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 days, we’ve outlined:

  • 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 that when you aspire to obtain in your life can and will 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 facilitate positive growth.

Johann Hari summed up this concept when he said: The opposite of Addiction is Connection.

Your transition into a 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’ll have 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 of moral character.

Performing a routine moral inventory allows you to take the time and look at how you've changed your character for the better and to understand where you need to put in more work.

Here are 3 fundamental virtues that’ll help you act in good moral character, aligned with your beliefs and values

1) Acceptance

...Grant me the serenity to accept …

Change cannot happen with first accepting that 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 and a sense of belonging to a group of peers focused on the same goals of early recovery. This level of acceptance 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 our lives and those of others is never easy. Turning over your will is difficult.

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, in a sober living home, you find the courage to push through and make the changes needed to forge your path in recovery.

...the courage to change…

Once you have accepted that changes need to be made, you’ll need the courage to push through.  When you begin to look inside, taking your personal inventory, and assess the changes you need to make, you will need to rely on patience. Your peer network has helped you to become accountable for your actions.

A routine and ritual for journaling, commitment to communication with your team of support, speaking with a counselor, sponsor and recovery coach are all chances for you to gather more information. You're able to learn 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 of any change you are also gathering strength and courage to trust in yourself to make the best choices. 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 for yourself and those you love.

As you work through the preparation stages of change, you gather 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?

How can a sober support network or healthy relationship help prepare you for these moments?

3) Wisdom

...the wisdom to know the difference...

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.

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. In, active 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 either accept, unwilling to change or failed to understand the fact that your drinking or drugging was the cause of your life falling apart before your eyes.

In your new healthy relationships of peer support, working with your recovery coach or sober companion, sponsor, or other residents in the home you reside in, you will gain understanding and the ability to discern the difference. You’ll come to understand through the help care and support of others how to recognize what you can and cannot control and change.

Sober Living Homes, Healthy Relationships, & The Serenity Prayer

Residing in a sober home helps you to learn to accept yourself and all of your faults, imperfections, perfections, the positive qualities and negative characteristics that sum up your person.

Once you become more comfortable with who you are, you have the capability, support, patience, and courage to change those characteristics which don’t point your moral compass towards good.

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.