Person That is Sober Living in Boston Massachusetts

Sober Living in Massachusetts

So you’ve decided to get sober and now you’re hearing the term “ Sober Living ”. Maybe you’re in a treatment center or detox facility. Maybe a friend or family member is suggesting sober housing as an alternative to living at home. So what is it like? This is my story about how living in a sober house changed my life.
In 2007, I decided that my life had become unmanageable and that I didn’t want to continue living the way I had been. Everything about my life had become centered on the next drink and drug. I had designed my career to accommodate my addiction, and all of the things that were important to me fell short of booze on my priority list. After entering treatment, I began to hear about “Aftercare” and “Continuing Care”. These were terms for the work that I would continue to do in order to maintain my sobriety, after treatment ended. This is where I first heard of living in a sober home.

Living a Sober Life on My Own

After deciding that I was fully capable of maintaining my own sobriety without someone else “controlling my life”, I decided against a sobriety house, and chose to move in with friends from my treatment center instead. While my intentions were sincere, my conviction to stay the sober path was soon challenged.

I was faced with many temptations, intense emotions, and unanticipated life struggles. What I had imagined to be an easy path to walk in my newfound sobriety became a dangerous tip toe through a wild jungle. Before the end of 8 months, I had relapsed, and things got bad… fast!

I had heard that when you drink again, you “pick up where you left off”. This was certainly the case for me as I found myself ready to leap from the 17th floor of my apartment building- only a higher power could have kept me alive through the events to follow. It took me more than a year to get back into treatment.

Getting Sober Again

Returning to treatment in 2009, I vowed to do things differently. I spent 90 days in residential treatment and decided to move close to my treatment center in Los Angeles, where I had begun to build a sober community and fellowship. As I approached the end of treatment, a sober home was suggested for me. But again, I was reluctant to give up control and live with strangers. Besides, I had heard that sometimes people actually used in sober livings!

I would move out into my own home, but near my community, I decided. Within six months, I found myself back in crisis, lost in desperation, and far from the sober way I had envisioned.
After completing a 3rd visit to residential treatment, I was beaten. I knew then that my decisions were not serving me. I decided to trust others, and I accepted that an aftercare plan may need to include this off-putting concept: living in a sober house.

The Reality of Sober Living

I arrived at my new sober living house in September of 2010. I quickly discovered that my mind’s concept of a controlling environment with supervision and strict management was very different from what I entered into that day. I wasn’t supervised, I was supported. I wasn’t controlled, I was given suggestion. When I made a choice, it was my choice, and what I learned in the following months taught me how to make good choices for myself. My house manager, Joe, told me “I can’t get sober for you dude. This is your journey… I’m just here to help you find your way”. Joe would quickly become a mentor and friend, offering much needed advice about everything from work to women. I made many friends that year, some who are still close to me today. I thought I would be giving up my free will… instead, I was learning how to reclaim it.

Tharros House

Fast forward to 2016 where I now sit, writing this blog in the office of Tharros House, my own High Standards Structured Sober Living home in Lexington Massachusetts. With 8 current clients who are learning to walk a great path, all desiring a different life than they are leaving behind, I am struck by how different I thought it would be those years ago when I entered Joe’s house in Los Angeles. I experienced many new things through the people I met and the opportunities I was afforded in sobriety. I found a way to live life that is far happier than I ever had before the drinking or drugs began.

I am now grateful for my addiction! Without it, I wouldn’t have the life I have today, nor would I have learned how to live the way I do now, with great meaning and joy. At Tharros House, my team and I work with only 10 clients at a time to ensure that we provide the support and suggestion that can help each individual design their own successful recovery. Each client at Tharros House learns to apply the tools from treatment in a way that is both fun and effective. Clients participate in sober events and learn to have fun while living sober in the city of Boston. Our team is here to help each person find their way.
Learn more about what a sober living home can offer for you. You deserve a joyous and meaningful life, and the right support and guidance can help you find your way. Visit us at www.TharrosHouse.com to learn more about Tharros House in Lexington, MA.

