Chris Kirby, Director of Admissions at The Last House, kicked off a Dr. Drew segment quite pointedly. “We’re dealing with a disease that is characterized by ego, entitlement, and selfishness,” he said.
He couldn’t be more right.
As drugs and alcohol have become more and more mainstream in American culture, many millennials have suffered the devastating consequences of addiction. Fortunately, addiction awareness has increased, and many of these men and women are getting the help they need at recovery facilities nationwide.
When they leave these facilities, however, there can sometimes be a steep learning curve, particularly if their treatment was coddling or didn’t present the real-world experiences that they would likely face after graduation. For men, this can be an issue, because a “learning curve” could mean trouble finding a job or providing for their families.
This is where sober living comes in.
At The Last House, an all-male sober living house in West Los Angeles, we focus on the exact opposite of coddling, and mitigate ego, entitlement and selfishness by providing a rigorous but fair living environment and pushing our clients to get out into the workforce, take responsibility for their actions, and be proud of who they are after treatment, without relying on others like family members and friends to do things for them.
Sober living facilities like The Last House place a premium on providing support for men that need a system that will allow them to get back on their feet, champion their recovery, and have an encouraging tribe of brothers to help them make the right decisions. We’re here not only to help men transition back to life on their own. We’re here to make them gentlemen, and, as the
The Big Book says, to help them learn how to drive and motivate others to pursue recovery as well.
How does sober living make me a gentleman?
Page 88 of The Big Book couldn’t be clearer: “We alcoholics are undisciplined.”
This statement doesn’t just apply to alcoholics, though. Many men who have suffered from addiction and gone through treatment may have the discipline to refrain from using substances, but this doesn’t mean that they have the discipline for everything. Just like anything else, we have to learn discipline and the importance of it in order to train ourselves to do the things we need to do for our lives, our health, and our families after treatment. In learning discipline, we also learn self-reliance, and acquire an essential trait of the gentleman: the ability to control ourselves and become truly independent.
In sober living, men learn to appreciate a structured environment, rules, and discipline, in much the same way the military learns structure and order. We have curfews, required meetings, and consequences for our actions that make us that much more inclined to follow procedures. It’s not that rules are shoved down the throat, or that punishments are harsh or unfair (for missing a mandatory meeting, for instance, the required and fair consequence is to write an essay on the importance of punctuality), but we learn that rules and parameters are actually healthy for us in a way that we probably wouldn’t have out on our own.
The Big Book is the inspiration behind the sober living facility’s discipline policy, and it couldn’t make more sense: “Did anyone ever hear of a society which couldn’t somehow discipline its members and enforce obedience to necessary rules and regulations?”
In sober living, we know that the only way to get the most out of each other, to become gentlemen and champions of the benefits of recovery, is to hold each other to a standard of excellence and order. That standard is upheld by the rules we follow.
Sober living also makes men into gentlemen by teaching the importance of self-reliance. The Big Book speaks about self-reliance in a number of ways, and, it is true that when addicted, self-reliance can sometimes prevent us from getting the help we need. However, after treatment, it is important that we learn to rely on ourselves again. In fact, it is one of the markers of a true gentleman, and it shows the world that we have what it takes to take care of ourselves and make notable contributions to our communities.
When addicted, the world often sees us as people that cannot control ourselves. Addiction can make us a nervous wreck almost incapable of functioning normally in society, and at this stage, self-reliance is out of the question. With treatment and the right sober living plan, however, this changes. The Big Book uses the phrase “from a trembling, despairing, nervous wreck, had emerged a man brimming over with self-reliance and contentment” when describing the man that has successfully recovered with the help of such treatment. At The Last House sober living facility, we teach this self-reliance by forcing our clients to do for themselves. Whether this means rotating group dinner shifts, going on job interviews, or showing up early to court dates, we show our men that self-reliance is all about an attitude, and the brothers in our facility help each other foster that attitude organically.
Being a gentleman starts with discipline, which transforms into a self-reliance that breeds confidence, surety, and meaningful societal contributions. At The Last House, the sober living community provides the tools men need to make more of themselves than they were even before addiction. We don’t just teach men to live life after addiction. We teach them to live life to the fullest. Call us at 1(866) 677-0090 , and start taking your life back today!