How Long Should I Reside in Sober Living?

This is a common question heard in the rooms of recovery, as many addicts and alcoholics quickly tire of sharing so much of their living space with others and desire privacy and more available time alone. It is a bad idea to move out of sober living too soon, as you lose both the therapeutic community of others in recovery as well as the accountability and safety net a structured environment provides. Everyone’s recovery journey is unique, and as such there is no hard and fast timeline applicable to everyone when it comes to departing sober living. Here are a few things to think about as you decide whether you are ready to move on from halfway and get a place of your own.

First, you should examine the motives behind your desire to depart sober living and reside on your own. Is this desire borne of your growth in life and in recovery, or are their more self-serving motivations in play? Often a sudden urge to leave halfway comes from our wanting to isolate ourselves. This is your addiction seeking to claw its way back into your life and pull you down into relapse. Another common motive hiding behind your desire to leave sober living is that of escaping accountability for your actions. While it is true sober living comes with rules and structure, most of these rules only seek to mold your behavior to that of a normal individual. Regular meeting attendance, a curfew, weekly chores… these are all habits you should continue for the rest of your life, not just while in sober living. If part of you is looking to leave out of a desire to end these behaviors, you should strongly consider disregarding your own personal wants in order to do what is best for your recovery.

Once you have reflected on your motives for wanting to leave sober living, you should also reach out to those in your circle of support and ask their opinion as to your readiness to live on your own. Your sponsor and close sober supports will have a solid perspective on your maturity in recovery and in life, and you should pay more attention what they have to say on the subject than your own thoughts and feelings. Ultimately the decision is in your hands, but if your sponsor is admonishing you against moving out of your halfway house, you would be well-served to heed their advice and wait until these people in your life agree with your opinion that you are ready to take this important step and get a place of your own.

Our natural progression in recovery after residential treatment is to reside in a halfway house while we stabilize in the world and prepare to take the next step and secure more permanent housing. Everyone’s timeline for this process is unique, and you should not seek to depart halfway before you are entirely ready to take on the responsibility that comes with living on your own. Examine your motives, seek the advice of those in your life, and above all pray to your higher power for guidance on this important step in your life in sobriety. So long as you rely on God’s will rather than your own, you will move on from sober living at the right time and to the right place for your continued success in recovery!