal in mind – moving from a healing environment like a recovery community back into real life without losing hope or falling out of established sober habits.

Sobriety is not necessarily difficult to achieve. Many people stop using or drinking, and the motivations for doing so do not have to be particularly powerful. The struggle begins when a person has to actually keep up that sobriety, for days and weeks and months. Life is not streamlined, simple or idyllic – it’s messy and harsh, more so for some than for others. Withstanding life on your own two feet is hard enough but doing so while staying sober after months or years of substance use can be gut wrenchingly difficult, and seemingly impossible.

Sober mentors work to open your eyes to the possibilities of a prolonged and permanent sober life, one that makes you strong enough to face all of life’s challenges, including even the most tragic setbacks.

The sober mentor has multiple responsibilities, including keeping schedules for their clients, helping them emotionally and psychologically, collaborating with the client’s other treatment options and with their friends and family, and being skilled in crisis management, interventions, and more.

 

The Mentor/Mentee Relationship

If you don’t like your therapist, you’re not going to get much out of therapy.

This holds true for sober mentorship, as well. A sober mentor is a qualified professional doing their job – but that does not mean that they have to be cold or unfriendly while doing so. It’s important to find a mentor you’re comfortable with, someone with whom you share chemistry.

Beyond that, the mentor/mentee relationship may be one you have to prepare for. The first most important step is to establish within your own mind that you truly want this. A sober mentorship is voluntary – it isn’t a program that should be hoisted onto someone if they’re out of control, but rather it should be something a client decides to choose is best for their transition from a recovery community to regular living.

As such, prepare by considering how you want to incorporate your mentor into your life. Sober mentors are not sober companions – they usually do not get paid large sums of money to live with you and stand by your side 24/7. Instead, they may be available on a regular basis, meeting as often as you are comfortable with, and under certain emergency circumstances.

Decide when and how often you plan to meet, and what you want to accomplish with this relationship. Is your primary objective a smooth transition into a new job? Reconnecting with family? Staying sober for six months straight? Try and consider what matters most, and why.

 

Sober Mentorship In The Long-Term

Sober mentors can be both friends and professionals, yet speaking in concrete terms, sober mentoring is a service that is meant to be temporary. While some individuals might only need this sort of intense professional help for a few weeks, others can spend months or even years struggling with their addiction and various treatments.

The long-term view requires sober mentors to both focus on the now and provide tools that help clients deal with their own issues in the future, as well as working with close relatives and loved ones to help them understand what they might have to do to help the client prolong their sobriety and maintain it throughout recovery and beyond.

Choosing a sober mentor can help a person overcome the hardest, most challenging aspects of recovery – the early recovery period, when the cravings are the most powerful and the memories and emotions are at their strongest. But after a certain period of time passes, it is time for a client to move on towards a more independent stroll through recovery. While we all need support from those around us, seeking professional support forever is not a good sign of progress through recovery. The aim for sober mentors is ultimately to make their own existence in a client’s life obsolete, preferably as quickly as feasible depending on the client’s progress.

What Makes Staying Sober After Recovery So Difficult?

Staying Sober \ Transcend Recovery Community

Many people who have gone through the years and therapy needed to overcome an addiction will tell you that it can be horrendously difficult to admit your addiction, and then take the necessary steps to seek help, find support, forgive yourself and beat withdrawal. Many more will also tell you that, as hard as all that is, it’s just the beginning – and the biggest challenge will ultimately be staying sober long after the treatments are over.

In many people’s eyes, recovery is the period after addiction when someone decides to seek treatment, and undergoes at least an entire program getting their life together and going “back to normal”. But the thing is that this is a misconception. There is no such thing as normal, and there will never be a template life to go back to. When you go through an addiction, you can overcome it and change your life for the better by staying sober – but you won’t go back to living how you did in the past.

When treatment ends, life will be very different from how it used to be before the addiction. And no matter how much time passes, you still have to live with the memories of the feeling of addiction, and the things you did.

Coming to terms with that while staying sober and finding a way to live with and live past the temptation is the real key to beating an addiction in the long-term – and understanding why is important to explaining why staying sober is so difficult to maintain, even after treatment.

 

Staying Sober: Defining Sober

Sobriety is not abstinence – rather, it is having a clear state of mind. That means not just skipping out on your drugs of choice, but it also means skipping out on alcohol and every other drug, and for many people, it means skipping out on any medication that affects your mind unless medically necessary. To be sober, you have to not be using.

Maintaining your sobriety can be torture at first, which is why treatments and programs exist to make the journey a little easier, and help work you through the challenges as they arise.

