What You Want to Know About a Men’s Sober Living

Getting sober is hard, but it is just the beginning of recovery. Once you get sober, you have to learn how to stay sober.  And as you create your new life in recovery, you might be wondering where you want to live.  Depending on your living situation before getting sober, you may find yourself without a home or not wanting to return to the one you associate with using.  Maybe you have relapsed in the past, and you want to take extra measures. The Nook is here to help you build upon the work you’ve done in getting sober. 

Defining What a Sober Living Is

Sober living is, as the name suggests, a place to live that supports maintaining sobriety.  Many who are in early recovery find themselves without friends and possibly without family.  Whether this happens because of the wreckage you caused in your addiction or because you simply don’t want to be with your drug-using friends doesn’t matter.  What does matter is that you need to create a new life for yourself.  Men’s sober living provides a safe and stable home environment for that new life.  Sober living gives you a safe space to learn how to socialize, work, and engage in friendships without using any substances.  Many sober living houses will incorporate structure, community responsibility, and social outings. While not all sober living homes are the same, most will require a particular length of sobriety before they will accept you into the house.  This sobriety requirement is for the protection of everyone in the house.  Other homes might require that you attend recovery meetings and have a job.  You might also be asked to do chores or contribute financially as part of the requirements. It is essential to ask questions about what you can expect to pick a house that’s a good fit for you. 

Benefits of Being a Part of a Men’s Sober Living Community

Researchers have found that creating a support system in early recovery significantly improves the chances of staying sober.  Sober living houses offer the opportunity to do just that. Sober living homes help build a foundation for a sober life and serve as a bridge after rehab. Gender-specific sober houses can offer us an even greater chance of success in sobriety.  Sober living homes create an environment that can help keep you sober by providing structure and community.  By merely being in a community and relationships with others facing the same struggles of early sobriety, we can feel less alone. Surrounded by others who are learning how to live life sober, we may find ourselves less threatened while learning how to navigate daily activities sober. 

Group activities such as going to the beach, visiting an art museum, or even bowling can help us understand how to live a life without substances.  Many in early recovery have forgotten how to do these things without drugs and alcohol, so group activities provide us with a way to explore more safely. Sober living houses are a bit like putting on a life jacket in the pool; you have to put on the life jacket, but a sober living home helps you to stay afloat as long as you keep it on. 

Live Sober at The Nook Sober Living Home

At The Nook sober living, we focus on lifelong recovery. We offer our clients support to live a life that allows for the maintenance of employment, educational, and family commitments. If you’re wondering how to begin your life about rehab, sober living may be the answer. Contact us today to see how we can support your life in recovery! 

What Is a Sober House?

What Is a Sober House?

You’re sober, but you might be trying to figure out how this will work?  You’re trying to find a place to live, a place to work, and develop your tools for staying sober.  You’ve heard of sober living, but might be asking what is a sober house?  Sober living facilities, or sober houses, can serve as a sanctuary as you develop your new life in recovery.  This is especially true if you find yourself without a place to live that is free of drug or alcohol use.  Maybe you’ve tried sobriety before and need some additional support this time around.  The Nook is the place that can serve as your bridge into a life in recovery. 

What Is a Sober House?

A sober house is much like what it sounds; it is a place to live that helps you to maintain a sober life. A sober house can provide you with a safe and stable home to support your new life in recovery.  Researchers have found that those who reside in a sober house following treatment are better able to make changes and maintain changes that support living sober in recovery. But what is a sober house besides a safe place to sleep?  At its core, a sober house can provide you with the chance to learn how to live without relying on substances. 

How Does a Sober Living Help With Long Term Recovery?

Sober living is to recovery what spring training is to baseball. A sober house offers you the chance to train for a sober life.  While active in our addictions, many of us focus only on getting and using our substance of choice.  A sober house provides us with an environment that allows us to learn how to socialize, work, and engage in relationships without using. Many sober living facilities will include social outings, structure, and some level of responsibility.  

