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.
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.
Alcohol can have an impact on your health in many different ways. Most people know that drinking excessively can cause damage to the liver and the cardiovascular system. However, there can also be other negative consequences, like damage to the digestive system, which can lead to malnutrition and may even increase the risk of cancer. Alcohol addiction can also cause serious problems for the body’s immune system.
Alcohol Addiction and the Immune System
Over time, alcohol addiction can cause damage to your body’s immune system, which may increase your risk of contracting potentially fatal illnesses, like pneumonia. The microbes living in your intestines (your gut’s microbiome) work to fight off diseases. When someone consumes a lot of alcohol, it is detrimental to their body’s digestive system and makes it harder for the body to absorb many necessary nutrients. This disruption to the body’s digestive system disturbs the gut’s microbiome, which alters the balance of healthy and unhealthy bacteria. Alcohol impacts the way that the body’s gut microbes interact with the immune system.
Alcohol intake also affects the respiratory system. The function of immune cells in the upper respiratory system and the lungs are impaired by excessive drinking. This can lead to an increased risk for acute respiratory distress syndrome, tuberculosis, and pneumonia. In fact, any disease may become more severe when the immunity of the mucus is impaired in both the digestive tract and the lungs.
Another thing to keep in mind is that although regular heavy drinking has serious negative consequences for your immune system, even a single night of binge drinking can also impact your immune system. Consuming several drinks over the course of one night may temporarily impair your immune system. This can be dangerous, particularly if you are binge drinking in crowded areas. Your lowered immune system defense response may have a hard time fighting off any viruses or bacteria you encounter.
If you are in recovery from alcohol addiction, sober living homes can be a great resource. Contact the Tharros House today to learn more about how a sober living home can help you maintain sobriety.
Sober living homes are a great living option for individuals who are making progress with their battles with addiction. For those who have done the work to get sober, it can be hugely beneficial to live in communities with like-minded individuals to help maintain sobriety.
A sober living home can serve as a bridge between an inpatient rehabilitation facility and the “real world.” After a person leaves an inpatient facility and returns home, they may have difficulty adjusting back to their daily life.
Sober homes can give someone a type of in-between recovery option that gives them the opportunity to practice the lessons they learned in rehab and the support of a sober community before jumping right back into their lives. For some people in recovery, a sober living home can make the difference between staying sober and relapsing back into their addiction.
These homes do not provide residents with the same level of structure as they would experience in an inpatient facility; however, sober living homes have the benefit of providing residents with an intermediate form of sober environment that encourages its residents to work on healthy habits and coping skills for when they return to their homes.
What Can You Expect in a Sober Living Home?
Before making the decision to move into a sober living home, it can be helpful beforehand to get an idea of what you can expect.
When you stay in an inpatient treatment center, as a patient, you are completely immersed in the center’s rehab programs, and you typically do not have a lot of independence. In sober homes you have more freedom and get the chance to have some of your independence back.
Residents living in a sober living home are not required to stay there at all times; rather, they have the ability to come and go as they please. Having this freedom gives individuals in recovery the chance to ease back into their normal life and begin resuming their daily responsibilities and tasks.
Although sober living houses tend to be less restrictive than inpatient facilities are, these homes still do have rules that residents are required to abide by. Some of these rules include attendance at group meetings, events, and a curfew.
What Are the Benefits of Residing in a Sober Living Home?
There are certainly many benefits to living in a sober living home. Residents have the opportunity to attend 12-step programs close by, often on the premises. Sober living homes also provide the benefit of a structured lifestyle while creating an environment for sober friendships and companionships to thrive.
Staying in a sobriety house helps you to be better able to hold yourself accountable to take ownership of your sobriety and overall progress. A big of this is creating positive friendships that allow you to help each other to abstain from alcohol and drugs.
Having such a great support system gives residents the opportunity to avoid the isolation that can sometimes occur during the process of returning to their former homes while in recovery. It also provides residents with an environment to help support them during their recovery from substance abuse and also addiction, from those who are just transitioning over from their stay in rehab.
Sober living homes provide a unique combination of structure and freedom that can help an individual in recovery start to readjust to life outside of rehab. In fact, these homes are set up specifically to serve as a transitional housing option for people who are just coming out of treatment for addiction.