But people make the mistake of thinking that once the treatment is over, the temptation and the cravings magically disappear. They don’t. Instead, you’re meant to use the time and resources given to you during treatment and recovery to amass a set of tools to work with in times of stress and need, to fend off temptation, fight off cravings, and work on staying sober.

 

The Temptation Of Addiction

The reason addiction has such a radical and long-term hold over the human mind has to do with both a set of psychological reasons, and a set of physiological reasons. These reasons are intertwined.

On the psychological side, an important part of recovery is seeing it not as a treatment for addiction to be excised out of your life, but more as a training for how to deal with addiction, and beat it into obscurity within your life. This takes several steps, the most noteworthy of which is self-love.

This has nothing to do with spirituality, self-motivation, or surrounding yourself with people who love and adore you. It’s not about amassing massive wealth, success, and fame. It’s not about becoming the perfect human.

It has to do with staring into yourself in front of a mirror, and making conscious decisions to turn into someone who is true to themselves, and likes it. Sometimes, you may have to make changes. Other times, you may have to learn to live with, and even love certain aspects of yourself.

Only then, when you’re independently okay with who you are as a person and don’t need to seek validation from others or from outside objects and titles, will you be able to completely embrace sobriety without a shade of doubt. This is because addiction feeds on doubt. It feeds on insecurity and fear. It feeds on worry and stress. If you can’t be happy with yourself, then you won’t be able to live a happier sober life – and the temptations will stay.

The physical reason why addiction is so difficult to overcome is that it warps the pleasure center of the brain, completely changing the way we perceive joy and euphoria. Things that used to bring people happiness – like their hobbies – fall out of favor, while the need for the drug takes over.

Rewriting that takes time, because the stimuli of drug use cannot be beaten. Overstimulation of the brain’s pleasure center is essentially why it gets warped, and recovering from the effects of drug use and staying sober can take years.

 

Losing The Routine

Every drug recovery treatment plan has a routine. Routines are helpful when fighting an emotional or mental battle – they help make life simple, give us something to do, and take away time that might otherwise be spent thinking about or doing something harmful.

The structure that a routine can provide also gives people a daily pattern to adhere to, and return to when things go wrong. A big part of struggling with sobriety outside of the confines of a treatment center or sober living environment is the fact that the routine often eventually falls away, and with it, the sobriety can suffer.

You don’t have to have the same routine all the time, but be sure to bring structure to your life. When the stress begins to knock down your routine, don’t let it all fall into disarray. Adapt, accommodate, and stay strong.

 

Why People Struggle With Relapses

Relapses occur astonishingly often, at least in the eyes of some. Others might recognize that a relapse is nothing to fear, and may even be considered part of the early recovery process for most people.

Having a relapse can be damaging to your overall progress, especially as it resets your sobriety counter – but that does not make it the end of your chance at staying sober, or worse, spell out your doom. A relapse is not a failure. It is just another experience with addiction, and an opportunity to learn and do better.

Through relapses, you can mark periods and triggers in your life that bring you closer to addiction and the cravings, and find ways to be more vigilant of these factors and avoid them or work around them. No matter how large your setbacks are, the most important thing is to keep moving forward and continue on the path to lasting sobriety.

 

What Are the Advantages of Recovery in a Sober Living Community?

sober living

While addiction can be treated in many different ways, there is a universal applicability to a sober living community because they’re more than just a treatment method.

Therapy, rehab, partial hospitalization, and outpatient treatment – there are a lot of ways to help someone deal with the ramifications of addiction and return to a semblance of normalcy and sobriety. However, these treatment tools fail to do one thing as effectively as a sober living community: teach self-sufficiency in sobriety. Ultimately, after a debilitating disease, every patient longs for the day when they can cut loose their crutches. Stand up out of the wheelchair. Use their limbs again. While many treatment centers help residents learn how to deal with sobriety in the real world, it is a specialty in sober living communities.

Addiction can be disabling, sometimes on a mental and emotional level and sometimes on a physical level – and overcoming the effect of years of addiction takes more than a few weeks in a treatment center. Even a 12-step program is limited by its ideology and function as a group therapy tool. A sober living community is not meant to be a treatment method, or even just a facility for early recovery – it’s a place where people come to learn how to live again, and learn how to enjoy being alive again, without drugs. It’s a place where you can become in-tune with your own needs and wants, grow conscious of others, and become part of a community rather than being stuck with yourself.

The advantages of a sober living community are numerous – but before one can delve into why, it’s important to understand what a sober community is.

 

What is a Sober Living Community?

