Early-Recovery is Crazy!

halfway house chronicles

The title says it all – early-recovery is crazy! We’re a whirlwind of emotions (mainly negative ones!), fear, insecurity, anxiety, highs and lows, and all sorts of madness.

It’s not all bad though. It’s also the time when we grow the most! Think about it like this – when we’re at ground zero, there’s nowhere to go but up. I probably grew more, and learned more about myself, in my first six months of sobriety than at any other time in my life.

This column, the newest from Sobriety for Women, will focus on the good, the bad, and the ugly. Admittedly, there’s usually more bad and ugly than good! So, to start things off, let me tell you all about the night I moved into what would become my final halfway house.

A Halfway House Horror Story

I “transferred” halfway houses at around ninety days sober. I say transferred because, to tell the truth, I was kicked out of the halfway house I’d been living in. I didn’t drink or get high, but I wasn’t living by spiritual principles. I was making selfish and impulsive decisions and, wouldn’t you know it, got kicked out.

So there I was, ninety days sober and effectively homeless. I scrambled and found another sober living residence that was willing to take me without a security deposit. Thank God for the kindness of women in this program!

I moved in around dinnertime that night. I met the owner, the house managers, and my new roommates. It turns out I actually knew one of the women living there. We’d previously lived together in another halfway! South Florida is a small place, friends!

This woman, let’s call her “Martha,” was a chronic relapser. I had been too for quite some time, so who was I to judge?

I emerged from my room later that night, around midnight I think, and found Martha and another of our roommates sitting in the living room with belts around their arms. The coffee table was littered with powder, burnt spoons, orange syringe caps, and a bent and dull needle.

To say I was shocked was a bit of an understatement. Just a few hours earlier, the owner had stood in our living room and talked about the power of honesty, willingness, and spiritual living. Martha and our other roommate stood there nodding their heads.

Fast forward to midnight and they were nodding their heads in a completely different way. I didn’t know what to do! I knew what I should do, but there’s a huge difference between should and taking that action.

One thing was for sure though, I knew I didn’t want to get high. I retreated back to my room and called the owner. I was shaking as I called! I didn’t want Martha and the other girl to hate me! Still, I knew if I didn’t talk to someone ASAP than I’d join them. That’s just how addiction works.

The owner didn’t answer, so I called a house manager. She told me to do nothing tonight and they would kick the girls out tomorrow. She told me that, if I needed to, I could leave and sleep on her couch for the night.

We talked for close to an hour. I slept in my new halfway house (halfway home!) that night. After we got off the phone, I prayed for a good thirty minutes or so. I asked God for the strength to stay sober.

The following morning, Martha and our other roommate were kicked out. It wasn’t the big deal I’d made it into in my mind the night before. The owner came over, drug tested them, and they left. It was that simple.

The Power of God

The only reason I stayed sober that night was because of God and the house manager I spoke to. I truly believe that woman was an instrument of God working to help me!

early recovery sober living

I’d been kicked out of a halfway house that day. I wasn’t living by spiritual principles. I moved into somewhere new, someplace outside of my comfort zone. I saw a woman I was friendly with (calling her my friend might be too much, but we were certainly friendly).

Then, hours later, drugs were placed in front of me. There’s no reason I should have stayed sober. All signs pointed towards relapse. But I didn’t! God was doing for me what I couldn’t do for myself.

That night was the start of my REAL recovery. That night was the start of me listening to, and learning from, others. Although it’s a crazy story, it also displays a powerful and simple truth – we only need to do the right thing to tap into a spiritual power beyond our understanding.

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