Furry Friends: Benefits of Pet Therapy

pet therapy

When we’re working on getting clean and sober, we often focus on attending meetings, going to therapy, and doing the work of maintaining sobriety.  And while these are all good areas of focus, we also need to look at how to add some fun and some joy to our sober lives.  This may come to us in different ways.  We may explore hobbies such as exercise, photography, crafts, painting, or volunteering to help others.  We may connect with new friends in sobriety or rekindle friendships from before our alcohol and drug use changed us.  At the Last House, we’ve found that sometimes it is as simple as connecting with a rescue dog. 

How Are Animals Therapeutic?

Pet owners have been telling us all about the benefits of having a pet for years, but it turns out that it’s just a story they tell. There is scientific evidence that dogs help reduce stress and anxiety. In fact, there is evidence that animal-assisted therapy sessions result in lower anxiety for individuals who have mood and other disorders.  Some studies have shown that the presence of a dog can be as comforting as the presence of a human friend during stressful or traumatic times. 

In addition to the benefits dogs can provide during therapy or stress, dogs can also provide us with a lifeline to some normalcy in our lives.  Many of us new to recovery have forgotten how to take care of ourselves, never mind another being.  A dog or cat can provide us with the opportunity to help another living thing survive and thrive.  By participating in the care of a pet, you allow yourself to focus on something outside of yourself and to begin to relearn taking on some responsibility.  By doing this within a sober living environment, you can enjoy the benefits of caring for a pet without having to get your own pet. 

Benefits of Having a Pet

Beyond the studies about the effects of pets during therapy or stress, it’s easy to see how the presence of a dog or cat can change the dynamic for us when we are on our own or with others.  Dogs and cats offer us unconditional love, in their own way, solely because we exist.  If you’ve ever had the opportunity to have a dog, you know that your dog is just as happy to see you when you’ve been gone 5 minutes as he is when you’ve been gone 5 hours.  There is something beautiful and reassuring about having another living thing be so happy to see you.  Additionally, animals can bridge the gap between people and offer themselves up as a topic of conversation.  Instead of finding yourself sitting with another person in awkward silence, you might find yourself chatting about that quirky dog and all the crazy things he does. 

Pet Therapy at the Last House

The Last House Sober Living is a network of sober living homes in the heart of West Los Angeles. We believe in providing our clients with the tools to have a meaningful life and participate in their own sobriety.  Activities such as service commitments, sober parties, conventions, dances, and house outings are all a part of helping you learn how to have fun in sobriety.  We also know that animals can make a world of difference in early sobriety.  By rescuing dogs, we enable our residents to participate in caring for a pet without having to take on the responsibility of pet ownership.  If you’re wondering where to start to create your sober life, The Last House is here to help. 

What to Expect in Sober Living

Entering a sober living home can be a little bit like the first day of school. Much like school, we know that the sober living facility will provide us with the tools we need to make a positive impact in our lives, and that through sober living, we can transition into the men we’ve always wanted to be– but it’s no secret that new experiences can be daunting if we’re not sure what to expect.

As a sober living home in the heart of Los Angeles, our sober living facility focuses on two concepts: providing a fun, program-oriented setting where residents can find purpose and progress in their lives, and building an environment where our men learn to flourish without depending on substances. We believe that getting sober means more than just living addiction-free. We believe that it means living independently, confidently, and boldly– and that’s just what we teach our men.

What can I expect in sober living?

The first thing to understand about sober living is that it isn’t a halfway house, nor is it a dedicated treatment center. It’s a place where men that are ready to better themselves come to get the tools they need to do it. Here in Los Angeles, there are plenty of distractions for a young man just getting sober. A sober living home like ours provides a safe space for our men to mature and develop so they can deal with those distractions without fear of relapse.

Furthermore, the sober living concept is one that’s deeply rooted in fellowship and unity. We know that defeating addiction isn’t a one and done process, and that it takes a village of support and guidance to help us continue through recovery– so that’s also a large part of what we provide here. As soon as our men walk through the doors of our sober living facility, they know they’re here for a purpose, and that it isn’t just about not using drugs. They’re here to make a difference in their lives.

