18 Jul Sober Living for Young Adults
Sober living for young adults provides a safe and supportive environment and time to strengthen recovery. The many changes that need to occur in addiction recovery for young adults require time, first to learn the negative behaviors requiring change, and then to replace them with healthy options.
The big questions that came up for me in recovery were:
- Can I achieve sobriety in a 30-day program?
- Am I strong enough on my own to live without intensive help?
- Is my living environment safe? Are my friends safe and supportive?
In my mid-teens, as a young person, I could not make the judgment call on any of those questions. Indeed, I could not comprehend the questions, much less the answers. I was not mature enough to take responsibility for my life or committed enough to search for the answers. By my late teens, I realized my life was the pits, and that only I could be responsible for my future.
Each person is different, and many may require the intense programs that short term rehab provides both to get sober and to learn what recovery requires. However, none of them provide the environment to stay sober. Sober living, on the other hand, provides support with affordable long-term care that young adults need to allow them to incorporate the necessities of recovery into their daily living. In sober living, they go through ego reduction, peer feedback, accountability, and introspection, while being removed from the toxic environments of their past. They teach self-sufficiency and new tools for living, and for gradual reintegration into the rest of society. Sober living cements the tools that young adults may discover in treatment. Long-term sober living provides young adults time to learn how to pick these tools up. In recovery, “time” itself can become a tool rather than a hassle. Young adults may get agitated or doubtful many times each day, and being in sober living can help young adults pause. They get practical application of recovery tools. The very important fact about sober living is that they can have an “experience” with new tools within their safe community. Having knowledge vs. experience is the fundamental difference between short-term programs and long-term programs.
As a young adult I can relate this to high school, much of the information I learned did not stick with me unless I continually used it or had real life experience with it. The chemistry equations I had to memorize for a test were simply retained and not applied and understood. Sober living granted me time and provided experience for me to apply tools and gave me a design for living.
The unity that a sober living provides is very important. Immediately, young people are given a host of new friends who are trying to achieve similar goals. Young people are given a chance to understand a larger perspective when they learn to be of service to others within their sober living.
Love and tolerance are guiding principles of unity. As young people live in a house together trying to achieve a common goal and welfare, they themselves must make decisions to adopt tools and a design for living or stay stuck in their problems. Love and tolerance support community where everyone can get healthy together. This is why sober living is so helpful with accountability. There is personal accountability and accountability for the community.
To be a part of a sober living can make a member part of a larger whole. This is a very beautiful experience for newly sober young people. Young adults in sober living are united through mutual life experiences. They share a common problem with the type of drugs or alcohol they used and the culture behind it. Quite simply their stories and experience allow them to speak the same language, which makes for a strong sense of community. One alcoholic/addict can win the confidence of another within an hour or so, because we relate so deeply. Sharing a common problem and common goals provides group support for achieving those goals.