Sober living communities are defined by their ruleset and setting. A sober living community is a community, for the most part – composed of either one building or several homes on private property, it is a tightly-knit, controlled environment where residents can live to guarantee a safe early recovery environment, and stay sober outside of temptation.

Not unlike a homeowner’s association, a sober living community has some established ground rules that must be respected in order to live there. For one, everyone must pay rent. Every resident must also either work, look for work, or be in school. Random drug tests are part of the safety measures implemented to ensure that no drugs are available on community premises, yet otherwise, every member’s time and privacy is valued.

In some communities, it is mandatory to join a number of activities with other community or home members, in order to build a real relationship with others. In other communities, this is left for the resident to decide.

By and whole, every community has the same aim – to create an environment that is as close to real life as possible, simply with more stringent controls to prevent drug use or the temptation thereof. Some communities give residents extra things to do, including house chores and cleaning work as well as curfews, in order to provide both a sense of routine and establish a schedule. These things help residents who struggled with addiction find something to hang onto, a pattern they can use to get back into recovery if a relapse occurs.

Sober living communities have both an individual and collective focus. On one hand, they often offer and further encourage people to seek therapy and treatment, either through the facility’s own treatment options, or outside. Beyond that, sober living communities are a community, and thus invest a large amount of time and resources into organizing group events and outings, group meetings, and group activities.

When a rule is violated, the punishment ranges from paying a fine and apologizing, to being sent out of the community. However, relapses are rare as most sober living communities are meticulous about their security, to prevent any substance abuse on-premises.

Sober living communities are often split into men’s sober living and women’s sober living facilities to provide further comfort for the residents.

 

Leaning Back into Life

Ultimately, the main advantage to a sober living community over a residential program aside from the overall cost is the fact that a sober living community better simulates real life and gives you a greater opportunity to adjust to the responsibilities and difficulties of struggling with both recovery and living life again.

Make no mistake – no matter what you do, you’ll never go back to the same life you once had. Addiction changes everything, including you – but that’s a good thing. Take this as an opportunity to grow like never before, and reshape yourself and your life into something better.

Yes, addiction and addiction treatment will cost both financially and emotionally, and recovering from these traumas won’t be an easy task. But it is an opportunity to seek out new ways to cope with stress, find a line of work you’re truly interested in, and approach your family and loved ones with total honesty and ask for forgiveness.

 

Maintaining Sobriety Outside of the Community

Sober living communities typically don’t have a time limit – which is part of why they are effective. While many other programs are meant to be completed within a certain time period, including most rehab and residential programs, a sober living community can be a useful tool for the first few weeks or months of recovery. However, at some point, it’s time to move out of the community and into a life where many of the same safeguards against drug use no longer exist – especially for legal drugs.

Maintaining sobriety outside of the sober living community is easier than with other treatment facilities or options. The routine and scheduling build into sober living treatments allow residents to embark on their new lives with a better sense of time management, useful coping skills, and the self-discipline needed to work hard without the constant sense of temptation coming from their old days of addiction.

It’s true that, in general, the temptation doesn’t go away completely. There’s always something that lingers from addiction – but with the right toolset, your family and loved ones, and the relationships formed through staying in a tightly-knit sober community, you’ll have nothing to worry about.

 

Kicking Off the New Year Sober

Starting Sober In The New Year | Transcend Recovery Comunity

It’s a new year, and for many people, that thought brings a lot of hope to the table. With the end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018, the perfect time has come to close the chapter on the past and start fresh with a positive outlook. Even if you are not big on New Year’s resolutions, there’s a reason to be excited for 2018. If you have been struggling with sobriety or have only recently decided to act against your addiction, then this month is the perfect time to get ready to combat your addiction and make it through the next year entirely sober.

Sobriety is challenging not just because you’re abstaining from drugs, but because to be sober, a person usually must change. There’s this false idea that changing on any fundamental level is impossible, but that’s not true.

We can all learn to change our habits, pick up new hobbies, dispel old connotations, or even grow as people long after we’ve become adults. In fact, if people weren’t capable of change, we wouldn’t have to worry about addiction.

2018 is the perfect time for you to take up the task of changing your life for the better.

 

Why the New Year?

We’re in the month of January, so if you’re currently struggling with sobriety or just recently decided to get serious about treatment, then starting on the New Year is more a matter of circumstance than deliberate timing. The sooner you get started on recovery, the sooner you’ll get through the bumps of early recovery and the struggles of being sober right after months or years of addiction and destructive behavior.