When you enter the sober living community, expect to remain very much involved in your treatment. With the number of distractions in big cities like Los Angeles and practically everywhere else, it’s important that we make sure we stay in touch with treatment groups and rehabilitation programs, even if we finished the initial treatment process ages ago. By transitioning into a treatment plan in the sober living facility, we ensure that the good, sustainable behaviors we learned in initial treatment become habits that will stick with us when we’re living on our own.

Additionally, we should expect to have responsibilities in sober living– and lots of them. There’s no better way to learn how to become the best versions of ourselves than to learn concepts like integrity, accountability, and maturity. As grown men living with other grown men, we should expect to be held responsible for our actions, and to pull our own weight when it comes to chores and house rules. The way we see it in the sober living community, we’re all a team. Whether you’re from Los Angeles, Oakland, or somewhere on the other side of the country, what one of us does in the sober living facility affects us all. As we learn responsibility, we also begin to see just how important our actions are to others. Having responsibilities means we have to hold ourselves accountable for taking care of them.

Another big concept of getting sober is discipline. In Los Angeles alone, there are plenty of distractions that could knock us off the straight and narrow path if we aren’t careful. This is what makes discipline in sober living so important. Having discipline in our lives means we know how to control our actions, think before we act, and frequently weigh the pros and cons of our decisions before we make them. In sober living, we learn discipline by learning to adhere to the rules of the house. For instance, one rule here at The Last House is that we cook and eat most meals together as brothers. This means that practically on a daily basis, we’re all required to contribute to the day’s meal. This could include grocery shopping, setting the table, or cleaning up afterwards. Our contribution isn’t punishment– but it is a way to make sure we learn the value of hard work and teamwork. Being disciplined enough to follow the rules and help do something like prepare meals here in sober living helps us get used to maintaining structure in our lives after we graduate. Expect structure and discipline in sober living– because it works!

Finally, expect to work while you get sober. As young men, working to provide for ourselves or others should be as much a way of life as eating or sleeping. If that’s not the case before we enter sober living though, it certainly will become the case by the time we leave. Los Angeles is one of the world’s busiest cities, and there’s ample opportunity for us to contribute our unique skills and talents to the workforce. Learning the value of working for our own money now can help us start a habit of working, maintaining a job, and providing security for ourselves and our families in the long run. So Monday to Friday, to the office we’ll go.

Sober living is a rewarding method to learn how to become the best versions of ourselves we can be. The Last House is a Los Angeles-based men’s sober living facility that doesn’t just help men focus on getting sober, but provides them with the skills they need to become independent, courageous, and contributing members of society. Every man that enters our sober living facility has the potential to be a pillar in his community. We help him see the potential he had all along. Call us at 1-866-677-0090 to get started today.

Acceptance, Change, Knowledge: Dissecting the Serenity Prayer Part II

While the surface-level meaning of the Serenity Prayer offers powerful concepts like serenity, courage, and wisdom, it’s the deeper meaning of the Serenity Prayer’s core concepts that can help us apply its words to our recovery journeys more effectively.

As with everything in recovery, the more steps we take to give meaning to what we learn and practice, the more likely we’ll be inclined to continue learning and practicing even after we leave the sober living facility.

The first part of the Serenity Prayer asks for peace to accept what we can’t change. Acceptance is a huge first step in our recovery journey, because it’s only after we accept the inevitable that we can begin working on the things that we can change in our lives. When we ask God to help us accept what we can’t change, we’re removing the power of unsurety, doubt and control from our lives. When we accept who we are, the nature of addiction, and how it can be beaten, we return the power of our future back to the only ones who should have control of it: ourselves.

The meaning of change in the Serenity Prayer is action-based. Once we’ve accepted what can’t be changed, all that lies ahead of us is what can be changed. With a clear mind and nothing we’re still holding on to, we’re asking God to give us the strength to take action in our lives. Recovery happens when we give ourselves the green light to start sifting through issues and situations in our lives, sorting them out, and correcting them for the better.

