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.