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A sober living home prepares you for independent living in many ways, but where will you live after you complete the program? Either you’ll decide to stay in the area, move back home or find a new location. Each choice has its pros and cons, and every individual is different as to what will work best for them after sober living. Let’s take a look at some of the things to consider in order to make an informed decision for yourself.

Familiar Places Contain Triggers

One of the drawbacks of returning home is the risk that you’ll return to an environment filled with triggering people and places from the past. Perhaps an old friend drops by and wants to use with you. Or perhaps you pass a place where you used to buy drugs or drink til closing time. Triggers can hijack your thinking by causing cravings that put you in danger of relapsing.

If you’d like to eliminate these types of triggers from the past, it might be better to stay in the area of your sober living home or find a new city to call home, rather than return to your hometown after sober living. You’ll be making a fresh start in a new neighborhood that has no memories associated with the past.

Family and Friends Can Be Support Systems

On the other hand, finding a new hometown means you’ll also be away from family and friends. For some, this is a good thing because these relationships were toxic and contributed to their addiction. For others, their family and friends were helpful and supportive, so moving away from these support systems may be a drawback. Consider the overall benefit you’ll get from your family and friends to determine if it’s worth returning home.

Where to Work

Employment should be a major factor in your choice of residence. If you’ll be moving to an area that doesn’t have many job opportunities, that may make it difficult for you to support yourself. Down the road, lack of money—which is a major stressor—may put you at increased risk of relapse.

Conversely, an area where there are sufficient job opportunities will give you more options and make it much easier for you to find a job and support yourself. The Bureau of Labor Statistics website is a good resource for employment data.1

Personal Fulfillment: Finding Where You’re Happiest After Sober Living

Last, but not least, you should live somewhere that makes you feel happy and fulfilled. Your surroundings affect your mood and feelings, so take care in researching what environment you think will benefit you best and make happiness your goal. If you like the country, don’t try to shoehorn yourself into city life that can make you unhappy. If you like living near the water, consider a move to an oceanside state, or an area with rivers or lakes.

If you decide to relocate after sober living, be patient about finding new friends. Attend group meetings regularly and you’ll meet many local, like-minded people who make sobriety the top priority in their lives. Making good friends takes time, but you’ll get there by being a good friend yourself.2


References:

  1. https://www.bls.gov/
  2. https://blogs.psychcentral.com/addiction-recovery/2012/02/5-steps-social-support-system/

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