The Gentleman’s Guide to Recovery

The Gentleman’s Guide to Recovery

Chris Kirby, Director of Admissions here at The Last House, kicked off a Dr. Drew segment quite pointedly. “We’re dealing with a disease that is characterized by ego, entitlement, and selfishness,” he said.

He couldn’t be more right.

As drugs and alcohol have become more and more mainstream in American culture, many millennials have suffered the devastating consequences of addiction. Fortunately, addiction awareness has increased, and many of these men and women are getting the help they need at recovery facilities nationwide.

When they leave these facilities, however, there can sometimes be a steep learning curve, particularly if their treatment was coddling or didn’t present the real-world experiences that they would likely face after graduation. For men, this can be an issue, because a “learning curve” could mean trouble finding a job or providing for their families.

This is where sober living comes in.

At The Last House, an all-male sober living house in West Los Angeles, we focus on the exact opposite of coddling, and mitigate ego, entitlement and selfishness by providing a rigorous but fair living environment and pushing our clients to get out into the workforce, take responsibility for their actions, and be proud of who they are after treatment, without relying on others like family members and friends to do things for them.

Sober living facilities like The Last House place a premium on providing support for men that need a system that will allow them to get back on their feet, champion their recovery, and have an encouraging tribe of brothers to help them make the right decisions. We’re here not only to help men transition back to life on their own. We’re here to make them gentlemen, and, as the

The Big Book says, to help them learn how to drive and motivate others to pursue recovery as well.

How does sober living make me a gentleman?

Page 88 of The Big Book couldn’t be clearer: “We alcoholics are undisciplined.”

This statement doesn’t just apply to alcoholics, though. Many men who have suffered from addiction and gone through treatment may have the discipline to refrain from using substances, but this doesn’t mean that they have the discipline for everything. Just like anything else, we have to learn discipline and the importance of it in order to train ourselves to do the things we need to do for our lives, our health, and our families after treatment. In learning discipline, we also learn self-reliance, and acquire an essential trait of the gentleman: the ability to control ourselves and become truly independent.

In sober living, men learn to appreciate a structured environment, rules, and discipline, in much the same way the military learns structure and order. We have curfews, required meetings, and consequences for our actions that make us that much more inclined to follow procedures. It’s not that rules are shoved down the throat, or that punishments are harsh or unfair (for missing a mandatory meeting, for instance, the required and fair consequence is to write an essay on the importance of punctuality), but we learn that rules and parameters are actually healthy for us in a way that we probably wouldn’t have out on our own.

The Big Book is the inspiration behind the sober living facility’s discipline policy, and it couldn’t make more sense:  “Did anyone ever hear of a society which couldn’t somehow discipline its members and enforce obedience to necessary rules and regulations?”

In sober living, we know that the only way to get the most out of each other, to become gentlemen and champions of the benefits of recovery, is to hold each other to a standard of excellence and order. That standard is upheld by the rules we follow.

Sober living also makes men into gentlemen by teaching the importance of self-reliance. The Big Book speaks about self-reliance in a number of ways, and, it is true that when addicted, self-reliance can sometimes prevent us from getting the help we need. However, after treatment, it is important that we learn to rely on ourselves again. In fact, it is one of the markers of a true gentleman, and it shows the world that we have what it takes to take care of ourselves and make notable contributions to our communities.

When addicted, the world often sees us as people that cannot control ourselves. Addiction can make us a nervous wreck almost incapable of functioning normally in society, and at this stage, self-reliance is out of the question. With treatment and the right sober living plan, however, this changes. The Big Book uses the phrase “from a trembling, despairing, nervous wreck, had emerged a man brimming over with self-reliance and contentment” when describing the man that has successfully recovered with the help of such treatment. At The Last House sober living facility, we teach this self-reliance by forcing our clients to do for themselves. Whether this means rotating group dinner shifts, going on job interviews, or showing up early to court dates, we show our men that self-reliance is all about an attitude, and the brothers in our facility help each other foster that attitude organically.

Being a gentleman starts with discipline, which transforms into a self-reliance that breeds confidence, surety, and meaningful societal contributions. At The Last House, our sober living community provides the tools men need to make more of themselves than they were even before addiction. We don’t just teach men to live life after addiction. We teach them to live life to the fullest. Call us at 1-866-677-0090, and start taking your life back today!

