Sober Living with The Launching Pad vs. Halfway Houses
The Launching Pad’s sober living is rooted in The Twelve Steps. We are not a typical sober living program nor are we a halfway house. Traditional sober living programs, even ones that are twelve stepped based, do not have the structure or step work framework we do in Phase I of our sober living which lasts for 60 days. Phase I includes: daily prayer and meditation groups lasting for 45 minutes introducing our residents to several techniques, two spiritual and step work based workshops per day, mandatory gym workouts M-F, Daily Study Hall for step work, family house meals, evening 12 step meetings and a nightly review of the day’s events and interactions. The weekends include recreational activities such as movies, paint ball, hiking, Frisbee golf, bowling, skydiving, etc., other social activities and down time. Residents have a staff member with them 24/7 during Phase I.
Sober Living at TLP includes a twelve step immersion program. In order to explain what that means, we first must describe the phrase “twelve stepped based” which is thrown around in the industry. I’m a product of two in-patient treatment centers, two sober living programs and one halfway house. Each had its positives and negatives and they all referred to themselves as “twelve step based.” This meant: go to the required number of meetings, get a sponsor and work the steps but with minimal guidance or accountability. I was left to fend for myself. I didn’t know the difference between a good meeting or a bad one, I had no idea what a competent sponsor was and there was no accountability or timeline for step work. Now granted, if someone finds a competent sponsor, these challenges can be overcome but the chances are low because unfortunately the 12 step rooms are not stocked full of skilled, experienced, step working sponsors. Nor do most sober living programs pair their residents with sponsors they identify with.
Sober Living at The Launching Pad uses an approved list of 25 sponsors. We assign each resident a sponsor he can identify with in regards to the main problem substance and other life experiences. These men use the twelve steps as outlined in our Basic Text. In turn, we act as an oversight committee setting appointments, deadlines and holding our residents accountable using our timeline for step work. Our workshops reinforce the work our residents do with their sponsors and explore spiritual concepts and practices. We also require meeting attendance at groups that are known to be active in recovery, unity and service. As a result, our residents have access to solid meetings and experienced sponsors. Our timeline for step work completion and study hall sessions infuse our residents with discipline and accountability while our prayer and meditation groups help them develop and practice these vital spiritual tools.
After 90 days, our residents are ready to begin sponsoring other men through The Twelve Steps. Many say, “this is way too fast” or “take it easy, work the steps when you’re ready.” Why would we take our time or take it easy completing a process that saves us from a ceaseless and deadly illness. For the real alcoholic and addict, the steps are a life and death errand. The memory of the pain, suffering and consequences of our last relapse will eventually fade and the fears associated with them will dissipate. As such, it’s only by actively sponsoring newcomers that we stay connected to the hopelessness and devastation of our personal addictions. Active sponsorship provides us with immunity against the first drink or drug but more importantly, it gives addicts and alcoholics the sense of purpose and usefulness which we must have to live happy and contented lives.
12-Step Sober Living
Most traditional sober living programs do not offer twelve step immersion and halfway houses definitely don’t. So, if you’re looking for a transitional living program, I emphatically encourage you to visit any place you’re interested in and ask as many questions as possible. Your life is on the line and although the steps are not the only process that generates a personality change sufficient to bring about recovery from addiction, they’re proven to work and have created a revolutionary change in the way of living and thinking for millions. Sober living should be much more then living with others who are trying to stay clean and sober, working, and going to meetings. TLP’s sober living stresses the importance of submitting to a way other you’re your own, working the steps, getting involved in the unity of the 12 step community and sponsorship. This is our model for recovery and we know it works from personal experience.