Attitude is probably the single most important concept of recovery. Sound like a bold statement? Not so much! The Big Book mentions the word “attitude” almost forty times, with one key thread: that once we’ve truly recovered, “our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change.” Recovery isn’t just about getting over our addictions, or learning the skills we need to live life afterwards without going back to substances. It’s also about adopting an attitude and mindset that allows us to truly make the most out of life post-treatment. After all, what good is treatment if we only return to life as hollow shells, too scared or timid to live to the fullest, not enjoying ourselves but merely existing?
In sober living, much like the real world, attitude determines our altitude. As a midpoint between treatment and life on our own, sober living communities are designed to teach us how to adopt the attitudes that will benefit us the most after graduation. Many of us mistakenly assume that a successful treatment process automatically means an easy, smooth transition to life afterwards, but this simply isn’t the case!
Why is attitude so important?
Remember the little engine that could? “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can” went all the way up the hill with nothing but willpower. We can all take a lesson or two from this popular children’s story– even if it is so old our kids can barely remember it. Attitude, as The Big Book puts it, helps us see “immediate and practical results”– especially when we adopt the right one. With the right attitude, steps that may seem difficult post-treatment become a challenge, instead of an obstacle. As it pertains to sober living, the right attitude allows us to continue to learn about ourselves, diagnose our strengths and weaknesses, and improve who we are as men, without getting caught in a slippery pride pit. If that isn’t enough, attitude is so important because it’s such a fundamental part of our development in recovery! As The Big Book puts it: “To get over drinking (read: any addiction) will require a transformation of thought and attitude.” You can’t get very far in recovery without the right attitude, and even if you somehow manage to get through initial treatment without a significant change in attitude, it will have to change quickly post-treatment in order for you to see any real results. Remember, recovery is a lifelong process. Attitude only gets more important as you progress!
How does sober living change my attitude?
When we’re addicted to something, it can be hard for us to see past what we crave. We often find that doing the things we used to love doing becomes impossible, and that our lives transition to being solely at the whim of the substance we use. Through addiction treatment, we learn to regain control over our lives and rebuild the confidence that our addiction took from us, but only to the extent that the treatment facility can provide. With both inpatient and outpatient care, we learn how to regain confidence and control over our lives, but we don’t always get as much practice with these things in the real world as we need. Because our attitudes are tied to not only what we think, but what we experience, this could make adjusting to life afterwards a bit more difficult.
Sober living picks us up where treatment ends, and provides an environment that allows us to get the real world experience we need in order for our attitudes to adjust. Here at The Last House, we encourage the men in our program to step outside of their comfort zones all the time. In doing this, we instill confidence and help them understand that life after treatment isn’t a scary place, or one where they won’t fit in– it’s one where they’ll excel. Positive affirmation combined with positive experiences makes a world of difference in attitude!
In sober living, we live by one simple rule: we want to have the ability to live the best life we possibly can after graduation, free of distractions, temptations, and, of course, substances. We don’t just wish that and leave it alone, though. It isn’t some lofty goal that we write above the stairway and pat everytime we leave the house. It’s something we actualize– and we do it in large part by attitude. Everyday we live to get one step closer to our goal, and we learn to rely on our brothers to keep us accountable and make sure we’re constantly moving forward. We don’t take no for an answer, and we build the confidence we need to not just fight our problems, but to conquer them. We become gentlemen, scholars, and world-changers right there in the community living room, or around the dining room table at evening dinner. When we go to work, it’s not just the tools of the trade that we carry with us– it’s also the attitude that today will be more, mean more, and achieve more than any other day we’ve seen.
In just about everything, attitude makes all the difference in the world. It’s the difference between fear and confidence, success and failure, and living life or letting it live you. With the right attitude, our best lives are always just ahead of us, and everyday is a great day to change the world.
The Last House is a men’s sober living facility in West Los Angeles with one goal– making you the best man you can be. Call us at 1-866-677-0090 to find out how we can help you today!