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
Sobriety sometimes seems to most addicts and alcoholics like an entire new plane of existence, and it can create some of the strangest and most exciting changes an individual has ever experienced. Being new to sobriety can also be a scary thing for some people, especially those who have a harder time developing new personal relationships among other sober individuals. One of the greatest aspects of being in active recovery, in my personal experience, is the opportunity to share all that you have learned, and all that you have come from to stimulate lasting and inspiring connections.
Figuring out how to live your life is hard enough, and sobriety for someone who only knows how to live using drugs or drinking is a whole other dimension of confusion for a lot of people making that transition. Moving away from your old friends, your old habitats, and reconstructing a sober life can seem like a daunting task. For this very reason Antoine Nauleau, who is in recovery himself, founded Sober, the new social network for recovery related friends to connect and share. As the CEO Antoine Nauleau has begun to establish what is the soon to be released social networking app for people in recovery or people wanting to meet people who choose not to use substances.
In a world that thrives with ever expanding brandings like Facebook, Twitter, and other world famous social media platforms, Sober aims to be a very similar social networking tool with features to help people stay connected to their recovery community, or to seek out others with the same interests and share experiences. While there is some relevance to the idea that social media itself is becoming a bit of an obsession, not just in the recovery community but in the world, it seems to be taking a fair shot at helping people who may feel isolated in recovery to slip past that sense of feeling left out, and discover a living breathing world of sobriety within it all.
The Sober CEO
When recently interviewed on a pod-cast about his growing site, Antoine Nauleau discussed a portion of his personal story. Nauleau talked about how he came up with the idea for Sober, and how that idea has evolved through his own evolution in recovery from addiction. The site as of now is matchmesober.com and is currently working on the social media app.
Nauleau’s comes from a family with a technology background, and since a young age he stated he always had an interest in Software. Through struggles in his own life with addiction, his passion was put on hiatus while he dove into his own personal recovery. Having started to live a life of recovery, Nauleau says he found himself back on track in pursuit of his technological talents and began working for a software company. During which time he thought about the exciting new possibilities of bringing the social aspect of recovery to technology.
The Sober Mission Statement
During the interview, Nauleau talked about the sites ultimate purposes and goals, beginning with an admission of their mission statement:
“Addiction is one of the biggest struggles anyone can go through People die everyday, and don’t receive a second chance at life. Our dream is to create a community of people that are interconnected at all times. We want to guarantee success by helping people in recovery meet, socialize, and reach out for support when it’s needed.”
When asked about the “Dating” feature, and if Sober was a dating site, Antoine was very quick to say that he felt this was not the primary focus, but with dating as a part of life in sobriety he thought it was a crucial element to include, however the goal is to stay as true to the mission statement as possible.
What Does Sober App Offer?
So you may wonder what this kind of social media site can offer you, and Antoine was more than happy to share about the different essential aspects of the site and app.
For the first initial release of the application they have included the features:
- Posting to a news feed a short statement
- Friends- where you can search for people, friend request them, message them, etc.
- Option of posting sobriety date
- Option of posting if they are available for sponsorship
Sober has included a “Help” feature, which is designed to put people in contact with different recovery institutions directly, and a hotline that you can call in times of distress. The Sober CEO said that the company has partnered with some of the best recovery institutions, and that when someone accesses the “Help” page there a few icons present, such as:
- “Sober Living”
The user can click these icons, and with a location sensitive algorithm, the user will be matched with the nearest institution to them that they have partnered with. The user will then be put into contact with this institution.
Social Media with Anonymity?
But is this based on a particular fellowship, such as 12 Steps? And if so, is this tool not built to destroy Anonymity? Well when asked about whether there was a 12 Step factor to this app, Antoine was very open about the sites standing stating,
“This is another topic that hinders a lot of peoples’ recovery. Some people do not manage to align with the principles and ideology of 12-Step programs, and therefore feel like they cannot get the help they need. There is not only one way to get sober, and we are trying to bring everyone together, whichever way you manage to recover.”
While the app inventor was not afraid to talk about his own recovery, it seems he respected the ideals of anonymity to a point by keeping the spectrum of social media users broad and non-specific to any fellowship. Not wanting to make people feel limited by the groups they attend or the individual program they work.
He even went on to say that Sober is open to everyone! He recognized that the common ideology is that people who do use the application are sober, but if you are not personally in recovery but have some interest in meeting people in recovery, or that are living a sober spiritual lifestyle, the app is open to you too. So this isn’t exactly a ‘closed meeting’ type of site.
While the application is still in the prototype phase of development, Antoine said people can expect to see it live this coming February. So just a few months away we may be seeing a stream of new online activity that is focused on uniting unique individuals from all over and giving them a place to share their experiences, meet other recovering addicts and alcoholics, and get in contact with help that might save their lives.
While some may dispute as to whether this idea is a virtuous one, or if social media is a place to be trusted with personal info, in essence this may be a tool that reaches out to a new demographic in a world full of smartphones and social networking to expose more people to a life they didn’t suspect was a mouse click or a tweet away.
What ever you experience, sharing that experience will always be a powerful tool. Whether it is face to face, over the phone, or via the internet. Raising awareness, spreading the message of recovery, all that is important to help those who don’t know the amazing life that is possible beyond drugs and alcohol. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135