Houston Life: All the Things You Forgot About While Addicted

Houston, TX | Transcend Texas

Set near the eastern coast of Texas, Houston is a beautiful city. Home to over 2 million people, Space City is known for its rich cultural heritage, art and museum scene, Tex-Mex cuisine, and the it sports the country’s biggest total acreage of parkland in a populous city, making it not only an urban metropolis, but a town filled with the sounds and sights of nature.

If you made Houston your home, then you have chosen a grand city to live in. There’s much to see, and just as much to do. However, living in a city like this means it can be easily taken for granted. Don’t let the opportunity to take in this city pass you by and take advantage of it – especially for sobriety.

To someone struggling with addiction, very little matters. Life is a battle between highs and lows – until you step out of the cycle and find yourself in a completely different kind of life. A life that gives you the time and the ability to enjoy things the way they are, and not dread every waking moment spent away from your next fix.

Life can be many things – in fact, it can be a little bit of everything. At first, that’s frightening. Abstinence comes with the challenges of abruptly taking responsibility for yourself, finding work, and fitting into society. But it also comes with the ability to enjoy a nice day, play a game, and spend time with the people you love in a city filled with things to do.

If you’re looking for a way to spend your time while living sober in Houston, then have no worries. There’s no shortage of things to check out.


Enriching Your Day In Houston

Let’s take this a step at a time. Houston is a big city, with over 80 neighborhoods, and countless wonderful places to live. Yet when it’s time to explore and see just how you can spend your newfound time outside of work and home, you might come to see that there’s more to this city than meets the eye. We’ll go over a few ways you can meet new people, make friends, gather experiences, and try things out in Houston.


Join A Class

The quickest and best way to spend some time and meet new people is through a learning experience. Classes come in all shapes and sizes, for anything and everything.

From cooking classes to pottery workshops or fitness events, there’s no shortage of new and upcoming classes to help you find your passion, hone existing skills, or just find people to talk to and share interests with.


Try Out New Food

While Houston is undoubtedly famous for its Tex-Mex cuisine, there’s much more this city has to offer – even if you have picky taste buds. The city offers something from every corner of the globe – you don’t have to pay for an expensive travel ticket and plan a whole vacation to get a bite of something completely new and different.


Learn A New Skill

Outside of hobbies or experiences, going to a class or school for a brand new professional skill or to pursue a new vocation can be a great use of your time, and a good way to find more work out of rehab. Honest skilled labor, from welding to electrical repairs and mechanical work, is extremely valuable in a bustling and industrious city like Houston.

It’s not just that learning new things is a productive and potentially fulfilling use of your time. Learning is important for rehabilitation after addiction, as most drug abuse leaves the brain diminished in terms of cognition. Staying sharp can help you regain your full mental faculties.


Experiencing The City Of Houston

Of course, you can take a class in electrical engineering or take a bite of a delicious meal anywhere in the country. So, what makes Houston the great city it is? There’s no one thing to point out – like any city, it has its charms and problems, pros and cons. But there are many unique aspects to Houston, including its affinity to nature and its numerous nearby getaways.


Check Out The Bayou

Stretching over 50 miles into Galveston Bay, the Buffalo Bayou features rich greenery and passes by many of the city’s landmarks, including the Houston Memorial Park. It’s also the historic site of Houston’s founding, and a common outdoor recreation spot.


Visit Houston’s Museums

In Houston, it seems like there’s a museum for everyone. From the Museum of Fine Arts, to the Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Children’s Museum, the Contemporary Arts Museum, the Menil Collection and the famous “Garage Mahal”, Houston is well-versed in preserving its heritage and showing the world its cultural roots. More than just a place for interesting art, Houston’s museum scene offers a little bit of everything – places to have fun, places to learn, places to be inspired, and places to experience. Depending on what you’re in the mood for, there’s bound to be a place for you to go.


Spend A Day At The Zoo

As beautiful as art and culture can be, there’s more to Houston than the human element. Home to sanctuaries, wildlife preserves and national parks, Houston has a considerable animal population, and a world-class zoo.


The Little Things In Life

We’ve covered life-changing experiences and unique city attractions – but sometimes, it’s the little things that we miss the most. When’s the last time you sat down and watched people whilst sipping a hot cup of coffee? Or enjoyed a relatable song, without drugs? Here are a couple suggestions for taking in Houston’s beauty while sober.


Take A Stroll Through Nature

Home to acres upon acres of preserved natural landscapes, Houston is one of the best cities in the country for enjoying relaxing walks through nature. Pick any park, on any sunny day, and just walk for a bit. You don’t need much rhyme or reason. Walking outdoors can help you clear your head, arrange your thoughts, and help you sort things out with yourself.


Go Somewhere You Haven’t Gone Before

It’s a big city, with millions of people, and countless things to do. Instead of going back to old routines or revisiting your usual old hangout spots, make it a point to explore Houston in a way you never have before, and see it from a completely different perspective.

If you’re looking for a good city to get sober, then Houston is an excellent choice. The blend of cultures and the duality between nature and urban life make this a city where you can always see something new.


Community Can Make Or Break Your Recovery

Community in Recovery | Transcend Texas

As a medical condition, addiction is reliant on many factors. Many are quick to blame drugs for drug abuse – but it is not that simple. Others are quick to blame solely a person’s environment and suggest that loneliness is the driving factor. Yet again, it is not quite that simple. Addiction is dependent on a person’s history, mindset, genetics, environment, drug of choice, their mental and physical condition in the nascent stages of their addiction, sense of community and belonging, and more.

As such, when treating addiction, the answer is not as simple as just suggesting any one treatment. There is no quick fix, no one-size-fits-all. Every case of addiction comes with its own unique circumstances and differences – as such, experts today are trained to treat every individual as an individual.

But people sometimes overvalue the power of treatment in treating addiction and preventing a relapse. A big part of any treatment program is not just helping an individual through their withdrawal and early recovery, but it should give their patient the tools they need to continue their sobriety going forward – including important advice on community and social support.

The people we surround ourselves with after treatment can make or break the recovery process – and knowing what roles they play in your own journey can help you identify problematic relationships and move towards healthier ones.