Otherwise, if you’ve simply been looking for the right opportunity to make a change in your life, then there is no better time than now. The New Year’s spirit is simple: the old year is dead, long live the new year. In a day and age where reinventing yourself has become an industry, January is the perfect month for motivation and enthusiasm. Everybody wants to change something in the new year, and although many people struggle to fulfill their own expectations, all you need is the kickstart to get onto a journey that will last much longer than a single year.

It’s not just a modern tradition. With the new year eventually comes the end of winter, and the beginning of spring, a time for rejuvenation and reinvention. And just like how the early months of 2018 will be spent slowly defrosting our lives, it can also be used to make it past the harsh and frigid first months of addiction treatment.

 

How Sobriety Can Change Your Life

Sobriety will have a massive impact on your overall health and wellbeing – but it will also give you a new lease on life. Many people make the wrong assumption about sobriety, assuming a sober life to be boring, ascetic, and more of a punishment than a freeing experience. Others make sobriety out to be the end-all solution to all your problems – that once you quit drinking, smoking or using, everything will sort itself out.

Neither is true. Sobriety gives you an opportunity to live life with a clear head, so you can enjoy living again by reforming old relationships, creating new bonds, making brand new memories and experiences, and feeling love the way it’s meant to be felt.

But the road to learning to enjoy being sober, and figuring out just how to live life without drugs, is a long and bumpy road. There’s a reason many people jump into a life of sobriety only to become dry drunks – living is never easy, but with the right attitude and the right people, it’ll always be worth it.

 

3 Steps to Sobriety in 2018

There is no definitive guide to sobriety – everyone has their own way. But just because the answer is something you must define for yourself does not mean you can’t seek inspiration elsewhere.

From the popular twelve steps of the AA, to self-therapy guides and sober travel books, countless people have told of their best methods towards sobriety. Here are a few general steps towards staying sober for 2018 and beyond.

 

Commit to Treatment

The first step is always admitting there is a problem, and agreeing to seek help. Treatment facilities exist across the country, with different specializations to help you deal with your addiction in many ways. Some facilities are classic rehab facilities, others focus on a specific type of therapy, or use outdoor activities and other planned initiatives to help local addicts get better.

Find your ideal treatment solution, from sober living homes to residential treatment, and commit to it for the beginning of 2018.

 

Plan for Relapse

Early on during the process of addiction recovery, it is not uncommon to falter and relapse. However, instead of getting back up on the horse, many people fall prey to an emotional cycle that puts them through the wringer, and leaves them without the motivation to keep going.

Planning for a relapse can not only help you prevent one, but also prepare you for continuing treatment after a relapse. Depending on where you decide to seek treatment, they may provide you with additional resources to help get you ready.

 

Consider the Long-Term

Addiction treatment is meant to be temporary – after a certain amount of time, your group support meetings and regular therapy sessions will simply turn into lifelong friendships, or irregular calls between two friendly acquaintances.

While addiction may be something you’ll have to tackle with for the rest of your life, it’s not something you must treat professionally forever. Knowing that you’ll eventually be able to transition into a “normal” life can be comforting, but it’s still something you should prepare for.

While 2018 can be the beginning of something amazing in your life, it’s always going to be bigger than just a single year. Sobriety means knowing you’ll have to commit yourself to staying clean for the rest of your life.

During early recovery, this seems like more of an admonition than a blessing, but the further you’ll distance yourself from your addiction days, the more you’ll realize how much better life is when sober.

You won’t get the old you back – but you’ll get the opportunity to come up with a brand new you, and a completely different life. It all starts with a single decision, and a commitment towards a life of better living.

 

Building Brotherhood In Men’s Sober Living

Brotherhood In Recovery | Transcend Recovery Community

By: Alex Ziperovich

A men’s sober living is a home where men have the opportunity to live in a healthy, safe, and alcohol/drug free environment, usually after completing a process of detoxification and stabilization at an inpatient facility. It is essentially a step-down from residential treatment for addicts and alcoholics transitioning back into the real world. There are a plethora of different options that compete for your attention after treatment, and it is important to carefully consider every route. This vital series of steps you take to treat your addiction after undergoing inpatient treatment is known as “aftercare”. Creating an effective aftercare plan is critical for continued success, and choosing a sober living is one fundamental element of the vast majority of these plans. Remember that every single sober living is unique in its level of care, the amount of structure, and the inclusive and optional amenities provided. The unifying theme is the cultivation of a community of people committed to living clean and sober, together. Transcend’s sober living community is second to none in providing a vibrant, exciting life with a brotherhood of sober men.