One Mind, One Body, One Soul: Aligning Yourself to Maximize Your Recovery

meditation in recovery

To align mind, body, and spirit is to live awakened. It is to become more in tune with not just who you are, but with the person you want to be, and even the person you used to be. We all have desires, passions, and dreams, but we often live in a way that prevents us from realizing them. Living this way stints our growth, and keeps us chained down. At The Last House sober living, we encourage young men to break those chains and live connected, both through activating their own mind, body, and spirit connection, and through forging uplifting bonds with their peers.

For a long time, addiction treatment was purely about the mind. It made sense, to an extent: because addiction is a mental illness, it was only fitting that recovery efforts focused on the mental implications of the illness. Unfortunately, not paying attention to the physical or spiritual consequences of addiction led to treatments that were not nearly as effective as they should have been. Over time, therapists found that they needed to adopt a more holistic approach to treatment, and the idea of treating the mind, the body, and the soul was born.

Sober living houses like The Last House could not be better suited for this kind of holistic addiction treatment experience. Here, we are just as focused on what is going on in your head as we are on how you feel, and even how you collaborate with others. That’s one of the reasons why we champion collaboration in everything we do. Being around a tribe of brothers always striving to better themselves invites you to do the same

What exactly does alignment mean?

Our bodies live in more than one dimension. There is the physical dimension that we see, touch, taste, hear and feel. Then there’s the mental dimension, and the spiritual. Most of us never really stop to consider how these dimensions might be intertwined, but they very much are. For instance, think of what happens if you tell yourself that you do not want to get out of bed and go to work, because you hate your job. Almost immediately, your bed begins to feel a lot more comfortable. That’s physical. You more than likely begin to think of jobs you would much rather have. An astronaut, perhaps? Or maybe a scientist? That’s mental. Then, as you slog off to brush your teeth, make the coffee, and get ready for the day, you can’t quite shake the feeling that you really don’t want to go in to this job. That’s the spiritual. Many people live in misalignment on a daily basis, and they don’t even realize it. They feel these things, but aren’t able to make the connection, and wonder why their life feels off.

The thing is, whether we like it or not, our bodies understand and are constantly aware of this connection at all times. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous makes the connection between the three dimensions very clear, as it pertains to drinking, and even indicates that the reason for alcohol addiction begins in the spiritual realm. It says: “we have been not only mentally and physically ill, we have been spiritually sick. When the spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out mentally and physically.” In short, when we look inside ourselves, we can see the spiritual malady that causes a physical reaction when we pick up a bottle (to drink), and address it accordingly.

Alignment, then, is identifying that there is a connection, and changing our outlook accordingly. At The Last House, we focus on what it means to identify this connection in a number of ways. Number one, we encourage transparency, direction, and emotional vulnerability in our group sessions. Every man in the room has weaknesses and strengths, and we tell it like it is there. Encouraging one another to look inside and pull out things that we’ve kept hidden forces us to confront spiritual and mental stressors. Then, in sharing, we make a physical action out of what we’ve discovered inside.

Number two, we champion camaraderie. Every man shares a room with at least one other man. We eat meals together, go on outings together, laugh together, and cry together. We forge physical bonds through confronting our spiritual demons together, and we gain mental confidence by knowing each of us has each other’s back.

Finally, we provide tools for the future. Once we find out what our spiritual desires are by listening to our thoughts and looking inside ourselves, we make them happen by putting pen to paper, brick to mortar, and action to imagination. We completely stimulate, the mind, body, and soul so efficiently that our men begin to listen to their whole selves. They realize that they can make things happen in their physical worlds simply by listening to what they want and making a plan to get it. It’s this experience, and this power, that makes their recovery process not just so successful, but so life-changing.

Aligning yourself to maximize recovery is as simple as joining a dynamic sober living house like ours and listening to what your spirit has been telling you all along. We don’t know what makes an alcoholic pick up a drink even though they know it will kill them, or what makes a drug user use a dirty needle knowing it could mean dire consequences. We do, however, know that just as the mind, body, and spirit are connected when addiction sets in and they take those actions, the mind, body, and spirit must be aligned to guarantee true transformation in recovery.