The Role Of Community In Addiction

We rely on each other for emotional support and social bonds – by forming friendships and relationships with other people, we enrich our lives and those around us. We find affirmation, confrontation, inspiration and more in the conversations and experiences that we share with the people in our lives. And part of living means being among the living and finding meaning by examining how other people decide to spend their lives.

The importance of community goes far beyond addiction – it is integral to every person. But in addiction specifically, having a community around you that you feel supported by, a community you can contribute to and exist in, is important. Because without a community that lets you be a part of it, the alternative is isolation and loneliness. This builds a much more negative mindset, making it harder to resist cravings and stay sober.

No one can fight their addiction alone, even if they fight it without treatment. We need the support and compassion of our friends and relatives to stay strong, and we need a community we can be a part of. This is not to complicate the importance of being strong as an individual – it is to clarify that recovery is a journey where both the group and you as an individual matter.


The Individual And The Group In Recovery

Recovery relies on your conscious commitment to getting better. That decision must come from you, and you must actively seek out the encouragement and motivation you need to stay true to it.

That is your burden as the individual struggling with addiction, and no one else can make the choice for you, or stay strong in your stead.

However, while it is important that you realize how much your own choices matter and how they affect your path, you can always seek help and support to keep you on that path. Addiction recovery can be strenuous and difficult, and the cravings can last for weeks, making staying away from a relapse very hard. This is compounded by the emotional impact of early sobriety, coming to terms with a sober life, and the many responsibilities that come your way as a sober person.

Sober living environments can make this a bit easier by giving you a drug-free environment to live in and adjust to. But it is important to consider the power of support groups, from friends and family to group therapy and local addiction meetings.


The Importance Of A Healthy Family

A healthy family means a healthy home, and a home should be the environment we are most comfortable in. There is no family without strife or conflict, but it is how families tackle each individual conflict and resolve each issue that determines whether they are healthy or not. Often, our families are our most staunch advocates and the only people we can rely on for unconditional love.

Addiction can strain even the most composed and loving families – it’s difficult to deal with an addiction, not only from the point of view of the addicted, but from the point of view of those around them. Most recovery programs will urge families to educate themselves on addiction and provide them with resources to help them better understand their loved one’s condition and sympathize with their thoughts and struggles.

Through professional help and solid information, a loving family can come together to significantly improve your recovery process and help keep you sober even when the threat of relapse draws near.

Not all families have the communication skills to resolve issues amicably, and create a positive, supporting environment. Sometimes, it’s necessary to make the hard choice to leave your family behind, and find a healthier home, one where you can be with friends and spend your time in recovery pursuing positive environments.


Getting Out Of Toxic Situations

An unsupportive or criticizing family can be very detrimental in recovery – but it is not the only issue to watch out for. If your community discriminates against you because of your history of addiction, or you find yourself in hostile situations with people in your neighborhood because of your past, then it may be pertinent to move.

Staying in contact with old friends from days past can also trigger cravings and even cause a relapse, especially if they have not moved on and are still stuck in addiction. If you cannot convince them to get help, then the healthiest thing for you to do is cut off all contact.

Early on in recovery, your sobriety is still quite fragile, and toxic relationships can break your efforts in two. Avoid unnecessary stress and conflict and try to seek out a healthier, better sober living environment, until you’re ready to confront your past – or move on entirely.


Sober Fun In Houston

Living Sober In Houston | Transcend Texas

Houston is a big city, with 180 years of history and heritage. As a metropolis, and the largest city in American South, it’s a melting pot of cultures and traditions with over 2 million inhabitants. As far as places to live go, being sober in Houston is great as it’s one of the most interesting cities in the United States, and there’s more to do here than most people would suspect.

Sure, there’s sports bars, a busy nightlife, and a slew of breweries and beer markets. Yet when going through recovery, many recovering addicts share the fear that they won’t know what to do with their free time without the temptations of addiction, especially alcohol. But you don’t need to drink to have a good time in Houston – and you don’t need to be anywhere near a drink to enjoy yourself, even at night, and party well into the next morning.

Learning to have fun while sober is one of the most important lessons during addiction. You can’t stay determined and committed to your sobriety if you don’t know how to enjoy yourself – and in a massive city like Houston, there are plenty of ways to have fun.


Head To The Theater

This can go both ways – you could take in a piece of classical stage play or experience a more modern twist in any one of Houston’s historic theaters. It’s an easy way to kill some time on an uneventful afternoon, and you might be surprised as Houston’s theater scene.

Head downtown to the theater district and take in the glamour and sophistication. Even if you’re not necessarily a patron of the arts, you might find a play you’ll really connect with.


Take In Real History

Houston is a city with a rich history, from Texan traditions to revolutionary milestones in space travel. Yet there’s much more history than that in Houston’s zoos and museums, scattered throughout the museum district. While being sober in Houston there are

If you’re up for a day of learning, wonder, and culture, there’s bound to be something that’ll catch your attention among the 300,000 sq.-ft. of museum space.

You don’t have to be big on trivia or science to enjoy wandering the halls of a museum. Houston’s museums offer an insight into ancient cultures, with textiles, paintings, artifacts and photographs giving you a glimpse into a world that no longer exists today, an enriching escape that will leave you amazed at human ingenuity and the many stories embedded in each installation.


Fill Your Evening With Laughter

They say laughter is the best medicine – and there’s more truth to that than you might think. Comedy can be a great path not only to a happier self and better state of mind, but it can help remind you of a form of joy you might not have had in a while as you pursue sobriety in Houston.

Many comedians have had their fair share of battles with addiction, and sober comedians are especially skilled at turning their own demons into opportunities for laughter, and a light-hearted insight into something deeper, and quite meaningful – a personal perspective on an incredibly painful subject.

Have a go at local comedy clubs, check out comedians on tour, or spend the night at home binge-watching your favorite comics on Netflix. No matter which way you get your laughs, comedy can be a great help in getting a new, positive perspective on your struggles and triumphs while sober in Houston.


Skip The Booze, Get Some Coffee

Coffee is traditionally a drink had during the day, but there’s nothing to stop you from visiting a coffee shop at night and enjoying a smooth cup of decaf to the sounds of mellow music, and the invigorating aroma of roasted beans.

