First Time in a Sober Living Home? Here’s How to Fit In
Whether you’re starting treatment, newly sober, or actively recovering, there’s no better resource to have on your side than a sober living home. The ideal place to recover during (or after) addiction treatment, sober homes provide safe, secure spaces removed from harmful social networks, addiction triggers, and drug temptations.
If you’re starting treatment, definitely consider a treatment center with a sober living component. It’ll make a real difference in how your treatment progresses. If you’re a program graduate who’s ready to consider independent living, sober homes can help you too. Completing addiction treatment is a milestone in recovery, but it's not the end.
You did the work necessary to adjust to living life without alcohol or drugs, and now you must learn how to live those things out in the real world. While many leave substance addiction treatment and return to their lives without hesitation, some may need support or guidance integrating back into their normal routines.
It’s okay to have some initial reservations about living in a sober home, however. One of the most common concerns is wondering how you’ll fit into the community.
What Is a Sober Living Home?
Sober living homes are residences that provide an alcohol- and drug-free living environment. While you are in a sober living home, you get to learn new skills and build on the ones you learned while in substance addiction treatment.
Choosing to enter sober living doesn't mean you failed to grasp everything you learned while in therapy; it simply means you want to reenter daily life in a more gradual way. You recognize you may have a weak support system or face the dangers of going back to your previous living environment. The object of beginning a sober living program is to give you a little continued support as you begin to implement your new skills for staying sober.
Many homes have groups or classes that guide you towards living independently. You can acquire life skills to advance you toward a healthy, substance-free life. Take advantage of any activities that focus on recovery from alcohol or drugs. You can strengthen your sober network by participating in groups or life skill classes. These connections can become a lifelong source of support. The vital part of starting anything is to open yourself up to the process. Let's talk about what to expect in a sober living home.
The Rules of Sober Living Houses
Sober living homes have rules in place to help you best maintain your sobriety. This is not to make you feel boxed in but to give you structure and boundaries to keep you on the right path. Different sober living homes have slightly different sets of rules, but they generally expect you to engage in your commitment to a healthy lifestyle. The staff, resident council, or house manager creates, oversees, and preserves the house rules. They also decide the consequences of broken rules.
Often, house managers or people on the resident council are also in recovery. In some cases, the positions will rotate among other residents to help build peer-to-peer support. This is done to foster a sense of belonging, independence, and growth. Becoming active during in-house meetings or running for election to one of these positions is a great way to become a part of your sober living house's community.
7 Ways To Fit Into A Sober Home
When you begin life in a sober living house, you should sit down with your therapist and the resident manager or council to go over your responsibilities. A large part of fitting in is knowing the boundaries and expectations. The biggest key to fitting in, though, is to participate and be open to everything the experience has to offer. Below are some things you can do to make sure you integrate well with the other people in your sober living home.
Maintain your sobriety. This one seems pretty obvious, but it's important. Some homes have a strict no-tolerance policy, while others may have some leniency and help for relapses.
Attending meetings. Whether it's a 12-Step or another type of group meeting, find out the attendance policy. When you participate in the sessions at the house, if offered, or go to an outside meeting, you build friendships. Your fellow house members are a great source of guidance while you're working through your steps.
Participate in group activities. You can't create peer-to-peer support if you don't become involved. Dive into activities, try new things, and have fun. Shared experiences make you a part of a social circle.
Be accountable. Pay your rent, attend work skill classes, and hold yourself responsible while you're away from home. The goal of a sober living home is to learn how to be independent while still having a soft place to land if you fall along the way.
Don't introduce any substances to the environment. Again, this seems like it goes without saying, but it's equally as important as the first suggestion. For example, if you're recovering from an addiction to drugs, drinking may not be an issue for you, but your drinking can trigger those who had an alcohol addiction. Keeping the health and welfare of others in mind helps you become a part of the community.
Find a sponsor. Ask your housemates how they found a sponsor or if they can recommend someone. Talking with others provides a deeper understanding of their recovery and how you can learn from them.
Ask if there are requirements for how often you must sleep at the house. Some facilities require you to stay there a certain number of nights per week or month. You may visit family or friends, but this restriction is in place to make sure you're keeping up with meetings, check-ups, and relationship building.
The Best Way To Fit In Is To Participate
Often, when you make a life-altering change, like getting addiction treatment, you may wonder where you fit in now that you're sober. To support your newfound sobriety, entering a sober living house is a healthy option. Fitting in with your sober living housemates may seem daunting at first, but remember, the best way to fit in is to participate.
The Edge Treatment Center guides our clients toward maintaining a happy, healthy life in and out of treatment. If you need a stepstone to independence, consider a sober living home.
To learn more, call The Edge Treatment Center at (800) 778-1772.