Recovery Spotlight: Laura G

“My name is Laura G., and my sobriety date is 11/3/19. I came into Up & Out Sober Living on December 7th, 2019, and still live here today. I walked into this program and home terrified, emotionally and spiritually broken, with a ton of fresh PTSD trauma, mental health diagnosis’s and so much internal baggage, but I was desperate enough to do anything I was told to stay sober. I knew nothing of sober living, as my only previous experience had been halfway houses, and honestly was not sure if the amount of “freedom” in a sober living environment would be enough to aid me in the level of accountability I was unsure I might have needed.

That being said, what drew me to Up & Out Sober Living was the 12 step living environment, all women, and the idea of getting to be a part of a home with only 6 other women whom after I read the contract all had to be accountable to some very strait forward rules based on 12 step programs. To not have to find the 3-4 women who were actually willing and doing all the suggested things to stay sober in a home of 20+ women was a huge relief. I walked in the door of my next part of life and was immediately relieved, as I looked around at a home. A home filled with personal inspiring reminders on the walls, fresh sheets, and kitchen to cook in, and most importantly, six women who welcomed me with open arms. I remember crying on the back porch my first night there, and was comforted by my new found roommates, as they all knew exactly what I was feeling, and each empathized, and shared their stories so mine didn’t seem so scary anymore.

I have had the honor and privilege of being a “house manager” at our home since March of 2020, and no words can properly convey all the things this sober living home has offered me. First, it is safe, and for me that was a very important thing that I needed to feel when I got here. Many of us deal with different backgrounds and trauma, so safety was a must. Next, the immediate feeling of love and acceptance by the other women. This has not always been my experience in living with other recovering women, and it was made clear by how each woman acted in our home that we were a family. We may not always agree, we may get on each other’s nerves as well, but we would always remain supportive, respectful, and inclusive to each and every woman around us, because our home taught me the value of unity; particularly of women.

The rules for living here are often similar rules in other places I had been in, so I did not read anything that I felt asked too much of me. While the things I was asked to do were what I would expect, it became clear by everyone around me that you either complied to the rules/expectations, or you could choose somewhere else to live. I was not nor am I ever expected to do things perfectly, but I am expected to have a home group and a service position, obtain and maintain regular contact with my sponsor and work a 12 step recovery program, obtain work, and pay rent to learn how to become a responsible sober women, and stay willing to remain teachable and be accountable always.  What I didn’t know I would get to learn here was how to set boundaries with people, how to effectively communicate using conflict-resolution skills, how to be assertive without being brutal, learn how to help each other be accountable for our actions inside and outside of our home, learn how to take constructive criticism from others and give it, begin to empathize with women going thru similar situations, have grace for new ladies coming in and ensure they feel just as loved as I have since the day I got here. I also learned how to watch women choose to walk out of the front door and go back to an old life I know all too well and pray for them instead of go with them. I learn how to be grateful and act grateful. How to separate watching others pain, and unwillingness, while not co-signing behavior or choose to be a part of behavior that I can easily be subject to do. I learn how to be an example of a women of dignity, and grace, a woman who shares in the joy of watching other women rebuild their relationships with their families and children as I too am beginning to do. This house changed my heart, and my life. It has and continues to offer me platforms and resources to find freedom from a world of chaos and drug/alcohol addiction. A world that now offers me choices, and a life of purpose, service, and fun. I’ve belly laughed more times than I can count in the short time I have lived here.

This home helped get me a therapist, I have watched woman receive funding until they can get on their feet. I have had the honor and privilege of watching women come in broken and fragile, just like myself, who are transformed individuals just by following suggestions of our environment, and 12 step living. I have also watched women leave abruptly because they just were not willing and won’t follow suggestions. Every time it has been heartbreaking. The spiritual presence within our home has been there since I walked in the door, and every day I wake up to 6 other miracles of women who get to wake up sober with a purpose for living. We are mothers, daughters, friends, wives, and granddaughters, all of which are addicts/alcoholics that guide each and always walk side by side, never ever in front or behind. I am proud to live at Up & Out Sober Living, I am positive that when My higher power placed me here, He did so for a reason, as He does for every single woman I’ve met and will continue to meet on my journey thru this sober living home. For this I am eternally grateful, one day at a time.” 

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