What if the only barrier between you and an amazing life after treatment was your perception? What if the only reason you weren’t sure if you were ready for life after treatment was because you kept telling yourself you weren’t?
These are questions that many of us don’t quite know how to answer. The truth is, we don’t often like to admit that the only person in the way of our own happiness and success might very well be ourselves. It unsettles us to know that we may be preventing something incredible from happening simply because we’re afraid to give it a chance to happen.
For many men after treatment, however, this is the exact situation we face. We enter treatment with one mission: to get better. Once we do get better, though, our perception sometimes shifts from our treatment to our future. If we’re not careful, we may even become tempted to shrug off the things we learned in treatment and focus on the unsurety of not knowing what’s out there waiting for us.
Perception is powerful, and it plays a very decisive role in our lives. In sober living, we learn to harness the power of perception to change our fear into hope, and our insecurity into confidence. Just because the future is out of our control doesn’t mean we need to be afraid of it!
How does sober living change my perception?
As The Big Book indicates, it isn’t until we realize that we are helpless against addiction on our own and take the steps to get help that recovery can truly start. Likewise, it isn’t until we change the way we view life after treatment that we can really take the steps to make the most of it.
Think about it– if you’ve just graduated from an intensive treatment program, the last time you really had a go at the outside world was well before you ever stepped foot through the doors of that treatment facility. That could have been anywhere from three to six months ago. Perhaps even longer. Even if you went the outpatient route, your days were so structured and inundated with therapy, activities, and programming that you likely had little chance to involve yourself in too much else. While that intense schedule is perfect for treatment, you need a bridge between that kind of living and the rest of your life, which, more than likely, won’t be quite as treatment-heavy. Without that bridge, you may not be nearly as prepared as you should be to re-enter a world that can be anything but forgiving.
Enter sober living. The sober living environment allows you to gradually make the adjustment back to the real world, and in doing so, adjusts your perception of what awaits you after graduation. Think of it a bit like swimming. Jumping headfirst from the diving board into the deep end isn’t really the best method for learning how to swim, even if you have the skills to do it. Instead, one might suggest starting shallow and building your confidence before having a go at the deep end. We know which method we would try!
At The Last House, one of the things that makes our sober living community so successful is the fact that we champion independence. In our minds, there’s no better way to build up your confidence in yourself and your ability to excel after treatment than by giving you the room to do it. Community rules and guidelines are built by and for the brothers, and each man is responsible for keeping himself in line, and holding the man beside him accountable for his actions as well.
With increased confidence in our own independence and self-reliance, our perception of next steps, again, shifts considerably. We aren’t nearly as afraid to confront what awaits us in the real world because we’ve built the skill set we need to conquer it in sober living. Since sober living communities encourage our involvement in the outside world by mandating that we look for work, attend court dates, and engage in community outings, our return to the real world isn’t intimidating at all. In fact, we look forward to it. As The Big Book states, “from a trembling, despairing, nervous wreck, had emerged a man brimming over with self-reliance and contentment.”
The last way that sober living changes our perception about life after treatment is perhaps the very best. In our sober living communities, we are encouraged to utilize our strengths and strengthen our weaknesses. Simply put, we rely on our brothers to help us identify areas of our lives that need some work, and collaborate to fix them. If we’re selfish, peer support can help us fix it. If we’re passive, group outings can boost our confidence. No matter what we may struggle with, there’s a sober living activity designed to fix it, and because of this, we graduate from sober living considerably more self-aware than we ever were before. Knowing our strengths and weaknesses and how to use them and deal with them gives us more confidence for facing the future!
The Last House is a premier men’s sober living facility in West Los Angeles that specializes in making gentlemen out of the men that come to us post-treatment. Call us at 1-855-998-5278 to see how we can help you gain the confidence to blow life out of the water after treatment!