As the hands of Father Time strike increasingly quicker, it’s vital to take a step back with our perception of trivial matters in life. Our perception is controlled by the frame of mind we set ourselves in. How we actually discern reality is really just a simple reflection of ourselves. Because of this, two people can be looking at or discussing the exact same thing, but each one finding different meaning behind their view/conversation. If everything could be anything else, it’d still all be the same through our eyes.
This is because everything we react to is merely from stimulated emotion or logic; neither of which we can possibly share precisely with somebody else. They may share our same sentiments, but never our feelings quite exactly. Our feelings are our feelings. This is what gives power to human connection; the art of trying to understand one another. This art form is the basis for recovery from alcoholism. Understanding one another physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and fundamentally is the rudiments of any mutual affection between multiple persons. This affection is what helped to establish Alcoholics Anonymous in 1935.
These are principles to be consumed as soul food no matter what stage of recovery we find ourselves in. Whether you’re still new to the whole sobriety thing, or you’ve been around for quite some time, we all have so much to learn from one another. So much to give one another. Reasons like this are why treatment center’s alumni programs even exist. Whether you’re a newcomer or an oldtimer, we all have much to benefit from one another if we open ourselves up to that chance.
A common thing overlooked with the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous is that only the first step has anything to do with drugs/alcohol. Literally the other 11 steps are about bettering ourselves in the process of working with others. So what better means to work with others than attending your treatment center’s alumni program?
Attending an alumni program for your treatment center is what fellowshipping is built around. Far too many need guidance from somebody who has actually made it to the light at the end of the tunnel. Think of the alumni program almost like an extension of sponsoring individuals in Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous. Just like sponsoring, it’s important to remember for those who are alumni that they have done something that others still are unsure they can do. Showing up at an alumni program event as a respected and well known recovering addict/alcoholic can mean the world to the newcomer. It can shine rays of hope for those that are still feeling hopeless.
The Alumnus Solution
Alumni programs are in place so that addicts/alcoholics can continue to relate to each other with the prior connection of having been through the same groups or processes at the same establishment. This process of alumnus helps to ensure that former clients stay connected to their previous peers in said facility. It can make a huge difference for the new person coming in, feeling out of place and struggling to connect to an authority or therapeutic figure.
Coming into treatment can be an overwhelming new process for many, so to have somebody who resembles being on a similar level but maybe just a few steps ahead really helps. It’s much different than meeting another fellow addict or alcoholic at a meeting. A few other ways getting involved with your treatment center’s alumni program could help might consist of:
- Keeping a Healthy Form of Accountability
- Developing New Connections
- Maintaining a Sense of Community
- Taking Advantage of Workshops That May Be Offered
- Relapse Prevention
All About Giving Back
As mentioned, one of the best reasons an alumni program may help is from the accountability it adds to your life. Having that former pupil meeting is something to add to the books in the new routine we create to stay busy. When we enter sobriety, we try to eliminate the unpredictability/impulsiveness that we were so used to governing our lives.
Recovery becomes about bettering ourselves and creating blueprints that can be followed instead of playing every day by ear. We make this the top priority in our lives because it teaches us wisdom and maturity through the responsibility of having others rely upon us. The man with 1 day clean looks up to the man with 2 days clean in hopes that he brings wisdom to the table. There is always somebody with less time than yourself looking for inspiration.
Not to mention that generally events at alumni programs are made to be fun and helpful at the same time to encourage graduates to come back. Go to your treatment center with an open mind ready to have a laugh or two. Often times there are food, games, and/or a meeting of some sort involved. At least try. It could be life changing, or your advice might change lives. You never know until you give it a shot.