While no two sober houses are exactly the same, you can expect to find some basic similarities.  Many will require a specific length of sobriety before they will accept you as a resident.  Others might require attendance at recovery meetings, maintaining employment, and participating in house chores. You may also want to know if the facility is co-ed or gender specific.  Researchers have found that gender-specific sober living facilities can increase your success in recovery.  You’ll want to ask what is expected of residents and what’s offered to residents.  Knowing if you need to participate in chores, contribute financially, or complete other commitments is important information.  Likewise, it is important to know if the sober living facility offers opportunities to engage in social activities such as group meals, outings, or sports.

Why You Should Go to The Nook Sober Living!

Choosing a sober living facility can be difficult, and there are lots of options. Depending on your current circumstances, you may want a location close to those you know or you may want to start over in a new place. Once you’ve selected a location, you’ll want to look for a sober house that will best support you. So, as you explore your options, be sure to look at the requirements for continuous sobriety and the house’s offerings.  Sober living homes located in Los Angeles are located centrally to allow for outings to the beach, to the golf course, to the mountains, and to explore Los Angeles.  At The Nook, we focus on lifelong recovery. We offer our clients support to live a life that allows for the maintenance of employment, educational, and familial commitments. Contact us today to see how we can support your life in recovery. 

Adderall Abuse in College

adderall abuse in college

adderall abuse in college

Adderall Abuse in College is a common struggle with young addicts as it gives the illusion that they are performing to a higher degree.  College is not only a time for academic progress but also a time where many students party and experiment with drugs and alcohol. Throughout history, substance abuse has been a pillar of these formative years. In the 1960’s, many college students were smoking pot. Heroin and LSD followed in the 1970’s. And then cocaine came afterwards until the turn of the century. In the more recent years, Adderall, also known as the “study drug”, has become the next hot substance amongst college students. Unfortunately, adderall abuse in college is getting out of control and reaching epidemic proportions.

Adderall is a prescription drug used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Those with ADHD find adderall effective in controlling impulsive thoughts or behaviors by regulating the central nervous system and increasing dopamine. Although at therapeutic doses, this increase in dopamine is key for the calming and focusing effects needed to treat ADHD. However, for those abusing the drug, the elevated dopamine can also suppress appetite, increase energy and wakefulness, and produce a feeling of euphoria. Therefore, adderall is often abused by individuals who do not have ADHD to control weight, enhance academic performance and get high for recreational purposes.

Research shows…

In a study reported on by Statistic Brain, over 34% of all college students reported using adderall at some point during the school year for recreational purposes. 

Also, a survey by the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids reported that 56% of college students considered study drugs easy to obtain through friends and extended social networks.

The risks of adderall abuse 

For those with ADHD, adderall is essentially risk free. However, for those without ADHD, adderall has a high potential for abuse and dependence. Additionally, abusing this drug can lead to disorganized thinking, anxiety, the “jitters”, increased blood pressure and heart rate, increased risk for stroke and other cardiovascular problems, decreased sleep, paranoia, and overall health decline. 

Recovery from Adderall Abuse 

The risks of abusing adderall are not worth it and can have very serious consequences, making recovery essential. Luckily, recovery is ALWAYS a possibility. There are tons of drug rehab programs and sober livings that specifically focus on adderall addiction. Sober Livings like The Nook provide a safe, supportive living environment to help college students recover from adderall addiction. 

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Contact The Nook

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Substance Abuse and its Effects on Academic Progress

Substance Abuse and its effects on Academic Progress

 

Adequate academic progress is a necessity for many students to maintain financial aid and scholarships. Substance Abuse and its effects on Academic Progress can be tragic for students that rely on financial aid or scholarships.  The pressure to maintain satisfactory grades can be extremely overwhelming and burdening.

There are many factors that cast a student as a successful student. These factors include a minimum grade point average, (which varies per university and program) and completing a certain amount of courses.

Many students rely on drugs and alcohol as a way to cope with academic stress. Infact, about 20 percent of college students meet the criteria for an alcohol use disorder. Although many students turn to drugs and alcohol, addiction and substance abuse can quickly derail any sort of academic progress.

Sadly, many students struggling with addiction and Substance Abuse and its effects on Academic Progress causes students to suffer silently and do not seek help for fear that their academics will deteriorate even more. Many students fear that if they go into treatment, their scholarships or financial aid will be taken away. However, addiction and substance abuse can have far worse consequences.