Plenty of coffee shops throughout Houston offer an amazing nighttime ambience, making them the perfect locale for when you just want a place to retreat to, while still out in public, enjoying a book or just people-watching. Shops like Agora and Black Hole Coffee House come to mind, but there are many more. Enjoying time out in cafe’s is a great way to spend time sober in Houston.

No one says you must go out to get a cup of your favorite brew. But you might find that getting out of the house and ordering a cup at a café of your choice is about more than just taking in the coffee and the music. Then there’s the prospect of going to each and every one, just to see which suits your tastes best.


Enjoy The Outdoors While Sober In Houston

While Houston is a city, it also has some of the most beautiful parks of any urban center in America, with several nature centers, sanctuaries, a city arboretum, and countless trails and outdoor activities not far from the city outskirts. If you’re looking for a stroll through nature, you will have a hard time choosing.

Houston Audubon, for example, manages 17 sanctuaries throughout the Gulf Coast region, and concerns itself with the conservation of several local species of birds and other wildlife. If you want to take in the calm and zen of a forest without leaving town, there’s no better place to head to than the arboretum.

Just beyond the city, Houston offers a slew of outdoor activities, parks and trails. These can be good options for hose who are sober in Houston to spend some time appreciating nature and the outdoors.


Indulge Your Inner Foodie

Sobriety is all about not giving in to dangerous and harmful temptations and falling in love with sobriety instead – and one of the key factors to enjoying being sober in Houston is enjoying a good meal.

Houston, being one of the most populous cities in the country, is no stranger to good cooking in a variety of cuisines, and the city is outfitted with countless top-notch restaurants, bistros, bakeries, and chocolatiers. If it’s a good culinary experience you’re after, Houston has its fair share to offer.


Volunteer At An Animal Shelter

Perhaps one of the most fulfilling ways of spending your time in recovery is through helping others – especially those who can’t help themselves. Houston has several shelters that dedicate themselves to rescuing animals off the streets and getting them out of abusive homes, giving them the love and treatment, they deserve so they can get adopted into a caring home.

However, the process from A to B is complicated, and filled with challenges. Volunteers are much appreciated, and any help – from buying food, to sponsoring medical care, to helping with other tasks and reaching out to families for awareness – can go a long way.

Addiction is incredibly expensive, and time-consuming. Individuals can bring themselves to the brink of financial ruin and beyond in search of the next high. And as an addiction worsens, more and more time is spent thinking about or craving the drug. The idea of sobriety being boring couldn’t be further from the truth. Instead, what sobriety brings you is a healthier wallet, a healthier body, and a treasure trove of time better spent doing half a million other things.

Dedicating yourself to sobriety does not just mean you’re staying drug-free. People have this misconception that you’re sacrificing something to stay sober. Instead, being sober gives you the opportunity to truly live. It gives you the opportunity to seek out adventure, have new positive experiences, and make memories that you will actually remember the next day.

This list is just the tip of the iceberg. What awaits you living sober in Houston is not just a list of “sober things” to do in your city. It’s life, the way it’s meant to be lived, free from the chains of addiction and the unhealthy and destructive obsession your old habit forced on you. Embrace this new life, and everything it has to offer.

Benefits Of Living A Sober Lifestyle

Sober Lifestyle | Transcend Texas

Sometimes, the call to get sober comes from the outside. An accident, a loss or a wake-up call might compel you to see that the damage you’re doing is serious, and not just a matter of choice. But to many who take the first step towards realizing their addiction is a problem, the prospect of going sober – and staying sober – means the death of all that is fun. They see their new sober lifestyle as an amalgam of obligation and chastity – having to live just to stop hurting others, a punishment for their bad choices and mistakes.

This is extremely wrong. Sobriety is never a punishment. And neither is it something you should be doing strictly for others. When your addiction starts to grow into something terrible, and the consequences start to pile up, then it’s abundantly clear that you need to make a change. But that should be a change for yourself, for the better. And sobriety is that change. A sober lifestyle is neither boring nor painful, and in many ways it’s far more exciting, energizing and life-changing than addiction could ever be.

On its own, a sober lifestyle is nothing more than just you not taking drugs or alcohol. But delve deeper into what that affords you, and you’ll come to realize that there are countless benefits to living a sober lifestyle. Here are just a few that immediately come to mind.


Much More Time & Money

The first thing you might notice during a sober lifestyle is that you have a lot more time on your hands – and a lot more money. Addictions cost a tremendous amount of money and can often financially cripple entire households. The exact cost never really matters – people deep in an addiction will seek out whatever is available, from expensive high-quality prescription medication to the least reputable black tar on the streets.

When you’re leading a sober lifestyle, you can finally put that resourcefulness to the test in productive ways, seeking out work and finding ways to use your time to support yourself and your hobbies.


The Ability To Stay In Relationships

There is only room for one person in an addict’s life – themselves. Addiction is a disease that rewires your brain to be selfish – more than anything else, you are made to care about the next high. Breaking that mentality while using is nearly impossible and keeping up a believable façade becomes harder the longer you use. Eventually, it’s on your partner to choose to stay and support your recovery or leave to save themselves from emotional destruction.

One way or the other, there is no way relationships can last or be healthy if either or both people struggle with addiction. But with a sober lifestyle, you have the chance to try again – and be happier than any high in the world.


You Get To Look Much Better

Drug addiction not only causes your health to deteriorate through organ damage, but it can drastically alter and affect your physical appearance. This isn’t just a matter of hygiene – abusing drugs excessively will take years off your clock, worsen your complexion, and give you serious health issues that can change the way you look, from hypertension to diabetes and heart disease.

Drugs like methamphetamine are especially well-known for affecting your physical appearance, while many irreputable sources of heroin can be spiked with other more dangerous substances, damaging your immune system, and eliminating your appetite.

By abstaining from drugs, you will find your complexion return to normal, your health improves, you gain or lose weight, and find the time to care about your appearance much more, caring for your hair and skin and appearing healthy once again.


You Have More Energy With A Sober Lifestyle

Even though drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine can give you unnatural amounts of energy and motivation, these boosts are just temporary. Drug use over time will lead to a lack of proper rest, sometimes developing into full-blown insomnia. Beyond that, constant drug use wears your body down, decreasing your energy reserves, cutting into your appetite, and generally leaving your body frailer – even to the point of damaging your immune system and vital organs.

