- Lean meats (such as salmon, chicken, turkey, lean cuts of beef)
- Greek yogurt
- Low fat cottage cheese
- Mozzarella (or any low fat) cheese
- Nuts and seeds
Making the Decision to Choose Riviera Recovery
HOW DID I GET HERE?Humiliation, shame, defeat, anger, disgust, disbelief and an ounce of relief were just some of the things I felt when I woke up for the second time in a detox unit run by my former rehab facility. On the one hand, I couldn’t believe I drank myself back there. On the other, some part of me knew that this was exactly where I needed to be. Resigned, I got out of bed and started the familiar routines of detox life, the quiet rhythm of shuffling between therapists, acupuncturists, group meetings, the smoking area and back to bed again. Each day, my clarity increased and the seemingly surreal grew more real by the minute. Without the aid of a drink, I had to face the terrifying realization that I had no future—I lost my career, I lost my boyfriend, I lost my friends, I lost my family and, worst of all, I lost me somewhere along the way. Sure, I still had my house, I had money in the bank, I had a car; but these were poor substitutes for all I had lost. On the third day, I talked to another client about his discharge plans. Normally, after detox, clients go into a rehab facility, find sober living or go back home—I had already attempted two of the options before (rehab and home), and clearly failed. I had dismissed sober living before because I had a perfectly fine house, where I lived with my dogs, and the sober living facilities I had seen over the past five years in Connecticut were depressing places, small places, places where drama was as abundant as relapse. Yet, I knew I couldn’t go back home—I would just be inviting the cycle of isolating and drinking back in. Then this client said something that piqued my interest: He was researching sober living in southern California. As he showed me the websites for some of these facilities, I realized that this was an entirely different recovery ballgame. Sure, these places were beautifully appointed and wonderfully situated by the Pacific Ocean, but what whispered to me was the unparalleled recovery community they provided. These sites spoke of 3,500 recovery meetings to choose from in the greater Los Angeles area EACH WEEK. They described community events like surfing, softball and camping. They encouraged participation in recovery programs, in yoga, in gyms. And that’s when it struck me, perhaps this is what I needed all along—a community that bridged the gap between recovery and the “real world;” a safe place to regain myself; a place that would hold me accountable, and encourage me to get out and restart my life. Excited by this prospect, I tasked the guy in charge of after care to find me a place on the West Coast that offered all of the community and programming I needed and, most importantly, allowed dogs. The next day he came running into the detox unit wielding a printout, thoroughly pleased with himself. “I found the perfect place for you and your dogs,” he said. “It’s in Malibu and it’s called Riviera Recovery.” A week later, I climbed into my car, two mutts in the back seat, and headed west. As I write this, almost five months later, I am sitting in a little guesthouse I am renting in Topanga, having moved out of Riviera a week ago. I’m heading back over to the house tonight for dinner and the weekly in-house AA meeting and I’m looking forward to catching up with friends. As I look back on my stay at Riviera, I am certain of one thing: It was, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the right choice for me.
Stay on Track in a Sober Living Community in Los Angeles
6 Ways Quality Sober Living Strengthens Recovery From AddictionWith your 30, 60, or 90-day stint in drug and alcohol rehab now under your belt, the next step in your recovery journey will be a stay in a sober living community. Since the objective of addiction treatment is to achieve life-long sobriety, the decision to spend some restorative time in a sober residence is a wise one. Re-entering normal life before your new sober and healthy habits have become routine will likely set you up for a relapse. Therefore, sober living provides those new in recovery the opportunity for a safe transition back to regular life. When considering where you want to spend a few months living in a sober environment why not make the best of it? You know the saying, “Location, location, location,” right? So why not enjoy the amazing benefits of a sober living community in Los Angeles—specifically, in the spectacular hills of Malibu, California? Enjoy the beautiful vistas that rim the Pacific Ocean as part and parcel of your recovery journey. 6 Ways a Quality Sober Living Helps Keep Recovery on Track Yes, getting clean and sober is very hard. Even more challenging, however, is staying clean and sober. In early recovery, the brain hasn’t fully healed and old addiction reflexes and responses still threaten to undo all the hard work of getting sober. This is where a quality sober living community can make a real difference in solidifying your recovery.
- A drug and alcohol-free safety zone. This is huge. Although triggers come in all forms and variations, one universal trigger for potential relapse back into addiction is the very presence of drugs or alcohol. Reduce the risk of this potential landmine and live in a drug and alcohol-free environment for a while.
- Replace bad habits with new, healthy ones. Most addicts and alcoholics acquire increasingly destructive and unproductive habits along the way. Intrinsic to a full recovery is the healing of the mind, body and spirit following a long period of self-abuse. Taking up a new sport, daily exercise, and new hobbies enhances recovery by replacing poor former habits with invigorating new ones.
- Become part of a supportive community. Many in recovery have left damaged relationships in their wakes and need to develop some new friendships. Living in a quality sober living community provides a built-in support system, with both other recovering residents as well as the support staff offering encouragement and friendship.
- The benefits of a pet-friendly environment. Much research confirms the many health benefits of pet ownership, and to the alcoholic or addict in recovery the benefits are many. Having your dog present makes you feel less alone in an unfamiliar environment, as well as enhances feelings of self-worth, accountability, and reduced anxiety. This can help prolong the stay in sober living, reinforcing recovery before re-entering the real world.
- Holistic therapies enhance recovery. Without getting to the core issues beneath the addiction and learning new coping techniques, recovery will be short-lived. Mindfulness training, yoga, meditation, massage, acupuncture, and ongoing psychological therapy all help with self-discovery, living in the moment, and assisting with stress reduction.
- Learning how to enjoy the sober lifestyle. A common hurdle for the newly recovered is viewing life without their substance as empty and boring. A sober community learns the joy and fulfillment of experiencing cultural events, sports events, and outdoor activities without drugs and alcohol.