People in recovery (as well as the rest of society) face unique struggles during the coronavirus era. It’s hard to isolate. Some people are suffering from anxiety and depression in addition to recovering from addiction. COVID-19 has made a lot of people feel uncertain about the future. Luckily, people who have chosen sober living homes are in a unique situation that they can use to their advantage. They aren’t alone, and they live with people who care about them and see them every day.
People who are in sober housing situations are lucky to have others around that have the same goals and understanding of the recovery lifestyle. But there are also some challenges that people will face when they are home with others a lot of the time.
Togetherness Is Crucial
Living in a sober living situation doesn’t mean that things are going to be perfect. Everyone has character flaws and issues to work through. But the good news is that you ARE working on yourselves. You’re around a group of people who want to get better and are working on themselves every day.
Being in a sober home where chores and meals are shared is a lot like living in a family situation. Imagine if there was a blizzard that dumped three feet of snow on a house full of people in recovery. How would you handle day-to-day interactions? Would you cooperate or withdraw when there was tension? And how would you entertain yourselves and make sure that everyone felt a part of the family?
Socially distancing is a bit like being stuck in a storm, where it’s not too safe to venture out. There are still house rules to respect and meetings to attend (sometimes online). Outside 12-step meetings are virtual, but people in the house still have each other. Life will go on. The good news is that you can still recover and live your life just for today. And you also have people, in-person, to lean on. You can even have some fun in your life if you get creative.
Sometimes people may snap at each other or argue over petty things. But the truth is that you are all in this together. With that spirit, you can make the best of a situation that doesn’t always feel ideal. Just remember the principles of recovery that you live by, and make sure you continue to respect the house rules. And even today, your life is better than when you were stuck in the spiral of addiction.
Keeping Boredom Away in Sober Living
You may or may not be working at this time, and that can leave you or your housemates with a lot of time on your hands. That doesn’t mean you have to lock yourself in your room or binge-watch television. Recovery is about trying new things. It can get depressing to be alone on your bed for hours. Take some time to just hang out with your housemates. Getting through situations like the ones COVID-19 created is easier when you’ve got other people with you.
Here are some ideas for things to do at home:
- Watch an inspiring true-story movie and host a discussion every week. Talk about things like how you feel about the main character and what you think of their accomplishments. Can you relate? What one thing stood out about their actions?
- Have meetings with housemates and study 12-step literature. Take turns reading from the Big Book until you finish the chapter. Then lead a discussion on the topic and how it relates to your life.
- Play a board game. (Not cards – no gambling!) There are a lot of games you can get used from eBay etc. Or you can even play a printable game you’ve found online like this Art Therapy game.
- Cook a feast together. Decide on a meal you’d like to make and find videos on making each dish. Then assign two people to each course and make it together. (It’s a good idea to choose the “feast” in advance so you can buy all the items you need.)
- Exercise together. Get up with a housemate or two and go for an early morning run in a scenic environment.
- Learn to take time out. Spending time with each other all the time can cause tensions to flare. It’s natural to need time to yourself. Use it to meditate, exercise, or work on other things related to your goals.
- Encourage each other. A little encouragement can go a long way. Pay attention to other people who are achieving things, and let then them know you notice!
Sober Living Opportunities
Living with others in recovery is a great way to stay sober and have the structure you need once you’ve left treatment. It also keeps you from isolating and helps you focus on the future. Learn more about sober living in San Diego by searching our directory of sober homes.