If you’re looking for the alignment that you need to make your transition from drugs and alcohol complete, you need look no further than The Last House, a men’s structured sober living program in Mar Vista, California. Call us today at (855)998-5278.

Actualizing Your Power Over Addiction

power over addiction

For years, there have been many schools of thought on how to make the addiction treatment and recovery process the most effective. One thing that everyone agrees on though, is the fact that it is the job of recovery centers and sober living houses to restore power to clients. When addicted, we are essentially powerless to control even the most basic of feelings, desires, and impulses. In fact, attempting to control our impulses without professional help can often lead to terrible withdrawals or serious medical issues. Actualizing your power over addiction actually begins as soon as you take the first step in seeking treatment. Making the decision to get treatment for addiction is making a conscious effort to put addiction in its place, which is it out of your life. Many of us do not consider going to treatment to be a meaningful assertion of our power due to the shame and stigma of addiction and addiction treatment. Even the slightest attempt at a fight proves one thing: you have what it takes to beat addiction for good.

Addiction is an illness, and like anything else, it continues to grow stronger and stronger as long as you give it what it wants- more episodes of using. In most cases, all addiction wants is to keep running your life. Not taking action allows addiction to grow and flourish. Taking a stand against addiction by seeking treatment stops addiction in its tracks. Once your mind is set on getting help, there is little that addiction can do. The hardest part is deciding that you need that help.

At The Last House sober living facility, we focus on making men the best they can be by fostering a structured, collaborative environment that encourages accountability, honesty, and emotional vulnerability. Here, we don’t just emphasize the addiction recovery process. We teach life skills that help give men the confidence and self esteem they need to go out and make a difference in the world. When you leave our facility, you really are able to actualize your power over addiction, and your story and journey serves as a beacon of light for other young men that may be struggling to find their way.

The Last House is a leading men’s sober living facility that offers long term care after primary treatment. We focus on making men the leaders of today we know they can be, while teaching them the life skills they need in order to be successful anywhere they go. After leaving The Last House, our men aren’t just successful members of society. They are true gentlemen of recovery. Call us today at (855)998-5278!

Avoiding Triggers and Saying No to Temptations

recovery temptations

No one asks to become addicted. It is not a desirable state to be in, nor does it present any long-term benefits that could potentially make its pain worthwhile. It is not cool, nor is it hip, and it certainly does not absolve you of your responsibilities. Addiction is agonizing, excruciating, and incredibly debilitating. Unfortunately, no one gets to choose whether they become addicted or not. Addiction knows no race, gender or ethnicity. If you use substances, you are at risk of becoming addicted to them. Point blank.

Addiction recovery by way of a certified treatment center is very effective in reversing the effects of addiction, but not in the way you might think. At an addiction recovery center, you are not scared out of using, pumped with other medications to make you forget about using, or tricked into not using. Instead, addiction recovery teaches you to feel and think, by doing things like teaching you how to avoid your triggers and showing you how to say “no” to the temptations that will inevitably come your way after you leave the facility.

The great thing about the addiction recovery process (and one of the reasons it is so effective) is the fact that the skills that you learn throughout the recovery process are specifically designed to help you excel outside of the facility. And at The Last House in particular, we emphasize a skill set that helps you not only excel, but thrive as a gentleman and contributing member of your community when you leave.

To truly avoid temptation, it would be ideal to be able to physically avoid the people and environments that used to trigger you at all costs. Unfortunately, that is not realistic. You cannot necessarily refrain from visiting bars, places where you may have used, or streets that you may traveled while using substances all the time, but with the help of a sober living home, you can learn to mitigate the effects of these places or anywhere, anytime, anyone you encounter which might be a “trigger” to you. At The Last House, we teach the importance of self-reliance, self-motivation, and self-sufficiency, so that when these temptations come up, you have no need or desire to indulge. “Out of sight, out of mind” isn’t a bad motto for avoiding temptations. Being a strong, independent man with the confidence to say “no” is a powerful, powerful way to live life as well.

After building your confidence and charisma through our programs, you will find that triggers and temptations can be much more effectively kept at bay. Sober living is a simple and practical solution that will help you push forward with your recovery and your life as a whole.

