Like many people leaving inpatient treatment for substance abuse, I was nervous and even resistant about taking aftercare suggestions. Thankfully I followed the advice I received from my treatment center and entered sober living at Tenley. My time at Tenley has changed the trajectory of my life and my recovery. Tenley provides the resources, support, accountability, and safety, which allow clients to flourish in their sobriety. I have appreciated the perfect mixture of structure and freedom. While I am required to fill my days productively, attend all groups and individual sessions, and attend outside recovery meetings, I have also been allowed the space to learn to live in the world as a sober woman. While here, I have enjoyed taking part in outside community service, going to the gym, and taking advantage of various cultural opportunities in D.C. I also have appreciated the comradery of the other women who live here and the loving support of the house manager. Most of all, my time away from home at Tenley, along with the growth I have experienced through counseling here, (group, individual, and family), has turned my relationships around, so that I leave here with a good foundation in recovery and will return to a happy, loving home.
— Vanessa

Reflecting on my nearly 12-year recovery journey, probably the best decision I made at treatment was to follow their suggestion of moving into Tenley sober living. Moving away from my old haunts were I drank allowed me the opportunity to build a new sober life from the ground up. I lived at Tenley House for nearly one year and really appreciated the daily structure of AA meetings, groups, and having the support of other guys in the house while slowly developing new career opportunities. It’s nice to know that I’m still friends with several of the guys I lived with at Tenley.
— Arthur

My experience at Tenley has been nothing short of immaculate. The sober housing provides an incredible support network while the clinical team is professional and understanding of people from all walks of life. The clinical sessions (group therapy and one-on-one sessions) helped me immensely in coping with life in early sobriety. I left Tenley with great insight into how to handle different stressors, and I would absolutely recommend their services to a friend.
— Andrew


I spent a year and a half living at Irene’s Place. I also lived in the same neighborhood before Tenley and went back to my same apartment after Irene’s. I used for 35 years and ended up in treatment as a result of an intervention. My clean date is March 14, 2015.

I wasn’t too keen on coming back to DC and living with females in a shared apartment. But, I agreed. Turns out it was the 2nd best decision I ever made (the 1st was to stay in treatment for nearly five months). Let me tell you why.

Irene’s Place is a SAFE place. Coming back home from my first time in treatment was overwhelming. My drug connection, my liquor stores, and my prescribing physician were all right where I left them. I didn’t know it then, but without Tenley I didn’t stand a chance of staying clean. Coming from treatment, where you are told what to do nearly the entire day to a recovery house, where you have to figure out how to structure your days, can be a struggle. It was for me.

I didn’t start my recovery until I was 61 years old. I started using in my 20’s. I had a professional career (which I cannot believe I pulled off). I knew nothing about life. I learned how to live at Irene’s Place. First, I wasn’t alone. There were women in the same boat I was in. There were groups in which to let out my fears, anxieties and where I finally found hope. There were counselors with whom I could speak one on one. There were sources of information to guide me in my new way of living.

I would never have made it if I had not embraced transitional living. I am clean almost three years. I still have connections both with staff at Irene’s Place and with women I met and lived with there.

I will always be grateful for the opportunity I had to transition through Tenley.
— Shelley


KEITH, A sober living resident shares...

Q: Can you share about the transition from inpatient to sober living? What was it like, and how did our program help?

K: The transition was very smooth, primarily because I knew four others in the house from rehab. I was immediately introduced to the house, the process, “house rules,” invited to go to meetings, given info on these meetings, helpful info about the neighborhood – shopping, Metro etc. On the first day I attended a small group meeting with folks I would meet with during the week.

Q: What it was like, and what happened? Can you reference your prior using behavior and how sober living helped establish a solid footing in school, work or home life as sober individuals?

K: I am an alcoholic and drank my self into a terrible life – and it took 25 years to get that way. I had no house, was divorced, the kids living with their Mom, and I went to rehab for 3 months. My 3-month rehab established a basis for building a new life. Tenley was a great next phase in reestablishing a life sober. Different thinking, behavioral counseling, emotional support; I was encouraged to establish a pattern of meetings, counseling, and a job/volunteer commitment. This put me on a level path to rebuild.

Q: Can you share any highlights or significant experiences either at sober living or in a group that made a difference in your life?

K: Combined, It all made a difference – it was a process. I have always been very self-sufficient, and it served me well. But in sobriety I learned I had to allow myself to ask for and accept help. I learned the importance of having friends and a circle of support. Also, the “encouragement” to find a “sober job” helped me to ease back into a rhythm of managing sobriety, life and work. I believe jumping back in would have been dangerous to my sobriety. I believe I have made some really good friends and will hopefully have them for a long time to come.

Q: Are there any staff members that come to mind that helped you along the way?

K: Karen and David are very good counselors and I got a lot out of their work and the honest environment they provided. Also, Melissa has been and continues to be wonderful for me. Always honest and straightforward in a proactive way, she challenged me to do what she knew I could. A good friend in rehab once told me, when the subject of “What do they know about my situation? They don’t know me!” came up, that one should do as instructed. Tenley and Melissa are completely vested in your success and they have seen a thousand like you. I learned to accept and trust the vast majority of the guidance I was given, and it was spot on for me.



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