When most people think of addicts, they think of three things: ego, entitlement, and selfishness. People believe that, particularly in the millennial era, addiction is characterized by spoiled twenty and thirty-somethings who weren’t used to hearing the word “no” enough when they were growing up. We know that isn’t really the truth, and that addiction affects a great deal of people of all ages, races, shapes, sizes, and ethnicities. If addiction was only an issue for “spoiled brat millenials,” then the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, a notorious drunk in his own right, would not have co-founded the iconic organization at nearly forty years old, and it certainly wouldn’t have been founded in the 1930s (millennials weren’t around then, yet).
While we know this stereotype is not completely accurate, of course, some young men do fit the bill. As a sober living facility in Los Angeles, we take on a wide range of men that come to us from situations in which entitlement, ego, or selfishness did drive them to use substances (or if it didn’t drive them to use, drove them to continue using). After recovery, these men aren’t necessarily ready to take the plunge into a world that might not be as forgiving as family members or loved ones were, and they enlist our help to get them prepared.
At The Last House, we’re in the business of combating these negative stereotypes with a few positive ones of our own. Our facilities foster brotherhood, companionship, discipline, self-worth independence, and accountability. We make the perfect gentlemen out of men that otherwise may have had trouble finding their way after treatment. The work we do in shedding these stereotypes as a sober living facility allows the men that we work with to leave our program as viable, contributing members of society, and gentlemen that anyone would love to be around.
How do you shed the stereotypes of addiction?
The Big Book is very clear on the power of positive thought in addiction treatment, and that’s one of the primary ways we as a sober living facility slowly shed the stereotypes portrayed by our clients. As men who have escaped the cycle of addiction, the power of thought goes a lot further for us than for others who never had to wrestle with losing the ability to rationalize, make good decisions, and control their wants and needs. Chapter three of The Big Book hits the nail on the head: “The delusion that we are like other people, or presently may be, must be smashed.” While this particular passage refers to action we should take while addicted, it makes it very clear that those that have gone through addiction are not like other people in many ways, which couldn’t be more right. One of these is the power of thought.
The power of thought begins with the understanding that the sober living facility is not a place for men to come and relax. It is a place of work, and a place to be only if you are committed to bettering yourself and working to help better your brothers who stand beside you. If this is not your ultimatum, we urge you to leave and pursue another avenue, or to try your hand at returning to the real world where you may or may not excel, depending on how prepared you are upon entering. We champion the power of thought by reinforcing positives, and refusing to overlook negatives. Land a job interview? Heaps of praise from our staff and your brothers. Come late to one meeting out of ten? There’s a consequence– no matter the other nine perfect attendances. Thought processes start to shift when it is realized that every action has a reaction, and that even the slightest deviation from rules, no matter how much good you’ve done, invokes some sort of punishment. We take this strategy from The Big Book itself, and its keen focus on accepting consequences as a means of growing in recovery (“We know that little good can come to any alcoholic who joins A.A. unless he has first accepted his devastating weakness and all its consequences.”) Over time, a changing thought process drastically changes stereotypes concerning ego and attitude. Our clients learn very quickly that thinking things will go their way, and that they do not have to follow the rules of the house will land them in trouble with not just the staff, but with the brothers they have come to know, love, and hold accountable as well.
We also shed stereotypes by encouraging the men of our program to work to not only return to society without issue, but to return to society as gentlemen, and as better men than they were before they even got involved with substances. As individuals that have already battled through addiction and come out on the right side of treatment, our men already have clearer heads and a better sense of self worth than many of their peers who never went through an ordeal with addiction. We use that heightened self-awareness and self worth to encourage our men that now is as good a time as any to conquer those dreams, slay those dragons, and prove to the world that recovery is not just about quitting drugs. It’s about coming out better, stronger, and more powerful than ever before.
At The Last House of West Los Angeles, we offer premier sober living care for men that are ready to get more out of their lives, and to make an impact on their communities when they return home. To get started, call us right now at 1-866-677-0090. We can’t wait to meet you!