After leaving rehab, or even after simply deciding to try to get sober on your own, it’s important to continue (or start) making lifestyle changes that help support your recovery. One of the most vital decisions we will make and processes we will go through is finding a solid support network.“Connection is the opposite of addiction,” it is said, and most will agree that it is very, very hard to get sober on one’s own. Many do get sober on their own and succeed! But many others need varying degrees of social support. Social support is important in many ways, first because it helps reduce loneliness (the “L” in the acronym HALT, which reminds us of relapse-triggering states–Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired). There seem to be two types of loneliness in sobriety: certainly, the loneliness that we all feel when coming home to an empty apartment or spending a long time without family, but also–and perhaps unique to addicts–is the sort of spiritual and emotional loneliness that we might feel when associating with friends who are drinking or using, either in front of us or in general. It can seem that these people, regardless of how close they are to us, don’t really understand or empathize with our struggles, with our journey toward sobriety. Regardless of whether this is true or not, it can feel that way.
Thus, finding a social circle of other people in recovery is key. For those who go to rehab or an IOP program, our peers whom we meet there are often the first people in that social circle. Try to stay in touch with them after you all leave, even though it can often be difficult–some people relapse, others just get busy. But it’s important to reach out actively; don’t just wait for the phone to ring. Remember that the person on the other end might also be waiting to be contacted, and if neither of you do it then nothing will happen. Part of building a social group in recovery is actively trying to reach out; this is sometimes difficult for introverts but it’s important.
Other times we meet people in recovery at AA meetings or at other recovery group programs like SMART Recovery or Refuge Recovery. The first time we step into a meeting it can be a great relief, as we are greeted happily by others just like us. We feel an instant connection to them, although our backgrounds might be wildly different, because we share the same emotional and spiritual journey with regard to sobriety.
Choosing to go from rehab to sober living, or from independent living to sober living if one is struggling, is a common choice and also a good way to surround yourself–everyday–with others in recovery who will likely become good friends for life. Many wonderful moments of growth and connection can happen at sober living. You might be watching TV and, instead of just being alone, a friend might walk by and say “I’m heading to an AA meeting, do you want to go?” Or instead of coming downstairs alone in the morning you’ll find yourself making coffee next to a fellow addict who asks you, really caring, about your day, how things are going, perhaps asking if you want to do a morning reflection together. Sober houses like Harmony Haus, in Austin, Texas, also may host in-house AA meetings, which makes it extremely convenient to attend a meeting. The accountability provided by regular drug and alcohol testing at sober houses can also help keep those in early sobriety clean, especially during times when their newfound sobriety might become tenuous due to personal doubt or outside stressors. Sober living is also a great chance to make networking connections that might lead to a new job or to new ideas for what one’s future might look like.
It can be difficult to choose whether to go to sober living, as of course there are differences between life at a sober house and life at your normal residence. You may have roommates, and the kitchen or living room may be busier or more crowded at times than you would like it to be. Sometimes our parents or loved ones seem to be “forcing” us to go to sober living, which can cause resentment. A good sober living like Harmony Haus can help quell these anxieties. Harmony Haus is a sober living provider with two locations in some of Austin’s most attractive and quality locations. The amenities, furniture, and house layouts are second to none. It is a place where you will want to stay for a long time and a comfortable, safe, pleasant and luxurious place to call home. The residents are vetted and selected by the owner and managers, they are responsible people who are serious about their sobriety, who keep the houses clean and immaculate, and make them a happy and relaxed place to live with lots of sober support. Harmony Haus is a place you will be proud to live at.
In the end, sober living can be a wise choice for those in early recovery. It provides a transitional house setting between rehab and living on one’s own. It allows us to get adjusted back to life in the “real world” with all of its pitfalls and difficulties, while being able to return to a safe and supportive place. Sober living helps us build a social network and to keep us accountable. And a good sober living like Harmony Haus provides a luxurious setting that may even be nicer and more spacious than your old place! Even if you haven’t gone to rehab and are simply trying to get sober on your own, you might consider temporarily staying in a sober living just for the support and help.
Harmony Haus is a men’s sober living home in Austin, TX. It offers a wide arrange of support for those in recovery, in addition to luxurious accommodations and an atmosphere of serious recovery. Give us a call anytime.