Author: Justin Mckibben
People are strange when you’re a stranger. Being in recovery it can seem like we are a little extra strange to some, or not strange enough for others. So of course finding a roommate while in recovery can be a daunting task. For some people it is already difficult finding someone you can stand to live with. With a lot of people, searching through room-for-rent ads on Craigslist makes them just as anxious as trying to find a roommate in their halfway house.
Some of us just get lucky, and some of us definitely don’t. Of course with people who have a track record of bad behavior it isn’t easy to instantly establish trust. But now a new website is helping connect sober people with a desire to live in a house build on sobriety. All over America recovering addicts and alcoholics have a recovery roommate website to link up with new living arrangements, specifically for clean living.
A new recovery roommate website is called MySoberRoommate.com. It just launched online this past June and it already changing how sober people everywhere find roommates. MySoberRoommate.com was created by addiction therapist Jesse Sandler, LCSW, who specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy. His partner, Dr. Emily Churg, was also a key contributor to its development. Sandler is based in Los Angeles, and in an interview he said he was inspired to create a website that overcomes addiction recovery stigma. There are sober social media apps, but this is another place where likeminded people in recovery can connect.
So how does this recovery roommate website actually work?
Well, via their page users (who no longer use) can search and connect with sober roommates. It serves both sides, so if you’re looking for a place to move or if you want to rent a room in your own place. So far, the website has already attracted nearly 1,000 members in just two months. And professionals in the recovery field are already seeing it gain traction among clients.
Filling the Space
Now that we touched on the ‘how’ we get to the ‘why’ of it. One aspect of the work Sandler does with his clients includes helping with the transition from inpatient rehab to a halfway house, then to their own place. When asked about the site Sandler said,
“I would sit with my clients in my office and we’d go on the Internet, and there was nothing out there like this. I was shocked to see that.”
The challenge with assisting with the transition from halfway house to a home is finding a roommate dedicated to sobriety. Sandler acknowledged that for many people, when they attend treatment they aren’t even in their home state anymore. Being out of town and on your own can make it difficult to connect with the local recovery community. So to add to that the intimacy of living with another person, finding a recovering roommate in the area can be very difficult.
“One of the most important components in maintaining sobriety is your living environment. When people in recovery move out of rehab or sober living facilities, the worst thing they can do is go back to the toxic living environments they were in before they got clean,”
Sandler told WestsideToday.com when discussing the importance of the recovery roommate website,
“The second worst thing is to live with people who are actively using. And the third is to live alone, which breeds isolation.”
He concluded, as many have before, that one of the best ways to improve the chances of staying sober is to surround yourself with people who are committed to recovery.
Moving In and Moving On
So far it appears the response to the recovery roommate website has been very good. Sandler stated,
“Several of my colleagues have reached out and told me that their clients used MySoberRoommate.com to successfully find a roommate,”
“We have received emails from several members telling us that they had a positive experience using the site.”
The MySoberRoommate team is currently trying to compile a catalog of stories about the “best bad experiences with a non-sober roommate” for an upcoming YouTube series. They are also planning to release the short video reenactments for these testimonials in the next few months. So moving on from just helping people connect, the minds behind this recovery roommate website are also trying to create creative and informative features online to help break the stigma and shed some light on how people in recovery really live.
The question becomes, who would use a recovery roommate website to find their next place? If you’re new in recovery, or been around a while and just ready to start fresh, would you use an option like this to find someone to live with?
When you find the right people to live with they can end up becoming some of your biggest supports in recovery. However, you also have to remember that not everyone in recovery will stay clean. Try to stick with people who are doing the right thing, especially at home. Establishing a strong foundation in sobriety is very important to building a future in sobriety. If you or someone you love is struggling, please call us toll-free. We want to help. You are not alone.
CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135
Author: Justin Mckibben
When I say this, I say it with absolute certainty; the people around me today that I have the privilege of calling my friends have saved my life.
I mean if I’m being completely honest, there is a group text that has probably saved me from my insanity more times than I can count… those 3 guys know who they are… (Insert emoji hands).