A Sober Living Home Can Help You to Maintain Your Sobriety
Sober living homes can act as a supplement to a person’s recovery from addiction. These homes are an alternative from going straight from an immersive care environment to an unstructured home environment. Since sober homes are designed to replicate normal and everyday life situations while also instilling healthy habits, these homes help to reduce a person’s chance of relapse.
Other benefits of sober living homes may include:
Helping with things that will help you progress with their recovery and maintain their sobriety, including making amends with family and friends who were impacted by their substance abuse and helping their residents to adjust to sober living in an unstructured environment.
Help finding a job with resources provided by the facility, such as computer access, and often provide transportation services so residents can attend job interviews.
Sober living houses are not meant to be forever homes, so they can also provide you with the resources to locate more permanent housing when ready.
Help with creating carefully designed plans for aftercare. These plans should include a relapse prevention plan that can be individualized to each resident. This can be done by therapy sessions that either take place on the premises or are conducted electronically.
Sober Living Therapy Sessions
Therapy sessions can be helpful for sober living home residents in many ways.
Through therapy, residents may learn to identify triggers that could entice them to go back to engaging in substance abuse once they leave the sobriety house and re-acclimate into the community. It can also give residents the tools to learn and practice healthy coping skills during times of high stress and cravings or urges to use.
With therapy, residents can create a plan of action to prepare themselves for those times that will inevitably occur in the future and help them to make the right choices and avoid relapsing.
When is the Right Time to Move into a Sober Living Home?
A good time to move into a sober living home is after you have completed an inpatient rehab program and are ready to begin acclimating back into society. Sober living homes are good transitional residences for those who feel almost ready to go back into their normal lives—but want to have extra support and learn additional coping strategies beforehand.
Moving into a sober home has the benefit of helping you create a solid support system with friends who are going through the same or similar things that you are. These friendships can help you not just during your time residing at the sober living house, but can help you in many ways down the road and throughout the rest of your life.
Sober living homes provide residents with many benefits and can be significantly useful for many people during the process of recovery from addiction. In many cases, people who choose to stay in them tend to live there for at least ninety days, but it is possible to stay longer if necessary.
How to Find a Sober Living Home that Fits Your Needs
Once you have made the decision that living in a sober living home is the right choice for you at this stage in your recovery, you will next need to start your search to find the right home.
When you begin your search, there are some things to keep in mind that are considered red flags. First, you should be wary of a sobriety house that claims to be free or seems particularly cheap. As it is a residence, you should expect to pay an amount at the very least, similar to rent in your area. While the exact cost will differ depending on location and amenities offered, you can expect to pay anywhere from a few thousand per month to $10,000 per month.
Another thing to do while you search is to make an appointment to tour the sober living home in person. You should not just rely on website pictures prior to making a commitment. Viewing the home in person not only gives you a clear picture of what the residence actually looks like, but you can also get a general vibe of the place.
Look for a sober living home that has a set of rules / minimum requirements. The biggest requirement should be that all residents are alcohol and drug-free in order to promote a positive environment for addiction recovery. These facilities should conduct some sort of background check on potential residents in order to ensure the safety of their current residents.
It is also important to learn about the sober living home’s safety and privacy policies. As a resident, you are entitled to a certain amount of privacy in your living area. There should be safety precautions put in place, such as locked doors and a no-weapons policy. It is also beneficial to have security cameras in common areas and in entrances and exits.
It’s a red flag if the sober home you are considering does not have trained or certified staff. It is important that the staff working at a sobriety house has a certain amount of training and experience to ensure that they can handle issues that may arise during a resident’s stay. A well-trained staff can also lead more effective group meetings and other events offered by the sober living home to its residents.
Tharros House—A Sober Living Home in the Boston Area of Massachusetts
If you are looking for a sober living home in the Boston Area of Massachusetts, the Tharros House is a stand-out facility that can help you maintain your sobriety and grow as a person in the process. The Tharros House combines a sober living community with aftercare in order to assist their clients in acquiring new skills to meet life’s challenges.
Tharros House’s mission is to help their clients find success with long-term recovery and move on from negative things in their past. Their sober living home places a high value on integrity and honesty, and the staff members take the time to help their residents cultivate a new and constructive sober lifestyle.
