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Thoughts from Recovery House Manager

STAYING STOPPED – BY ACTION

“It was always easy to stop, if only by sheer incapacity alone; God knows, I stopped literally thousands of times.  To stay stopped, I’ve had to develop a positive program of action.” – A Day at a Time, June 30th

     Many times throughout our addiction to drugs and alcohol, we would pray (asking anyone who would listen) to stop the madness.  Unfortunately for many of us, until we established new patterns of behaviors and actions, built upon recovery and the twelve-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous, these prayers and short lapses in use would not help us stay clean and sober for very long, if at all.  Many times we would make a solemn oath to never do that drug or drink again, we would make a new resolution to live sober, only to find ourselves turning in our new sobriety just hours later for our old friend.  If we truly intend to stay sober and embrace recovery, a new design for living sober must be embraced. This will require in virtually all cases that we let go of everything we think we know about living life, our addiction and sobriety and embrace a completely new experience. Sober living and or recovery homes and other sober living environments can allow this process to unfold with greater ease.

     A structured recovery home will help it’s residents to stay focused on the current tasks at hand while overseeing and facilitating a much longer term plan. Many sober living homes will accomplish this by designing and implementing a phase program through which their residents are able to easily understand their current focuses in addition to knowing how the will be rewarded as they make progress. This also allows those residents who are truly ready to embrace recovery the opportunity to be rewarded quickly, while those who are still struggling with motivation to find it thorough this process. The self sabotaging behavior associated with drug addiction and alcoholism didn’t begin overnight so we don’t  expect it to disappear that way either. Patience, Love and Tolerance are the three core characteristics our sober living managers will maintain while showing these young men a new way of living sober.

     Getting sober as a young man is not about “getting your life back. “ It is about building and experiencing life in a way you have never experienced it before. The harsh reality of a drug addicted young man is not only that they are being held captive by the substances they can’t control, but they also lack discipline and many other life skills required to live life sober. This is not to say that they weren’t provided many opportunity’s to acquire these skills, but often the restlessness, anxiety, depression and general discontentedness of a young addict mind lacks the discipline to implement them. Sober living addresses this. At Shoreline Sober Living San Diego we provide an environment where peer feedback is used daily. We also incorporate bi weekly sober living house dinners where our residents do a practice of celebrating each other’s successes and express concerns for each other where they are needed. This model of peer feedback, where problems are identified and solutions offered has the power to inspire real change in those who are resistant. The power of the sober community is unique in this way.

     As our recovery house residents get further from their last drug or drink, new opportunities become available, and it is paramount for recovering addicts and alcoholics to navigate these new waters with the appropriate kind of support.  When new to recovery, these opportunities are not always apparent or easily distinguishable. Sometimes a healthy push or caution from a fellow sober housemate is exactly what’s needed to continue the journey.  Our Sober Living home creates a daily structure for residents to capitalize on these opportunities, change the course of their lives and begin contributing to their community.

Mike Gallagher

Shoreline Sober Living House Manager