Recently I’ve talked about me feeling feels and what-not, and to be honest I’ve been through some things recently that has brought this subject to the forefront of my life… If someone would have told me a few years ago that I would have the kind of men and women in my life today I share this level of love and respect with, I would have thought you were on more drugs than me.
Now before I hurt any old friends, I had some friends before I got sober that were of the same caliber, but I failed to recognize them for the true relationships they were. Resentment and selfishness kept me from seeing the people around me who actually loved me unconditionally, even so with my family, and the fact I can see their compassion and understanding in retrospect is largely due to the lessons I have learned through the friends I have today from being in recovery.
I just want to take some time to talk about some ways these bonds have changed me, and for all intents and purposes saved me from myself. I want to honor the people who have given me more than I could ever expect from individuals who planted the seed of fellowship in my life as strangers, and have grown to become vital extensions of the happiness I have found in the world.
In so many ways these people have worked in my life in a way that is nothing short of spiritual, and they have enriched every element of my life. I am who I am thanks to them.
Breaking My Ego
I have a few friends (yea, especially those 3) who I never wanted to be friends with in the first place. Some of them I couldn’t wait to hate, and we had nothing but contempt when we met.
Then my ego was broken, because as I stuck around and as I listened more and lashed out less I realized I wasn’t any better than these people, and in fact looked up to them. They were just like me, and who was I to try and belittle anyone when I was afraid of being who I really was anyway.
Soon, either after living in close proximity in a halfway house after rehab, or by being forced to see one another by meetings and mutual friends, we developed a new respect for one another. I heard their stories and what drove them, I learned about their ambitions and their hardships and ultimately came to admire many of them for every inch of footwork they accomplished in their own sobriety.
And when they hurt, I hurt with them.
My ego was constantly shattered by sharing mutual struggles with others and understanding that it wasn’t all about me, and that my troubles were not as unique and complex as I liked to believe.
Today as close friends they continue to remind me when my motives exist only in my sense of self, and when I do not act in the spirit of helping others. My friends save my life constantly when they remind me that if what I say is not followed up with what I do, then I can talk (text and type) all the game I want, but if I don’t put forth the action I am just another shell of the person I have potential to be.
And when I let my ego rule my life, a drink or a drug is not too far behind. Humility was taught to me through caring about these people, and caring less about my ego’s perception of them.
Principles and Philosophy
My life today only exists as it is because of the implementation of some form of a spiritual practice. In my own experience I cannot expect to stay sober without it, and the ones closest to me today have helped save me by sharing their philosophies and experiences with me in way that give me a broader and yet more intrinsically intimate understand of what spirituality can mean, and why I needed it.
I have friends who are devoted in their faiths, and I have friends who believe in no denomination or sect belonging to any understanding of god, and I can say today I am auspiciously blessed to have both… because as I learned to separate myself from the hopelessness drugs and alcohol had subjugated my life with, I was given conceptions and catalysts of new hope from definitively different ideologies, all embracing the freedom to choose for yourself.
I was taught by people with religious beliefs that diligence and having a kind of fearless faith, without doubt of purpose, can be precisely powerful ways to relieve myself of the mental and emotional baggage addiction had weighed me down with my whole life.
I was taught by men and women with no religious beliefs that it doesn’t take knowing a god to be a good person, and that making an honest and compassionate contribution to humanity is in itself a spiritual practice I can’t begin to put a price on.
They all taught me that practical application of the principles and philosophies I created for myself was the surest way to serenity, and this saved my life because I lean on that idea of spiritual freedom and love for my fellows when life makes me senseless… which is basically always. The God of my understand works through the friends I have, and all people.
Love and Gratitude
Without love the kind of friendship I’m talking about is unfeasibility, and I got nothing but love for the people in my life that are part of my circle. Most people know you can have all kinds of ‘acquaintances’ and ‘peers’ but the title of ‘friend’ I’m speaking on is something else.
These are the down for anything, tell it like it is (especially when it hurts), ride until the wheels fall off type of friends. Not everyone is this fortunate, and sometimes the people who are don’t see how grateful they should be. Gratitude is everything.
