Sober Living, Healthy Relationships, & A Plan for Better Decision Making
As the year approaches the end, it is common to reflect back on how you’ve grown. You tend to reflect on the changes you’ve made, especially in the moral character department.
In recovery, it is vital to monitor your changes more often because slipping into the cycle which causes self-doubt and low-self worth, can prove to be fatal. If you grow complacent and stop taking inventory of your moral compass it can and will lead to negative self-talk and eventually destruction.
This is one reason why sober support and the forging of new healthy relationships is crucial towards maintaining balance in your life in recovery. One place you can create a plan and the habits needed to support this plan is by choosing to reside in a sober living home.
How sober living connects us with peers with common goals and desires in recovery
Why we need to commit to communicate, trust, and participate with our healthy relationships forged through sober living.
Sober living drives us to make better decisions focused on better outcomes
I feel before I outline and describe the virtues and goodness of moral character found in healthy relationships it is important to discuss why establishing healthy relationships encourage you to make better decisions based in selflessness.
In his book, Atomic Habits, James Clear points out that we as humans on a deeper level want to “connect and bond with others.” You now know that addiction sabotaged this need forcing you to isolate from those you love and in recovery you’ve come to value new connections.
Clear also states that in your desire to connect with others you learn to mimic and act in a way that is acceptable of the group. From this perspective, a correlation can be made between the healthy relationships forged in sober living homes and why you learn to change unwanted behaviors for more acceptable actions of the group.
It is coded in your human nature to change so you feel connected to the tribe, group, and for this situation your peers residing in sober living homes. As you peel away the layers and break down the walls addiction has locked you behind you will begin to change. Not only will you improve you will start to love yourself and your ability to show love, compassion, and support others.
Here are several ways residing in sober living homes encourage you to act from good moral character
When you were actively using you were not accountable for your actions. Denial replaced accountability. As addiction progressed, you became skilled at passing blame, judgment, and dishonesty.
Accountability is vital to living a rewarding, honest life. It’s a crucial component of living your best life. Being held accountable is a useful tool for sober living homes to help you thrive in recovery.
Sober living provides an environment which allows you to learn to change these behaviors safely. As you establish connections with peers, new feelings such as equality and comfort replace old fears. The compatibility found in these connections set the stage for you to respect and trust in these new relationships.
Criticism, ridicule, and mockery cause you to run and hide from admitting your faults and shortcomings. Spending time in an environment which promotes safety, growth, and healing provide you the opportunity to take responsibility for your behavior without fear. When you are able to be accountable for your behavior, without doubt, you become more trusting of yourself and others.
Trusting healthy relationships like those established in sober living homes help you focus on becoming your best self. Instead of feeling hurt when peers correct or call you out on behavior, you’ll learn to accept criticism constructively. You’ll respect being held accountable for your actions and use it as a tool to learn.
Mutual relationships involving honesty encourage you to desire to share thoughts and feelings openly respectfully.
Supportive relationships thrive on independence. When you accept yourself and others. You are able to speak your mind and let others do the same freely. You are open to criticism and concern for your well-being while returning the same level of support and care.
Once working a system for recovery, you’ll come to understand that you deserve mutually respectful relationships. Earning the respect of your support network happens when you are able to offer support, share thoughts honestly, compromise, respect boundaries, and actively listen.
Learning to use active listening
A powerful tool in recovery is listening. When you learn to listen to others you create better connections. Active listening “where you make a conscious effort to hear not only the words that another person is saying but, more importantly, the complete message being communicated.”
When you’re involved in a conversation and both parties, listen intently you’ll both experience a feeling of empathy and care. When you listen with the intent to peers in a sober living setting, you’ll build trust and rapport. You’ll also decrease the chances of “misunderstanding, confusion, and conflict.”
While residing in a sober living home and establishing healthy relations, you’ll learn to practice your listening skills. As you are more mindful of your surroundings, peers, and how your actions influence others you become more self-aware. Self-awareness is crucial to creating the highest version of yourself. Self-awareness will guide you along your individual path for recovery.
Positive growth sprouts strong connections. A common aspect found in these relationships is the ability to give and take without feeling wronged or hurt. When you were obsessed with using you rarely compromised with peers, family, or friends.
Most likely you took advantage of situations to improve adverse outcomes and often yielded your power to others to appear likable, kind, or thoughtful. Either way, compromising was seldom part of your repertoire. You often felt like it was you who was giving up something or not getting much, in your favor.
As you begin to thrive in sober living, you’ll start to understand how necessary compromise within your new healthy relationships. Instead of feeling like your being taken advantage you’ll learn to brainstorm ways in which both persons involved can reach a conclusion which benefits both.
It is difficult to learn to compromise. Ask for help from your recovery coach or sober, supportive peers and community. Practice makes perfect. Use your time in a sober living home to establish your personal list of non-negotiables.
In regards to life in recovery, non-negotiables will include, dangerous situations, persons, places, or activities which would threaten your sobriety by triggering, urges or cravings to use. When you understand your hazardous situations, you can make better decisions about your life in recovery.
Better decision making
When your actively using alcohol and drugs it is common for you to make irrational decisions. In your addiction, the choices you make are fueled by irrationality, based solely on procuring the illicit drugs or alcohol you seek and finding time to use without interruption, Your obsession to use clouds your judgments. Negative self-talk and doubt fuels your desire to use and rarely will you dispute irrational thoughts.
In recovery, your thought process becomes more evident. The self-talk which caused doubt and confusion in your life doesn’t magically disappear with sobriety, but as you engage with new peers, relationships, and sober support, you’ll learn a process to dispute these irrational thoughts. Instead of reacting to or letting the thought trigger cravings, you can reach out to other peers for advice and support.
Sober living fosters the process for better decision making focused on positive outcomes. The longer you maintain your connection to the network the more likely you are to make decisions based on acceptance and the desire to do and feel good.
Now you have a better understanding of why choosing to reside in a sober living home facilitates the growth of healthy relationships. Your coded to act in a way that makes you feel good because others feel good.
Peer bonds established in early recovery drive you to act upon your desires to belong and act from a place of moral goodness. It’s easier to understand why you’ll use processes to dispute negative self-talk or irrational thinking so you can feel better about the decisions you make and the actions you take each day.
Look for our next post outlining the common virtues found in healthy relationships and how each facilitates the changes in character pushing you to achieve moral goodness.
For today, reflect upon how your sober support network helped you achieve happiness, joy and sustained long-term recovery?