Sober Living is “whole living”- A unique approach to full schedule drug rehab
This “whole living” concept is a cultural norm of the Riverbank House; it is a unique perspective to the full schedule drug rehab environment.
The “whole person”, “whole living” perspective is there to enforce the idea of a whole person; not a broken person. The term “halfway house” is often associated with disenfranchised and dysfunctional individuals. This is not a criticism of the halfway house experience or structure; in fact,the Riverbank House infrastructure contains many critical aspects of halfway house model. The full schedule drug rehab is not a place of broken people. The defining outlook we foster and cultivate is simply a different perspective – a “whole person” and “whole living” point of view. Dr. Drew’s Celebrity Rehab (on VH1) used the term ‘broken lives’ and was an example of an full schedule drug rehab. None of the celebrities in Dr. Drew’s full schedule drug rehab are considered “broken men or women”.
Sober living is ideally – not the halfway house residential experience – but a larger experience of community, learning and growing, and often (quite surprising to newcomers)—FUN. Though the House operates as an full schedule drug rehab, i.e.; it is a long term program focused on treating addiction – the perspective, the context we live from is a “whole life”, a whole house” and a “whole person”!
Bringing the experience of the being fully alive the Riverbank House residents are supported through the ups and downs of a sober life – just as any full schedule drug rehab. The focus is on the present moment. Not a moment governed by one’s past, but more positively influenced by a vision of one’s future.
Of course we recognize the importance of uncovering and discovering the influences of the past on one’s present experience and behavior. That’s why the Riverbank House has integrated the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous into our full schedule drug rehab model and “whole house” sober living design.
So often, those new to recovery in the House express their surprise when they see and experience the distinctions between halfway house living and Riverbank’s whole living focus. Many men enter the Riverbank House holding the belief that that they are coming into a halfway house. Most new arrivals carry the societal misperception that halfway house residents are broken – that they are in fact only “half alive” -only half participating in life. Nothing could be further from the truth.
In Riverbank’s full schedule drug rehab….our sober living environment…residents are more fully alive than ever. The house member is drug-free, the house member is supported through his ups and downs of a normal sober life – the resident is supported to work cooperatively and effectively with other house residents. And educational/career goals help to create a vision for the future. Our Solo No More activities often turn the sober living experience into – “just a lot of fun”. The entire experience is focused on wholehearted living.
The long-term full schedule drug rehab (sober living environment) allows enough time (and practice) for a complete shift in perspective. Our perspective changes from one that is self-focused to one that is less focused on self.
The full schedule drug rehab program is broken into 4 phases; four points of maturation. The phases call for full participation in all aspects of 12 step recovery. Completing a thorough “4th step; made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves” uncovers the root of our destructive behaviors, identifies the dysfunction of our self-centered behavior and through this understanding we are empowered to experience the opportunity of “choice”.
Our sober living environment creates increasing levels of autonomy and freedom. The residents are steps away from the AA community (dozens of meetings within walking distance) and all the lifestyle activities required by any member from late teens to ‘older’ residents, (should we say “more mature”).
The ‘whole life’ design is what separates our house from the typical inpatient drug rehab approach. The ‘House’ is steps away from parks, libraries, religious groups of varied denominations, sports arenas and areas of all kinds – tennis, basketball, skateboarding and, minutes away from summer, hiking, camping, and climbing; and, during the winter, skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing and even ice-fishing.We are, after all in the middle of New Hampshire’s scenic White Mountains.
Aside from being fun, these activities serve as an introduction to a new way of living for some, and a reminder to others of the genuine fun and openness that comes from being your authentic self with others, working as a team, and/or having fun as a group. These too are new skills as well as new experiences.
This sober living experience, this experience of being in a supportive sober community – becomes a touchstone for growth. This is not your typical drug rehab.