The kind of love I have experienced from the men and women dearest to me today is indescribable. That feeling of belonging cannot be explained, and in reality this is part of what I was looking for all along in active addiction and alcoholism… this fulfillment through love.
These people stand behind me regardless of what others might think of them, and respect my truth whether they understand it or not. These men and women believe in my capacity to succeed and be the man I should be with irrefutable conviction and patience, especially when I doubt myself.
A lot of my friends today in recovery are people that saw me in the beginning who have helped me change, who share my understanding of my illness. They have seen the despair, and they have held me up when I had suffered. Today I have brothers who believe I am worth something, and who know who I am… even when I forget.
They remind me why it is OK to not be OK, and they have taught me that my happiness doesn’t depend on where I end up, but is defined by the incredible people I travel that path through hell and back with.
They saved my life by reminding me why I should be grateful to be alive, and one of the things I am the most grateful for is the presence of these amazing people, and the love it brings to my life.
This is my family… my fellowship; part of the awesome and inspiring expedition through sobriety that was given to me when I destroyed every relationship around me. This article is just me saying thank you to every last one of you, and trying to show someone out there that a familiar face, even a rival, can end up making an impact that changes everything. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
Author: Justin Mckibben
Delray Beach in South Florida is a beautiful part of the Sunshine State with a thriving community. Florida is known for its warm days, miles of breathtaking beaches, and a variety of fabulous cultures. The state also has made a name as the Recovery Capital of the country, with more drug rehab facilities than almost anywhere else in the entire nation.
Some see the recovery community as a threat to wholesome and upscale living, others see it as part of that vibrant Florida culture, and the debate over Sober Homes or Halfway Houses has become a large part of this discussion.
How a Halfway Works
Halfway houses/sober homes are facilities that place individuals trying to recover from an addiction to drugs or alcohol in a community with other recovering alcoholics and drug addictions to help them get assimilated back into the world after active addiction. Sober Homes are the typical next step down in structure and intensive care after an inpatient or residential rehab program.
Sober Homes can be a critical factor for someone in early recovery, because dealing with addiction is a life-long process. Having a system put in place that keeps you accountable while integrating your daily routine with a new life-style is important. Halfway Houses re-teach us important parts of adulthood, or they can help us develop relationships with others who are making the right decisions.
Neighborhoods all across South Florida have some residents who have become outraged over some individuals who live in halfway houses reportedly loitering the streets, and some claim drug dealing has increased in their streets and are calling for action and stricter regulation. Investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero is on the case.
Some halfway houses have frequently come under fire for unsafe housing, affecting the community, and even insurance fraud. Sober home operators are buying properties in residential areas, and this is causing some neighbors to be concerned about what their children are exposed to, while others worry about the possibility of crime. State representative Bill Hager is sponsoring legislation aimed at regulating sober homes who stated:
“We know there are some very competent, consciously run sober homes. We also know there are sober homes out there that are ripping-off patients, ripping-off the public, ripping-off neighborhoods, ripping-off insurance companies.”
Hager says sober home operators can make a huge profit on drug testing, and to put it bluntly some over bill insurance companies. Last September FBI agents raided sober living condos in West Palm Beach, and a similar situation happened in December in Delray Beach. There has been repeated calls for Halfway House regulations to be put in place, and it seems more drastic actions are closer than ever.
One injustice is that the headlines seem to always highlight how heroin addiction, the synthetic drug Flakka outbreak, and unruly sober homes may be hurting our neighborhoods, but they tend to forget that the recovery communities out there are changing lives every day and helping enrich the community as a whole.
Real Recovery in Delray Beach
According to Suzanne Spencer, executive director of the Delray Beach Drug Task Force, the people in the recovery community and the rehab industry that are trying to help are making affirming and positive strides in the city of Delray Beach. Just yesterday morning Spencer, along with members of the task force, Delray Beach police and others in the community came together to talk about initiatives and how they can help each other with better serving the community. Chief Jeff Goldman said:
“Recovery is a part of Delray Beach and that’s just a fact,”
This task force in Delray has been around since the 1990s, focused on:
- Public safety
The best part being that they have gotten those who work at sober homes and treatment facilities as well as those in recovery directly involved in the task force to help address and issues.