While avoiding triggers and temptations in recovery can become second nature, it is almost impossible to do if you are still struggling with addiction. Here at the Last House, we’d like to help you take the first step to the best days of your life. Call us at (855)998-5278 today!

The First Step is the Hardest: Transitioning from Treatment to Living in Recovery

The First Step is the Hardest: Transitioning from Treatment to Living in Recovery

Addiction treatment is one of the most empowering experiences anyone can go through. You enter as a man on a mission, determined to make the most out of your opportunity and to truly rid yourself of addiction, once and for all. You work your program, participate, engage, and learn more about yourself in three months than you may have ever learned in years prior.  You make friends, and these people become the ones that help you get through some of the process that’s a little harder for you to digest. Then, in the span of just a few months, you’re done. You feel enlightened, energized, and ready to tackle anything world throws at you. Sometimes, however, in between tackling treatment and tackling the big wide world on your own, you need a little extra push. Concepts that might have sounded awesome in theory at the treatment facility might seem  a little more difficult outside of that environment.

That’s where our team at The Last House comes in. We’re a sober living house that specializes in making that transition stage not just important, but valuable.

It’s hard enough to take the first step in anything, but recovery can be an even trickier process than most. The world is a big place, and there’s so much out there that we could never prepare ourselves for everything, no matter how hard we tried. Frankly, if you leap right from addiction treatment to life on your own, it can be hard to tell if you’re going to be alright. Things shouldn’t be this way, though. There shouldn’t be that degree of uncertainty that makes us wonder whether treatment was worth it, if we are going to be able to resist temptation, or if we have what it takes to apply the principles we learned in treatment to the great unknown. Our job at The Last House is to take that fear, and to turn it into excellence. We are here to make you the very best version of yourself, by putting you in an environment where you can learn from potential mistakes, get to know other men that are also transitioning out of treatment, and form lasting bonds with peers that will be there for you for years to come. We help build you up, so you can help build communities. With us, transitioning from treatment to recovery is not a chore, nor is it nerve-wracking or fear-inducing. It is, quite literally, an experience of a lifetime.

How do we change your transition process?

The National Institute on Drug Abuse says that “generally, for residential or outpatient treatment, participation for less than 90 days is of limited effectiveness, and treatment lasting significantly longer is recommended for maintaining positive outcomes.” Basically, it takes some time to do recovery the right way, no matter if you stay at a facility for the duration of your program, or if you recover at home. Many times, addiction is an illness that has been with us for years before we get treatment, and while intensive treatment can definitely help us get rid of the illness, it takes trained professionals from a sober living house to pick up where treatment ends and help guide us to where life begins. At The Last House, we are focused on doing just that, specifically by building men into  independent, collaborative, confident gentlemen that are both intuitive and discerning. We don’t spend a lot of time sugarcoating things, because that isn’t what the world is like. We encourage transparency, honesty, integrity, and, most importantly, brotherhood. These are the pillars of who we are, and they become the pillars of every single man that walks through our doors. We change the transition process by allowing our men the freedom to make mistakes, correct them, and learn how to do it better than the next time. The strong men in our programs don’t have to worry about falling, because even if they stumble a little bit, they have their brothers right beside to pick them up.

We’re here to make a community– a tribe, really– of men that are so well-prepared to get back out into the world that when they do, they truly don’t end up as just normal, contributing citizens. They are extraordinary. They are confident, bold, and courageous. They are self–aware, empathetic, and a joy to be around. We turn the transition process into a training ground. Men enter, perhaps unsure, maybe a little timid, and leave true warriors, having overcome addiction and ready to take on any challenges life may throw at them.

Everything that we do here at The Last House is tailored for our clients to find renewed purpose in life, even more than they had before they were addicted. We focus on aligning mind, body, and soul, and on the importance of self worth, self-reliance, and self-awareness. The brotherhood that we foster in our men is organic, and leads to incredible results. Men need other men to help them make such a big life change. It empowers them, stirs them up, and lets them know that things are ok, because the ones around them aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

It’s hard to put into words the enormous impact that we have on our clients, but, suffice to say, there’s a reason we are Los Angeles’ premium men’s sober living facility. If you’re looking for direction, guidance, and brotherhood in your life, look no further. Call The Last House sober living today at (855)998-5278!

