To my surprise I became interested in learning how to live without using mind-altering substances. After all, I was going nowhere fast. The twelve steps of AA were introduced to me and I found myself wanting to know how members of the fellowship were able to achieve consecutive days of sobriety. The longest I had ever seemed to be able to reach was three days. Finally, there was a light at the end of the tunnel. Visions of happiness, success and freedom from drugs that once controlled me now seemed obtainable. Rehab gave me the basic tools I need to live a sober life.
With my time complete at the Marshak Clinic, the next step was to move into Soba sober living. Sober living is for people who want to continue to stay sober, whether it be after rehab or after sobering up on their own and getting themselves out of their destructive living situation. It is used as an adjustment period, your body is going through a lot of changes, and real life is easily viewed as scary and overwhelming. Anybody can stay clean in rehab. It is the actions you take after that determines the path you are willing to take in your new life.
Soba is more of a sober community then just a sober living house. Many condos make up a tremendous environment to become involved in living a productive life. I interact with people who are here for the same reason; deterring me to hang around people who could imitate my old friends and old behaviors. Most importantly I have a great time living this way. The key to sobriety, for me anyway, is staying involved in Alcoholics Anonymous. Without working the steps and associating myself with its members I would continue to drink my life away.
I have seen first hand what happens to people that start getting away from the program and don't believe they need it anymore. A relapse will shortly follow and they will have to do all the work over again. That is if they even are fortunate enough to make it back to the program. My experience in sober living has been that of which money can't buy. I have a daily routine that works in my life and I rarely have thoughts of drinking and using drugs. If I have a thought it quickly comes and goes. I now use the tools I have learned to stay on track. I tried living my life on my own terms; it didn't work out so well. I am now to a point where I can enjoy myself. I don't want to use anymore, I learned to enjoy my life at its fullest potential. I find now that I can be a responsible person who is accountable for my actions. This is something I once had growing up, but lost somewhere in my using.
On the plane out to California I was told by John, who is now my sponsor, "Just work your program and everything else will fall into place." He is not the only person who has told me that.