Some people develop lesions and suffer severe symptoms from common infections, while others become unhealthy through poor hygiene and malnutrition. Addiction can make us forget to take care of ourselves, and can disrupt our natural instincts towards restful sleep, good food and regular washing. This only becomes worse as the addiction progresses into cycles of withdrawal and relapse, where often, individuals develop co-dependent illnesses like anxiety and major depression.

You may not realize it, but even “casual” drug use cuts into your regular sleeping schedule and can rob you of a lot of energy. Going sober early will not only save you from a host of physical complications and months of serious rehab and recovery, but it will give you a boost of energy and make you realize just how lethargic you have been feeling.


A Consistent Scale

A lack of appetite or rapid weight gain are symptoms of certain drug use – for example, cocaine and prescription amphetamines, as well as methamphetamine and other stimulants will often cut into a person’s appetite, causing drastic weight loss and malnourishment. In fact, some dangerous crash diets go so far as to recommend illegal stimulants or “weight loss supplements” with stimulant ingredients as way to quickly and efficiently lose weight.

Alcoholism, on the other hand, can lead to several different health issues including rapid weight gain due to the excess of liquid calories being added to a person’s diet over the course of the day. Other drugs can also affect the body’s metabolism and appetite, causing your weight to spike or drop significantly.

By going clean, staying clean and nursing your sobriety, you gain a shot at a stable and healthy weight. Some turn from an addiction to drugs or alcohol to an addiction to food or develop eating disorders to cope with post-rehab stress. It is important to continue to address your stress after rehab and figure out better and healthier ways to cope with problems, rather than utilizing negative coping mechanisms and damaging your physical and emotional health in the process.

Beyond these benefits of a sober lifestyle, there are several others. For example: most cases of drug use and alcoholism lead to a steady decline in mental faculties, due to brain damage. Reversing this can take time, but you can improve your cognition in the long-term by staying sober. And of course, sobriety is about more than just enjoying better physical and mental health. It’s about your social health, as well. Through sobriety, you can have more fun than ever – it’s just a question of knowing where to look.

What Makes Sobriety Great?

What Sobriety Brings You | Transcend Texas

Sobriety is boring. Sobriety is hard. Sobriety isn’t worth it. These are just a few of the statements commonly made to ridicule people who have gone through the tremendous effort to resist all temptation and pledge a vow to sobriety – with or without addiction.

Yet sobriety is more than just the absence of addiction. Sobriety is the presence of clarity – it does not represent an absence of anything, past the technical definition of being sober and clean. Sobriety means seeing life in its true colors, and in broad daylight, with none of the tint or taint that alcohol or drugs bring to the table.

But that alone is not why sobriety is great. What makes sobriety great is what all that clarity affords you. It makes way for you to see and understand things you might never have seen or understood without being sober.


A Clear Mind In Sobriety

The first and clearest benefit to sobriety is that you get a clear head. Some people seem to erroneously think that clarity is a bad thing. It is neither good nor bad, inherently – instead, it’s true. It gives you the chance to see things for what they are and make an informed decision – to see through to the bones of your own situation, and take the steps to change it, rather than ignoring your problems, or burying them under distractions.

More bluntly, addiction gives you the state of mind you need to truly explore yourself. Consider your thoughts and actions. Find a way to make peace with yourself. Think back to the mistakes you’ve made, and find ways to reflect on them, and be mindful of your actions in the future. To have a clear mind is a great strength – but it’s not an immediate change. It takes time – even after you’re sober, you’ll be emotionally clouded, struggling with old buried feelings and powerful emotions like anger and shame.

Facing that is difficult, and it is why many people relapse. Overcoming the internal conflict while coping with the outside world can be too much stress for one person, which is why continuing treatment after rehab in places like a sober living facility can help many who still struggle emotionally after going sober.


Time For Other Passions

Addiction robs us of so much time. For one, many addictions can damage a person’s health, shaving years off their life-expectancy and dramatically raising the risk for major heart issues, strokes and more. Yet it also takes time in a more direct and literal sense – it takes time to think about drugs, get drugs, get high, recover, and repeat the cycle. You lose time, and as an addiction progresses, more and more of your time is lost. Time you used to spend attending to your studies or working or pursuing your hobbies gradually goes towards getting high or figuring out how to get high.

Sobriety gives you the chance to take all that wasted time and make a change – using it for the better. It gives you time to get back to work, to make new friendships, and to pursue new passions.


Real Relationships

Much like time, relationships are important to people. Although we can survive alone for a time, we don’t do very well in isolation and struggle immensely with loneliness, even if only emotionally. Addiction and drug use in general might gain you superficial friendships, but it is hard to trust an addict, even as a fellow addict, because the addiction is steering the person, not them.

Sobriety gives you a shot at real friendship, opening up a whole world of communication and honesty, allowing you to create a new tight social circle to hang around with, while restoring old relationships, friendships, and family ties.

Through sobriety, you have the chance to connect with people and be a person again – someone who can be there for others and be a contributing part of a community.


Dependability And Honesty

Being honest and dependable is not a guarantee – it is something you have to work for, and for some people, it is much harder than others. On one hand, it’s quite simple. Do as you say you will do, and be honest about your feelings, intentions, and actions. But it takes strong character to stand by one’s words.

Character, however, isn’t an inborn trait. It’s trained – and overcoming an addiction shows incredible character. By staying true to your sobriety and your promise to abstinence, you can prove yourself to be dependable and honest – as long as you work through your programs and get help when you feel you need it.

There is no such thing as a smooth path to recovery – every journey after addiction is one paved with a very bumpy road, and you will need all the help you can get if you want to stick to that road.


Financial Stability

Being addicted to drugs costs an immense amount of money. Some people spend far more than others, but the general rule is that no matter what your income is, you will spend a significant percentage of it on getting high as the addiction progresses.

The simple fact that an addiction will constantly push itself to grow larger and larger means that no matter how financially stable you are, drug abuse can be catastrophic for your future – and it too often is.

Sobriety eliminates this issue by saving you a theoretical fortune.  It is not necessarily easy to find work after addiction, but plenty of programs exist to help sober people find steadily paying work. After treatment, every moment spent not looking for or buying drugs is not just money saved, but time saved – and that time can be put towards making more money.


