Many of us, myself included, are hard headed, stubborn and believe ourselves to be completely self reliant. Of course, those attributes have directly contributed to where we find ourselves today: sitting in a treatment center. Our self reliance has completely failed us. In order to stay sober, we need others in AA to help us. This realization is the beginning of our new journey and leads into the topic of living in a sober living home.
The last time I went through treatment, it was highly recommended to me that upon leaving treatment, I should move into a sober house. Deep down, I knew this was the right thing to do but it was nonetheless a smack to my over inflated ego and pride. My ego/self reliance told me I was better than that. It told me I didn’t need to share some bedroom in some grimy sober house with people who didn’t have jobs or not much of a future.
You see, I had been sober for many years before this last treatment. In those years, I had earned my 4 year degree, started a successful career and owned a beautiful home. I relapsed and by the time I found my way back into treatment, I had lost all those things. But, my pride or ego or the devil or whatever you want to call it, screamed at me that I was better than some sober home living experience.
My disease for lack of a better word, did NOT want me to live in a completely sober environment. It did NOT want me to live in an environment where I would be accountable to other men for my actions. An environment where using drugs and alcohol is much harder to get away with. An environment where God forbid, I might actually stay sober and get healthier.
My addiction and alcoholism wants to kill me or have me living in a prison cell. At the very least, it wants me to lose everything I have including my dignity. My addiction lies to me. It tells me that I am self reliant. That I can do anything I set my mind to. I don’t need the help of others and I sure as hell don’t need to be packed in a sober house with 10 other addicts/alcoholics and be accountable to these guys.
In a moment of clarity, I knew my brain was lying to me and I made the decision that self reliance had failed me and would continue to fail me. I decided that maybe, just maybe what the treatment counselors where telling me held some truth. I made the conscious decision that I would start living the “we” of the program and take some direction from others who had been down the same road and I moved into a sober house.
As alcoholics and addicts we need to take our sobriety one day at a time. But, we should also have some foresight into the future. What is six months or a year out of your life living in a sober home if that time sets a solid foundation of sobriety enabling us to lead happy and productive lives?? So, go ahead and put aside self reliance for a little while. Take the direction of someone else. Get out of your comfort zone. Realize you need the help of other AA members. Move into that sober house. You can always move out if you don’t like it. Who knows, you might make lifelong friends there and form a network with people that will keep you sober one day at a time for the rest of your life.
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