Maintaining recovery is a lifelong journey. This journey includes lots of ups and downs and requires constant self-reflection and behavioral changes. Sustaining these modifications can be difficult, especially in a city like Austin. In a city that is known for its nightlife and party scene, recovery in Austin may seem daunting. However, Sage Recovery can serve as a local, valuable resource that can help. We know Austin well and are here to give you some tips on how to maintain recovery in this city.
Humans are made for connection, and it’s part of our DNA to crave relationships with others. Community is necessary for healing, especially after you go through intense experiences like treatment for substance use. Feelings of isolation, shame, and loneliness can drive unhealthy behaviors. However, when we feel a sense of belonging, unity, and have relational equity with others, it can make the difficult feelings and circumstances seem manageable.
One way to build relationships with like-minded people is through alumni connections. Just like students who graduate from a high school or college are called “alumni,” patients who complete treatment are also referred to as alumni.
Many of the connections that are formed during treatment have very deep roots. There is a strong sense of camaraderie and vulnerability, as treatment provokes life-changing habits to form and deep hurts are brought to light. It’s something that can be difficult to understand unless you’ve been through it yourself. As a result, alumni connections can help you feel seen and known through the ups and downs of recovery.
Some treatment centers, like Sage Recovery, provide alumni groups and events that meet regularly. This provides a built-in community for the patients who have been through recovery together, as well as an opportunity to expand their network of people who understand what they’ve been through.
Another way to build relationships with like-minded people is through group therapy. A publication titled Group Therapy explains, “Group therapy is the treatment of multiple patients at once by one or more healthcare providers.” They go on to describe that group therapy can be helpful for a variety of conditions, including:
Generally, the people who attend these group therapy sessions live nearby, so it might be a little easier to get to know people and plan activities together.
Similar to group therapy are mutual-support groups. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) explains that mutual support groups can provide a sense of community, accountability, and support. Further, it states, “Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and other 12-step programs provide peer support for people quitting or cutting back on their drinking. Combined with treatment led by health professionals, mutual-support groups can offer a valuable added layer of support.”
Austin is known for its nightlife and party scene, so trying to maintain recovery in Austin might be a bit challenging for some. One important aspect of sustaining recovery, no matter what city you’re in, is learning how to identify your triggers.
If certain people or environments may tempt you to use substances, it’s probably best not to throw yourself into a situation that may be triggering for you. While you won’t be able to constantly control every element of every situation, being prepared and aware of your triggers could help you in the long run.
If you aren’t sure what your triggers are or how to healthily handle them when they come, it could be a good idea to create a game plan with a licensed counselor. Talking to someone who is expertly trained in the intricacies of recovery can help you process your feelings and give you ideas on how to cope with triggering moments.
One benefit of Austin is that there is so much to do here! There’s a seemingly unlimited supply of restaurants, activities, and events to attend. In addition, Austin also has plenty of options for physical activity, which has been proven to directly correlate with mental health. Activities, like the ones listed below, have multiple health benefits and can be done with friends:
If you’re feeling adventurous, you could hop in the car with some friends and visit some of Texas’ National Parks and Monuments. You could also visit some historic Texas sites and exhibits, or go to the state fair when it’s in town. Exploring Texas can mean staying in Austin and appreciating the uniqueness of this city, venturing out around the state, or whatever you want it to mean! Staying busy and fighting boredom can be a great strategy for maintaining recovery.
Austin is such a unique city, full of possibilities, fun, and endless activities. As a result, living in a place that is known for its nightlife and party scene may feel overwhelming for those that are in recovery. That’s where we come in! Here at Sage Recovery, we can be a valuable resource to those that want to heal healthily while living in Austin. We offer outpatient and residential treatment programs, as well as alumni meetings, group therapy, wellness groups, individual and family counseling, and so much more. We know how difficult it can be to go through treatment, but you won’t ever have to do it alone. Reach out to us at (512) 306-1394 for more information.