Sober Roommates in Recovery: 4 Tips for Supporting Each Other
When you’re in recovery, the people you live with can have a big effect on your well-being—and vice-versa. For you both to succeed, it’s important to think about how you can help each other. It’s particularly important to find clean and sober roommates with a similar desire to improve their lives.
To maximize your recovery, here are a few tips that you and your sober roommates can use to support each other.`
1. Sober Roommates Attend 12-step Groups Together
It’s no secret that 12-step groups are effective in preventing relapse and reducing dependence on substances. So why not take advantage of these programs with your roommates? Going together might make it a little easier to share with the group. You’ll feel more comfortable and more willing to participate in the steps. And if you ever start feeling discouraged outside of a meeting, you can remind each other of the step you’re on and how it’s important to keep going.
2. A Sober Roommate Can Be a Positive Influence
Staying positive can have huge effects on your well-being. In fact, there’s a whole new segment of psychology called positive psychology that urges us to fight pessimism and focus on strengths instead of dwelling on mistakes and bad times. This might mean encouraging your roommate for the small successes, preparing healthy meals, and urging them to follow curfew. If you’re able to do this, you’ll help them stay on the right path and keep away from substances.
On the flip side, you need to make sure you’re not a negative influence. Stay positive, avoid exposing your roommates to their known triggers, and take their concerns seriously.
3. Enjoy Mutual Understanding
The best part about being in recovery with a sober roommate is that they know exactly how you feel. After all, they’re going through the same thing you are. Your shared experiences can create a mutual understanding. You’ll know the signs if they’re starting to act secretive or withdrawn. You’ll recognize their relapse triggers and know when to stop pushing their buttons (and vice versa). You may even be able to get them help before they realize they’re in trouble.
4. Be Open to Feedback and Complaints
As someone who formerly abused drugs or alcohol, you may have developed certain habits or ways of manipulating people to get what you want. You might not even realize you’re doing it anymore. By inviting your roommates to call you out on these bad habits, you can become more aware of them. You should also feel free to call them out on their own bad behaviors. Just be sure to do so in a way that is supportive and not confrontational.
Find Sober Roommates That Push You Forward
At the end of the day, your roommates should be a positive complement to your addiction treatment—not a trigger that makes you want to start using again. Clean and sober roommates will be there to support you every step of the way, and you should offer the same for them.