A sober living provides men with a nurturing place to live and build brotherhood among other men with whom they begin to rebuild their lives in a residence where they are secure against the temptation of drugs and alcohol. Men form strong bonds with other men and journey toward their own improvement and empowerment together, supporting and learning from one another. This community support has been shown to be effective in longitudinal studies conducted that consistently show improved outcomes for addicts and alcoholics that enter into sober living situations.

 

Structure – Level of Care

Sober living residences provide varying levels of structure for their clients. This set of rules and the intensity of involvement in the planning of its residents’ daily lives is known as the “level of care”. At one end of this continuum is a residential treatment facility, which provides a higher level of supervision and structure for its clients, many of whom require continuous, uninterrupted oversight because they are at higher risk for relapse. Sober living exists on the low end of this spectrum of care, and is thought of as being one part of an effective post-treatment portfolio of treatment, in the same vein as IOP (Intensive Outpatient) and counseling services.

While no two sober livings are the same, most offer a gradual and deliberate increase in personal responsibility through a process of acquiring trust that is then proportional to a client’s level of freedom. Acquiring your independence through accountability and honesty is integral to success in sobriety. Transcend Recovery Community’s commitment to its client’s success through the application of continuous, unwavering support and healthy structure is a quality that sets Transcend apart. Ultimately, this process can serve to be profoundly liberating for those seeking to learn how to live and thrive without drugs and alcohol.

Transcend Recovery Community offers round-the-clock direction and engagement with clients, offering a high staff-to-client ratio in the hope that residents feel comfortable, safe, and cared for during their individual processes of recovery. Indeed, the ability of the client to utilize the wisdom and encouragement of Transcend’s highly experienced staff is one of the qualities that truly makes a unique, healing experience for the residents that live there.

 

Support – A Community Service

Many battling dependence on drugs and alcohol find themselves isolated and alone, often without many meaningful friendships, while relationships with family and significant others are strained from the trauma of addiction. Living in a sober community creates a chance to cultivate new, positive relationships and brotherhood with people that are going through some of the same things.

There is a real power to knowing that you are part of a brotherhood of like-minded individuals, all striving to better themselves. Your personal growth is in many ways contingent upon how you interact with, and become part of, the larger communities in your life. Sober living is one important way to build brotherhood in recovery and a network of people you can rely on when times are tough, and to support you when times are good.

You will share both your triumphs and your setbacks with the group of people that live in your sober living, and many of these people will become important to you, as friends and confidantes and allies in your sobriety. As you grow and mature in your recovery, you will find that these people are some of your greatest assets. Indeed, if addiction and alcoholism have driven you into alienation and seclusion, sober living is a way back into a supportive community, where you can find brotherhood and will be included and cared about.

 

Comfort – A Lifestyle Choice

Different sober living’s offers certain comforts and niceties, and these will be an important part of choosing one that is right for you upon your departure from inpatient treatment. The amenities offered at a particular sober living, along with the living quarters themselves, are what determine the price.

Transcend’s recovery community, based in Los Angeles, California, New York, New York, and Houston, Texas offers an amazing lifestyle for recovery. Healthy, nutritious meals are prepared by a professional chef 5 days a week. All our spacious houses are in safe, desirable neighborhoods. All-inclusive membership to an exclusive boutique boxing gym is complimentary. Transportation to and from therapy and off-site activities around greater Los Angeles is provided. We have 24/7 on-call staff with personal experience in recovery. Yoga and acupuncture on a weekly basis, and a variety of experiential sessions such as yoga, art, surfing lessons, boxing, camping and hiking, and introduction to recovery oriented programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Refuge Recovery, Buddhist Mindfulness, and SMART Recovery.

 

Success – Men’s Sober Living

Choosing to live in a sober living is a tangible way to show yourself and the world the seriousness of your intention to stay sober. Transcend’s men’s sober living is committed to helping men (and women) create fantastic lives, as a part of a community of people dedicated to transforming their lives and the lives of those around them. We’re striving to help men learn to help themselves through a journey of self-rediscovery and brotherhood. There is no better way to begin your life anew away from narcotics and booze, and to do it comfortably and happily, surrounded by people that get it. Call the recovery specialists at Transcend today at 800-208-1211 and see how joining the Transcend family can change your life.

How Sober Living Communities Can Help With Recovery

sober living communities | Transcend Recovery Community

Sober living communities are but one of many possible ways to treat addiction – but they are potentially one of the best ways to go about helping someone reintroduce themselves to living life after months or even years of severe addiction.

To be a part of a sober living community, you generally must:

  • Accept regular drug testing
  • Live as part of a community with a strict ruleset
  • Meet regularly for group therapy
  • Take part in a few events and activities
  • Work on finishing school or getting/keeping a job.

