Year 1 of Living a Sober Life: How Sober Living Works
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Living a sober life after being addicted to a substance is not easy. The first thirty days are especially difficult, and for many individuals, the first year in general holds a particularly high chance of relapse. But a person can live soberly through determination, hard work, and the support of those closest to them. This is why many individuals choose to stay in a sober living home for the first year of their recovery.
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Early Year One: A Semi-Controlled Environment
Many individuals who leave addiction treatment still need some sort of controlled environment in which to live so that they will not immediately experience the full pressure of trying to live soberly without a safety net. In this way, some recovering individuals receive help from a sober facility where there are specific rules like:
- Sleeping at the facility “at least five nights per week” (NCBI)
- Being accountable for their whereabouts
- Attending a 12-step program and obtaining a sponsor
- Being involved in house meetings
- Not taking or abusing any mind altering substances
Through these rules, residents of the sober house can receive the structure they need without completely giving up their freedom. This is one reason why sober living facilities are very beneficial for an addict’s transition during the first year of their recovery.
The First Thirty to Ninety Days: Reinforcing Your Sobriety
Over time, sobriety will begin to become more normal than drug use, and its positive presence in your life will eventually start to show itself. According to SAMHSA, “As time goes by, you may notice that your head is clearer. Instead of fighting your impulses, you can relax and just go through your day. You can think about the weeks ahead, instead of just today. You are moving into longer-term recovery.”
These changes will reinforce your choice for sobriety, and every day you continue without relapsing will strengthen it more. Once you pass the first thirty days after leaving treatment and coming to a sober living house, you will notice these changes and more to come as you continue.
The First Six Months and Beyond: Gaining Your Life Back
For those in sober living homes, working, seeing friends, and governing one’s self are important parts of the recovery process. Over time, an addict will start to realize that they are able to feel happy without drugs, to perform tasks that they couldn’t when they were constantly under the influence.
Gradually, the normal and beneficial parts of your life (work, relationships, etc.) will begin to resurface, and you will realize how important they were to you before your drug abuse made them seem unimportant. This usually starts to happen after the six-month mark, which is also when individuals in sober homes often need to choose whether they are going to move on or stay longer.
For help finding a sober living home call 800-373-1667 (Who Answers?) toll free anytime.
How Sober Living Works
During the first year of recovery, many individuals decide to stay in a sober living home. These facilities work by giving residents the tools to transition back to their regular lives while still offering support, a balance that is extremely beneficial during this time.