Sober Living & Recovery Residence - Giving The Family A Wonderful Life
Updated: Oct 1, 2019
Long-Term Recovery Programs - It's A Win For The Family / Win For The Addicted!
Emotions are running very high when entering a sober-living environment - for both the substance dependent individual, and their loved ones.
You’ve been at extreme odds with each other for most likely an extremely long time. Now it's time for recovery to begin, for both parties. It's time for the loved ones to take a vacation and take care of their own needs and pleasures. And it's time for the addicted to get to work. See, the answers in the equation of recovery are two-fold ... some much needed R & R for the family and time for the one suffering their addiction to begin the long task of recovery. It's really a win / win! The decision to put the problem in the hands of an organized, devoted, and diligent long-term recovery program, often does not come easy. So often we hear these places referred to as, ‘the last house on the block’ ... when, in all honesty, it is the very beginnings to a new and wonderful lifestyle!
To get to the place where you feel as though you’ve given up is most definitely a hurtful defeat. You’ve likely tried everything you can think of to make your loved one just stop using. They’ve lied to your face and when everything that isn’t nailed down has been taken from your home, they steal the neighbors screw gun and continue. You’re angry, and why shouldn’t you be? You’ve done everything you can imagine to help and they resist in a way that feels hateful and aimed at destroying you. The world burns in front of you, and you’ve reached the point where you have to leap from the window, otherwise, you will catch fire too. If they’re lucky enough to have you be the one to drop them off at a sober living program, you are guaranteed to feel one thing when you leave; instant, albeit temporary, relief. The wind is in your hair. You can breathe and for once, they’re someone else’s problem. This respite will give you some wiggle room to certainly shake off the soot, shower off the stress and regroup.
There’s a stigmatic shame in having to send a loved one to some version of the funny farm, however, as addiction continues to eat our nation alive you join a growing fellowship, (groups such as Alanon are a highly recommended immediate must). You owe it to yourself for the sake of your own survival, to appreciate the time without the nightmare glaring at you. Once you’ve had time to meditate and heal from the emotionally gymnastic floor routine, you can begin to understand what lies ahead. There’s a patience that’s crucial to starting over as opposed to, getting things back to the way they were. Who wants that? At this stage in the game, it’s time for a new life…
Here’s some key things you’ve done right-
1) You’ve put your foot down and said “I’m not going to take this anymore.” In doing so you’ve asked for help and accepted the reality of the situation, which is no one can do this alone.
2) You’ve put some much needed space between you and the addict. Every relationship, whether it be filled with turmoil or joy, needs a lone walk in the park or a door slam. So no matter how you left things, you’ve given them pause.
3) You’ve done the most loving thing for yourself and the addict which is to say to them and yourself, “I love you enough to take care of this.”
What’s more, you’ve chosen a long term sober living environment over returning home immediately after inpatient treatment / detox. Seeking help and not directly enabling a desperate addict is a mountain, and you’ve just moved it. Here’s an evidenced opinion based on my experience in both long and short term recovery; 30, 60, 90 days inpatient addiction treatment centers are just the beginning for most recovering from from drug addiction &/ alcoholism. Of course any effort is a noble feat.
There are exceptions; ‘one chip wonders’ as they’re called in the community.
These recovered substance abusers are often the thing of legends and folklore that defy ‘typical’, and should not be used as a realistic barometer. Before my life turned around at a long-term addiction recovery residence in Statesboro, Georgia. I was sent to a very expensive rehab which rivaled any vacation my key enablers had taken for their own leisure. If you were to tell me I got to go there again, I’d be doling out high fives like tic-tacs with my packed bags in thirty seconds.
Yes that will fix me, but 30 days is all I need, another luxurious breather for my family, my now ex-wife, my poor dog, my liver, and the rows of other relationships still standing but ultimately awaiting incineration upon my return. So after my thirty day stay at the best rehab money could buy. Having been rested and refreshed, under top medical treatment replete with a daily cocktail of new medications that where sure to the fix paralyzing feelings of guilt and shame that living a life in active addiction is sure to cause. I took my renewed-self, the ‘new me’, directly to the liquor store that day to celebrate and didn’t let up until I had literally ruined everything.
One thing addiction loves is an escape plan leaving the ones you love with the bill and task of cleaning up the wreckage of the past. The disease of addiction will stand in your doorway fully rested and freshly tanned clipping it’s nails, waiting to be summoned .You only get one brain and one soul, so it’s not going away. It’s in there. So you have to hunker down and address the core issues and find a healthy way to live with it. This is what long term rehab provides because this takes time to heal. Plain and simple. Imagine the scars left by the emotional trauma you’ve experienced were physical cuts and gashes. They wouldn’t’ vanish overnight.
Frankly, there is no short term solution for a life long problem.
Trust & understand that taking a year off from the world to enter and complete a long term addiction recovery program, seems like forever. But add together the days, weeks, and months spent on countless vain attempt to stop the self-destruction caused by alcohol and drug abuse, whether it be by detox / 30, 60, and 90 day rehabs / incomplete stays at halfway houses and sober living environments / in and out of support groups / etc. Wouldn't it be safe to say 12 months in a structured sober living environment is a small price to pay? In exchange for a lifetime of sane and happy usefulness. Real recovery is all about practicing a sober living lifestyle for such an extended period of time that it becomes a working part of the mind.
So before you do anything, rest a little easier knowing that you haven’t sent anyone away. You’ve done the most loving possible thing you can, and you may not see it at first, however the potential for lasting results is there in spades. You’ve done everything you can, now let others help you. It bears frequent repeating and is a cornerstone of my sobriety that, ‘you can’t do this alone’.
The healing has just begun.
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