Three people excited about living a sober life

Relapse Prevention Tips

Although you are committed to sobriety, you should prepare for some of the challenges ahead. Unfortunately, relapses are a relatively common setback. But just because relapses can happen—it doesn’t mean that it must happen to you.

1. Understand the Signs of a Relapse

One of the most critical steps you can take to avoid a relapse is to educate yourself on the signs of it. Knowing what to look for can help you recognize when you need help. Some common signs to watch for include:

  • Becoming defensive
  • Feelings of anger
  • Poor sleeping and eating habits
  • Isolating yourself
  • Mood swings
  • Lying about your behaviors or feelings
  • Spending time with friends with who you used to drink alcohol with
  • Fantasizing about drinking alcohol
  • Thinking about or planning to try using alcohol or drugs again in the future.

2. Fill Up Your Free Time

Another thing that you can do to help avoid a relapse is to find fun hobbies and activities to fill up your free time. When you are involved in many other things and have additional responsibilities, it makes it hard to slide back into old habits.

3. Continue to Attend Meetings and Support Group Sessions

After you have been sober for some time, you might start thinking that you don’t need to attend meetings and support group sessions that help sober individuals stay that way. Try to resist the urge to give up these meetings and support groups—as they can be helpful for long-term sobriety.

You can also consider a sober living home, where you reside with other sober people similar to you. Tharros House is a great place to continue living a sober lifestyle. Give us a call today to find out if it might be the right fit for you.

Asian couple reading a book in nature

How Do I Deal with Cravings as They Arise?

After you make the decision to stop drinking, it is common to continue to experience cravings for alcohol for some time. Also, after committing to a sober lifestyle, you might be more aware of your cravings since you have made a conscious decision to avoid alcohol.

To remain sober, you will have to face your cravings head-on and stay strong. Knowledge is power, so one crucial step you can take moving forward is to plan for how you will handle cravings when they pop up.

What Causes Alcohol Cravings?

Cravings often occur as a response to a trigger, which can be automatic. Triggers can be different from person to person. Common triggers for many individuals include stress and specific emotions and memories of something associated in some way with alcohol.

People who experience cravings for alcohol often have both internal and external triggers. Internal triggers can include emotions, thoughts, memories, or even physical sensations that give you the urge to consume alcohol. External triggers include environmental cues that you associate with alcohol—such as places, people, certain situations, and the time of day (such as the end of a workday).

Managing Cravings

While cravings for alcohol can be intense, the good news is that they often can pass after a few minutes go by. When you experience cravings for alcohol, it can help to remind yourself that the craving will soon disappear. Positive distractions are another excellent way to manage your cravings. Reading a book, watching a funny show, and going for a walk are all positive distractions that can help.

Tharros House Sober Living

The early stages of sobriety bring many challenges. One thing you can do to have a better chance at remaining sober is to live in a sober living home. Tharros House is a sober living home in Massachusetts that has helped many residents continue their sober journey. Give us a call today to learn more about how we can help.

Woman in pink exercise gear stretching her arm.

How Can I Listen to What My Body is Telling Me About My Health?

If you pay close attention, you can catch certain signs about your health by listening to cues from your body.

One thing to keep in mind is that every person is different, so it is essential to learn your own body cues. Various health indicators can show up in different ways from person to person.

How to Listen to Health Cues from Your Body

The first way to make sure that you are ready to listen to your body’s cues about your health is to make sure that you know what is normal for you.

To get used to your baseline health indicators, you can keep a journal of how you are feeling daily. You don’t have to limit yourself to writing down just physical changes—tracking your emotions and mental health is beneficial, too.

There are many apps out there that you can use to log how you are feeling each day. Of course, writing things down in a notebook or journal works too.