Finally, knowledge lies at the crux of every action we take in recovery, and it’s fitting that knowledge brings up the end of the Serenity Prayer. When we ask God to give us the “wisdom to know the difference” between what we can and can’t change, we’re asking Him to show us the people that will help us discern the things about ourselves that we might not be able to discern by ourselves. We’re also asking Him to help us learn about ourselves. Each day is a day to learn something new about ourselves, and when we gain knowledge in recovery, we gain confidence and independence. When it comes to living sober, knowledge really is power.

At The Last House sober living facility, we strive to dive deeper into the Serenity Prayer to uncover meaning that can help us make the most out of our recovery journeys. Learning the power of acceptance, change, and knowledge in recovery helps make us more confident and independent as we walk our recovery paths. Call 1-866-677-0090 to get started with The Last House today.

Going to Sober Living for Addiction as a Young Man

We’re humans, and as humans, we’re conditioned to want more out of life. We want more fun, more adventure, more enjoyment. One of the incredible concepts about addiction recovery  is that it teaches us that we can have “more” and lead fulfilling lives while being sober and without using substances.

As a Los Angeles-based sober living facility, we understand that the world often defines being “sober” as a boring way to live life. Practically everything that’s considered “fun” seems to be tainted by drugs, alcohol, or both. It’s the way big industry makes money– and it’s also the reason why there are 278,544 drug and alcohol related deaths among men every year. Here at The Last House, we ascribe to a different idea of what living “sober” is. We believe that sober living means making a lifestyle change that transforms us into confident, independent men ready to make the most of our lives. We believe that by fostering brotherhood and community, the young men that come through our doors can take Los Angeles and the rest of the world by storm when they graduate. We believe that living sober is the absolute best version of life, and that nothing else really compares.

Getting sober at a sober living facility helps us learn how to deal with life’s challenges as they happen, with the support of brothers and mentors to help us make the right decisions. When we focus on getting sober, we realize that we don’t have time to think about “what we may be missing”– and we really don’t have any desire to. Truth be told, with countless activities here in Los Angeles, we actually find that we’re able to both be more productive men and have more enjoyable and fulfilling experiences when we’re not using substances.

Sober living isn’t just a halfway point between addiction treatment and life outside. With the resources provided and the tools created here in the sober living community, young men in Los Angeles, New York, DC, and all over the country are learning how to make the most of their lives by realizing just how much strength they have without substances. Getting sober is a journey, not a sentence. It’s the most rewarding action you can take for yourself as a young man battling addiction, and sobriety will open up a world of opportunity that you never thought possible.

Here at The Last House sober living facility, we believe that getting sober is a gift, and we teach our young men to embrace the possibilities of a sober life. Situated in sunny Los Angeles, we provide a number of activities and resources for our men to learn responsibility, accountability, independence, and brotherhood. When our men leave The Last House, they’re not just not using. They’re leading more fulfilling lives than they’d ever imagined. Call us at 1-866-677-0090 to get started with The Last House today.

Defining Sobriety: Getting Sober in Los Angeles

By dictionary definition, sobriety is simply the act of not drinking or using substances. In actuality, however, sobriety can mean a number of different things, and the way we choose to define sobriety for ourselves can define our recovery. As a sober living facility for men in Los Angeles, we choose to define sobriety as not just refraining from substance use, but as making necessary lifestyle changes which allow us to be the best versions of ourselves we can be. Through sober living methods that teach the importance of brotherhood, unity, accountability, and responsibility, we learn to rebuild ourselves into powerful, motivated men that are far too independent and confident to be swayed by temptations like drugs or alcohol.