Sober living communities will keep you very busy. This is important early on. In early recovery, emotional tensions can run high and things can get heated. You might wallow in regret over past decisions, or get irrationally angry over past behavior. You might lose hope for yourself, or think back on the painlessness of a high.

These are the moments that are darkest for most people – when a relapse draws near, and they feel the urge overwhelm them. But in sober living communities, strict rules and a regular schedule fight these urges. You’re surrounded by others fighting their own personal battles, some of whom are veterans and have a lot of advice to give. And best of all – you’re never alone, even when it feels like it. And that’s more important than many realize.

 

Addiction And Loneliness

Many addictions have a lot to owe to loneliness. At our core, we need others – especially when we are troubled. It’s by reflecting our thoughts, fears, anxieties and worries on others that we can find peace, by hearing a voice other than that of our own. But only if we can trust someone else, and be truly close to them.

If you’re capable of trusting someone, then putting that trust in them and confiding your feelings can help bring you a sense of relief, and the opportunity to find a solution to your problem. But if you’re left to tackle your issues alone, or worse, cut yourself and your issues off from others in a show of strength, you will let them fester and grow unchecked.

In a perfect storm, this speeds up the path to addiction. After a while, you don’t want to hear the doubt anymore, and no other distraction proves as potent as addiction.

It doesn’t even have to be as complicated as that. Others don’t just struggle with something, but struggle simply with being alone. That loneliness eats at you, and it isn’t natural to most people. We work best in a group, and we form relationships to survive – partnerships, friendships, alliances, bonds, marriages. People need people, and you need people; which is where sober living communities come into play.

 

Providing A Sense Of Togetherness

More than many other programs, sober living communities provide you with the opportunity to make new friends with a significant thing in common – as well as meet people who might become your pals for the rest of your life. It’s a wonderful place to focus on togetherness as well, as a sober living community must hold together to keep peace and provide a place for recovery to prosper.

Not only is it about group meetings, but it’s about living together, sharing stories, going on activities, working with one another, learning to trust and confide and function as part of a group rather than keeping yourself and your thoughts in total solitude.

 

Sober Living Communities As A Post-Rehab Option

While residential treatment and sober living communities have a lot in common, sober living is not a rehab facility – it’s a place for people who have problems with staying sober in a real life setting, and need the rigidity of a strict schedule to form new habits and learn from others.

Sober living communities are also a place that typically does not force people out of its program, letting them stay longer if they need to, while many rehab programs have a more limited timetable for patients. This makes sober living communities an opportunity to wean off the comforts of rehab, getting back into living life without drugs.

 

Sober Living, And The Long-Term Recovery Journey

Signing up to a sober living community is less like summer camp or boot camp, and more like signing up to a whole new part of life. Not only are you going to get the opportunity to learn to live without addiction, and experience sobriety in a way that makes you appreciate life and fight the cravings rather than struggle to stay sober every day, but sober living will help you build new habits, create new character traits, and mold the parts of yourself that will carry on this recovery for the rest of your life.

To truly excel in staying sober, you have rethink life. And such a massive shift in perspective is hard. It’s important to realize that nothing will be the same, and you will not be the person you once were. You must embrace new rules, new ethics, new friends, and a new life.

It sounds almost religious, but this is a very individual journey that has as much to do with your own spirituality as it does with psychology and neuroscience – addiction is not simply a disease of the brain or a problem with the mind, but it’s a combination of several unique factors that largely differ from person to person: a condition created through certain circumstances and coincidences. No one chooses an addiction – and even if bad choices may have led you to where you are now, the only thing that matters is the set of choices you make to get back to living a real life.

With sober living communities, you will be a part of a diverse group of people who have come from different walks of life to tackle a similar issue in their very own way, with their very on perspective. You’ll hear stories, read books, watch people, but come to realize that the answers you need must come from yourself, and in the multitude of it all, you might find your very own path to recovery.

From there, it’s a slow and long climb out of a deep hole for most people – but with the help of others, the trust and friendship of people who have struggled with similar depths and similar pain, you can come to a point in your life where addiction will feel like the past, and the future will seem very bright. You can find sober living communities all over the place in cities like Los Angeles, New, York, Houston, and more. Take charge of your rehabilitation today!

 

Being Thankful For Recovery This Season

Thankful For Recovery | Transcend Recovery Community

It’s Thanksgiving season, and for most families that means enjoying a delicious meal of turkey and assorted side dishes. Regardless of whether you’re making a trip across the country or hosting a dinner yourself, it’s time to be with family (or friends). But before we go off and indulge in all our favorite recipes, it’s important to remember what this American tradition is all about: giving thanks. For some, that may mean something as simple as being thankful for their family and friends, but for many they are thankful for recovery this season.