By tracking your health and any changes each day, over time, you will have a good understanding of your general health and well-being, and you will be able to notice small changes that could be significant.

If you notice something unusual, consider doing a little research to clarify or isolate your concerns. While online research is certainly not a substitute for medical care, it can give you a little more clarity on the topic and allow you to explain your concerns to your doctor better.

Listening to your body and paying attention to any changes is crucial for your health, especially as you move forward in your sobriety journey.

A sober living home facility can be beneficial in many ways. If you are interested in learning more about this option, contact us today at Tharros House.

Woman relaxing with a cup of coffee

Relaxation Techniques for Times of Stress

One way you can help manage your feelings of stress is to begin practicing relaxation techniques. When you think about relaxing, the first thing that comes to mind might be enjoying a hobby or experiencing peace of mind. However, there is much more to it than that.

What Does Relaxation Do for Me?

Relaxation is a process that allows you to decrease the amount of stress on your body. By incorporating relaxation techniques as a daily part of your life, you can learn to cope with everyday stressors better. Additionally, relaxation techniques are useful in helping you manage long-term stress or health issues caused by stress—such as heart disease.

Relaxation Techniques to Work On

Many different relaxation techniques can be effective, so it is vital to find the right ones for you. Below are some standard relaxation techniques.

  • Visualization – To use this relaxation technique, simply begin visualizing mental images that allow you to imagine a peaceful and calm setting. It is helpful to sit somewhere comfortable and quiet and to close your eyes.
  • Progressive Muscle Relaxation – When using the progressive muscle relaxation technique, you begin by tensing and then slowly relaxing each group of muscles. This process helps you become more aware of physical sensations and learn to distinguish between tensing and relaxing.
  • Autogenic Relaxation – With this relaxation technique, you will use both awareness of your body and visual imagery to reduce your stress levels. Simply repeat phrases or words in your mind that help you relax and reduce muscle tension. For example, think about being somewhere peaceful and focus on breathing in and out slowly and lowering your heart rate.

Relaxation techniques are a simple way you can work on reducing your stress levels.

Tharros House

Tharros House is a sober living community in the Boston, Massachusetts area. Contact us today to learn more about what we have to offer.

Addiction to drinking and gambling in Massachusetts

What Constitutes Addiction?

The American Society of Addiction Medicine defines addiction as a primary chronic disease of brain reward, memory, motivation, and related circuitry, which is reflected in an individual pursuing reward or relief by substance abuse. Addiction to nearly any substance can have a substantial negative impact on your life and the lives of those around you.

What Are the Basic Characteristics of Addiction?

Multiple unhealthy emotional responses or behaviors typically characterize addiction. Some examples of these behaviors and emotional responses include:

  • Impairment in behavioral control
  • Dysfunctional emotional responses
  • Cravings
  • Inability to abstain from using a substance or engaging in an activity
  • Diminished recognition of interpersonal and behavioral problems.

Additionally, substance abuse and dependence can cause impaired perception, learning, impulse control, and judgment. Because of these effects, individuals who suffer from addiction can have a hard time recognizing the extent of their problems. When someone with an addiction seeks out help, it is often due to close family or friends encouraging them to get help for their addiction, rather than seeking help on their own accord.

Signs of Addiction

If you believe that you or someone you care about is suffering from an addiction, there are some signs and indicators that you should be aware of that can help you move forward with seeking help. These signs include:

  • Excessive use of alcohol or drugs
  • Excessive time spent recovering from the usage of alcohol or drugs
  • Substantial focus on pursuing addictive substances
  • Adverse physical and emotional consequences from substance use
  • Worsening preoccupation with drugs or alcohol
  • Lack of desire to give up problematic behavior

Tharros House

For individuals who have suffered from an addiction in the past and are now living a sober life, moving into a sober living home can offer many benefits. Contact us today at Tharros House to find out if our sober living residence is a good fit for you.

Man screaming in anger after being triggered

What Kinds of Triggers May Cause an Addiction Relapse?

