The Do's & Don'ts Of Sober Living

A Checklist To Find A Reputable Sober Living Environment

As I mentioned in my last post, I would like to dedicate an entire post to sharing the benefits of sober living environments. So, here we go. I first entered sober living way back in 2013, when I was living in Oregon and attempting to kick the sauce. It was, to say the least, a rocky experience because I wasn't ready to be sober. I had not decided to change my life, which, I believe, is the definitive factor in becoming sober or clean. It must come from within, for external forces will never pierce addiction's armor. This I know, my friends. This I do know. Since I was not able to put the bottle down, I only lasted about two weeks at my first sober house. However, once I willingly admitted myself to a sober house, I was able to see amazing results. I mean, for real, y'all. I have seen sober living environments save marriages, relationships with children, relationships with friends and family, careers, all the majors in life.

When someone makes the choice, on their own, to enter sober living, it shows not only a desire for change but also a recognition of their past transgressions. This person is acknowledging that it is imperative they remove themself from their current situation and seek help, lest they destroy everything. This is not a shameful, degrading act, rather one that should be respected and admired. If you're currently in a situation where you're doing more harm than help by staying, and you have the means, I would seriously consider entering a sober living environment. It is a great support system that will hold you accountable and aid you in sorting out your BS. 

As I said in my last post, it can be a bit on the expensive side. On average, I was paying between $550.00 - $700.00/month for a room. This is based on 5 different sober houses. Compared to the money I was wasting on staying wasted, though, it was worth it.

I'm a huge advocate for sober living and will break down what a reputable, well-ran house looks like below. As always, do your research (a Google search should bring up all sober living facilities/centers in your area), call around, and ask questions.*

Recovery Support Meetings & House Rules

Your sober living environment should require you to attend a certain amount of recovery-centered meetings each week. In the beginning, when you're new, this number will typically be higher. As time goes by, however, this will decrease to 3 or 4 a week. You can choose a meeting from almost any type of group, provided they are recovery-related. The Anonymous's, SMART Recovery, and CR are unanimously accepted. This is also a great way to build a support network outside of your friends and family.

Your house should have strict rules that are enforced. For example, there should be no use of alcohol or drugs tolerated, a curfew (mine were always 10:00 PM weeknights and midnight on Friday and Saturday), house chores, and employment. These are the bare minimums, however, make sure they at least have these.

Clear Leadership, Ownership, & Transparent House Meetings

I cannot stress enough how important it is you understand these three things. This ensures you're not entering into a sheisty situation that you'll later regret. You need to clearly understand who the house manager is, who the owner is, whether or not they're the same person, and where your money is going. Also, weekly house meetings are insanely important as it keeps everyone on track and included. It's too easy for alcoholics and addicts to shy away and isolate, and a sense of inclusivity is dire.

Mandatory Random Drug Tests & Breathalyzers

I know it sounds harsh, but again, it's for accountability purposes and ensuring the environment you're choosing is legit. Too many sober living facilities/houses do not adhere to this strongly enough, but it's so detrimental to a person's recovery. Make sure everyone, including the house manager, submits a sample, as well. Accountability, y'all. It's friggin' huge!

As long as those basic requirements are being met, you're most likely in a safe, nurturing space. Allow yourself time to grow here. Remember, it's not going to be the Ritz, by any means, and it's your decisions that landed you here. Learn from this experience, rather than focusing on the negatives. Humility is a powerful, amazing gift, if only we allow it into our hearts. I hope you can look passed the stigma and make a brave choice, for I know you will be proud of yourself further down the road. And seriously, if you have any questions, reach out to me privately.

Have fun, y'all! Enjoy this heat!


*If you're a female with children, this becomes so much more difficult. But do not despair, there are resources. Reach out to me and I'll provide you with a few names and phone numbers.


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