Actual Happiness

Sobriety does not guarantee happiness – there is no such thing as guaranteed happiness. Happiness is a state of mind – but it cannot really be achieved just chemically. Where a high will give you temporary happiness and leave you feeling worse than before, true happiness can be a memory that will bring you comfort for the rest of your life.

It’s times when you live in the moment and realize how blissful you feel and know that it’s one of those moments you can always hold onto and recall when you need it the most.

Without sobriety, those moments are gone forever. But by staying sober, you’re saying yes not just to uncertainty, but to moments of true happiness. You’re saying yes to life how it really is, with all its beauty and its problems. And that is the true greatness behind staying sober.


It’s Time to Get Serious About Staying Sober

Serious About Staying Sober | Transcend Texas

The biggest advantage you have in the fight against addiction is in the power of your own will to get better. In the early days, it’s normal to feel almost powerless. The cravings and the temptations will be stronger than ever right after you stop using, and that is why many people seek help with staying sober when starting out.

But as time goes on, once the drug is out of your system and early recovery has begun, your will becomes more instrumental than ever. You must to keep staying sober – everything else comes second.

Of course, your will alone is not enough. Any temptation or memory of the past can trigger a powerful craving, one that can be incredibly hard to resist. Whenever things are not going your way – and as life goes, that can be quite often – the urge to use grows stronger, to forget your troubles and defeat the stress. Some days are worse than others, and at times, it feels like life is taunting you.

But the longer you stay clean, the rarer the bad days get, and the more you feel happy about yourself and your life. To get to that tipping point, however, you may need every ounce of help you can get your hands on. Thankfully, there are more than enough resources out there to get you started and keep you on the right path. Here are a few essentials for getting serious about staying sober.

Find A Hobby While Staying Sober

A big part of successful addiction treatment is finding the ability to enjoy yourself without drugs. Life is meant to be lived, but addiction often robs us of the joy of living. It will not come back easily, but finding a hobby that draws you in can be a great first step in staying sober. For many, it is something related to exercise.

Getting active causes your body to release endorphins, allowing you to feel good without any external substance. What is often referred to as the “runner’s high” is not exclusive to running and applies to a wide variety of sports and activities.

Other sports and hobbies that do not necessarily involve physical prowess can also be a great introduction into sober living. Take chess and reading, for example, or painting. Regardless of your talent, activities like painting and writing allow you to express yourself and your emotions in ways you might not be able to in conversation or everyday living.

Journaling is a common way to relieve stress and tension at the end of the day, and reflect on the day, thus improving mindfulness – an important factor in addiction treatment. It also allows you to hone your focus and keep your cognition sharp – these are both important, because long-term drug use often diminishes your ability to think critically and be focused while staying sober.

Another important part of picking out a hobby is to be social again. Making new friends related either to your sobriety or to a hobby you really enjoy is an important part of staying sober. By building connections and creating casual relationships, we begin to build a life that allows us to be accountable to others as a friend or acquaintance and gives us time to look forward to outside of time spent alone, in the company of your own thoughts and temptations.

That, and the people around you can become major cornerstones in your long-term battle against addiction, by providing vital support while you are staying sober.


Surround Yourself With Support

Addiction is not a disease best fought alone – in fact, it may be impossible to fight addiction alone. People who get sober without treatment do so more often out of their connection with others, rather than their own will. This because addiction often erodes people’s self-esteem and causes you to be more likely to feel shame or fear, rather than be motivated by your odds of success.

But when we see sobriety not only as something that can benefit us, but as a way to fulfill our obligations to others and be someone we can feel good about, it becomes much more powerful.

That is the power behind accountability. By surrounding ourselves with people who care about us, we can be accountable to them in the fight against addiction.

Support is more than just that, of course. By making new friends in circles of sobriety, such as group meetings and sober living communities, you can help motivate others to work on staying sober and be motivated by them and their struggles. Creating a network and relying on a trustworthy social circle can greatly improve your motivation to keep on fighting, day after day.


Get With The Program

Addiction programs exist of reason: many of them work. We have come a long way since the early days of addiction treatment – from medication to help combat some of the most addictive and powerful drugs in the world, to therapeutic treatments that help patients completely change the way they think and act with hard work and dedication, to treatment programs that cater themselves entirely to a client’s circumstances and needs.

If you can afford to take time away from work, or need to be in a safe, temptation-less environment, then facilities such as residential treatment clinics and sober living communities can make a huge impact and set you on your way towards long-term sobriety. For those who cannot afford such a commitment, outpatient programs of all shapes and sizes exist to fit to your schedule.


Get Professional Help

Friends and family are integral to better overall health – having a solid support system and a trustworthy social circle in your life is important regardless of your mental health. But when it comes to addiction, it probably is not enough to only look towards your friends and family. While they are important and will be a cornerstone for your continued sobriety long after initial treatment, a professional therapist, and other experts with an assortment of skills and tools can help you tailor a very specific and highly effective treatment to combat your addiction and equip you with the skills you need to continue fighting addiction long after any program typically ends.

Addiction is not defeated in rehab – but rehab, or other related treatment options such as sober living, can teach you more about yourself and your relationship with drugs. That knowledge will be instrumental to avoiding relapses, dealing with difficult and tense situations, surviving the fallout from broken relationships or other losses and tragedies, and generally learning how to enjoy life after addiction, and continue to avoid falling back into it.

Things To Do While Sober In Houston

Sober In Houston | Transcend Texas

Houston is a beautiful city, with a rich heritage and grand historic significance for the country. That being said, you shouldn’t just take anyone’s word for it – instead, take the opportunity to judge the city for yourself as someone who has taken a pledge to themselves to go sober in Houston, and stick to it.

Sobriety doesn’t have to be dull, boring or predictable – it can be spontaneous, exciting, and the pathway to many new adventures and countless unforgettable memories while sober in Houston.

When drugs become a factor in someone’s life, they might often struggle to see how things could be more enjoyable while stone-cold sober. But the truth is that when you’re on drugs, life is completely fogged.

While that helps some people escape the more painful and tragic realities of their life, it also forces them to miss out on the truly beautiful and meaningful moments.


