By Jeanie Gschweng, General Manager, Clean & Sober Transitional Living
What does it take to be successful in the Clean & Sober Transitional Living environment? First of all, it’s essential to have a sense of humility and even “brokenness.” From the moment people walk in our front door, I have a good sense of their humility. That’s a critical thing because the successful resident will be coming from a place of “I’ve tried everything else, and I’ve exhausted every other resource.” They have to be in a place where they recognize their way isn’t working, so they’ll be willing to do whatever it takes.
Because – let’s face it – you give up a lot when you move into a communal environment where you don’t call the shots. You give up privacy because you will have a roommate when you enter our sober living community in “Phase 1” housing. (If you move to “Phase 2,” you’ll have a private room). You give up autonomy because you will need to abide with our rules and regulations, such as random drug testing and required meetings. We’ve designed CSTL purposefully to offer a time-tested structure for recovery; if you aren’t willing to cry “Uncle” and live within our structure of accountability, then CSTL isn’t the right place for you.
People who move here typically haven’t been living with responsibility or accountability. Their lives are falling apart because they haven’t been able to do some very basic things, such as hold down a job or take care of themselves. Here, we offer the structure and support that people need to get back on their feet. Most of all, CSTL offers an instant community of people to be part of your support system. Just pick two or three who you can bond with and trust, and you’ll have some sober eyes watching your back, holding your hand, or walking side by side with you through tough times. That’s priceless and very difficult to find outside of a strong recovery community like CSTL.
At first, it seems counter-intuitive that brokenness is a prerequisite for successful sober living. What it really comes down to is that brokenness lays the foundation for a person’s willingness to do whatever it takes to build a strong recovery. And CSTL will provide the place and the community where that recovery can blossom.