Getting sober in Los Angeles

A great characteristic about pursuing sobriety in Los Angeles is that there are so many ways we can conquer our weaknesses and hone our strengths in order to become better versions of ourselves right here in the city. At the end of the day, no matter how much we learn in addiction treatment and sober living, sobriety is a choice that each one of us has to decide to make every day. Once we make the choice to live sober, southern California offers a host of activities to help keep us on the right path. After all, getting sober is about learning to have fun again, to live life fully, and to grab life by the horns. There’s no city that allows us to do that better than right here in Los Angeles.

Perhaps the greatest activity to enjoy sober here in Los Angeles is exercise– particularly outdoors. The weather simply couldn’t be much better for the majority of the year, and with some of the nation’s most beautiful and picturesque parks right here and the beach just a few minutes away, Los Angeles offers a number of ways for us to stay fit, and enjoy it. It also doesn’t hurt that most outdoor exercise activities here in LA are free.

Hitting the town for a night of performances also isn’t a bad idea. It’s no secret that Los Angeles is full of amazing talent from all over the world, and the city offers a cacophony of shows and events that cater to just about every palate imaginable. Being able to go out with a group of friends for some fun at iconic venues like The Smell, The Wiltern, or The Hollywood Bowl would make most people envious. Living here in Los Angeles though, we’ve got the opportunity to enjoy activities like this all the time.

Getting sober in Los Angeles allows us to stimulate ourselves, create some amazing experiences, and make recovery not just what we do, but who we are. Recovery is a lifestyle, and Los Angeles helps us live it.

Here at The Last House sober living facility, we teach our men to make the most out of what’s around them to live their best sober lives every day. Situated in Los Angeles, we offer an optimal opportunity for our men to grow, mature, and build their confidence through modalities that help rebuild them from the inside-out. Call us at 1-866-677-0090 to see how we can help you today.

Starting 2019 Sober: Best Year Ever

Starting 2019 Sober: Best Year Ever

We’ve made it. 2019 is finally upon us, and with every new year comes new opportunities to better ourselves, achieve our goals, and become the men we always knew we could be. Year one of the recovery journey can duly be one of the most challenging and rewarding years of our lives– and there’s no better time to get started than right now.

As a sober living facility in Los Angeles, many of our men come to us not just for help getting sober, but in order to work on strategies that will help them maintain their sobriety while living in one of the busiest, most populated cities in the world. There’s a lot of distractions here in Los Angeles, and our first year sober has to be the point at which we learn how to cope with these distractions safely and productively. Even though we’ve no doubt learned many strategies to beat addiction during initial treatment, the sober living environment provides us with the structure and support we need to transition back into the world with confidence.

Why is a sober living environment important for the first year?

Getting sober requires dedication, commitment, and hard work, and staying sober after initial treatment requires much of the same. One of the biggest reasons that the sober living environment is so useful is because it helps us jump a common first year hurdle known as  PAWS, or post-acute withdrawal syndrome. Doug, a successful lawyer and family man that battled addiction and graduated from initial treatment without incident, indicated just how hard PAWS was to deal with when he tried to make the transition from initial treatment to life at home on his own. Like many, he was confident that he was prepared for life on his own after learning to manage addiction and control cravings through initial treatment, but was in for a bit of a surprise.

“But I wasn’t [ready],” he explains. “Instead, I just got depressed, and the depression made me feel like if I drank maybe I would feel better. I knew rationally that wasn’t the case, but even after the physical cravings were gone, I just felt too raw to deal with life.”

The sober living environment helps us combat PAWS by helping us build confidence in our abilities, gain independence, learn accountability, and, most importantly, grow with a support system of men that are in the same situation we’re in. When people think of getting sober here in Los Angeles, the first thing they seem to think is that it means either no more fun, or constant fear of falling back into the same self-defeating thoughts and habits that caused them to drink in the first place. With sober living, however, that couldn’t be farther from the case. We help our men jump the PAWS hurdle in their first year by showing them how easy it is to live a substance-free life boldly and unashamedly.

