Sober living offers individuals in recovery an opportunity to re-learn life skills in a supportive environment with people who are going through the same issues of rebuilding life after addiction. Sober living facilities provide an atmosphere that fosters independence and accountability, increasing the odds of maintaining sobriety after the transition from sober living to a new life.1
However, after a time living in such a well-structured environment, people often find it challenging to transition from sober living to home life. A number of tips can help ease this transition from sober living to independence.
Talk to Your Sponsor or Group
It’s a good idea to prepare for going home by discussing your feelings and expectations with your sponsor or with your group in the sober living facility. These people may have experienced the same issues and can offer understanding and advice. Voicing your fears about interacting in the family dynamic and dealing with triggers will help you to develop ways to deal with these situations in advance.2
Commit to Maintaining Your Healthy Habits
Maintaining your regular habits of eating right, getting exercise and enough sleep and dealing with stress can help you to stay focused on your recovery and deal with family tensions as they occur. Many people in recovery use meditation, physical exercise or other methods for dealing with stress, and these activities should be continued in the home environment.
Keep Phone Numbers or Emails on Hand
Individuals going home after sober living should do what they can to ensure that the support network they are used to having is available to them in their new environment. Technology makes this easier to do. If you have on hand the contact information of the people you rely on for support, you can touch base with them and receive encouragement when you need it.
Provide Yourself with Distractions
Provide yourself with some distractions you can utilize if you find yourself with some unoccupied time on your hands. A book or magazine, some playing cards or a video game or an easily accessible hobby can help to keep your mind and hands occupied when boredom looms or family pressures begin to cause stress.
Contribute to Domestic Chores
In some cases, substance abuse may have caused dysfunction in the family group that is not yet resolved. A recovering individual should be ready to stay busy, helping with cooking and cleanup or running to the store. Being in service to others can help to maintain a sense of calm and positive energy, even when the situation begins to feel strained, and it can help to promote better relationships by contributing to the good of the group.
Sober living provides individuals in recovery with an opportunity to learn to function independently again while still providing a support structure needed to maintain sobriety. Returning home after a stay in a sober living environment can bring with it a number of stresses. However, if you prepare in advance for the experience, you will be ready to cope with the emotions you’ll experience while maintaining your recovery.