Building a Tribe in Recovery

Building a Tribe in Recovery

Recovery is as much of an individual effort as it is a collective one. As you will learn throughout recovery, having others to share your thoughts, dreams, and goals with is fundamental to an efficient recovery process.

There are a few ways to ensure that the people you surround yourself with after treatment are individuals who will champion your recovery and support you when you need it most. That’s why at The Last House, we ensure that you are surrounded with other strong, independent men that are going through very similar life experiences. In our eyes, brotherhood is one of the most important bonds you can make in recovery, and we strive to incorporate the spirit of collaboration in everything we do at the facility.

The first thing to be sure of when choosing friends, colleagues, or individuals to hang out with is that there is a consensus on the types of activities you all will engage in. Of course, at The Last House, our structured and focused paths ensure that you don’t have to worry about deciding activities, but you will inevitably make friends outside of our program as well. Be sure to choose activities with these friends that, like here at our sober living facility, support and promote your recovery process. If you suffered from alcoholism, for instance, bars, pubs, parties with liquor, and even events as seemingly innocuous as wine tastings aren’t the best idea. If you recovered from substance addiction, it is wise to avoid the places you used to frequent, and swap them out for activities like soccer, or pickup basketball.

Additionally, you must understand that the world goes on in sobriety, meaning, you will not be able to change the activities of others around you. That’s why here at The Last House, we teach our men to be strong enough and confident enough in themselves to live in accpetance, and still live life to the fullest without being tempted to compromise their sobriety. There’s nothing quite like the tribes of hardworking, intelligent, confident men that we work so hard to build here at The Last House. By learning to collaborate, learn, and love with them, you’ll be well-equipped to handle whatever life throws at you.

Good friends are hard to find, but they can make your journey to sobriety that much more worth it. If you’re struggling with finding your way after treatment, you are not alone. Find your tribe here at The Last House, and learn to make recovery work for you. Just dial (855)998-5278 any time of day or night. We can’t wait to meet you!

Recovering with Grace

addiction recovery

Many who have successfully recovered from addiction count the mental struggle as one the most taxing of the entire recovery process. Our mindset is of utmost importance when it comes to determining whether or not our journey will be a successful one. The most important question in determining an individual’s aptitude for a successful recovery becomes one of whether or not they are truly mentally and spiritually ready for the process. While there is no definitive way to answer this, there are steps that can be taken to bolster readiness and ensure as smooth of a journey as possible.

In learning to recover with grace, it is important that you fundamentally understand that your treatment was just one step in a long recovery process. A lot of individuals are not ever able to truly recover because they, for whatever reason, cannot accept the fact that a lot more work must be done after treatment to make sure they’re ready for the everyday world. If you don’t accept this, it’s easy to play the blame game post-treatment and forget that treatment can only go so far. While shifting the blame on treatment may help to temporarily assuage guilt or responsibility, it contributes to the wrong mindset. If an individual opts for recovery, he must understand exactly what it is he is getting himself into. At The Last House, our sober living facility programs provide that baseline knowledge, and significantly help with the process of adjusting from treatment to everyday life.

The second step in recovering with grace is acknowledging that recovery is not an overnight process. Many people acknowledge that they are still recovering from addiction decades after treatment. Though they may not have touched a substance in years, they understand that every day presents an opportunity to get a little stronger, and that recovery is a never-ending process. Likewise, those that are just beginning the recovery process must not anticipate total transformation in a day’s time. Preparing yourself for a gradual process ensures that your mind stays focused on goals and milestones of the journey.

The third step in recovering with grace is ensuring that you keep your mind, soul, and body aligned throughout the entire process. While this is significantly easier to do in the care of a treatment facility, it can become rather difficult outside of the facility, when in the comfort (or confines) of your own home. That’s where The Last House comes in. Our sober living facility bridges that gap between treatment and home, and provides the tools you need to stay aligned throughout your transition. Here, you’ll learn just how much remembering to eat healthy, staying active both physically and mentally, and setting attainable goals for your physical, spiritual, and mental well-being can positively impact your recovery. Recovery is very much mental, but it also requires that the rest of your faculties be at peak performance.

Recovering with grace starts with step one: making the transition from treatment to the rest of your life. The Last House is here to help you not just make that transition, but to make the most of it. Call us at (855)998-5278 to start your life changing path today!