With over 40 years of combined experience with recovery, the team at Tharros House understands the difficulties that their residents face, and they have a genuine desire to help their residents get back to leading a fulfilling and happy life.
Why Choose Tharros House?
The team at Tharros House prides itself on taking a custom approach with each of their clients, beginning with making sure that they have a full understanding of each person’s individual needs. Our team makes sure to build a connection which each resident’s clinical providers in order to help fully understand what support is needed before that resident moves in.
At Tharros House, the team takes the time to connect with local Boston-area professionals and providers that can help our residents in many areas. We can help with referrals to clinical therapy, couples and family counseling, addiction classes, therapy groups, nutrition and wellness services, life coaching, stress management, exercise and physical training.
All clients at Tharros House receive an introduction to wellness and nutritional eating, including group discussions with a registered dietitian. We also offer nutritional cooking classes, mindfulness, and recovery yoga on site.
Tharros House amenities include a full chef’s style kitchen with high-end appliances, a ping pong table, flat-screen TVs, and a quiet dining room. There are seven large bedrooms, six full bathrooms, and two outside deck areas, along with an office with computers and printers that are available for clients to use.
The Tharros House in Boston, Massachusetts has many benefits to offer its residents. In addition to referral services and local connections, Tharros House also offers many fun onsite activities that encourage residents to let loose and have a good time without the use of alcohol or drugs.
Residents at Tharros House have the opportunity to make life-long friendships that can help them maintain their sobriety and, overall, enrich their lives. To learn more about what Tharros House has to offer you, contact us today at (617) 249-1087 or fill out the contact form on out site.
Tharros House is for men only. If you are interested in learning more about sober living for women, please check out Tera’s House.
When it comes to addiction, a question many people have is whether or not addiction is hereditary. Substantial research has been done on this topic, and there does seem to evidence that addiction may be hereditary. Specifically, there appears to be a connection between genetics and addiction to drugs or alcohol. If one or both of your parents has suffered from addiction, it does not necessarily mean that you will also have an addiction—it would just make you more susceptible to it and more likely to have one than the average person.
Genetic Links Associated with Addiction
Presently, scientists believe that heredity accounts for approximately half of the risk that a person has of developing an addiction. This understanding is based on the analysis of patterns of inheritance. It is important to remember that addiction is a medical illness, so it develops in the same way as many other illnesses. It is not simply a “choice,” as some people believe it to be.
How Does Someone Develop an Addiction?
In many cases, addiction occurs when a person with an underlying genetic vulnerability becomes exposed to an environment that triggers the addiction. When it comes to drug and alcohol addiction, stress is one of the common environmental factors that contribute to the development of the addiction.
Another environmental factor includes the availability of the addictive substance. Often, the surroundings in which people grow up in dictate what they crave and contribute to how they act—but ultimately, a person has the choice whether or not to consume alcohol or try a drug in the first place.
For individuals who have gotten sober and want to maintain their sobriety by living with other sober people, a sober living home is a great option. Contact the Tharros House today to learn more about the benefits of sober living homes.
One thing that is important to remember as you work on recovery from addiction is to remind yourself that you are not your addiction. Your addiction does not define you as a person. Rather, your addiction is something that you can conquer and overcome.
Rediscovering Your Purpose and Passions
As you complete treatment for alcohol or drug addiction, it is important to focus on your future. While in treatment for your addiction, you likely spent some time focusing on your addiction itself. This is often an important part of the recovery process—realizing how the addiction began, what fed the addiction, and how it manifested. These insights are often helpful to understand how to move forward, and in some cases, how to fix an underlying problem that may have contributed to your addiction.
At this stage of the process, it is time to move forward and shift your focus to developing a more fulfilling future. Now, you can focus on what makes you happy and passionate in life. True recovery comes when you heal your spirit and uncover the potential that exists within you without the constraints of your addiction. Instead of focusing on the past, think of your recovery as opening the door to a richer and more fulfilling future where you can finally be your true self.
