May 15, 2012 at 2:41 pm #67771
When I first got sober, listening was not on my list of things to do…and I was certainly not in any mood to “take suggestions”. Nearly everyone within shouting distance was telling me I needed to go to a halfway house. I made a million excuses as to why this was a terrible idea of epic proportions. The first and foremost was that my biological father, after years of trying to get sober in any and every way imaginable, had died in one by his own hand. I used this excuse as a flag of sorts and I waved it in everyone’s face whenever the opportunity presented itself. My first two times through drug and alcohol treatment, I managed to escape the dreaded fate, at least as far as I was concerned, of halfway house living. I did not stay sober either time. Finally, after what I truly believe was my last run with drugs and alcohol, I got smart and started listening…and taking suggestions. It all began with a conversation with one of my dearest friends, a gentlemen I regularly refer to as my brother even though we do not share any genes. After a long and drawn out harangue about how all these people were breathing down my neck, trying to force me to go to a halfway house, he took a deep breath and said these words: “If its you against the world…the world might have a point”. This simple turn of phrase rocked my world and has stuck with me to this very day, this very moment in fact. So I gave up fighting, “resigned from the debate society”, and entered my first, and hopefully last halfway house. I have been clean and sober ever since, largely due to the structure and safety of the facility I stayed at. I learned so much at that place…how to live with others, how to love and tolerate them…I learned simple, basic life skills that have sustained me throughout my current, and hopefully future, sobriety. After all that fighting and resistance, I found something truly beautiful: a way to live that really worked. And I owe it all to that halfway house. As a matter of fact, I work in the field of recovery now, both treatment and transitional living. There are many, many transitional living facilities (halfway, three quarter way, mature/sober houses) in this area of South Florida. I happen to be associated with Royal Recovery Resources, which I truly believe to be one of the best and most complete in the area. Yes, this is a plug…but a good one. Sadly, all facilities of this kind are not created equal. There are, unfortunately, sober living facilities that are not in business to help people. Don’t get me wrong: they are all businesses and most definitely in the business of turning a profit but there has to be more to it than that. Its easy to make a buck in this business. Its what we in this field do after that that separates us from the rest. I tell people all the time, “Don’t get it twisted: I get paid to do this. If I can help someone in the process, that’s fantastic.”. That’s how I look at a good rehab or halfway…after they make the almighty dollar, what are they doing to help people. Places like Royal could easily offer a heck of a lot less services than they do and make the exact same amount of money with ease. The fact that we offer transportation to multiple meetings around town every day is proof that we’re not just in this for the money. Vans are expensive, gas is expensive, staff to drive those vans is expensive…all of which are expenses that we do not necessarily need to offer. But we do. Because we actually care. Whatever you choose to do, make sure you choose a place that cares about your well being, your welfare, your life. This experience, combined with all the other aspects of recovery, can and will change you forever. Make sure its a change for the better.
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