What To Do While Sober In Houston

Here are just a couple things you could do while sober in Houston:


Explore Buffalo Bayou

An absolutely beautiful stretch of land, the Buffalo Bayou has undergone redevelopment costing several million dollars in order to preserve and uphold its natural beauty. The Buffalo Bayou Park is an especially tranquil place to spend the day while sober in Houston, with natural landscaping, footpaths and more.


Take a Martial Arts Class

Martial arts are more than just a great way to learn about self-defense – they can help you feel more calm and confident in your everyday life, and provide you with a proactive mindset to tackle life’s challenges without timidity or hesitation. From striking arts like boxing and krav maga, to more visceral grappling arts like Judo and jiu-jitsu, and less violent arts dedicated more to personal health like tai chi and qi gong, there’s a little bit of everything and something for everyone to discover, both about other cultures and themselves.


Check Out the Houston Waterworks

The Houston underground cistern was built in 1927, and provided decades of fresh drinking water, acting as the city’s first water reservoir for years until a leak rendered it unusable. Since then, the cistern has been developed into an 87,500-sq.-ft. historic space for Houstonites and tourists alike to visit and marvel at. It is currently only accessible within certain limits, but will become a temporary art installation.


Learn How to Cook

Cooking is more than just an essential life skill, or a way to avoid going hungry – it can be an artform, and a great way to pass the time while sober in Houston and delve into new cultures through fresh ingredients and foreign tastes. Explore the world on your dinner plate, or simply experiment with certain recipes and ideas to create your own spin and flair – the world of cooking gives you plenty of room to get creative, and is its own reward.


Spend the Day at the Project Row Houses

A community-based arts project based in Houston’s Third Ward, the Project Row Houses are the physical embodiment of local African-American art. Composed of a group of shotgun houses, restored in 1993, these houses serve as an art gallery. Perusing through them can be a great way to experience a piece of local culture while sober in Houston.


Take a Ferry to Crystal Beach

Stretching across a full 7 miles of the Bolivar peninsula, taking a ferry from Houston and spending the day at Crystal Beach isn’t just a fun outing in the summers, but presents a great opportunity to watch some wild dolphins if you keep your eyes open during the ferry rides. While not technically in Houston, the ferry ride out of town is your best bet to watch these friendly sea mammals.


Admire Kingspoint Mullet

More than just a mall slowly breaking apart off the side of the freeway, The Mullet is a massive collection of amazing graffiti art spray painted all over the old Almeda Mall. This place is a space for various famous local artists and muralists. While not officially sanctioned, The Mullet is doubtlessly proof of Houston’s artistic genius, something the city has in abundance.


Play Catch on an Open Field

Aside from going around town exploring its many places of tranquility, art and reflection, you can take the time for some much-needed emotional and physical therapy by engaging in the extremely satisfying game of catch while sober in Houston.


Explore Your Spirituality at Rothko Chapel

Based on the works of influential painter Mark Rothko, the Rothko Chapel is a non-denominational chapel meant to help anyone of any belief or tradition come to a place where they can pray or meditate, contemplate, and reflect. These are all incredibly important for addiction treatment – in order to truly overcome addiction, you have to be able to face what you might have done in the past, and forgive yourself.


Hit Up the Public Library

Public libraries are more than just a place for reading – that’s what you have a couch at home for. Instead, you could pop by the library and see what kind of community events they have going on, or get involved in one of the many possible community engagements the library organizes to help the city, and provide resources for educating kids.


Visit the Art Car Museum

A must-see for anyone with even a modicum of interest in all things car and vintage, the Houston Art Car Museum is the perfect installation to take a trip through the history books of the American automobile. From old builds to car-based art installations, the Art Car Museum is an amazing place to head to in search of new ideas, or just for fun.

Ultimately, the idea behind finding new things to do while sober in Houston and undergoing addiction treatment isn’t to distract yourself from the temptation of addiction, but to rediscover a new way to live life and enjoy it, as well as building new hobbies and finding new personal triumphs along the way. Hobbies – especially the constructive kind – can bring a lot of good by acting as coping mechanisms for many of life’s hardships.

This list is comparatively tiny to the sheer volume of activities and bustling opportunities in Houston. One long tour through the city is never the same as the last, and you’ll always find something new – a new place to discover, a new thing to do, a new sight to see, a new sound to hear.

AS long as you keep your eyes, ears, and mind open, you’ll find that live can be exciting, fun and fulfilling without a single drop of alcohol, or any other substance.


Benefits Of Sobriety

Benefits of Sobriety | Transcend Texas

The benefits of sobriety include many instantaneously obvious perks, the biggest being that you’re guaranteed survive your addiction days.

But beyond the fact that you get to live past an early age and stay sane enough to experience life around you as it occurs, there are many benefits of sobriety – many of which become apparent quite early on in recovery, and some of which become major perks down the line, decades after.

It goes without saying that staying sober is very difficult, especially at first. But it’s absolutely worth every bit of emotional energy and stress. Here are a few of the benefits of sobriety:


Better Health

Drug addiction causes different health problems largely depending on the drugs you took. For example, alcohol is notorious for causing liver damage – but excessive alcohol intake can also lead to obesity-related illnesses, as well as kidney damage, and even brain damage.

Excessive stimulants, such as amphetamines and cocaine, can cause serious heart strain and increase your chance of a stroke, as well as reducing appetite and often leading to unhealthy weight loss and nutrient deficiency.

Right off the bat, the first thing you can count on when going sober is that you’re going to be healthier. Every drug comes with side effects, but their addictive nature means that over time, substance abuse is likely to leave some long and lasting scars both physically and mentally.

While some cases of abuse are so severe that permanent damage is inevitable, a healthy lifestyle after years of abuse can still give you an excellent quality of life and improve both your mental and physical health. However, reversing the effects of drug use to reap the benefits of sobriety may take months, or years, and a disciplined healthy lifestyle.


Better Looks

Even though many manage to hide it during initial stages of abuse, excessive substance use does often leads to excessive weight gain (through alcohol) or weight loss (through stimulants). In both cases, the appetite-suppression or junk calories of drug consumption leads to the development of terrible eating habits, and deficiencies.

In addition to often leading people to neglect their nutrition, prolonged substance abuse may lead to other illnesses, a weakened and assaulted neuroimmune system, poor skin health (either due to the drugs themselves, poor nutrition, bad hygiene or self-harm), and a very messy or unattractive appearance due to memory loss, frequent blackouts and more.

