by Chris King and Heather Toney
The journey of sobriety can be filled with fear, the unknown, and the unexpected in the being. This is especially true if it is your first time trying to get sober. Whether you are coming off the streets, out of rehab, or straight from incarceration, everyday life can be overwhelming in early recovery. Some of us may have never paid a bill or made a bed. A lot of us do not have basic life skills due to being a slave to the drink and the drug for so many years. Sober living can help ease the burden of early recovery. Here are 5 benefits of sober living.
- Sober living provides a safe place to live– When starting your journey in recovery the obsession to use and drink echo’s through your mind at volume 100. All we have known for however long we have been using or drinking is how to use or drink. Sober living provides a safe, drug and alcohol free, space without outside temptation for you to recover.
- Sober provides structure– Structure is especially important in early recovery. What is the saying? “Idle hands are the devil’s playground.” There are usually clear-cut directions and expectations in sober living. You have a curfew, you must have a job, you must attend 12 step meetings, you must have a sponsor, call that sponsor, and work the 12 steps with your sponsor. This structure is designed to set clear boundaries, while allowing the newly sober man/woman to get acclimated to what life without drugs or alcohol looks like.
- Sober living provides responsibility– A lot of us have not had a sense of responsibility is ages. While living in sober living you will have some basic responsibilities. You will handle a chore each day. That could be washing dishes or sweeping the dining room. Basic things you will do in day to day cleaning of your own space. You will have to make your bed daily; you will handle getting a meeting slip signed. You will also handle paying your own fees. These responsibilities prepare us for how to handle life on life’s terms.
- Sober living provides accountability– Some of us have skated through our disease with little or no accountability. Sober living will provide it. If we are not held accountable for our actions, we will continue to act out. Sobriety is not just removing drugs and alcohol. Sobriety is changing our behaviors as well. You can count of your house manger to hold you accountable for not doing your chore for example, or not making, your bed. There are meeting slips you get signed at 12 step meetings to hold you accountable to your 12-step program.
- Sober living provides community– When you are living, eating, and breathing with the same people day in and day out, you become family. The sense of community is extraordinarily strong in sober living. We encourage each other, we celebrate milestones with each other, we watch each other’s backs. In sober living you will never have to be alone on your new journey of recovery.