You can’t always get what you want

The Rolling Stones and a similar Hole song keep running through my head.

This past week has been okay. And by “okay” I mean it sorta sucked. There were some good things – I spent time with my family, enjoyed watching my nieces and nephews open their gifts, had good conversations with other relatives, and went to a friend’s annual sober Christmas event.

But about the sucky part. Since the day I stepped out of treatment nearly 2 years ago, it’s been a goal of mine to open a sober living home – a safe living environment for a group of recovering people. Generally people move into one after treatment or completion of a halfway house program. Others elect to live there just because they’re a good option for affordable housing and a good source of support for those in recovery. The concept has always clicked with me as being something spectacular. There’s a certain degree of magic that emanates from sober houses that you just don’t find elsewhere. They’re a place where a group of people in similar situations try to help each other out.

This past week I had made plans to move into such a place as the resident house manager. I thought it would be a good opportunity to take an interim step into a sober housing venture – a chance for me to learn the business of running a sober house. Along with that, I thought it would be a great exercise in humility, service work, and a chance to be a part of that magic that happens in these places. I was preparing to move out of my condo, possibly put my things in storage, attempt to rent out my place, and change my life.

When I was reviewing the contract to move in, it occurred to me that something in my personal life was in direct conflict with one of the house rules. I disclosed the fact, and as it turns out, the conflict was too large to let go of, and me moving in was not going to work out.

I’m disappointed with the outcome of the situation. It makes me sad that I can’t participate. I have to believe that there is a reason things happened the way they did, as I cannot afford to carry any resentments.

Looking towards the future, I’m going to continue my quest to open a sober home. I’m unsure when it will happen, but I will keep taking steps to get there.

15 thoughts on “You can’t always get what you want

  1. Well you had the right intentions but timing and situation are everything. As you said, there must be a reason this happened, and you’ll probably find out later it was for the best. Keep up your dream and things will eventualy work out for you Dan 🙂

  2. Danny,

    Just because this did not work out does not mean that you are not able to participate in a sober house. You have been an active participant at Lyndale for over a year.

    Mother Superior says everytime God closes a door, somewhere he opens a window.

    OK, that is from the Sound of Music, but the meddage is good. This didn’t work out because something else is going to happen. Don’t put your will first my friend.

    Call me for lunch today.


  3. What an amazing goal, I sure don’t have the courage to open a recovery house. Sorry to hear about the roadblock.

    My God always says “yes, but not now, I have something better in store for you.”

  4. Sorry to hear about your setback. I’ve found that usually those types of things happen for a reason and once I’ve gotten a little distance from the situation and perspective, invariably I’ve been happy that things turned out the way they did. In any event, keep pursuing your dreams and eventually, things will settle into place. Have a very Happy New Year, Dan.

  5. it’ll happen for you someday!! i just hope you weren’t turned down (if that’s the right way to phrase it) because you’re gay.
    whatever the case may be, you seem like someone who has a positive influence on people whether you’re in a sober house or not. you’re inspiring, and i don’t even know you.( i’ve been reading for a few months now).
    keep the dream alive.

  6. uh, WHAT WAS THE CONFLICT? You can’t dangle that out there and leave us hanging! What in the world could be in these contracts? how controlling could this place possibly be? or is it about control? religion? sex? what? what? what? please don’t make me try to google this… tell us tell us. 🙂

  7. Kevin Kirby opened up two sober (transitional, self-governing) houses in Sioux Falls, and he has run into opposition from neighborhoods from the very start. This has never been done in Sioux Falls. But the long, agonizing trials have been worth it, according to Kevin and several men and women who have been able to live in a sober community for the first time in their lives.

    The roadblocks will come. But this is a goal that is worthy of overcoming such obstacles.

  8. Did I miss something? I’m new to this blog and find it interesting. I too am in recovery but when I read this post I couldn’t help but wonder what the conflict was? I lived in a halfway house for 2 years and can understand some of the things you wrote about. But really, what was the conflict here?

  9. No is part of life, the worst things you can do is quit or reach your goal with the same plan. Now that you have learned from the experience, try a different approach.

    Happy New Year.

  10. Just echoing what some of the readers have said so well. There is no conflict that does not have a resolution. Period. You are strong. You are resilient. And you are smart. You’ll find it.

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