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Where Should I Live in the Early Stages of Recovery From Addiction?

“Surround yourself with people who remind you more of your future than your past.”

-Dan Sullivan, Author and Speaker

Success in recovery can depend significantly upon the environment in which you choose to live. Where you live when you are clean and sober plays a significant role in your life. The people you surround yourself with, especially at home, will play a key role in your ability to remain clean and sober. Choosing to live with people who are like-minded and on a similar path to recovery will help you in your recovery. Your living environment can help or hinder your chances of success and your long-term recovery. Think about what you want to become in your future and find people on the same path. You might also consider finding people who are already where you would like to be. These people can provide you with a positive role model for maintaining sobriety.

Environments that are conducive to making good decisions will help you succeed. When you live with people who are not clean and sober, you may be triggered or tempted to engage in addictive or unhealthy behaviors more easily. You want to find people who are not drinking or taking drugs. Ideally, you want to find people working a 12-Step program as well. People with shared goals can support and encourage each other. In the early stages of recovery, building a support system will help you overcome some of the initial challenges of sobriety. Surround yourself with people who are understanding and can cheer you on. You can also help your peers in recovery by setting an example and embodying a robust and positive presence. 

You will also want to be mindful of your surroundings and the community outside of your home. For example, most people would have difficulty living next to a bar or night club. You might be triggered by the behaviors of those going to those places. You may also find those places to be loud and disruptive to keeping a regular sleeping routine.

Community Means Everything

Community is one of the pillars of recovery that Camelback Recovery believes will help you in your recovery. Often, we hear that each person is a composite or an average of the five people they spend most of their time with. Surrounding yourself with people who are stable and also want to be better can help you build the community you need in recovery. Look for people with regular routines and schedules, people with a purpose in life, and people who make good decisions. Live in a supportive environment with people who will hold you accountable to your sobriety and encourage positive life changes. Find people who are able and willing to call out destructive behaviors or notice when you are slipping. You also want to be able to provide this accountability to others to foster a structured community.

Sharing Healthy Habits and Routines

“Your daily routine is the clearest indicator of where you’re going.”

-Benjamin P. Hardy, Author of Willpower Doesn’t Work

A living environment without a clear structure or routine can lead you back to unhealthy habits. When choosing where to live when in recovery, find people who engage in healthy daily habits, like exercise and eating nutritional meals. You will be able to build a healthy structure together if you live with others who are serious and committed to sober living. When you surround yourself with others making good decisions, you have more opportunities to make good decisions yourself. Essentially, you want to find partners in sobriety and other healthy lifestyle choices. You also want to have a sense of camaraderie among your peers as you create a healthy living routine.

Combating “Decision Fatigue”

Decision fatigue occurs when a person has recently undergone a long period of making decisions. Think about how many decisions you have made along your path to recovery! You had to decide on a program, a treatment plan, a facility, additional medical support, or other therapies. You also needed to make decisions as a result of engaging in sober living, such as decisions based on finances or family contact. You may have needed to make decisions about ending unhealthy relationships in your life. Decision fatigue happens when you spend a length of time making numerous decisions. Your decision-making skills begin to fall apart. You may become susceptible to making bad decisions at this time. Finding a structured and supportive sober living environment with others holding you accountable for making good choices can combat decision fatigue.

 

Your environment will play a key factor in your ability to commit to a clean and sober lifestyle, especially during the early stages of recovery. You want to surround yourself with like-minded individuals who can both support and inspire you in your sobriety. Find people taking their life changes seriously as they continue to find healthy ways of living in recovery. By being around people of a similar mindset, you can build a supportive and structured community within your home. Finding people with a purpose can inspire you to seek meaning in your life. A supportive environment will set you up with opportunities to make good decisions and combat decision fatigue. Camelback Recovery believes that supportive environments are essential to recovery and sober living. Call us today at (602) 466-9880 to discuss our sober living programs and recovery coaching!

Comment Card from PCS Client

Was more than a hotel but worth it and I’m glad I stayed here.

The PCS intake people (Mary) are probably fairly influential in steering clients towards accommodation. I will try to shoot Mary an email that I liked it here and would recommend for other guys, especially addicts in early recovery or unstable sobriety.

Meals were great, Richard was super hospitable, other guys were cool.

Aaron – Los Angeles, CA

Recovery is a Journey, not a Destination

When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.

–Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Newcomer

Initially, I was excited about recovery. I felt better for a while. I hate to say it, but now that I’m not at the beginning any more, everything seems worse. I feel more cynical than ever.

Sponsor

What you’re experiencing is part of the process of recovery. Many of us go through a “honeymoon” phase in early recovery. Our craving may feel miraculously lifted. Change feels easy, and hope replaces despair.

Then, life feels difficult again. We may perceive ourselves as having gotten worse, but that’s not accurate. What’s really happening is that, though our addictive craving has been treated, we still have our old problems, habits, and states of mind. We may be getting through the day, showing up for our work responsibilities, attending 12-step meetings, but not having much fun. We may wonder if what we’ve heard is really true – that “our worst day in recovery is better than our best day of active addiction.” We may wonder whether recovery really is the answer after all.

Our doubt makes clear to us that we have to do something. Staying where we are is too uncomfortable. We can attend a 12-Step meeting and read program literature to begin to familiarize ourselves with our next Step. For spirits in need of healing, 12-Step work leads to the next phase of recovery.

Today, I have the courage to move forward in my journey of recovery.

Working an active 12-step program of recovery is imperative to my ongoing recovery. When I first got clean and sober, I fully immersed myself into the recovery process. I started going to meetings, I got a sponsor, and I started working the steps. Further, I made lots of friends that were in recovery. My first year of sobriety, I spent most of my time doing recovery related activities. Or doing things with people that were in recovery anyways. I learned how to have fun with people in recovery. I learned to have fun without drugs and alcohol. Being sober 4 ½ years, I continue to work an active program of recovery. I go to 12-step meetings on a regular basis, I have a sponsor that I connect with almost daily, I have sponcees that I work with, I have a home group, and I have several services commitments. There are several other things I do that compliment my recovery as well. This includes morning prayer and meditation, staying connected to my Higher Power throughout day, yoga and exercise, a healthy diet, and getting enough sleep. As long as I continue to work an active program of recovery and as long as I stay spiritually fit, I will not have the desire to drink or use drugs.