I completed 30 days of phase one and 30 days of phase two at Promises Malibu, from October 10th 2009 – December 10th 2009. I then transitioned to sober living as part of my post treatment plan. I visited many sober living houses before making a final decision. When looking at sober livings, I wanted a place that excelled in certain qualities. I did not find many sober livings that catered to my needs. I am 27 and am attending law school next fall, in LA. I am a research assistant for an attorney at USC. I wanted a place that was quiet and did not specialize in disciplining residents, as I already possess this quality. I wanted a place, where I could have a safe environment, people who are committed to sobriety, and, most importantly, I wanted a staff that is knowledgeable, works a strong recovery program, and is available for support.
Upon meeting Khalil, I immediately felt at ease. We discussed my sobriety and what I wanted out of life. Khalil showed me the property, amenities, and told me about the goals of Riviera Recovery. After, viewing other houses, I made my decision to commit to four months. I moved in to Riviera over two days and my transition was easy.I immediately found Riviera to be the right choice. I was encouraged to explore my interests. I found yoga, Khalil accompanied me whenever I wanted to go. Also, at Promises I began to read and immerse myself in Buddhism; I expressed my interest in meditation to Khalil and proposed Khalil let me turn the spare room into a meditation room. He supported this by purchasing crystals, bowls, books, meditation cushions, and pictures, to make the room more comfortable. This was definitely above and beyond what I could have asked for. One of the best attributes of Riviera is the staff; there is always someone here who is sober, and experienced in the recovery field. I found this very comforting, knowing that at the worst someone was a phone call away. Another great quality of Riviera is the dedication to healthy living. I learned to eat well, thereby, making me feel better about myself and see a bodily transformation. Furthermore, Khalil has a large sobriety network in Malibu and Los Angeles. This was very helpful, because I am from Atlanta GA and knew few people here. This made my networking in AA with strong program people much easier. The final and most important thing I took away from my sober living experience was having a large confrontation with Khalil, about one of the other residents, and my situation. As I yelled at Khalil, he sat calmly, letting me finish, and responded by saying he understood my concerns. He suggested that I look at my part in the situation and practice the 10th step. This showed me that even when conditions are difficult, to rely on my program and principles. It would have been easy to cater to my ego and smooth things over, but this conversation has been one of the most important in my sobriety.
The final contribution to my sobriety from Riviera has been the tools I have taken with me since moving out. I continue to live and eat healthy; I participate in yoga 3 – 5 times per week, and meditate daily. Had I chosen a different sober living, I think it is safe to say; none of this would have been possible. After leaving Riviera, I continue to speak with Khalil and staff members weekly and have visited three times in five weeks. I am welcome anytime, for fun, or if I am feeling weak in my program. This gives me a very nice level of comfort. It is a nice complement to Promises Alumni network.