According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, about 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including motor-vehicle crashes.

Fortunately, many treatment programs work with students to help them not only recover but also reach their academic goals. Many treatment programs and sober livings value education as part of the recovery process. So, if you or a loved one is struggling with addiction or substance abuse while attending school, please know that recovery and academic success can happen simultaneously! One should never have to choose between school and well being.

Contact Us at The Nook Sober Living and one of our staff members will explain to you how our program has been designed to be perfectly compatible with college students who are getting sober.

Call Us 24/7 at:

(888) 711-4278

Personalized Treatment for Addiction – How Crucial is it?

Personalized Treatment for Addiction

Personalized Treatment for Addiction – How Crucial is it?

Personalized Treatment for Addiction may be more important than one would think.  Every year, millions of people are affected by addiction. 1 in every 16 adults report having a substance use disorder and the numbers continue to grow as prescription drug use increases. Although many addictions may look similar on the outside, addiction is actually a very complex diagnosis with many nuances and varying factors. Each substance affects the severity of the addiction, the withdrawal symptoms and how it affects the body.

Co-occurring disorders, temperament, biological and genetic makeup, social circumstances, environment and family history are some of the many factors that contribute to the development of an addiction. All of these variables contribute to the development of abuse and recovery. Available resources, finances and insurance affect the duration of treatment and aftercare services. Because of this, there is no one-size-fits-all treatment program. It is vital to recognize the unique struggles and needs of each person in treatment through personalized treatment.

 

What Is Personalized Treatment

 

Because Personalized Treatment for Addiction is the most ideal solution, many rehabs offer individualized care for clients. After an initial assessment, the treatment team can create a personalized treatment plan that addresses the different needs of each individual. This treatment plan can include regular visits with a psychiatrist, primary care practitioner, individual, group and family therapy and other treatment modalities. Personalized treatment plans are also assessed regularly since the needs of individuals change throughout the recovery process. Many recovery programs have weekly treatment team meetings where each member of the team consults and assesses the ongoing needs of the clients. The treatment team usually consists of professionals with varying expertises. For example, treatment teams will usually include an MD, primary care practitioner, a nurse, therapist, program director, dietitian/nutritionist, etc. 

 

Treatment teams are a great way to ensure that individuals in recovery are receiving personalized treatment. Other great ways of ensuring personalized treatment is having Age-specific, substance specific and gender identity specific recovery programs.

 

The Nook Sober Living has a program that was built from the ground up to cater to Personalized Treatment for Addiction.  In Conjunction with Thrive Treatment, Our goal at The Nook Sober Living is to address each clients personal needs in the development of their own unique treatment plan.

 

Addiction and the Challenges that Young Adults Face While in Treatment 

Challenges that Young Adults Face While in Treatment 

Challenges that Young Adults Face While in Treatment

Addiction is a diagnosis affecting almost 20 million American adults (aged 12 and older) per year.

People with addiction use substances or engage in behaviors that become compulsive and often continue despite harmful consequences.

This chronic medical disease involves complex interactions among brain circuits, genetics, the environment, and an individual’s life experiences.

There are many factors that influence the development of an addiction. Some of these include sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, genetics, history of trauma, socioeconomic status, and age.

In recovery, all of these aspects need to be examined to better understand how they intersect and influence the development of an addiction.

Treatment for Young Adults

Age is an especially important factor in the treatment of addiction. Each age group has its own set of unique challenges that make the recovery process even more difficult. Young adults in particular, are in a distinct stage of life that involves big changes like graduating from high school or college, applying for jobs, becoming more financially independent, moving out, etc. Just one of these changes can be daunting and challenging for anyone. The combination of all of these changes can put young adults at risk for using substances or unhealthy behaviors to cope and thus developing an addiction.

 

Age-Specific Treatment

Age-specific recovery programs tend to be better equipped to address each age group’s unique needs. Additionally, recovering alongside other individuals in similar life stages creates a sense of unity, belonging and can help individuals feel more comfortable opening up.

