Accountability is a critical piece in an effective structured sober living, although it can feel like a double-edged sword. Being held accountable (or responsible) for working towards a goal can have a positive connotation, associated with memories of a friend who pushed us to achieve something great because we had such awesome support. But sometimes we also associate accountability with things we dread – taking action when we’d prefer to be lazy, addressing challenges head-on, trudging through uncomfortable situations.
In early recovery, we commit to a slew of goals – sometimes for ourselves, but also for the people that we love. Often folks in recovery share that they entered addiction treatment to start a journey to recovery, but other goals included wanting to give their family a sense of peace, wanting to get their job back, wanting to heal a broken relationship, and more. When we initially say “I’m going to do something different this time,” we usually mean it… but when it comes time to commit to the actionable steps to reach our goals, we falter. It’s overwhelming! And sometimes being held accountable in those moments can be incredibly uncomfortable.
Prior to showing up at our structured sober living in New Jersey, our guys will say that they want to get serious about their recovery. But they quickly learn that if they want to walk a path to recovery, they need to be held accountable in the process of rebuilding their lives. Committing to a structured sober living & life development program like Surfside places our residents in the position to be held accountable by their peers, by our recovery support staff, by their loved ones and by a 12-step fellowship.
Addiction treatment often gives people the space to clear their heads and envision a future without the crippling grips of drugs and alcohol. We sometimes set goals in treatment: “I want to get back to creating art! I want to start my own company. I want to be a father to my children. I want to continue my college education. I want to join a union” … the list is endless! But without structure and accountability, it’s so easy for us to forget the small steps necessary to reach a major goal. Sometimes Surfside is lumped into the ultra-broad sober living category, which glosses over the fact that graduation from our program is dependent on completing measurable goals in each phase – goals that our team holds residents accountable to achieving. New Jersey has so much opportunity for people in recovery, including collegiate recovery programs, union apprenticeships (and thriving unions), employment opportunities and a healthy community of young people in recovery. We help young men in early recovery identify goals and work through the small steps necessary to conquer them. We’ve found that the brief comfort of laziness and resting on our laurels rarely pays off, so we push people to avoid the path of least resistance at all costs. When we refer to ourselves as “structured sober living,” we genuinely mean that we’re building a framework to help our residents set goals and utilizing our staff to keep them on track.
A quick example. If Johnny’s goal is to eventually buy a car that can get him to and from a fulfilling job, we’ll need to set a budget for Johnny so he can effectively save money. Tons of people “lose” their money (they genuinely have no idea where it goes!), so we need to take a close account of Johnny’s expenses. What’s critical, and what feels critical but really isn’t? Working with our sober living’s case management and recovery support teams, we start to identify what habits stand in the way of reaching Johnny’s goal. It’s not always fun for Johnny to be reminded that a Red Bull costs as much as a gallon of gas in New Jersey, but it brings the goal to the forefront of his mind. Being held accountable to this goal forces him to be thoughtful in his decision making, even when it’s uncomfortable.
If you or someone you love is looking for a unique structured sober living in New Jersey that is built to hold young men accountable on their path to recovery, give Surfside a call at 609-709-4205.