The sober living environment is also very important for the first year of recovery because it provides us with a platform to learn and grow from our mistakes with the help of mentors and brothers that understand us and have our best interests at heart. Getting sober isn’t a process meant to be undertaken alone. That’s why most addiction treatment facilities here in Los Angeles and practically everywhere else rely heavily on the concept of group therapy, outings, and events. We know how important the recovery community is in treatment, and it’s even more important immediately after we leave initial treatment. The fact of the matter is that while it would be nice to return home to an environment that immediately understands what we’re going through and knows exactly how to help, that’s not always the case. Sometimes, even when family members and loved ones back home are well intentioned and want to genuinely help– as is often the case– there can still be a bit of a learning curve as they attempt to adjust to our new way of life. With the range of emotions, PAWS, and other first year hurdles to navigate, it can be extremely comforting to transition to an environment that knows exactly what we need to not just make it through our first year of getting sober, but to excel.

2019 really can be our best year ever, and not just because we’re committed to getting sober. Being our first year of recovery as men here in Los Angeles, 2019 can be the year that we become the men that we’ve always wanted to be. The journey to eternity starts with a single step, and that single step is taken here, in the first year of our recovery. By getting plugged into a sober living environment like The Last House, we can be confident that that step is a step in the right direction.

The Last House is a men’s sober living facility in the heart of Los Angeles. We believe that recovery is a lifelong process, and we provide our men with the tools they need to conquer addiction and live life to the fullest each and every day. There couldn’t be a better time than the start of the new year to make a pledge to live sober. Whether you’ve just graduated from initial treatment or are looking for a program to get back on the right track, The Last House is here to help. Call us at 1-866-677-0090 to get started today.

Learning to Make Lemonade out of Lemons


Learning to Make Lemonade out of Lemons

Helplessness is a learned behavior– but it’s one that many of us, thanks to the power of addiction, learn all too well. The Big Book describes helplessness as the last step before we turn ourselves and addiction over to a higher power: “Having reduced us to a state of absolute helplessness, you now declare that none but a Higher Power can remove our obsession.” In treatment, we learn a number of strategies to help us defeat helplessness. These strategies include things like making amends, forgiving ourselves, and learning to dig deep inside of ourselves to uncover latent issues that may have contributed to our substance use in the first place. While we learn these strategies in treatment, there’s nothing like an environment that allows us to practice them firsthand, before diving into the real world on our own.

Sober living provides just the environment.

In sober living communities like the one The Last House provides, we truly believe that practice makes perfect, and that if we’re going to learn how to turn life’s lemons into lemonade, we’ve got to know the recipe first. Just as addiction “taught” us helplessness, we have to continue to teach ourselves to be resourceful, independent, and self-reliant, even after initial treatment. We have to learn that helplessness doesn’t define us, and that even if it’s a trait we acquired long before addiction or treatment, in no way do we have to be stuck with it.

The sober living community serves as a training ground for recovery warriors– or at least that’s how we see it. Men come into sober living communities like The Last House after treatment on a mission to better themselves, and we put them up to the challenge on a daily basis. We teach men to make lemons out of lemonade by providing them with the tools they need to see themselves not as recovered from an illness, but as conquerors.

In our eyes, the three concepts we champion in everything we do– unity, peer support, and life skills– stand at the intersection of helplessness and self-reliance, and learning them allows us to unlock our true potential as men. Consider these components the three ingredients in our “lemonade” recipe!

What does turning lemons into lemonade actually mean?

Addicted or not, post-treatment or in treatment, like throws a heck of a lot at all of us all the time. Bills, job struggles, issues with our kids, temptations, trust issues, missed dinner reservations (okay, maybe the last one isn’t quite so bad). The point is, we all have to deal with the rat race of life on a normal basis, and for those of us in recovery, each new curveball that life throws at us could present a bit of a challenge. Think about it: for many of us, before treatment, our go-to coping mechanism whenever we were faced with an obstacle might have been to use the substance we were addicted to. Now that we’ve conquered that addiction, we have to continue to learn how to fill that void with healthy strategies and habits that will help us turn life’s would-be challenges into opportunities to grow in recovery.

