In recovery circles, it’s called “the pink cloud,” that feeling of elation and gratitude often felt by people in the early days of their sobriety when he or she realizes they have made a change for the better.
“For the first few days, it’s the same for everyone,” said Blake Hammill, residential manager of JourneyPure’s Walnut House. “They’re full of gratitude for getting the opportunity for further recovery in a safe place. But those feeling fade. Emotions are never constant.”
The Reasons for Sober Living
Those feelings fade because addiction recovery does not end after 21 days, or 30 days, or even one year. Recovery is a lifetime process, one that requires work and hope for the future, as well as a foundation of strength to deal with the stresses of everyday life. That’s why an IOP or sober living facility, like Walnut House, could be crucial for those coming out of a 30-day stint in a residential treatment facility.
“Jobs, friends, girls, family who want them home prematurely before their finalized date—anything outside of the program becomes the reason for giving up their gratitude,” Hammill said. “Our clients are looking for a safe space where they can get guidance from people who have been in recovery for longer.”
That said, an effective sober living facility is more than just a place to delay confrontations with everyday life. It’s a place of discipline, challenge, and community, where freedoms like curfew extensions are reached gradually, allowing the client to continue his recovery and gain the confidence to continue it further. Hammill recommends to clients that they keep a journal, to track their progress and reflect on challenges.
One tried-and-true rule for Walnut House is: No family members are allowed inside.
“Family days are done at our Broad Street facility, and there’s a family day over at [JourneyPure At] The River,” Hammill explained. “Family members are often still dealing with past hurts. That image they last saw, when the client hit rock bottom, that can be difficult, and family hasn’t seen our clients’ growth, their struggle.”
With Freedom Comes Responsibility
Of course, living in a sober living facility with a dozen or so men (Walnut House is an all-male facility) means there are certain chores that need doing—washing dishes, cleaning the bathroom, that sort of thing.
“I always get complaints from people about their having to fulfill these responsibilities,” Hammill said. “That’s when I’ll remind them to take a step back and consider whether they’re regressing or going forward. We’re here to encourage them and share our experience, show them what we did, what works for us.”
Sober Living in Nashville With JourneyPure
If you are looking to step into the world of recovery, where you can live a fulfilling and sober lifestyle, we can help. Call us today to learn more about what it means to get well. If you’re a JourneyPure alumnus or alumna, be sure to download the JourneyPure Coaching™ app to ensure that long-term recovery.
Chris Clancy is the in-house Content Manager for JourneyPure’s Digital Marketing team, where he gets to explore a wide variety of substance abuse- and mental health-related topics. He has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist and researcher, with strong working knowledge of hospital systems, health insurance, content strategy, and public relations. He lives in Nashville with his wife and two kids.