If you are recovering from an addiction to any substance, it is crucial that you become aware of common triggers that could potentially lead to a relapse. By understanding what could trigger or lead to a relapse, you can make sure to avoid these triggers so that you can continue living a sober life.

What Is a Trigger for Addiction?

Any social, emotional, or environmental situation that brings up memories of drug or alcohol use in the past or encourages you to revisit this time period in your life is considered a trigger. Triggers can stir up strong emotions that may give you the impulse to go back to using a substance that you formerly abused.

Although experiencing a trigger does not necessarily mean that you will relapse as a result, triggers can make it more challenging to resist the cravings that they produce. When you are happily living a sober life, experiencing a trigger event is an unwanted distraction.

What Common Triggers Can Cause a Relapse?

One of the most common triggers that can lead to an addiction relapse is stress. It is difficult to live a life completely void of any stress, so if stress is a trigger for you, it can be helpful to find ways to strengthen your coping skills. With stronger coping skills, the stress you experience in life may not have such a negative impact.

Other triggers that you should be aware of when it comes to addiction relapse include:

  • Certain feelings and emotions, such as feeling angry, tired, or lonely
  • Social isolation
  • Romantic relationships under certain circumstances
  • Situations in which drugs or alcohol are readily available
  • Mental or physical illness
  • Moving to a new residence
  • Changing jobs
  • Other people, particularly those with whom you used to abuse substances

Tharros House

If you live a sober lifestyle and are actively working to avoid triggers and setbacks to maintain your sobriety, a sober living home might be the right choice for you. Give us a call today to learn more about Tharros House and find out if we can help.

Alcohol Shadows on Wall in Boston

How Does Alcohol Affect My Body?

If you consume alcohol regularly, you may be wondering just how this substance affects your body. Alcohol can affect your body in many different ways. Some of these ways are immediately noticeable, while other changes to your body can occur over a more extended period of time.

The Short-Term Impact of Alcohol on Your Body

Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant. This means that alcohol slows down functions of the body and mind. Some of the immediate effects of consuming alcohol include slurred speech, nausea and vomiting, injuries, difficulty breathing, loss of coordination, altered emotions, poor vision, and loss of consciousness.

When you consume alcohol, it affects your vision, judgment, coordination, reaction time, ability to multitask, ability to sleep, and decision-making skills. For these reasons, it can negatively impact your ability to do things like drive a car or complete other tasks that are easy for you to manage while sober.

The Long-Term Impact of Alcohol on Your Body

Over time, continued alcohol consumption can lead to serious adverse effects on the body. Since alcohol can affect how your brain functions, continued use and abuse of this substance can lead to permanent brain damage and contribute to mental health disorders.

Another part of the body that can be permanently damaged due to excessive alcohol consumption is the liver. Consuming large amounts of alcohol can result in fibrosis, alcoholic hepatitis, cirrhosis, and steatosis. Increased alcohol consumption over time can also negatively impact your pancreas, your heart, and numerous other parts of the body.

Tharros House

When you commit to living a sober lifestyle, moving into a sober living home can help you continue to achieve your sobriety goals. Tharros House in the Boston, Massachusetts, area is an excellent choice for individuals who are interested in living in a sober house among others who are also at this same stage in their lives. Contact us today to find out more about what we have to offer.

Woman laying down smoking in Massachusetts

What Are the Best Ways to Quit Smoking?

Many people decide to quit smoking once they realize the negative impact of the habit on their overall health. Fortunately, once a smoker does quit, there are significant health benefits that take place almost immediately.

Why Is Smoking So Addictive?

Smoking is an addictive habit due to the active ingredient in tobacco called nicotine.

When you smoke cigarettes, your brain quickly adapts to the nicotine, causing you to crave more and more of the chemical to feel the way you did after your first cigarette.

Over time, your brain begins to predict when you are ready to smoke a cigarette, then you have one, and then the cycle repeats again.