 

Young Adult Addiction Treatment

Some common experiences amongst young adults include peer pressure, immortality complex, and history of substance abuse. Peer pressure is a common experience for many young adults because substances like alcohol tend to be a dominant part of their culture. In college, many students bond and create communities at parties and other environments where drinking and drug use is normalized. For those with addictions, this substance-use spirals out of control and turns into an addiction. It is essential that social influences like peer pressure, are addressed in recovery. The immortality complex occurs in young adults because they are experiencing a newfound freedom and have yet to think or experience consequences that reckless behavior can cause. Young adults tend to minimize the seriousness of their addiction or actions because they have yet to grasp their own mortality. In recovery, it is important that young adults come to terms with the reality of having an addiction to prevent further consequences from occurring. The relationship between family and addiction is very significant, making family therapy and involvement a big component of recovery. Addiction impacts the individual and their families and family dynamics are a factor in developing an addiction. Addressing family relationships and dynamics is another critical component of recovery.

 

Relapse Prevention for Young Adults

Recovery is a marathon not a sprint. Once someone has completed a recovery program, the journey is not over. It is important that recovery programs prepare young adults for further challenges they may face as they reintegrate back into the world. Living at a sober living facility can offer additional support for young adults as they step down to lower levels of care. Sober livings like The Nook, are supportive living environments for individuals in recovery. In addition to a sense of community, Sober Livings also offer support like case management, employment, and education resources. Recovery programs often recommend living at sober living facilities while in recovery programs such as PHP, IOP, and OP. Oftentimes treatment programs collaborate with other sober living facilities. For instance, The Nook works closely with Thrive Treatment and provides transportation to and from each location. Check out The Nook if you are looking for an awesome sober living in Los Angeles. as you can see there are many Challenges that Young Adults Face While in Treatment.

Being Sober in College

being sober in college

 

Being Sober in College may seem to some, an impossible task but that it very far from the truth.  College is an exciting and pivotal time in any young person’s life. It’s the end of one chapter and the beginning of another. College is a great time for new experiences, both inside and outside the classroom.For many it’s the first time they have fully been away from home for an extended period of time and for the most part out from under the umbrella of their parents influence and control. For the first time in their life,they’re considered an adult in the eyes of law and free to make their own choices and decisions. However even with all the new and exhilarating experiences to look forward to, going to college is a big adjustment for everyone, and for some, it may be a more drastic change than expected.Those same fears and stigmas one felt in high school are still embedded in the minds and follow them to college. The fear of being judged for one’s looks, clothing, and interests still persists and weighs them down like a ton of bricks. Anxiety, relationship issues, and a higher amount of depression (not to mention all of the stressors) brought about by the college life can severely overwhelm and ultimately ruin the college experience.

Unfortunately, all of these issues increase the temptation to drink and use drugs because college students overwhelmingly find that substances make dealing with these problems easier. Not all students immediately start binge drinking and/or doing drugs, but routinely drinking and using to cope with life on life’s terms leads many students towards addiction.If you’re a student heading to college, or maybe even going back to obtain your degree after a brief absence, it’s essential that you set yourself up for success with habits that will protect your sobriety. Being immersed in a culture where students’ goals are aligned with their environment as a wholewill make all the difference.Despite all of the potential pitfalls and struggles of college life, it is entirely possible to get through it sober. 

Simply stated, the best way to maintain your sobriety while you are attending any sort of higher education is to surround yourself with other sober people who are actively working to maintain their own sobriety.  Connecting with and developing a relationship with other like-minded, driven students will aid in not only holding yourself accountable, but others as well.  Choosing to live in a sober living house while you are enrolled in college will helpdistance yourself from an alcohol-saturated and drug-filled campus environment; avoiding high-risk situations such as parties, Greek events, and tailgating.While it is indeed a shame that not all college campuses have recovery-oriented services for students, it’s a sad reality of the situation.  Thus, it’s vital any individual striving to achieve sobriety recognizes the environment as well as the people they surround themselves with, plays a major part in their ability to maintain abstinence from drugs and alcohol.

