Dude, you going to eat that? Why can’t I stay out late? Who has an extra smoke? These are a few of the questions anyone who has lived in a Sober Living House has either asked or heard at least once. Recovery sometimes requires a little humility, new found stability, and in some cases a good reason not to kill your roommates. These are the things we find ourselves complaining about, as if we forget where some of us come from in active addiction. They say the struggle is real, so let’s talk about some of the little things in life that become what we like to call “Sober House Problems”.
Sometimes you’re the first one to leave, the last one home, and the ONLY one who knows how to use a broom. You find yourself scrubbing dishes, and forget about what it’s like to eat everything off a paper-plate in a basement. Do your best to remember, for a lot of us our living conditions were anything but decent in active addiction, so try and clean your room.
So maybe there is about 12 bottles of body wash, shampoo, and face-scrubs in your bathroom and yet your roommates smell like they are allergic to all of it- like you never missed a shower in your life! Now the only problem is, how to decide who gets first dibs on the shower. Good thing you have this beautiful thing called running water.
Socks, T-shirts, even your favorite heart pattern underwear are not safe! Somehow stuff always goes missing. Then you can wait hours for someone in the house to finish their laundry to get a chance to do your whites. Still you find clothes that seem to be made of paper mache under places like the couch or even the kitchen sink. The best part is, YOU probably left it there.
Dude, you gonna eat that? This may be my personal favorite! Getting half-way through a burger and having your best friend walk in and eat the rest before you have a chance to notice he’s there, or the infamous “someone ate my peanut butter” panic! Don’t forget to be grateful you actually eat these days, instead of an all drugs diet! Hope you’re hungry because someone just whipped up a fresh batch of “Sober House Problems” for you.
O-M-G! How are we supposed to do ANYTHING in the given 15+ hours of the day before curfew?! Seriously, as an adult I have to be home by when?! I must say, the best part about having a ‘bed-time’ is having an actual bed to sleep in, for anyone who knows how comfy a neighbor’s lawn-chair feels in the winter.
The Smokers Struggle
So if you smoke cigarettes at a sober living house, it’s likely you have given away more in the past month than you have personally smoked. Not one of you roommates ever has a pack, and you often try to sneak off to light-up. I mean helping others is one thing, but seriously, you need your nicotine, right?! Better buy a vape, bro!
Of course we can’t forget the disputes over the TV. Ladies might need to cat fight over watching Real Housewives or Teen Mom 27, and guys might argue about watching the last few games of the season over playing Call of Duty! Your roommate wants to check his fantasy football league, and all you want is call in an Apache helicopter. Or maybe she just needs to study how to get rich for doing nothing, and you want to see who the baby-daddy is. God forbid someone take time away from the TV to do something productive like… I don’t know…Step Work?
The Opposite Sex
Most sober houses have a strict ‘no visitors policy’ with the opposite sex. Weird right? Not even a ‘sleep over’ or a ‘movie night’ once in a while. We are only people addicted to anything that can give us pleasure, why would sex complicate recovery? So maybe someone gets too comfy. Who wouldn’t want to raise a family in a halfway house?
Forced to drink water and feel uncomfortable for a whole 5 minutes! What a bummer it is to submit to a drug test, someone standing guard while you use the restroom to fill a cup. How inconvenient! They act like known drug addicts and alcoholics would be going out and getting high or drinking in a sober house, that’s just stupid! By the way, is Spice a relapse?
Going to Meetings
It must be so hard for some people to actually get up, go to work, and then go to a meeting. If they even have a job. Sobriety should just come from living in the sober house, right? Isn’t that why it’s called that, or are you actually expected to participate? There are just too many scheduling conflicts between the pressing stuff we fill our day with like sitting at Starbucks and going to the gym, who even has time for getting sober and saving our lives? Such is the paradox of life I guess.
Sober house problems are no joke! OK, maybe- yes that’s exactly what they are. Seriously, we live a large portion of our lives abusing drugs and alcohol, ourselves and our families, and we think we are too good for a few rules and requirements? The little insignificant troubles now, in my experience, are nothing compared to the misery I faced every single day when doing things my way with no sobriety and no people to suggest a solution for me. The sober living house I have called home saved my life, more than once, and as much as any of these things can push our buttons can we at least admit that if faced with all of these on a regular basis versus the life we had we are still luckier than most like us who never make it that far? So let us take some time to let our “Sober House Problems” go, and be grateful to have a home in sobriety.
If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135