Your Path to Serenity is Found in Healthy Relationships Forged in Sober Living
In our blog post series, sober living and the value of healthy relationships continues. Our recent posts have explained the vitality and value of the peer bonds forged in early recovery. Over the past few posts, we’ve outlined:
How sober living connects us with peers with common goals and desires in recovery;
Why we need to commit to communicate, trust, and participate in our healthy relationships forged through sober living; and
How the healthy relationships created in sober living homes encourage you to make better decisions based on accountability, respect, and trust in yourself and others.
In today’s post, you’ll be given a small list of 3 virtues which aspire you to create a feeling of serenity as you progress along your personal path in recovery.
“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself and in your way of thinking.” ― Marcus Aurelius
It sounds simple, right?
Residing in a sober living home is one many of a multitude of pathways for recovery. But-There is a prevailing theory concurrent in all pathways for recovery and it is:
Building rapport and establishing new connections of support and community to facilitate positive growth.
Johann Hari summed up this concept when he said: The opposite of Addiction is Connection.
Your transition into life in recovery is seamless with new healthy relationships.
Healthy relationships forged in sober living homes help you to live following your belief and value system and to form new virtues.
Once you understand your attributes and values, you can set your compass for good moral character. Living in tune with your values strengthens your healthy relationships, which in fact, builds a strong foundation and network for recovery.
Feeling good about yourself and the changes you made create feelings of happiness. Taking time for personal moral inventory will help you to examine your progress and the changes in moral character.
Performing a routine moral inventory allows you to take the time to look at how you've changed. And more importantly how you can continue to change your character for the better.
HERE ARE 3 FUNDAMENTAL VIRTUES THAT’LL HELP YOU ACT IN GOOD MORAL CHARACTER, ALIGNED WITH YOUR BELIEFS AND VALUES
...Grant me the serenity to accept …
Change cannot happen without first accepting the way in which you think, act, or believe is not working. In your addiction, you used coping mechanisms such as denial to justify, minimize, blame, or rationalize your behaviors.
Denial might lessen the pain of the situation or help you to change the perception to fit your beliefs or needs, but it cannot help you solve problems nor change the reality of a situation.
When you first come into sobriety, you must remove the barriers of denial before healing can begin.
Meeting, speaking, and communally living with other residents in a sober living home can help expedite the process of change. Living with others who have previously worked through their own denial helps you to accept the reality of your personal situation. As your bonds of friendships strengthen, you will find the strength and courage to accept your situation, your past mistakes, your limitations, and those of others.
Accepting life on its own terms helps you to live through the difficulties and challenges of the day. Sometimes all you can do is accept a situation at face value because an internal or external change cannot possibly be made.
Sober living creates another level of acceptance. You’ll feel accepted with a sense of belonging to a group of peers focused on the same goals in early recovery. A level of acceptance, such as this, is vital to your process of healing, recovery and the foundation of healthy relationships. Therefore accepting yourself, others and life on its own terms is a critical virtue of good moral character.
Letting go and accepting that we are powerless to control every aspect of another’s life is never easy. So it is here where we turn our will over and understand that we can only control how we react and act to external stimuli.
Turning over your will is difficult. But as you develop the muscle to trust in positive choices, support of others, and acceptance you’ll quickly become a pro.
One rule to live by is, When in doubt - ASK for HELP.
You don’t have to be in the rooms of AA to hear slogans, such as:
“Let Go; let God.”
“Life on Life's terms.”
“Principles before Personalities.”
As you begin to let go, feelings of being overwhelmed and anxiety wash over you. Fear of change can be crippling, but within a new, healthy relationship or group of peers, living with you in a sober living home, you’ll find the courage to push through and make the changes needed to forge your path in recovery.
As you come to accept that you can change what you don’t like about your character, behavior, choices, and actions, you find that you need the courage to step up and make the changes possible.
...the courage to change…
Once you have accepted that changes need to be made, you’ll need the courage to make these changes your reality. Rely on patience and motivate yourself to be fearful to look inside and take a personal inventory. If you are trusting of your new peer supports, ask them to help you stay accountable to completing this important task.
Develop ways to gather valuable information such as
Creating a ritual for journaling
Committing to communication with your support network
Discussing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors honestly with a clinician, sponsor, or recovery coach
Actively listen to others with an open mind
Develop new ways of thinking, acting, and behaving. Doing this repeatedly builds confidence in your ability to make better decisions.
As you work through the planning stages for the changes you wish to make, you are also gathering strength and courage to trust in yourself. You will make the best choices for your future when you are openminded, honest, and fearful.
Not only will you begin to believe in yourself but you’ll learn to trust in others among your support network. The support of healthy relationships helps you to find the courage deep inside of you to make better decisions based on sound judgment and consideration of your desires, needs and wants.
Working through the preparation stages of change, allows you to build the courage to take control of a situation and change. But sometimes it is not in your power to initiate a change. It might not be you who needs to change.
You might be stuck in a situation until other changes occur, so what do you do?
Once again- Turn to your sober network to help advise you.
...the wisdom to know the difference...
Now you have accepted that you need to change, you have found the courage to change, but you still have doubts. In your past actions and behaviors, you have created a state of low-self worth.
From your past experiences, disillusioned states of inebriation, narcissism, or inability to be accountable for your actions and behaviors rarely did you fail to comprehend or understand what is beyond your inability to control.
While active in your addiction, you were unable to understand what actually needed to be changed, looked in the wrong places for solutions to your problems, and often misjudged how your decisions created more negative outcomes.
In denial, you were not able to see, unwilling to change or failed to comprehend how your drinking or drugging caused the turmoil in your life.
New healthy relationships within your recovery community, your recovery coach, sponsor, family, colleagues, and residents of the sober living home you reside in will offer advice and suggestions based on their past experiences to guide you. In their support, trust, and service you’ll gain the understanding and the ability to discern the difference of what you can and cannot change.
SOBER LIVING HOMES, HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS, & THE SERENITY PRAYER
Residing in a sober home helps you to learn to accept yourself, your faults, imperfections, perfections, the positive qualities and negative characteristics that sum up your character.
Once you become more comfortable with who you are and set a plan for who you want to become you’ll have the care and support of the recovery community residing in the sober living home.
It is up to you to use this advice and support wisely. You are capable to change those characteristics which don’t point toward a good moral compass.
In your new healthy relationships, you’ll learn to recognize the difference between what you can and what you cannot control or change.
Instead of running headstrong into a situation beyond your control, you’ll have an understanding (wisdom) to know its okay to have the courage to accept life on life’s terms. You’ll know in your heart that the relationships and connections you’ve forged in recovery are more powerful than you ever were standing alone with your addiction.
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction and is interested in sober living in Connecticut, or recovery coaching in New York City and Connecticut -
Contact Mark O’Connor
Director of Admissions
Sober Living Recovery 365