 

It’s as equally important to get involved with various sober activities as well as join different sober groups.  In the past, you most likely spent the majority of your energy and time using drugs or alcohol.Participating in healthy and fun activities can help to prevent relapse by allowing you to avoid trouble.  By simply staying busy and engaging in things that make you happy you won’t have the time to obsess over your vices.  Furthermore, using your time wisely also helps you avoid boredom, anger, stress, and other negative emotions – something that is paramount for an individual in the early stages of recovery.Thankfully, it is as easy as it sounds!As soon as you start searchingfor sober activities taking place either in your community or maybe with the individuals in your sober-living home, you will be nicely surprised to learn there are many to choose from. Start with the hobbies or activities you enjoy and go from there.

 

You may be thinking that sober activities are the same thing as sober groups, but in all actuality, they are quite different.  Sober groups are an excellent way to enhance your recovery process and learn more about addiction and the best way to recover from the disease. Similar to participating in activities, support groups also help fill your spare time and prevent restlessness or loneliness. On top of that, they put you in contact with others who are sober and have similar recovery goals; another key component to attaining sustainable, long-term sobriety.  Some of these groups include 12-step programs as well as SMART Recovery programs.

You may be asking yourself, “Where can I find a place like that?  What is the first step in finding the right environment for me…the right activities, the right groups? It’s not like I see it on the bulletin board outside of my Psychology-101 class.”  My answer to you is simple – it’s only two words.  The answer is The Nook.The Nook is a sober-living for men located right in the heart of West L.A. that will afford you the opportunity to have an enjoyable time living life and attending school without feeling pressured or even tempted to engage in all of destructive extra-curricular activities that transpire on a college campus.  As mentioned above, The Nook has a unique advantage as to where it is located.  The Nook is perfectly situated that no matter which college you are attending or even planning on attending, the commute is a piece of cake.  Within a 10 mile radius, one can arrive at the campus of LMU, Santa Monica College, UCLA, and even OTIS College.  Furthermore, the Nook creates a safe and secure environment for the individual to grow in a lifestyle of recovery, as well as balancing any and all educational commitments.The Nook caters perfectly to the typical college student looking to progress and transform their lives in sobriety.  Here at the house, you become part of the family – where an entire support network rallies around you to create a safe space dedicated to having fun, working hard, and of course staying sober.

 

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Getting ready for college sober? What to expect

going to college sober

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Getting ready for college sober?.. What to expect

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So you have graduated high school and you’re getting ready for the next chapter. College. Sober. What kind of things should you be expecting and how can you best prepare for the semester ahead? For a lot of people, the full college experience involves drinking. This could possibly be very overwhelming seeing that you have chosen a clean, sober and healthy lifestyle but if you are prepared, you will increase your chances of success both academically and with maintaining your sobriety.

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Getting ready for college sober? What to expect

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health 36.9 % of college students reported binge drinking in the last month and 9.6 % of students reported heavy alcohol use in the past month. The study goes on to say that each year 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including motor vehicle crashes and 97,000 students between the ages of 18-24 report experiencing alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape. The National Institute of Alcohol abuse and Alcoholism also reports that roughly 25% of college students report alcohol negatively impacting their academic performance. While these numbers are alarming they should help reinforce your decision to stay sober.
I think that the first step is that when you are signing up for classes you should ask your counselor what services they provide on campus for people who are in recovery. This may include AA meetings that are held both on and off campus. There are meeting guides online that will help you find meetings in your area. Another option is to find out if they have sober living accommodations on campus. Seeking out sober living arrangements would be ideal for someone who is trying to maintain their sobriety due to alcohol abuse being prevalent in a lot of college dorms. There is also the option to live off campus with sober roommates.
If you don’t attend AA you can always look into SMART recovery to see if they have any meetings on campus or in your area. There should also be directories for other 12 step programs such as Narcotics Anonymous. Whichever program that you choose it is important that you find out which one works for you and do it.
Another way to maintain sobriety in college will be seeking out healthy activities. Along with working the recovery program of your choice finding healthy things to do while you are in school will help you immensely. This may include going to the gym and activities outside such as playing basketball, running and hiking. Staying busy and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will be a very important part of staying sober in college. Another way to stay healthy is to maintain a healthy diet and drink plenty of water.
One of the more challenging aspects of staying sober in college would be socializing. Ideally you will meet other sober people on campus who you can do things with. Maybe you’ll want to go to the occasional party? Having a sober friend to attend events like this will be very beneficial as you can hold each other accountable and not feel like you’re the only person at the party who is not drinking. You might even volunteer yourself to be a designated driver to make sure that your friends who are drinking get home safe.
At first glance some of these things might seem overwhelming. Just remember that the more prepared you are, the better chance you have of holding on to your sobriety. You’ve worked hard to get sober and you will have to do all that you can to hold onto it through college and beyond.
If you are going to be attending college in the Los Angeles area and need some added support to help sustain your sobriety, please check out The Nook Sober Living. Our house is located near the campuses of Loyola Marymount, USC, UCLA, Otis College of Art and Design and Santa Monica City College. We would love to help and provide with you with a safe and sober living environment while you’re attending school! Please visit us at www.thenooksoberliving.com for more details.

