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When is it the Right Time to Say Goodbye?


Sober livings can be and are, in my opinion, the best place for an individual struggling with addiction and/or alcoholism.  Some spend months, even a year or longer, at a sober living, and many ask themselves, “When is the right time to finally leave, find my own place to live, and start a new chapter in my sober life?”

Is there a target goal they should achieve before parting ways, or—at some point—is it just their time to go no matter how far they have come?  A lot of these questions are hard for individuals to answer because no one really ever knows if it is the right time.  Personally, I have heard numerous stories of people, having more than a year of sobriety, feeling they were ready to move forward, getting their own places, and after just a week or two, go out, using and drinking harder than ever before, landing them right back to square one again – sober living.

In most cases though, the treatment team—which usually consists of many specialized staff members in the form of therapists, case managers, and house managers, who have seen the progress someone has made throughout their time at the program—makes the decision about when someone is ready to move on and live free from sober living bondage.

With almost eight months of sobriety and finally being given the approval by my therapist and case manager, I am currently checking out places to live, hopefully moving out in less than three weeks.  This decision to leave was not only in the hands of these two people; I had a role in it, too.  Like them, I believe that I am also ready to continue my life, sober, living an apartment of my own.  I have had to achieve a lot of personal goals to be given this opportunity.

Every person’s case is different, but I feel that, for people to move on, they need at least six months of sobriety at some sort of sober living program and to have firmly grounded themselves in the program of Alcoholics Anonymous.  This includes consistently attending meetings, having a good sponsor and working the 12 steps with them, and, most importantly, encompassing themselves around a strong fellowship with other people in the A.A. program.  Engaging in and consistently doing all of these things will be the key to staying sober whether an individual is in a sober living or not.

While saying goodbye to the place where I have lived for two-thirds of a life-changing year is going to be scary and intimidating, I am confident that I have worked hard for my new life and have put enough time and effort into working my steps and staying sober that I will be successful when making the transition to a productive life.  I and those whom I work with believe and support our decision for me to get on the path of living life independent from sober living.

If I continue to put in the hard work as I have done for the last eight months and strive to better my life every day, I see myself succeeding in whatever decisions I make – starting with saying goodbye to sober living.


By Matthew B

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Filed under: Recovery · Tags: 12-step, AA, Addiction, Alcoholics Anonymous, alcoholism, sober living, sobriety, Treatment

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