Spencer has openly expressed her belief that those in recovery are just as much of the community as anyone else, though the stigma of addiction has residents frozen and suspicious in skepticism. One of the group’s biggest concerns is the well-being of individuals kicked out of recovery centers for various reasons ranging from breaking the rules to relapses. Chief Goldman said they’re currently working to build a system to keep those off the streets and back on track.
Another member of the task force is George Jahn, who works with Florida Association of Recovery Residences. Jahn fully believes in cracking down on those facilities breaking the law and taking advantage, and hopes the soon-to-be signed sober homes bill will help alleviate some of those issues. Jahn has admitted it takes a lot of people to work together to make it possible.
“You cannot just have a police force and a stick. You have to provide structure.”
As an individual who lived in a few halfway houses once upon a time, I think it’s important that people take into the consideration the fact that most people have placed themselves in the position to change their lives, and that’s why they’re in a sober living facility. Recovering addicts and alcoholics are human beings trying to overcome obstacles.
At the same time, we as addicts and alcoholics need to be aware of how our actions, or even lack of actions, affect other people. If we want to truly recover we cannot drag down the neighborhoods and businesses we live around, we should not endanger or negatively influence young people where we live and have some respect for the neighborhoods that let us in, and we cannot stay clean if we want to live dirty. We teach the world how to treat us, so act right.
For the rest of the world, recovering addicts and alcoholics probably pump your gas, cook your food, sell you clothes and fix your cars. We build your homes and businesses, we might even we sitting next to you right now. We are not all what you might imagine us to be and that is why raising awareness is so important, to refute the stigma because we too want to improve upon our communities.
Recovery from dependence on drugs and alcoholic obsession is a process, and part of that process means learning how to be a respectful member of society, and how to contribute to a community. While some are afraid of what addicts may bring to their neighborhood, many of us just hope for a better life. We can have it too, with better decisions. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
By Cheryl Steinberg
You’ve probably heard this a bunch already but, resentments will take you back out. When you take a look at what the word, itself, means, it might give you some insight into why holding resentments can be so detrimental to your recovery. Resentment is close to “re-sentiment” where sentiment means ‘feeling’ and the prefix ‘re-’ means ‘again.’ So, resentment literally means “feeling again (and again).” Therefore, holding resentments is like recycling old, negative feelings, revisiting them over and over again. No wonder they can be such a problem!
Here are the 10 most common resentments in early recovery:
#1. At your sponsor
For telling you something you don’t want to hear.
#2. Having a curfew and other halfway house rules
Many of us in early recovery choose to live in a halfway house for added support, especially because it is suggested to do so. Well, ‘added support’ means having structure and therefore not too much freedom. Often times, it seems that we forget that we signed up for exactly that as soon as a rule is being enforced.
#3. Toward your halfway housemates
Whether it’s that they’re stealing your peanut butter or laundry detergent, or not pulling their own weight when it comes to house chores, it’s quite easy – and common – for people in in early recovery to cop a resentment towards their housemates.
#4. Because of OPP (Other People’s Programs)
People in recovery sometimes can’t avoid the pitfall of taking other people’s inventories and becoming resentful when they see others who talk a big game but aren’t actually living the principles.
#5. When someone’s family is helping them financially
Especially if you’re struggling with money, or a lack thereof.
#6. Because of something someone says in a meeting
Like when someone mentions drugs in an AA meeting or identifies as an ‘addict’ rather than an ‘alcoholic,’ for example.
#7. That someone gets to go home for the holidays
For those who went out of state for treatment and/or to live in a halfway house, that usually means that you don’t get to see your family back home for a while. But for some, whether they are locals to your area or who can afford it, they get to make the trip back home. This for sure leads to resentment on the part of those who stay behind, especially at holiday time.
#8. Because someone else has a car
Meanwhile, you have to take the bus…grrr.
#9. When someone uses
Unfortunately, when it come to the disease of addiction, relapse is quite common. And many of us, when we were in early recovery, would cop a resentment that someone “got to” use, rather than see it for what it is: an unfortunate relapse.
