How To Be A Good Sober Living Housemate?

Three men sitting together.

How To Be A Good Sober Living Housemate?

Addiction is a challenging brain disease that often requires intensive treatment and long-term planning for a successful recovery. Individuals who’ve recently completed treatment must establish structure in their lives and continue to practice the skills they learned throughout therapy. Peers have a significant influence, so being around others that are focused on productivity and success in their life is paramount to resisting cravings and staying sober.

While living in a sober living home, being a good housemate can make the experience less stressful and more beneficial to you and your peers in recovery.   

What’s a Sober Living Home?

After an individual has completed an addiction treatment program at a residential treatment facility, they have the option of entering into a program called a sober living home. As the name suggests, sober living homes are residences designed for individuals recovering from alcohol and drug addiction. 

These spaces are strictly substance-free, and the overseeing facility enforces rules such as curfew. These arrangements gradually expose clients to the real world as they make their transition to long-term sobriety.   

Why Some Choose This Option 

Once out of treatment, some individuals have nowhere to go. Their familial home may be where their problems all started, and returning to a destructive living environment can ruin recovery for even the most motivated individuals.

Others struggle with creating the structure and discipline needed to stay focused on their recovery. This skill is also essential to complete daily tasks, meet deadlines, and achieve one’s life goals. Sober living homes create an environment where security and stability can grow.

Individuals often live with members of the same sex in these residences. This situation encourages housemates to cooperate, support each other’s goals, and hold each other accountable for reaching them. If one person slips up, the house will know. Social support is a critical factor in a successful recovery. 

Take Responsibility for Your Actions

Another important aspect of recovery is learning to take responsibility for one’s actions. Everyone makes mistakes, but owning up to them is an essential step toward making positive changes. This concept also applies to living with other people in a sober living home. 

Your peers are there for the same reasons you are, so cultivating peace and harmony by taking responsibility for your actions can help make sober living a pleasant and fruitful experience. For example, everyone has different standards when it comes to cleanliness. 

Having a house meeting at the start of living together can help establish an understanding of what housemates expect from each other. You can also agree on how chores will be divided. At the very least, a good rule of thumb is to always clean up after yourself.

Be Respectful of Roommates’ Feelings and Boundaries 

Communicating your thoughts and feelings with your roommates will be important for daily interactions to go smoothly. Early recovery is a phase in which you are learning what your boundaries are and how to express them. Remember that other members also have pet peeves and preferences. Respecting others’ boundaries will yield respect for your own and foster trust and comfort in the house.  

Other Tips for Being a Good Housemate 

With these things in mind, there are a few more tips that you can follow to be a good housemate and promote a happy living environment: 

  • Don’t eat other peoples’ food — ask first 
  • Don’t turn up the TV or music volume too loud
  • Don’t use personal items that are not yours — ask first
  • Before entering someone’s room, knock on their door 
  • Spend time getting to know one another through activities
  • Stick to sober living rules; violations can get everyone in trouble
  • Avoid topics or situations that you know are triggering for others
  • Genuinely listen to your housemates’ concerns and be supportive if warranted
  • If it’s early in the morning or late at night, assume people are sleeping and be quiet 
  • Pay attention to others’ emotions and body language and give them space when they need it

In order for sober living to be a positive recovery experience, everyone has to learn to cooperate and lift each other when they’re down. Don’t be afraid to befriend your housemates. Many come out of sober living programs with brothers for life. 

Embrace the Experience of Sober Living 

Addictive substances make life bearable for a little while, but they eventually make everything worse. The cycle of addiction requires serious work to get out of, but many have succeeded and now lead a happy, fulfilling life. 

Sober living homes provide individuals in early recovery with a chance to experience the ups and downs of daily life with the support and accountability they need to stay clean. By following the tips outlined here, you can facilitate this process and become a housemate that everyone will enjoy living with.