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Getting Sober in LA

getting sober in la

Getting getting sober in LA is the best choice you can make if you want to recover from addiction.  So, I have been asked on several different getting sober in laoccasions why I wanted to leave New Jersey and fly out to L.A. to get sober. My first response was; “Well, who wouldn’t want to be in L.A.?” I had no reasons to back up my answer. However, after living here in L.A for the last year, I am able to explain why L.A. is such an amazing place to get sober and engage in recovery.

First and foremost, the weather. In New Jersey I can remember in the dead of winter how brutally cold and wet it was. The disaster of trying to drive in a winter storm, constantly shoveling my driveway, and wearing four layers of clothes just to stay warm is something that I could not stand. In New Jersey, you truly get all four seasons, which some people enjoy, but I do not. So when I researched California and saw what the weather was like it was a no brainer for me. L.A. is witness to over two-hundred sunny days a year. Only thirty days a year is it actually raining in L.A. The temperature hardly ever dips below fifty degrees, and there is a spring/summer vibe going on all year round. I play basketball outside in the dead of winter, in shorts and a cut-off. Now that is pretty awesome! The weather being as beautiful as it is there are countless activities to participate in on a daily basis.

Now let’s talk about the city of self-expression and individualism. Being an alcoholic in recovery, I was very insecure about many things: the way that I looked, the way I dressed, and what people thought of me. Basically, how I was viewed by the entire general public. In New Jersey, the mentality is different, people are not so open-minded and accepting to originality and individualism. So, that being said, I was unable to express myself in a way I liked, because of my crippling fear of being judged. In L.A. I do not have that problem. I dress and wear whatever I want to, without a second thought. Everyday I go out, see people wearing interesting outfits, and dressing the way they want. This holds especially true in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous. Never will you find a group of people more free and more themselves than in an A.A meeting here in L.A. Witnessing my fellow peers in recovery engaging in self-expression reinforces the fact that I am not being judged and I can be who I truly am.

When I flew out here to L.A I wasn’t sure what A.A. would be like. New Jersey was the only other place where I had gone to meetings. It took two weeks for me to find meetings in L.A are unrivaled. There are over 3,000 meetings a week in L.A.. 3,000! When I first heard that I did not believe it; until I heard it over and over again. That means the recovery community in L.A has to be incredibly strong and very much sought after. The diversity of meetings in L.A. is awesome. You can go to your typical speaker meeting one day, then go to a yoga meeting, a meditation meeting, silent meetings, music meetings, book studies, participation meetings, men’s meetings, women’s meetings, meetings inside, and even meetings outside. I mean the list goes on forever on why getting sober in la is a good idea. What I find really cool is, the by-product of all these meetings and individuals in recovery; it leads to so many sober events and parties. There are groups of people who organize these sober events at public buildings, parks, museums, the beach, the mountains, and etc. So many people attend them! You can socialize, have a great time in a sober environment with sober people, and really see what life has to offer. I have built great relationships and connections with people throughout the sober community. I wouldn’t change it for the world. It really seems as if L.A is the holy mecca of recovery! That is what I find absolutely amazing.
So, fifteen months ago, I left New Jersey for L.A. to embark on a journey to save my life. I was not sure whether L.A was the spot for me or not, but after experiencing L.A. and all that this city has to offer I couldn’t be happier. There is nowhere in the world that I would rather have gotten sober and continue to live my life. I am truly blessed to be here in L.A. I feel like a part of such a great, influential, recovery community. My response to the question, “Why did you pick L.A?” is a lot different now than it once was.  Hopefully this post helped convince you of what I learned, that getting sober in la is the best idea for struggling addicts.

