I had a friend who told me one day "I'm looking for recovery houses near me," but then weeks later, I found out that he picked one instead in a different city altogether. His reason: "I need to get away from my old hangouts."
And that makes sense. I remember in the early days of Celebrate Freedom, almost everyone who came to our recovery house was searching locally. As our website got more and more traffic, we had more people come to us from out of state.
So what should you do? Look local or look far away? The answer is: It depends. Eventually, you'll want to be able to "live life on life's terms." That means being stable enough in your recovery that you can go to old places and even be around old friends, without giving in to the temptation to use. And let's be honest, most of us don't have the luxury to uproot and move out of state to another sober living home.
Some people, though, are so triggered by any encounter with an old friend or an old place that they might be better served by getting out of the city. Find a recovery house where it's nearly impossible to get in touch with your old buddies who helped you to use or drink in the past.
If you're not sure whether to look near or far for your halfway house, consult a sponsor or counselor or clergy man.