How to Quit Smoking, Once and For All

It probably won’t come as a surprise that the most challenging days of quitting smoking are the first few days.

Although it probably will not be easy to get through the first couple of days after quitting, it is essential to stick with it.

One helpful way to quit smoking is to choose a day and commit to being done with smoking that day and beyond. Having an end date that you commit to will make the process feel final and give you a better chance at success.

Another way to quit smoking is to make a list of all of the reasons you want to stop smoking and write down all of the benefits you will gain once you achieve your goal. Having a plan written out in front of you with reminders of why you are quitting in the first place can help you focus on your goal and move forward.

You may also want to consider nicotine replacement patches, gum, or prescription medications that can help curb cravings. These options can be extremely helpful.

Tharros House

Tharros House in Massachusetts is a sober living home facility where individuals can live and work on maintaining their sobriety in a collaborative atmosphere. Give us a call today to learn more about how we may be able to help you.

MRI scan of the brain

What is Addiction?

According to the American Psychiatric Association, addiction or substance use disorder is a complex condition in which someone uses a substance in an uncontrolled manner despite harmful consequences.

Individuals who suffer from addiction focus on using a particular substance (or multiple substances), such as illicit drugs, alcohol, or tobacco, to the point where their ability to function in day-to-day life becomes impaired.

People addicted to a substance continue to use the substance, even when they know it is causing problems.

Why Do People Become Addicted to Substances?

Not everyone who tries drugs, alcohol, or tobacco will become addicted to those substances.

While no one knows exactly what causes someone to become addicted to a substance, we know that there may be changes in the brain structure and function of someone using certain substances, which may contribute to an addiction.

The changes in brain structure and function cause people to have intense cravings for a particular substance and may also lead to changes in personality and behaviors. In fact, brain imaging studies have been conducted that show changes in the brain area related to decision making, judgment, memory, learning, and behavioral control.

When someone repeatedly uses or abuses a substance, they may change the way that their brain functions. These changes can be immediate (during the intoxication period), or the changes may occur at a later time.

Intoxication symptoms differ for each substance, so the specific effects vary depending on the substance being abused.

Tharros House and Sobriety

When a person decides to conquer their addiction and live a sober lifestyle, a sober living facility can be a helpful step in this process.

Living among others facing the same challenges as you can be beneficial in many ways. Contact us today at Tharros House to find out more about how we can help you continue with your sober lifestyle.

Girl working out, trying sober things to do during Covid in Boston Massachusetts

Sober Things to Do During Covid

With many places shutting down and the ongoing limitations on in-person gatherings and activities, sober individuals may have difficulty finding sober activities to engage in. Fortunately, there are still many different things to do so that former addicts can continue to avoid activities that could trigger a relapse.

Covid-19 Restrictions and Sobriety

It is no secret that the Covid-19 pandemic that the world is currently facing may cause added stress and some complex challenges for everyone as we all attempt to move forward. For sober individuals, dealing with these additional stressors can make them more likely to suffer a relapse. This is particularly true for people who have poor coping skills. In order to continue on a sober path, it can be helpful to stay busy and participate in a variety of activities to occupy your time.

What Are Some Ideas for Sober Things to Do During the Pandemic?

There are still plenty of things to do for fun despite the pandemic. Although the weather is getting colder, outdoor activities such as hiking, running, and going for walks are still great ideas, even in a pandemic. These activities allow for plenty of social distancing while also giving you the added health benefits of exercise.

Other sober things to do include reading books and listening to audiobooks. Reading or listening to a book are great ways to engage your mind and learn new things. For those who enjoyed reading before the pandemic—now is an excellent time to continue enjoying this hobby that you love. For others, now is as good of a time as any to give reading a shot as a new hobby.

Tharros House

Tharros House is a sober living facility in the Boston, Massachusetts, area. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you maintain your sober lifestyle.