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  • Writer's pictureYoung Lee

Sober Living

Updated: Jan 11, 2023

As a recovered addict and alcoholic who’s spent over 2 years of my life in a variety of treatment centres and transitional sober living treatments, I feel ideally qualified to pass on my experience of sober living and the benefits for those looking for a successful transition back in life, work, family and society at large.

Sadly, as many personal failed attempts have proven, it can be a difficult thing to do, but now after over 3 and half year’s happy sobriety, I can confidently say that with the correct framework and the right people around you, recovery is possible.

I cannot stress enough the last part of that sentence. Having strong people around you as you attempt to make the transition from rehab to ‘normal’ living is extremely important, some would say essential. I’ve found having a mix of professionals, therapy, counsellors, health professionals (PT and yoga instructors etc) and a network of long-term recovery, 12 step groups are an essential mix for recovery.

If a person has a lengthy hospital stay due to illness, on leaving they wouldn’t be expected to jump straight back into life and live at full flow. They’d have a period of reconstruction, small steps, patience, and progression. New ways of approaching certain situations would need to be developed, then repetition and perseverance to not only maintain but grow. A recovering person needs to approach early recovery in the same way, recovery is a journey and not an event.

For many people, their alcoholic or drug-addicted life is the only one they know. The progression of their illness has happened subtly over a long period of time, often affecting them in more ways than they realise. Going into residential treatment or detox is one way to start the recovery process. A person in such a place is in a protective bubble during their stay, shielded from the external pressures of life, such as family, bills, work and other usual factors. If there isn’t an immediate transition into sober living or the provision of a robust aftercare plan the result is often back to square one, relapse being their reality. A newly sober person feels like they’re getting out of a warm bath and jumping into a freezing tub of ice water, the shock is just too much. They have a sharp wake-up call and see that rehab wasn’t the magic wand that they thought it was. If change isn’t all-encompassing neither is the result, it will be temporary at best.

Successful and happy sober living is all about easing back into reality. Putting firm foundations into creating a new life.

A new set of ideas, motives and purpose is essential. Change is the name of the game and if a newly recovering person embraces this, then the effects can often be wonderful (and relatively quick). It’s said that a human being can make significant personality changes in as little as 100 days.

Recovery coaching is extremely helpful in navigating someone through those early days. A person that has lived through a successful transition into sober living can guide and act as a mentor. It will be new ground for most people, they may feel raw, full of fear and exposed. A recovery coach is a positive role model that can alleviate these fears by showing them how they live as a happy sober person, they will show them what they do each day to maintain and grow. This involves practices such as prayer and meditation, mindfulness, yoga, healthy eating, and recovery groups.

During a person’s time in addiction or alcoholism, there’s always a degree of unmanageability, be it emotion, financial or nutritional. These are the type of areas a person needs to look at in their sober living. Basic life skills are also often put to one side whilst a person is in their illness, these are other areas to be explored and improved.

Getting involved in something community or peer based is beneficial. (some would say essential.) Pre-treatment the person would have been isolated and alone, externally and internally, the antidote to that is becoming a part of something, finding a purpose, discovering a 'why'.

Once a person starts to feel the changes they’ll be more inclined to continue their growth and exploration of their newly found soul and see that being happy and sober is possible and we do recover.

If you would like help related to the issues in this post, or more information relating to sober living and how it can benefit you, please check out our website at or contact us using the button below.

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