Extended treatment such as; a halfway house and or a recovery home aren’t for everyone. But for me, there was no other choice. I was completely out of options, and that was my only choice. Granted, I have met many individuals who are in recovery that didn’t go to either, and are living a life beyond their wildest dreams. My experience was a bit different and I will elaborate much on why I chose to go to a halfway house and sober living home.
In all honesty, talking about this topic gets me extremely emotional because of the amazing people I met in the halfway/recovery home. I met so many amazing people in the halfway house. There were guys who were once slaves to their addiction, and now could laugh and finally live life! Unfortunately there were some guys that I had many laughs with, suddenly passed because they were convinced to use by their disease again. RIP!
I truly believe deep down inside I wouldn’t be alive if I didn’t choose to go to a halfway house right after my 28 days of inpatient treatment. I was that lost and broken. THANK YOU SERENITY HOUSE for helping to put me back together, and for giving my family their brother and son back.
First of all, what is a halfway house? I’m not going to get into all the technical details, but the title pretty much is self-explanatory. It’s a halfway point to get back into regular life and or society. Halfway houses have a goal to rehabilitate individuals. Whether if they are just out of prison, or have substance abuse issues, it serves a great purpose. These programs instill responsibility, and accountability in men and women who are lacking just that. Many of us who walk in those doors just don’t know how to live life. I was just that. The particular house I checked myself into was a 90-day program. But why did I check myself into this program? Why was this so important? Well if you’re anything like me, I didn’t know
how to live. All I knew how to do is exist and just that.
When I checked myself into the halfway house, I pressed the reset button on my life. I was a 26-year-old individual who had nothing to his name and I lost EVERYTHING! You name it and I lost it. Because I became a complete slave to alcohol, I lost everything that goes hand in hand with alcoholism. I was absolutely terrified of going home after the treatment center. I took suggestion from counselors to save my life. I became willing to do anything possible to get better. Addicts and Alcoholics hate taking direction, but I had to lay aside prejudice and everything I knew to experience a new way of life.
If I went home, there were bad memories for me. I mean, that’s where my drinking career started. Plus, my immediate family doesn’t understand what goes on in the mind of an alcoholic, therefore I couldn’t confide in them if I was having a tough day. I had to go to a place that had other alcoholics and addicts in recovery because WE HAVE SO MUCH IN COMMMON! Plus the counselors specialized in addiction counseling, and they know why my thought process is the way it is. Gosh, this was such a relief. I was so happy!
I have to tell you, my counselor I was assigned to was an absolute saint. It was like I knew her my whole life. She was such an inspirational person. The halfway house played an integral part in restoring me back to sanity. I learned to be more responsible. I became accountable. And I started to incorporate a 12-step program in my life, which was mandated by the house. Now I see why.
I made many friends who were in recovery, which was very important. I had to completely change the people, places and things in my life. I had to separate the old friends I once had because they all used. The funny thing is, I realized those “friends” weren’t really “friends” since I became sober. I realized we are so indifferent. The only thing keeping us attached was the booze. So getting new friends who were sober was new and such a benefit to me. We had so much in common. It felt as if I have known them my whole life. After the 90 days at the halfway house, I decided I needed more structure. I decided to move into a sober house with a few guys. These individuals I became really close within the halfway house. The sober house, also known as a ¾ house, helped me out immensely. In terms of structure, it was a less hands on than the halfway house, but still was very structured. Instead of counseling sessions 5 days out of the week, we had a house meeting with our counselor once a week. I rather enjoyed this.
Living in this sober house was like having a place of my own. This paid dividends. A great thing about the sober house is you start the next chapter of your life with a lot of freedom. Living in a sober house is like having your own place with a few simple rules. These rules almost become nonexistent if you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing. If you’re doing the next right thing, instead of the next wrong thing, you won’t even think about these rules. Accountability, responsibility and sobriety are something you must maintain in a sober house. By maintaining these crucial task, it makes you that much stronger of a person when your eventually on your own. I lived in a sober house for almost 2 years, and what I gained during those 22 months is something I will never forget.
I became a stronger and better person. I stayed employed the whole time, which has never happened before. I became house manager of the recovery home, which was an unforgettable experience. I’m forgetting the most important thing. I STAYED SOBER! Wow! Who would have thought? We must be willing to do anything to save our lives and get better so we can finally live the life that was meant for us.
My name is Shawn and I am an alcoholic
8/23/12 – sobriety date
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