More Time

Being addicted takes time. It takes time to find and procure drugs, it takes time to get high, and it takes an especially long time to recover from a high. Moreover, the time lost in blackouts or in emergency rooms further lends credence to the argument that one of the benefits of sobriety and giving up drugs can save you an enormous amount of time. Sobriety isn’t just about skipping out on a high, but also about avoiding the risks and side effects of long-term excessive drug abuse.

It’s not just that you lose time through addiction – you also lose the time spent forging friendships and working your way up the ladder in your own personal career. Many people go through recovery having a long road ahead of them when it comes to making up for their past mistakes – and making up for that lost time is impossible without that first crucial step towards lasting recovery.


More Money

Addiction is costly. One reason why it often ruins people financially is because there is a drug for every class and economic status. The more money someone has, the more they can afford expensive designer drugs – and as a person’s financial status changes, they will find another, much more affordable (and potentially more dangerous) way to get high.

Extreme examples include using mouthwash or other cheap toiletries as substitutes for alcohol, or even worse, synthesizing drugs at home and risking injury or death in the process.

Even just skipping the booze can massively change the way you spend your money, and in up to 7 percent of men, it could save you over $100 a week. For people with serious addiction issues, and a multitude of different substances, the benefits of sobriety could completely change their finances and even help them get their leg up on life again.


Stronger Relationships

Addiction tears through romantic relationships like a knife through butter – it’s incredibly difficult to deal with being in a relationship with an addict, and it is equally difficult to nurture a relationship with someone while you struggle with addiction.

In the short-term, the solution is to put the relationship on ice, or use it to empower yourself and your journey through recovery. Being in a committed relationship with another human being is more than having a roommate or a good friend. Loyalty and admiration for one another can be considered the tentpoles of a successful relationship – and when you’re struggling with addiction, compromising and making selfless choices can be incredibly hard. You’re compelled, more than ever before, to indulge and give in to personal temptations – and in turn, you’re often bound to hurt the people you love the most before things get better.

But by earnestly quitting and going sober, you have a shot at reviving or strengthening these bonds, and bringing the relationship back stronger than ever before.


Stronger Friendships

Much like romantic relationships, friendships can be torn apart by addiction. While your friends aren’t as intimately close to you as two people in a committed relationship would be, the bond between friends still means that addiction can cut a swathe through more than just your own life, and leave those you care about hurt by your actions.

Mending those relationships, and creating stronger friendships is one of the benefits of sobriety and the recovery process. Not only that – often, sobriety gives you the opportunity to make brand new friends as well, and meet all sorts of interesting people.


The Opportunity to Live Life

Ultimately, you’ll never live life again if you choose to reject sobriety. Being high is no way to spend life. You miss out on everything that makes life great – your mind clouds over, your senses go dull, and you gradually lose the ability to remember things. That is, in more ways than one, death rather than life.

But by going sober, you regain the ability to see life as it is, and live it. That can come with pain and sadness, and with the burden of seeing life through a clear mind, but it also comes with joy, happiness, and the potential to feel the love and admiration of your closest friends and family for years to come.


Making A Resolution To Kick Addiction

Resolution To Kick Addiction | Transcend Texas

While we’re still in the holiday season, the new year is drawing near – and to many, this is a reason to celebrate a meaningful ending to the year. With a new year come new opportunities, new possibilities, and a fresh start to something possibly much better after you kick addiction.

Of course, with these hopes come expectations, and with them, the distant yet noticeable anxiety of failure. Failure to be successful – especially at something life-changing – is a profound fear for many when stepping into the new year, and it’s an attitude like this that hinders progress and contributes to missteps.

Avoiding these feelings isn’t as easy as simply identifying them – you need to make peace with them, and find a way to breathe both optimism and a better chance into your new year – and carry that all way to next December, and far beyond.

It won’t be easy, but if approached the right way, you can take this New Year’s Day to be the occasion you need to finally kick addiction for good, and turn your back to an old chapter in your life, one full of learning experiences and painful moments.


Why Make A New Year’s Resolution To Kick Addiction?

People make new year’s resolutions for the simple reason that a new year is a clear-cut end and beginning – a fold in a person’s life, the time when it’s easiest to leg go of something old and dedicate yourself to something new.

It’s not just about looking forward to a new future, though. The New Year’s celebration is about the past, the present, and the future. All moments in time are considered when the new year draws close, and each for vastly distinct reasons.

First, the past. The end of a year is a time for reflection, when we can look back and think on what we did and what we didn’t do, and consider carefully what should be done going forward. It’s important to look to the past for guidance – but not to regret, or daydream of different circumstances and outcomes. What has happened, has happened – but you can change the outcomes you dislike by taking the initiative in the future.

It’s at this point that the new year offers us an opportunity to think about what we should do, and how we might do it. It’s a time for new plans, for new commitments and for new resolutions. A time when we can set ourselves up to the task of becoming better and kick addiction.

But to do so, we must time it just right. And that’s why we focus so much on the present during the new year, counting every second, living and breathing in that moment, savoring the countdown to a new year, and the beginning of a journey to a new you.


Don’t Announce It To Everyone

Announcing your goals to everyone can rob you of the satisfaction of having completed them. While it’s not nearly the same thing in any reasonable sense, it feels similar – to gain the approval of having decided to start bettering yourself, and then receiving recognition and support for that decision, can rob you of the feeling of achievement you would gain if you first worked a substantial amount towards achieving your goal to kick addiction before coming out with it.

When your goal is to kick addiction, you might not want to announce it anyways. However, that does not mean you should simply keep it a secret. Make it known to your family and close friends that you’re going to kick addiction, and that you will need their support – this means not taking drugs/drinking around you, and it’ll mean helping you stay away from a potential relapse.

If you’re supplementing your recovery with other goals – fitness goals, for example, can be extremely conducive to recovery, and can promote a great general feeling of happiness, self-appreciation and confidence – then try and work your way to creating a solid habit before you tell others about what you have been doing. The same goes for learning new languages, or playing an instrument. The rewarding feeling of recognition for a modicum of skill will help you keep going – while revealing the goal too early will rob you.