This isn’t an overnight process, and it takes a lot of additional practice and trial and error to get right, even after initial treatment. Sober living helps us learn these strategies by providing us with a template for success. Learning how to rely on and support others (unity), practicing practical life skills, and understanding the importance of having the right people around us (peer support) helps us learn how to turn life’s lemons into lemonade.

Understanding the three concepts

We say it all the time: no man is an island. Unity is a must in recovery, and it plays a particularly large role in helping us make the most out of situations we’re faced with post-treatment. As The Big Book says- “our common welfare should come first, personal recovery depends upon… unity.”

So, how’s unity help us make lemonade out of lemons? Because it gives us a brother to lean on when we need help. It allows to communicate our feelings, what we’re struggling with, and what we’re worried about. Unity teaches how to hold one another up, and to turn to others when we need help, instead of just relying on ourselves. As The Big Book says, “if we ever were to feel emotionally secure among grown-up people, we would have to put our lives on a give-and-take basis; we would have to develop the sense of being in partnership or brotherhood with all those around us.” Unity tells us it’s okay to get and receive help in our recovery journey, and knowing where and how to get help is a fundamental part of being able to make the most of life’s lemons.

As for learning life skills and the importance of peer support, the two practically go hand in hand. Learning life skills like accountability and responsibility helps breed confidence in us, and having peers around to support us in learning these things affirms that we’re going in the right direction. Confidence and affirmation in our progress reassures us that, when the time comes, we’ll be ready to handle anything life throws at us. Knowing that we have the skills to turn life’s lemons into lemonade–even if our stubborn minds are telling us we don’t– is a fundamental part of doing it!

The Last House is a premier men’s sober living facility in West Los Angeles that gives men the skills they need to turn life’s lemons into lemonade (and be gentlemen in doing it). Call us at 1-866-677-0090 to find out how we can help you today!

Sober Living After Graduation

Sober Living After Graduation

Who said the sober living community’s way of doing things had to stop after we graduated?

It doesn’t!

The purpose of sober living is to prepare us for those “what’s next?” moments of our lives. We all have them. Maybe we return home to find that things have changed, and we need to pivot to get it all together. Maybe we find that living on our own, even after sober living, presents some challenges we didn’t expect to face.

One of the best ways to cope with unforeseen circumstances in our home life is to go with what we know: the sober living way. In sober living, we learn unity, self-reliance, and confidence through discipline, brotherhood, and collaboration with the men we live with. The lessons we learn along the way– things like punctuality, respect, and accountability– are all great ways to deal with almost everything life can throw at us afterwards, including what we may not think we’re prepared for.

The Big Book makes a very important point: “Until [we] could accept our alcoholism, we could not stay sober, [and] unless we can accept life completely on life’s terms, we cannot be happy.”

We accepted our struggle with addiction early on, and doing so allowed us to defeat it in treatment. Now, the only way to conquer life outside is to apply the same principles. We can’t expect that life will simply change for us, or that it won’t throw some things at us that may cause us to pause for a moment and think. We have to accept life on life’s terms, for all of the unsurety and lack of control it comes with. Once we do this, we can learn to navigate life with the skills we learned in treatment and sober living.

Sober living is like learning to swim, and life is like the sea. No matter the conditions, knowing how to swim allows us to conquer any body of water just alike. However, if we try to fight the sea, it’s easy to find ourselves struggling. The way to stay on top? Accept the sea for what it is. It’s powerful, it’s deep, and the current is strong. Then, let’s put on our goggles and not try to swim against it. Let’s swim with it.

The Last House is a men’s sober living facility in West Los Angeles. We help men backstroke through life’s oceans with ease, because we teach them how to swim in any environment. Life after treatment doesn’t have to just be lived. It can be conquered. Call 1-866-677-0090 to get started today!

Attitude Makes all the Difference


Attitude Makes all the Difference

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!

Goodbye Doubt, Hello Hope

Goodbye Doubt, Hello Hope

The very beginning of The Big Book’s third edition makes a bold assertion that describes the path from addiction to recovery: “Each day, somewhere in the world, recovery begins when one alcoholic talks with another alcoholic, sharing experience, strength, and hope.”