#10. At normies
People who can drink or use successfully – as it’s said – especially friends you used to drink and/or use drugs with. While you turned out to have a real addiction and therefore had to get sober, they could continue to party.
Resentment, envy, and jealousy are all part of the human condition, However, for people in recovery from alcohol and other drugs, copping resentments can be Enemy No. 1 when it comes to staying clean and sober. When you’re feeling resentful, talk to your sponsor and sober supports; and share about it in a meeting. If you are struggling with your sobriety and need help, call toll-free 1-800-951-6135. Addiction Specialists are available 24/7 to take your call.
You may be unaware of this but, many people choose stopping addiction in West Palm Beach; it is a prime destination for addicts and alcoholics who are seeking help and recovery from their substance abuse and addiction issues.
Stopping Addiction in West Palm Beach: Why West Palm Beach?
West Palm Beach is an ideal location for serenity, relaxation, healing, and learning to slow down and breathe. It’s no coincidence that people, in general, choose South Florida and West Palm Beach, in particular, as a vacation destination. Coming to West Palm Beach when addressing your addiction is like the saying, “having your cake and eating it, too.” You get to heal and recover while you are basically on vacation. In fact, many people stopping addiction in West Palm Beach like to joke that they live where others merely vacation.
South Florida has become known as the “Recovery Capital” of the world. The area is saturated with treatment centers, rehabilitation programs, halfway houses (also called sober houses), and consequently, it’s home to a large recovery community.
Stopping Addiction in West Palm Beach: Benefits of a Recovery Community
As you can imagine, seeking help for an addiction in an area that’s home to a large recovery community is highly beneficial – and for various reasons. First, it offers plenty of support to the individual seeking recovery and who is in early sobriety. Having peer support is of the utmost importance at this stage of recovery and even beyond; because addiction is a chronic and therefore life-long disease, people with addiction do best of they have strong sober supports throughout their lifetime. This works in several ways. It helps to keep one another accountable and it provides the person with the company of other recovering alcoholics and addicts – people who have many things in common and can relate.
Another benefit of living in a large area of recovery is that there are many more resources available, from treatment programs for those who wish to supplement their recovery with ongoing to treatment as well for those who experience a relapse and need help. Other resources include multiple club houses where support group meetings and fellowship meetings are held. This offers a wide variety of types of meetings as well as meeting times throughout the day and into the night, which allows people to make meetings while attending to their other responsibilities, such as work and family.
Yet another benefit of stopping addiction in West Palm Beach is, because of the expansive recovery community, people who are recovering from addiction can start their lives anew with the help of their fellows. More specifically, there are tons of employers who are either in recovery, themselves, or who are familiar with what recovery is and are therefore more apt hiring newly-sober people because they believe in giving them a second chance. Many recovering addicts and alcoholics have arrest records that can make getting a job difficult; being in this kind of community can really help people put their past to rest.
Stopping Addiction in West Palm Beach: Treatment
Substance abuse and addiction treatment in West Palm Beach is different from that in other parts of the country. In fact, there’s a relatively new format to treatment that was developed in Florida and it is named thusly. The Florida Model differs from conventional treatment in that it incorporates several phases, or levels, of rehabilitation in order to gradually and seamlessly reintegrate the client with society.
After a medical detox, which is the most intensive and structured level of care, there is the residential program, also called inpatient or rehab. Florida Model treatment centers house their clients in typical apartments each with its own kitchen, laundry, common area, bathrooms, and even a patio – just like a private residence. This helps the clients learn basic life skills, such as cooking, grocery shopping, doing laundry, and cleaning. During the day, the clients are brought to a campus where they continue their treatment with group and individual therapy sessions. In a conventional program, residents are housed in one institution-like building.
Stopping addiction in West Palm Beach is quite popular and it shouldn’t be a mystery as to why that is. Ample treatment, beautiful location, and a large recovery community make for the ideal environment to help you heal and overcome the cycle of substance abuse and drug addiction that has been dictating your daily life. Call us toll-free at 1-800-951-6135 to speak directly with an Addiction Specialist today.