Holiday Season and Sober Living

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The end of the year in a sober living home can be quite intimidating. Living in a home full of people you wouldn’t otherwise be around during the holiday season can be scary at first. I think what can really help with this unease is knowing that all the people you’re surrounded by are all experiencing similar feelings. Whether you’re staying and celebrating with your housemates or visiting with family and then headed back to your home to recharge it can be overwhelming to keep up with a time of the year that is associated with joy.

The truth is it’s not always joyous or happy during the holidays when you’re first coming into recovery. In fact, for me, this time of the year was when I was reminded how unhappy I really was. I had holiday movies and advertisements all around that in those times gave me an unrealistic expectation of what my family and friends should be during the holidays. Through working the 12-steps I was able to recognize the ideas I mentally had been trying to force on my surroundings. This control I thought I could have turned out to be something completely out of my control, but with a new way to look at the same situations, I could accept it for what it was and learn to find the things I was grateful for in those same situations I found so frustrating before.

Today as a sober living live-in manager for an all-female house I try to lead by example. That means working my own program to the best of my ability and trying to instill the principles I have learned over time in all the things I do. I have acceptance (most of the time, progress) and therefore I am much happier and even when I am not elated with joy I am still comfortable sitting in my feelings. I am grateful to feel my emotions today. I find joy in more simple things, like a holiday flavored coffee creamer and holiday movies streaming on-demand and I try to remember that I didn’t always have that. So I challenge you to find the things you are grateful for during the holidays this year, whether it’s finding a loved one the perfect gift or hearing your favorite song on a nice drive… whatever you find, may it bring you a more positive perspective.

Written by Dani Maldonado.

Grateful For What I Have

Sober Living Homes in Arizona

I used to focus on the things in my life that I didn’t have or that did not work out the way I wished they had. I felt like I had failed at many things,  Before I was able to get truly sober, I not only had to learn to accept things the way they are, but, furthermore, become grateful for what I HAVE. Becoming grateful for the smallest things, even having a pillow to lay my head on at night, changed my life. It was then that I had the “spiritual experience” that’s talked about in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. For me, it wasn’t overnight, but it occurred over time. One day, I realized that not only was I a much happier person, but my obsession to drink was no longer there.

After years of trying to get and stay sober, it came down to gratitude. I surround myself with people in recovery who do the same in their lives. Having this community of support is critical for my continued recovery, as well as building the life I want for myself and my children. I have been able to walk my adult children through struggles in their life and teach them healthy ways to work through tough situations. My daughter was going through a tough time after being relocated across the country for work recently. I suggested we text each other a gratitude list of 5 things each day.  I saw the “promise” coming true for me when I received my daughter’s list one morning and the words “MY MOMMA” were at the top. I can honestly say: today, I am a grateful recovering alcoholic.

Written by Amy Peters

About Camelback Recovery

Camelback Recovery provides sober living homes and recovery coaching in a structured and supportive environment that promotes long term transformational changes in our clients by focusing on 12-Step fundamentals, human connection, and accountability. Camelback Recovery is a community committed to promoting and supporting sober living in Arizona. Our sober living home in Phoenix provides a structured environment that encourages behavioral and emotional control to empower individuals recovering from drug or alcohol abuse.

Power in Numbers

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When I first moved into sober living in recovery I wasn’t sure why we had so many rules. Curfew seemed too early, sharing rooms seems like I would get no privacy, the meeting requirements seemed excessive and having a weekly house meeting to “check-in” seemed overwhelming and repetitive. The drug testing I could understand because we were needing to stay clean, but the rest personally appeared unrelated to our real problems. As time went on I realized that I had more issues than a Vogue magazine and because of these rules I was learning how to live without realizing I was learning anything at all. While sharing a room with another girl I learned her boundaries and I learned to set my own. I couldn’t always ask the person who had a car for rides and I didn’t have to give out my cigarettes to anyone who asked. Proper boundaries were something sobriety blessed me with. Having a meeting requirement meant I heard more stories in the rooms that inspired me to keep going. I also met people at these meetings who really cared about me before I learned to love myself. The house meeting we had where we talked about feelings eventually had girls confessing about real things going on. I couldn’t believe when someone told on themselves for relapsing or someone openly talked about their depression and feelings!

I look back and realize that I am lucky to have had those first examples of how to get honest even when the outcome could have consequences. Confessions like that also taught me to reach out to other people in recovery because you never know how someone else is feeling. Curfew taught me time management and chores taught me how to be a part of a group effort as now to do my laundry on my own without my mom struggling behind me when I left things in the dryer (funny but true). Overall I think sober living is such an integral part of recovery because it’s a stepping stone between treatment and the real world. It is a gentle way to start to integrate your recovery into regular life and learning skills that that improve your quality of life as a person in recovery living in a non-recovery world. Today I’m grateful to be on the other end of sober living and be able to help women learn these valuable skills that could help them throughout their lives.

By Dani Maldnoado