This month, we’re putting the spotlight on our Musicians in Recovery affinity group at Communities for Recovery! We spoke with two of our CforR Peer Recovery Coaches, Javi and Phil, about the group and the importance music plays in recovery.
- Can you tell me more about the Musicians in Recovery group at CforR?
Javi: Musicians in Recovery operates very organically. We get to know each other in the beginning of the meeting and transition to jamming out. In-between songs we might talk about recovery, we might talk about what we did over the weekend, or we share resources that have helped us through our journey.
“We want anyone that has any interest in music, and who is trying to recover from substance use or mental health disorders, to feel comfortable.”
- How can music help someone along their recovery/wellness journey?
Javi: Music is a great way to release stress. If you play any instrument you can get lost in the chords/tabs you are trying to learn. If you don’t play any instrument, you are still welcome to come and enjoy the music. We want anyone that has any interest in music, and who is trying to recover from substance use or mental health disorders, to feel comfortable.
- What other opportunities are there for musicians in recovery looking for affinity groups in Austin?
“As we grow in our recovery, we learn how to share our feelings much like we have shared our favorite songs with friends our entire life.”
- How has music helped you on your own personal journey?
Javi: I have so much respect for all musicians because of the patience and open mindedness that allows them to produce amazing music. Trying to learn how to play guitar sober has allowed me to work on my patience with the process. I can focus on the chords much better than when I was using. I’ve added playing the guitar to my wellness part of my recovery. I know there is always room for growth in both my recovery and learning to play the guitar.
Phil: Music can be and is often inspiring: Music is inspiring to change, inspiring to growth, and inspiring to who we become. Music is the soundtrack for many of our memories, as well as the soundtrack to our future. A song is the expression of ideas and beliefs in the form of melodies. Sometimes in my life I cannot find the words to say, but I can find the melody to express myself and my emotions, because sometimes feelings are more than words. As we grow in our recovery, we learn how to share our feelings much like we have shared our favorite songs with friends our entire life. It’s a familiar safe place to get to know one another once again.
- What is your favorite thing about playing music at CforR?
Javi: I love that I’ve met so many great musicians from the music capital of the world. The feedback that I’ve gotten has been wonderful as well. As a person that suffers from anxiety, it has helped me to get over the fear of playing in front of others.
- What is the biggest benefit of having affinity groups at CforR?
Javi: Our biggest benefit is that as Communities for Recovery grows to be the recovery hub of Austin, we continue to listen to our community, and continue to expand these groups for our peers.