Although I was originally planning to always be a college student, I found myself no longer enrolled in school just before the holidays when I was 21 years old. I also found myself unable to hold down a job or maintain any real relationships.
The last two years had mostly been a blur. My memories were extremely foggy. I had wrecked my car a few times, but thankfully did not hurt myself or anybody else. I had various drunken encounters with the police, but thankfully I was never arrested.
I was glad that I did not remember the details of most of what I had done. I was convinced that everybody hated me, and that they probably had good reasons for that.
A close friend of mine who came from a family full of alcoholics gathered some information, and then some money from our mutual friends and from a few of my family members. He convinced me to check into a rehabilitation facility. I did so, but I got out one month later and immediately continued drinking and getting into trouble.
Several months and a few more disasters later, the same friend checked me into rehab again. It was a Colorado Recovery Center. This time when I got out, he made sure I transitioned into a sober living extended care house. The sober living home enabled me to continue working my 12-step program and provided me the structure I needed to stay away from booze while I tried to resume my life for the first time in several years.
The Arizona sober living environments I had heard about before this were actually halfway houses. I had assumed that such transitionary homes were only for criminals who had been ordered to live there by courts.
I was pleased to learn that a sober living home was an option for someone like me, but I was still skeptical about whether or not it could actually work. I read much more about sober living extended care in general, and about Arizona sober living in particular, and I found out that they provide a compassion environment and the structure that someone like me needed. I also learned that they are effective.
When I began living at my sober living home, I was able to continue having the regular meetings and drug tests that I needed, but I was also able to start focusing on searching for jobs, repairing my broken relationships, and developing healthy habits.
It helped to be around other people in recovery who were similarly ready to transition into regular society. It was comforting to know that it was a place where no alcohol or drugs were allowed, but otherwise it was pretty normal. It was similar to living in a house with a handful of housemates.
The sober living extended care I received played as much of a role, or maybe even a bigger role, than my time in rehab did in ensuring that I would stay away from drugs and alcohol over the long haul.