Living a Sober Life
One thing you can do to help aid in your recovery from addiction is to seek out others who are in a similar situation as you are. With others around you who are maintaining their sobriety, you will gain many benefits. Sober living homes offer those in recovery the opportunity to live in a residence free of alcohol and drugs. Other benefits to living in a sober living home include having in-house meetings available, social events to help residents build relationships with one another, and the opportunity to learn from others. For more information about sober living, contact the Tharros House today.
After you have completed rehab for an addiction, you may be wondering what you should do next to maintain your recovery. Successfully completing rehab is a big accomplishment and should serve as motivation to continue living a sober life moving forward. There are many things you can do in order to maintain your sobriety after rehab.
Focus on Your Mental and Physical Health
leaving rehab, it is crucial to focus on your mental and physical health.
Exercise is good for both your mind and body, so it will be beneficial to find
an athletic activity that you enjoy and can participate in regularly. You can
do this by joining a local gym in your area, or you can simply go for a run
outside. Joining a local men or women’s league sport that you enjoy can also
give you social benefits as well.
Surround Yourself with Sober Friends
It is also
extremely important to surround yourself with other sober friends. When you are
with sober friends, it lessens the temptation to consume alcohol or drugs,
since these substances will not be around. It is also important to surround
yourself with individuals who care about you and your sobriety. Even if close
friends or family members do not live a completely sober lifestyle, you can
still maintain these relationships if they are considerate of your sobriety and
do not consume alcohol around you.
Live in a Sober Living Home
Another thing you can do after leaving rehab to help maintain your sobriety is to live in a sober living home. Sober living homes are residences where people who are committed to their sobriety reside, often for a short period of time before starting fresh in their own place. Alcohol and drugs are not permitted in sober living homes. Sober living homes, like the Tharros House, offer many benefits to their residents, including in-house meetings, social gatherings, and many different activities.
Sober living homes provide a safe place for recovering addicts to transition back into their communities and to learn to live independently without using drugs or alcohol. A safe environment is essential for someone in recovery from an addiction. By choosing a sober living home, a recovering addict can continue their recovery journey in a safe place where they will be residing with others in similar situations. Sober living homes do not allow any alcohol or drugs on the property.
Choosing a Sober Living Home
Some sober living homes operate differently than others, so
you will want to carefully consider the sober living home options available to
you before making a commitment. Many people in sober living homes are employed,
so it is necessary to consider the location of the sober living home as it
pertains to your workplace. Even if you do not have a job yet, it is a good
idea to choose a location near public transit or a place within walking
distance of places to which you intend to apply. Luckily local transportation
is included at Tharros House!
Another consideration in choosing a sober living home is
safety and security. In some cases, a person in recovery may feel unsafe due to
a former partner or someone else in their life. In that scenario, the
individual in recovery should prioritize sober living homes with additional
security and strict curfews.
When choosing a sober living home, it is also a good idea to
tour the home in order to get a sense of the atmosphere. Many sober living
homes have activities for their residents, so you will want to know if the home
you are choosing has these options. It is also important for many residents to
have access to meetings, so be sure to find out if the sober home you are
choosing has them onsite.
For people who have recognized that they are suffering from an addiction, one of the first questions they may have is to ask for advice on how to remain sober. Fortunately, there is a lot of help out there for someone who is going through the addiction recovery process.
Focus on Your Health
One of the ways that someone can work on maintaining
sobriety is by getting and staying healthy. As you recover from addiction, it
is crucial to focus on your health by eating nutritious and well-balanced
meals. It is also important to start exercising, which has many physical health
benefits. Exercise also releases endorphins and helps with developing mental
clarity. Being physically active also helps you to restore a sense of balance
in your life, which is important at this stage of recovery.
Make Necessary Life Changes
Another way to help maintain your sobriety is to make
certain necessary changes in your life to better facilitate recovery. It is
often necessary to cut ties with individuals who helped to encourage your
addiction or anyone that is negatively impacting your life. It does not mean
that you need to end these relationships forever—but it is often helpful to
take a step back from these relationships and focus on your relationships with
people who are helping you maintain your sobriety.
An additional necessary life change is to avoid the
locations where you used to partake in your addiction. For example, if you are
recovering from an addiction to alcohol, you will probably want to avoid going
out to bars or other locations where alcohol is present, and people around you
will be drinking.