 

In The Spirit Of The Season

Centuries ago, the Pilgrims moved from England across to a foreign continent, in hopes of escaping to a world where they could practice their faith freely and own property. However, life for early European settlers was far from easy. On a land they didn’t know, dealing with crops they had never grown, living was hard.

It was through many tenuous truces and very little trust that both the Pilgrims and natives began to work together – and through the generosity and knowledge of their neighbors, the Pilgrims managed their first successful harvest. This trust endured 50 years, one of the only examples of peace between early European settlers and the Native Americans.

To give thanks, a historic feast was ordered – one that lasted several days, and involved more venison than bird.

Thanksgiving as a national holiday didn’t become an idea until centuries later, under Abraham Lincoln – but the intrinsic idea behind the holiday is giving thanks to the land, to God, and to the generosity of one’s neighbor for their kindness and humanity. The Pilgrims were immigrants, foreign in a new land, confronted by new challenges and forced to deal with new hardships. They worked hard to survive, endured these challenges, and went on to live peacefully alongside their neighbors for half a century.

In recovery, challenge becomes a daily fact of life. Escaping addiction is a life-long marathon, with days when the jog feels more like a sprint for your life. It can be exhausting, disheartening, and at times, it’ll catch up to you and set you back. But through the help of your family, your friends, and everyone else who has brought light to the darkest days of your recovery, you’ve made it this far.

And there’s no limit to how much farther you can go. Be thankful for recovery this season.

 

Why Gratitude And Thankfulness Make A Difference

Gratitude and thankfulness are far more than empty platitudes on a cheap Hallmark card. They’re essential to the development of an effective long-term recovery plan, for the simple reason that if you don’t feel good about the progress you’ve been making, then sooner or later you’ll find yourself disillusioned and unmotivated instead of thankful for recovery.

A lack of motivation will kill any journey, regardless of what the end goal may be. But staying motivated over weeks, months and years is very, very hard. You’re bound to doubt yourself, question your progress, and beat yourself over the head for what ultimately amounts to minor mistakes.

Being thankful for recovery won’t make those thoughts go away, they’re part and parcel of life. But it will give you the strength necessary to overcome them.

This is important: life will always seem heavy. But if you ignore the fact that it has its joyful moments, if you only focus on the dark parts and the negative thoughts, then they will consume you. The people around you can only do so much to help you out – it’s ultimately your perspective that decides how you feel about your life, and what you’ve done. There’s no way to go back and change things, so focus on all the better parts of the past and look forward with the intent of creating more of those positive moments and be thankful for recovery.

 

How Your Way Of Thinking Can Affect Recovery

Since psychotherapy and talk therapy have become viable tools in psychiatric medicine to help evaluate patients, diagnose problems and even create treatment plans, we’ve come a long way in understanding how our thoughts shape our behavior.

Drug use isn’t solely a mental issue – but it has a massive impact upon people’s mental states. Patients struggling with addiction tend to struggle with depressive thoughts and anxieties. They worry, fear, and expect the worst. On top of that, the guilt and shame of bearing the stigma of drug use makes it harder and harder to get out from under it all – and this contributes to a cycle of using, stopping, experiencing withdrawal, and using again.

But every now and again, through the help of loved ones and medical experts, the cycle can be broken. The person makes the conscious decision to stop, takes the necessary measures to fight back against their doubts, and makes it long enough to feel hope again. These moments don’t always last months and years – sometimes, relapse kicks in anyway – but it’s important to hold on to them.

 

In Short: Be Happier & Thankful for Recovery

This is where therapy tools like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy really help people who struggle with the emotional and mental aspects of drug addiction. And these tools provide insight into why a positive, thankful way of thinking can create such a massive difference in someone fighting against their addiction.

CBT is a method of therapy that reinforces positive thinking and a good mood to push back against depressive thoughts and anxiety. It doesn’t guarantee a cure to these thoughts, but instead arms patients with the line of thinking they need to live above them and be thankful for recovery.

That’s what thankfulness and gratitude can bring you: the ability to live above the demons of your addiction.

 

The Sober Life – Here’s What You’re Missing Out On While Addicted

The Sober Life | Transcend Recovery Community

Addiction can be a very domineering partner, preventing you from living a sober life. And indeed, when you’re struggling with addiction, you don’t really have time for anyone else to take that place. But partnerships are meant to be mutually beneficial, which makes most cases of addiction more akin to an abuse relationship.