Contact Us at The Nook Sober Living for more info on getting sober in LA.

-Josh C

Personal Boundaries

personal boundaries in recovery

personal boundaries

What are personal Boundaries?

Boundaries determine acceptable behavior. Safety cannot exist without boundaries. Imagine driving without any traffics rules, signs or lights! Boundaries simply exist to keep ourselves protected from harm. Personal boundaries work the same way. They are the emotional, physical and mental parameters we set for ourselves. Love and healthy relationships cannot exist without the enforcement of personal boundaries because they protect ourselves from disrespect, exploitation, manipulation, and violation.  

There are many types of personal boundaries. Material boundaries govern whether and how much we give to others, such as money, items, etc. Physical boundaries relate to personal space and how close we let others get to us. Mental boundaries concern our values, opinions and thoughts. Emotional boundaries separate your own emotions from others. Sexual boundaries reinforce your level of comfort with sexual touch and experience. Spiritual boundaries apply to your beliefs and experiences with a higher power. Internal boundaries relate to your relationship with yourself.

Why are they important?

Setting personal boundaries is our way of establishing and communicating self respect, self esteem and self worth. Personal boundaries create individuality and keep us safe from external factors. Healthy personal boundaries are important because they allow you to take care of yourself and not let others define who you are.  

Can you have too many or too little personal boundaries?

Personal boundaries come in three groups: rigid, porous and healthy. Rigid boundaries refer to too many boundaries. Meaning you don’t let others get close to you at all and avoid intimacy. Porous boundaries include too loose of boundaries. For example, sharing too much with others too quickly or tolerating someone crossing your own boundaries. Healthy boundaries are shown in sharing an appropriate amount of info, respecting other’s boundaries, and valuing your own opinion, and not compromising your own boundaries.

How do you know they are being crossed?

Boundaries can be both easy and difficult to detect. For example, someone who doesn’t have many personal boundaries themselves will most likely not be able to detect when they’ve crossed other’s boundaries. The first step in becoming aware of boundary crossing is to become more self aware. Asking yourself questions like the following can be helpful in gaining self awareness: Do I feel angry at certain people? Does something feel off when I am around someone in particular? Do I often times feel overwhelmed and burdened by others needs? Writing down lists and your expectations of others can help as well.

Why do boundaries get crossed?personal boundaries 2

Often times people who lack self awareness tend to be unware of their own boundaries and therefore lack the awareness of other’s boundaries. People who have grown up in households with few boundaries often grow up to have issues with boundaries. Some people cross boundaries to take advantage and manipulate others.

Boundaries are crossed because they can be both confusing and conflicting. Sometimes boundaries are not clear all the time and also vary from culture to culture. Additionally, personal boundaries are often not reinforced enough in childhood and teach children that their own boundaries are not important. For example, parents will pressure their children into hugging a relative that they don’t feel comfortable with. This reinforces the idea that their boundaries are not important and that it is okay for others to do things to them they don’t like and to ignore your own boundaries. Furthermore, because we are all unique and imperfect, boundaries are bound to get crossed from time to time. It’s impossible to know other people’s boundaries all the time and to never cross any. For example, when meeting someone for the first time, you don’t list off all your boundaries right away. Boundaries are learned over time and are usually enforced when they have been crossed. The important thing is that we listen to our own and other’s boundaries and do not habitually or intentionally cross or ignore them.

How do you set them?

personal boundaries 3

Your tone is very important when setting boundaries. The most effective way to set boundaries is with a calm, clear and assertive tone. You can also communicate the clear consequences. More

 importantly knowing your own boundaries is the first step in setting them. Developing self awareness is key. Second, it is imperative that you understand you have a right to your boundaries. Third, let go of how others may react. We cannot control how others react to our boundaries. If someone does not want to respect them or does not care for you because of them, then they may not be a safe person to have in your life. Finally, practice setting boundaries. Role playing with someone can be helpful. The more you set boundaries the easier it will get.