Develop a Structured Lifestyle
Incorporating more structure into your life is a good way to help stay sober. One way to include more structure in your life is to consider a sober living home, which provides structure for its residents. Contact us today to learn more about the structure that the Tharros House provides.
There are many misconceptions out there about addiction. One of the most common misconceptions is that people who appear to have their life completely together cannot be suffering from an addiction. For some people, addiction is easier to hide than for others.
Misconception #1: Addictions Are Always Obvious
Some people are able to hide their addictions and live their
lives normally without most people suspecting that they are actually battling
an addiction. These people often are able to maintain their day-to-day
responsibilities, like working at their job and spending time with their
families. The term often used to describe those able to mask their addictions
from others is called a “functional addict.”
Misconception #2: Addiction is a Choice
While a person often takes the first initial step in trying
a substance, such as alcohol, having an ongoing addiction is not by choice. It
is important to understand that brain chemistry plays a significant role in
Misconception #3: An Addict Can Quit Anytime They Want
It is a common belief that addicts can simply quit using the
substance to which they are addicted and be free from addiction. Unfortunately,
this is not typically the case. It often takes more than just willpower and the
desire to quit using the addictive substance.
Misconception #4: If A Person Has Not Yet Hit “Rock Bottom,” Then There is
No Need to Quit
Another common misconception out there regarding addiction
is that an addict must hit “rock-bottom” (meaning the lowest of low points in
their life) before they finally take the steps to overcome their addiction.
This is simply not the case. While some people dealing with addiction may need
a big wakeup call before they seek treatment, others may come to understand the
severity of their addiction and seek help before a major incident occurs.
For those recently working toward recovery from an addiction, this process may involve a change in identity, meaning a change in how a person views themselves. During recovery, the former addict will need to change their mindset and stop viewing themselves as an addict. They will need to develop a different, more positive self-identity.
The Social Identity Model of Recovery
The social identity model of recovery involves the concept
of changing a person’s identity from someone who is actively addicted to or
using substances to someone who is in recovery. When a person develops a
substance abuse disorder, they tend to lose their existing social identity—a
good parent, a good friend, etc.—as their identity becomes more about being an
addict to one or more substances. Under this approach to recovery, it is
thought that regaining or restoring a person’s lost social identity may give
them the motivation necessary to continue with their transition to sobriety and
Studies have shown that this change in identity is an
important aspect of achieving a successful outcome. This positive identity
change tends to have a better chance of occurring if the individual is involved
with a network or social group that includes other individuals in recovery. This
is one of the reasons that sober living homes are an excellent approach to
maintaining sobriety in recovery.
Discovering a New Personal Identity
When a former addict begins the long road to recovery, it often includes a change in identification, as well as a shift in their former mindset. It can be challenging to work toward restoring your former identity. A sober living home can help someone at this stage in their recovery maintain their sobriety and continue working on their self-identity and other important aspects of the recovery process. Contact us today at The Tharros House to learn more about what we have to offer.
One way to manage high stress levels is to learn to perform
breathing exercises. When you start to feel stress, you can engage in breathing
exercises to help calm yourself down. This is a great stress-relieving method
because anyone can do it at any time. It is particularly useful for people
recovering from addiction because it does not involve the use of any other
substances. It is a safe practice that has many benefits—reducing stress,
introducing calmness, along with other benefits.
Deep Breathing to Relieve Stress
Normally when we breathe, we take in short breaths and
inhale and exhale without even thinking about it. Taking deeper breaths and
focusing on what you are doing as you breathe can help you calm down and
relieve your stress.
To do this, simply breathe in deeply through your nose
paying attention to your body as you do so. Then, breathe out of your nose
slowly, and picture yourself releasing stress as the air leaves your body. Do
this several times until you start to feel less stressed out.
How to Focus on Breathing
For some people, it may be difficult to get themselves to
focus on their breathing. These tips can help. Start by closing your eyes and
sit in a comfortable position. Try to clear your mind and focus only on
breathing in and out. You can also try to picture yourself breathing in
calmness and breathing out tension and stress. Another technique is to slowly
count to five as you breathe in through your nose, and slowly count to five
again as you exhale.
Using breathing exercises to manage your stress is a simple
way to reduce your stress levels. For those recovering from addiction, this is
a safe and easy method for lessening the stress they are dealing with.