The alternative – living a sober life and being connected – is better. But why? Some people struggle with the most unfortunate circumstances imaginable, wherein the insurance of a quick high can be a sweet emotional relief. However, addiction always comes with a price – and that price is its long-term cost, both financially and emotionally. Drug use is a very expensive past time, even if it only comes down to chain smoking. And emotionally, addiction will cost you the one thing that can be better than any high: real connectivity.

 

Addiction and FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)

Often, addiction may be driven by the fear of exclusion – the fear of missing out. Take alcoholism – many addicts consider themselves “social drinkers”, ignoring the copious amounts of alcohol they consume both with and without friends. Sometimes, an addiction is fostered not by a love of booze, but by the fear that not indulging in every possible party means you’re not living your life. The transition to harder drugs is often a result of peer pressure, as teens especially are susceptible to risky behavior if it means gaining recognition.

Digital addiction – which has strong neurological links to other types of emotional dependency, including substance abuse – is also spawned off the need to “stay connected” with others, at the cost of actual true connection. This is because, just like most cases of emotional addiction, there’s a big gaping hole in people. That hole is loneliness and the fear of being left alone.

The fear of missing out, or FOMO as it has been abbreviated, has recently become a manifestation of anxiety. As we live more of our life online than ever before, people find themselves using their smartphones for five straight hours a day on average, checking their phone upwards of a hundred times a day. Instagram posts, Facebook updates, Twitter streams – we keep track of several feeds at a time, interrupting normal social interaction with the struggle to keep up with the next event, the next shareable thing, the next significant online story.

There is an insecurity in every one of us that somehow, for some reason, we don’t really belong. This fear drives us to improve our ability to mesh with people, to be more sociable, to interact more with others and receive their feedback. We have roles in society that we shape for ourselves or mold into, and friends we confide in for support and discussion. Yet today, technology has us superficially connected and, in a way, more disconnected than ever. While it’s true that we can communicate and relate to five people at once all over the globe in real time, we’re missing out on face-to-face conversations with the people we could spend time with here and now.

In a similar sense, emotional addicts chase the next high looking for a way to escape whatever pain they’re currently facing. Some face physical pain, others are facing the same fear of loneliness and rejection. Like the screen of a smartphone, drugs pose a distraction to keep up an emotional facade. Yet the equivalency ends here, as drugs are still far more dangerous than heavy smartphone usage can be.

By quitting this search for a fake alternative – a quick high, rather than the real thing – those struggling with addiction can find what they’re really looking for.

 

Connection

It takes a while, and it takes two to make it work, but the social connection is an irreplaceable thing. Having a real friend – someone who looks at you not as a tool or an object but as someone to care about and support, someone you can care about and support as well – is invaluable. Finding a friend like that isn’t possible with addiction, for the simple reason that it is all-consuming.

An addiction will eat up your money, your time, and your mind – the brain damage caused by drug use can manifest itself in a cognitive decline, cutting into your ability to think and feel. Addiction also keeps you from experiencing emotions the way they’re meant to be experienced, bottling all your stress up instead of creating an outlet through which you can blow off excess steam and come up with a solution to your problems.

Quite simply, an addiction will do nothing to get you out of trouble or help you cope with living life. A friend, on the other hand, can help. And a good friend will always help.

 

Time (And Lots of It)

Addiction is time consuming. You lose track of time, and you lose time you wouldn’t have with a sober life – time spent high, time spent blacked out, time spent doing things you can’t remember anymore due to memory loss. Time is a valuable thing, and we all have a finite amount of it – time is the only chance you have to make things better for yourself. If you waste it, you’re wasting away your own chance at a sober life.

When you quit drinking, using or smoking, and decide to live a sober life, you’ll find out that you suddenly have a lot more time. That’s time you can spend doing things – find ways to occupy yourself with work, with hobbies, and with other people. Don’t delve headfirst into a life of stress right after quitting your strongest form of stress relief for a sober life. Instead, take some of your time to consider a more structured approach to sobriety, such as a sober living community.

 

Self-Love In A Sober Life

The most important thing about quitting an addiction and living a sober life is that it frees you up not only to care about someone else but to love and accept yourself again. Self-love isn’t about narcissism – it’s about agreeing that you are worth the effort of living a sober life. It’s about believing that you deserve to try and have a little happiness in your life.

Addiction doesn’t let you do that. It feeds on insecurity, on guilt and shame. These feelings foster both as a result of stigma, and because the crash of a high can help develop depressive thinking. Cutting these negative emotions and mood swings out of your life makes room for positivity, connectivity, and love – it doesn’t automatically generate any of these things, but with time, you’ll find that you have it in you to make your sober life a better one than ever before.