For two years before I got sober, I was homeless. Admittedly, I lived out of a car for the first six months of those years. But it didn’t take long before I lost the car, too.
I would have laughed if someone told me that in just a few years I would have a roof over my head, be paying my own bills, and be staying accountable to those around me. Drugs and alcohol were everything to me. I didn’t know how to do anything without getting high first. Brushing my teeth, taking a shower, or simply getting out of bed required some type of substance to accomplish.
I got sober the day after I overdosed for the third time. The difference between this time and the last two times? No one was there when I woke up. I had burned every bridge with my family and friends; no one was following up with me anymore.
One Long-Lost Friend Changed Everything
Prior to this last overdose, I had run into a friend from high school, Alex, who had been sober for nearly nine months. He gave me his phone number and suggested I call him when I was ready to live differently. He was the first person I reached out to upon my release from the hospital.
In a nearly hour-long conversation, Alex explained that he attributed much of his success to residing in sober living housing. He, like me, was a low-bottom addict. He used and drank away everyone and everything in his life until his options were the same as mine: Get sober or die.
He gave me his house manager Tyler’s phone number and suggested I call him next. Talking with both Alex and Tyler that Tuesday altered the course of my life forever.
Sober Living In a New Home
Tyler ran over the requirements to live in the house: attend 5 meetings per week, work at least 25 hours per week, and pay rent every week on Monday. If I could pay the first week’s rent, I could move in that day with a week-long grace period to find a job and set a meeting schedule.
With Alex’s help, I paid rent for that first week. Both he and Tyler helped me fill out job applications and let me attend their regular meeting that night. They helped me set up a schedule for that week and made sure I stuck to it during those first few days.
The guys in the house had a wide range of sobriety time; from me with the least amount of time to Jason who had 18 months. Those with more sober experience helped those of us just starting out.
Before my two-year homeless stint, I lived in a house with other addicts and alcoholics who drank and used the way I did. Rent and bills were always late, and the house was always in a state of complete disarray. In sober living, there’s no one passed out in the living room. No one sits around getting loaded all day long. We each have jobs, attend meetings regularly, contribute to the wellbeing of our house, and we help one another when it’s needed.
A New Lease on Life
I now have nine months sober, just like Alex had when we reconnected. Through his help and guidance, along with the other guys in the house, I’ve learned to show up when I say I will and follow through on what I commit to doing.
When I was out drinking and using, I was completely unreliable. My lack of responsibility led to no one being there when I woke up in the hospital after my overdose. Today I’m starting to reconnect with my family and some old friends whom I thought I would never speak with again.
I’ve learned something from each of my sober living roommates. I’ve watched people come and go, whether it was onto better things or back out to using and drinking. I’m grateful for my friend Alex, for Tyler, and to sober living for completely changing my life.
Interested in sober living housing? The Recovery Village offers three different facilities in Florida to meet your needs. To learn more about sober living requirements and housing availability near you, call 352.771.2700 The Recovery Village today.
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