For many of us, hope was never something we considered while addicted. To be hopeful was to expect better days, and to look for more to come even in a situation that seemed grim. No– we merely survived during our addiction. We went through the motions of living, but the only thing that was functioning properly was our physical body, and even that showed signs of deterioration. Our mind and our soul were both gone, taken hostage by a substance that we’d thought was our savior.

Somehow, however, we managed to say that we needed help, and with the guidance of family members, friends, loved ones, and professionals, we got that help from an addiction treatment center. We learned how to look deep inside of ourselves to identify flaws, triggers, and imbalances that may have led us to use substances in the first place. We learned to forgive ourselves for the actions we could not control during our addiction, and how to make things right with the ones we’d hurt. We learned to free ourselves from addiction, and to love ourselves again.

Here at The Last House, we’re here to help you restore the hope that addiction took away. While treatment provides us with the knowledge and practices to defeat addiction, it’s sober living that gives us the confidence that we can return to the real world and be even better than we were before. As men, there are certain things that we’re expected to do in this life, certain responsibilities that we’re expected to take care of. Sober living teaches us how to dive right back into life and handle those responsibilities with poise and tact, without the fear of returning to substances or vices. It teaches us some of the last lessons we must learn in order to be truly free– not just from addiction, but from the doubt that we may not be able to stay on the right track post-treatment.

What does sober living teach me?

Sober living is the first step in taking control of your life after treatment, and, as such, the lessons you learn in a sober living community will no doubt be of high importance. It may surprise you, however, to learn that the sober living spin on “teaching” is less about telling you what not to do, and much more about helping you expand your independence and hone your own decision-making skills. “Lessons” are traded for experiences, and “classmates” are your community brothers. At The Last House and most other sober living communities, we work to help you turn the person you already are into a better version of yourself that will be ready to take on anything life throws at you. In a way, if you had to categorize the sober living experience as “teaching,” then it would be fitting to say that sober living teaches you how to be a better version of, well, you!

So, where’s the whole “doubt” concept fit into all this?

If we pause and think for a second, we can probably all remember a time during our addiction where we doubted whether treatment was worth it. We may have taken a hard look at our lives up until that point, and decided that treatment would be pointless, and that we were better off ignoring our situation, or attempting to fix it ourselves. Of course, we didn’t know then what we know now about addiction: that, as The Big Book says, fighting it is all but impossible without the help of others (so we can’t be too hard on ourselves) but, regardless, we can probably all remember how much doubt and helplessness prevented us from reaching out for help sooner.

These behaviors are learned. Through no fault of our own, our addiction takes our mind and body hostage and forces us to do things, think things, and crave things that we would have never done otherwise. Through treatment, we learn to get to the root of these causes and beat that addiction, but it’s via sober living that we hone the skills we need to stop doubt and helplessness from creeping back in even after our treatment.

At The Last House, we train ourselves to beat doubt and those feelings of helplessness by focusing on building our independence and a strong sense of community. Everything we do in our sober living community hinges on our being accountable to our brothers. Even something as simple as being late to dinner invokes a consequence. The goal is that by training ourselves to be responsible for the sake of others, we will learn to be responsible despite of ourselves. After all, it’s a lot harder to doubt what we can do when we’ve practiced doing it for others. As The Big Book says, learning to take responsibility for others is the spirit of successful recovery.

Through our sober living community, we learn how to use experiences and community to become even better versions of ourselves. In so doing, we eliminate feelings of doubt and hopelessness, replacing them with hope for and confidence in our ability to excel in the future. There’s no magic going on here, and everything we learn is already inside of us. Sober living just helps us realize it!

The Last House is a men’s sober living facility in West Los Angeles. Our talented staff and carefully cultivated approach to sober living helps us churn out amazingly talented, self-aware gentleman, primed to make a difference in their communities. Call us at
1-866-677-0090 to start your plan today!