What Is Sober Living and Why Should I Go There?

sober living

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Jaywalker Lodge believes in helping alcoholics and addicts every step of the way in recovery, so we’re especially glad to talk about sober living. Sober living is the transitional living environment between intense addiction recovery treatment and independent recovery living. In other words, sober living is the buffer between working the recovery program in a safe treatment environment and living the recovery lifestyle out in the big, beautiful world.

Of course, there are lots of benefits of taking advantage of a sober living environment. But before we discuss why we should go to sober living, let’s get into what it is and why it was created in the first place.

What Is Sober Living?

Sober living is a little bit like treatment and a lot like living on our own. It’s the transition between an in-house, intense recovery treatment and fully independent living in recovery. Sober living is the safe space in between where we can strengthen our recovery muscles. Sober living typically looks like a group of people in recovery, living in a supervised housing environment where meetings and recovery work is either highly encouraged or loosely required. Additionally, the occupants can go to work or school and they have much more free time and autonomy. It’s essentially a safe group environment where we can practice the recovery lifestyle while still being supported and cared for much the way we were in our initial treatment. But we can also practice going to work, going to school, and spending time with our loved ones while attending meetings, working the Twelve Steps, and being of service.

Jaywalker Lodge cares about every step of addiction recovery treatment, including sober living. Our sober living environments are the perfect safe place to learn how to live a full and happy life in recovery while still being supported and staying an active part of the Jaywalker community. Sober living is a great idea for anyone who is leaving treatment for alcoholism or addiction. Even if we only spend a few weeks or a few months in treatment, sober living is still a great idea. Think of it like training wheels on a bike — we don’t keep them on forever, but they’re a vital part of the learning process. Sober living helps us learn how to walk before we run, so to speak.

Why Should I Go to Sober Living?

There’s no easy answer to this question. For many of us who are new to recovery, we are so excited about everything we learned in treatment that we can’t wait to go back to our “normal” lives and start putting it all into action. But the sad reality is that many of us who rush right back to business as usual after treatment end up falling off the recovery wagon. We stop going to meetings. We skip meetings with our sponsor. We have work and other people to spend time with, so we slowly forget to work the 12-Step recovery program that we learned in treatment. In our excitement to get back to “normal” life, we let life take over and we forget about our recovery. This not only puts our recovery in jeopardy, but as alcoholics and addicts, it puts our very lives in jeopardy as well.

This scenario is exactly what going to sober living is meant to avoid. We can still have a semblance of that “normal” life we crave. We can spend time with our family and friends. We can watch TV and work on our hobbies. We can go to work or school. But all the while, our attention is still focused on the program of recovery. We are supported and encouraged as we attend meetings, continue working the Twelve Steps, and find ways to be of service. Sober living gives us the best of both worlds until they naturally become one. In sober living, we can be an independent member of our recovery community — often going to many of our favorite meetings — and we also have the freedom to fellowship and work the Steps, without the danger of letting life get in the way of recovery. But we get the benefits and joys of both living and recovering, and that’s truly what life is about.

Remember the Purpose of Recovery

A life in recovery is not a punishment. It’s not about working off our karmic debt or paying for our sins. Going to meetings, working the Twelve Steps, and being of service aren’t punishments either. Nor are they optional for those of us who are alcoholics or addicts. Recovery is about living an amazing life with a bright future. Working all three sides of the triangle — Unity, Service, and Recovery — is what allows us to live this amazing life. It doesn’t work the other way around for us. If we put life before recovery, we wind up forgetting about recovery and the disease takes over once again. If we put recovery first, we can live a life beyond our wildest dreams! There are many people who can attest to the truth behind both sides of this story.

So, why go to sober living? Because it just might save your life. And even better, it will reinforce and help you integrate recovery into your daily life. This transitional phase helps ensure both a solid recovery program and a solid life.

At Jaywalker Lodge, we believe that sober living is an important, integral, and incredible step on the journey of recovery. Not only does this transitional phase contain all the support and safety of inpatient treatment, but it also affords the luxuries and freedoms of independent life without many of the dangers that can jeopardize our early recovery. Sober living lets us safely practice how to live a full life in recovery, giving us the launch pad we need for living the life of our dreams while still safeguarding our recovery. We go to work, school, and meetings. We fellowship with other members of the recovery program. We spend time with our loved ones. And we do it all while still working the Twelve Steps and being of service wherever we can. Sounds like a beautiful life to us! If you’re ready to try it for yourself, Jaywalker Lodge is ready to help you every step of the way. Call us now at (866) 529-9255.

author avatar
Stefan Bate, MA, LAC, CCTP Chief Clinical Officer
Stefan Bate, BA, MA, LAC holds a Master's Degree in Applied Psychology from Regis University and is a Licensed Addiction Counselor in the state of Colorado. Stefan has wide-ranging experience in the field of addiction recovery including: working as a recovery coach, therapist, and program director.

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