On the Path: Living with Fellows

I have been living with women in recovery for close to two years now. Something that has been both challenging and rewarding. I believe it’s helped me grow immensely. When I finished treatment I was hell bent on living on my own. I thought. “don’t you know that I had done it before and been just fine!?” I truly believed that to be true at the time. As I make my way through early recovery, I now feel differently. It was strongly recommended that I live with some women, at least for my first year. I reluctantly agreed and set out to find a place to share with other members.

A friend offered me a room in her house. Her and another friend had been living together for a while and asked if I would join them. It seemed like a good choice,
so I made the arrangements and moved.

Upon reflection, it was a difficult time for me, in my recovery, while I was living there. We were all on different pages. I learned that in those kinds of situations it was so easy for me to focus on what the others were doing, instead of looking at myself. As a result, I felt very isolated and intolerant. My experience was one of unbelievable anxiety, during this time.

It didn’t take me long to figure out what I didn’t want my living situation to be. So when I was asked about finding a house and living with two other women in the fellowship, I jumped at the chance.

I was nervous about the fact that there would be three of us. For my entire life, any situation where I was doing anything with two other women had never gone well. I put my reservations aside and become willing to try, since I had never been sober when things hadn’t worked out before.

We found a beautiful house to rent and in August the three of us moved in. It has been such a growing experience for me. While it’s been full of growth, there have also been some hard times. When two of us aren’t necessarily getting along, it can get uncomfortable for the one of us that is getting along with both.

For me, acceptance has been the biggest part of things working for me while living with other sober women. Also using my voice has been tremendously helpful. This means speaking my truth instead of stuffing everything in and building resentments. Talking to the girls about what I need from them, or what’s ok with me, helps me grow and learn how to connect with other women. These are things I have never done before getting sober.

One of the girls is planning on moving soon. Which means we will be looking for someone new. This is a scary thought for me, not knowing who will be filling the space. However, because of this program and all of the people in the rooms, I can trust my higher power and have faith that it will all work out in the end exactly how it’s supposed to. That is something I am so very grateful for.