Create Short-Term Goals

A recovery journey lasts decades, and takes you to emotional places you may never have been before. Therefore, people often congratulate themselves with commemorative objects or events, to help them stay positive and reward them for, say, an extra month without booze or alcohol.

Create short-term goals for yourself that are like this, like giving up smoking or drinking for a month, or dealing with a conflict without resorting to a drug, or even finding an alternative way to work off stress.

Again, the same applies for any other commitments you may have made to improve your life this upcoming new year – by setting smaller goals for yourself, the overall goal will not seem so tremendously far away, and you’ll be able to reward yourself with a feeling of satisfaction every time you draw a little closer to your bigger, more challenging goal posts.


Be Prepared For A Long Journey Ahead

While a new year’s resolution is often a commitment to make a substantial change, some people take the opportunity to challenge themselves to do something different this year – be it learn an instrument, a new language, or a new craft.

But recovery is more than a habit you pick up for a few months, or a few years. It’ll be something you take with you for the rest of your life – and, if everything goes well, it’ll be a journey you can look back on with serene content, knowing you did enough in life to feel like you have truly lived.

With drugs and addiction, that feeling is unattainable. Drugs are the anti-thesis to life – not only do they kill in some of the most savage ways, but they also steal you away from reality, and put you in a fake world, filling you to the brim with fake feelings, leaving you defenseless for the crash of real emotion as it hits you during sobriety.

Dealing with those waves, learning to ride them, and savoring every significant moment by being fully aware of it and how real it is – that is life. And if you don’t get sober soon, that life can pass you by very quickly.


Top 6 Reasons to Go Sober This Holiday Season

Go Sober for The Holidays | Transcend Texas

Regardless of how you’re spending your holiday season, it can generally be agreed upon that there’s something special to this time of year. Traditions are, in some aspect, important to us – and if it’s a particularly positive and festive tradition, then it’s important that we carry it on, and use it to enrich the childhoods of our children, and take the time to think back on the rest of the year. But there’s more to the holiday season than traditions – this is a time to look back on the year and reflect. Getting yourself to go sober is much the same – you face the decisions of the past, and strive to make a major change. And just as the new year is an opportunity for new commitments, sobriety is the opportunity to live life again, without the brain fog of addiction.

Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa; regardless of what celebration you’re preparing for, now is the right time to stick to your sobriety and see it through, all the way into spring and through the rest of the new year.

Why? Well, we put together a brief list of six simple and inarguable reasons why you should go sober for this holiday season.


There’s Holiday Cheer To Be Had

The holidays are a time for family to come together, have a wonderful time and a delicious meal, bond over old memories, or make new ones. With families often being split apart across the country due to generations moving from the countryside to the city, and from city to city, the holidays are a good opportunity to get together and be one big family – or, simply spend the days with your favorite few people.

For kids, the holidays are often about candy and presents. Every kid hopes for something in their stocking or under the Christmas tree. But that doesn’t mean the spirit of the holidays is in shiny red boxes and pretty department store ribbons. It’s about being with others.

You can’t enjoy your time with others when you’re still caught up in addiction. Not only because it’s hard to be around someone who isn’t getting clean, but because without a clear head and sober thinking, you’re bound to miss the holidays – and everything that comes with them.


Make Sobriety Your Present to Yourself

Making yourself go sober doesn’t have to be a chore. It’s not a punishment for sin. It’s not meant to make you feel shame or guilt for your past choices.

It’s hard to see it as anything other than miserable when the withdrawal kicks in, but sobriety is life. Living without drugs or alcohol opens your eyes to what life can really be, and lets you experience those moments that make living worth it. Being with family and spending time with the people you love is a crucial part of the holiday season – thus, there’s no better time to get help and commit to sobriety, than right now.


Create a Pledge For The New Year

With the holidays comes the inevitable conclusion to another year – and the beginning of the next. And with every New Year’s Day come countless new commitments to self-improvement.

However, many people don’t follow through with these commitments. Whether it’s the pressure, the gratification of announcing your goal, or just an inability to make new habits stick for a wide variety of several possible reasons and circumstances, the truth is that it’s not easy to make a substantial change in life – and sobriety is no different.

But the hardest part of getting yourself to go sober in the long-term is being sober for long enough that it begins to stick. This initial period of sobriety can be even harsher than the rest of the journey. Using the motivation of the new year to get a kickstart into your sober journey can help mitigate this.


You’ll Have Money To Spend (Elsewhere)

People sometimes underestimate just how much addiction costs. We’re not talking about the cost of treatment or insurance, or the cost of losing a shot to a better career – buying and using drugs, including cigarettes and alcohol, will put a major dent into anyone’s weekly budget and can lead people into a downward spiral of financial difficulty and debt.

But by saving all that money spent on addiction, you can instead use it to get better or get yourself something nice for Christmas.

It’s not just a thing for the holidays, either. You’ll experience steady savings throughout the entirety of your sobriety – which, ideally, will be the rest of your life. That money can instead go towards actual self-improvement, coping mechanisms, and better sources of entertainment.


You’ll Actually Remember Christmas Eve On Christmas Morning

Blacking out from drug use isn’t entirely uncommon – and with alcohol, it’s even normal to forget what you were doing the night or day before. If you’re struggling with alcoholism and have been struggling with it for a few years, then you’ll know that Christmas is one of those days when you’re bound to get very drunk.

But if you go sober, then you’ll turn a clouded and unknown night into a memorable part of your holiday season – one you’ll remember for a while to come, even.

Of course, just because you can remember something doesn’t make it good. The key to go sober and stay that way, not just in the long-term, but throughout the holidays, is by spending time with people you like. If your family is what drove you to use drugs to escape them, then make your own family. Spend the holidays with friends.

Don’t let your addiction ruin the holidays – and reclaim them from the bad memories (or lack thereof) you might have had in the past.


The Holidays Will Become Something Good Again After You Go Sober

When you’re struggling with addiction, you need good things in life. They help remind you why you should go sober, and why life is worth living with a clear mind and an open perspective.

Starting your sober journey over the holidays gives you a head start on the new year – treat this as an adventure to be had, an odyssey that’ll take you years and even decades.

Sobriety doesn’t end, and in a way, neither does recovery. That doesn’t mean the struggle never ends. In time, things get easier – and you’ll learn to wonder and love and live life again.