Every person benefits from feeling understood. When we connect with people on this level, it gives us a greater feeling of happiness and life satisfaction. As you navigate various aspects of recovery, few communities are as supportive as a sober network. So keeping in touch with your rehab center alumni is just one more way to reinforce positive life choices.
7 Benefits of Having Rehab Alumni Connections
The quality time spent focusing on your health is both challenging and exhilarating, and this is especially true when you’re in residential addiction treatment or extensive outpatient care. While you won’t form a connection with everyone you meet during your stay, there are more than a few people with whom you’ll form unique bonds—often quite unlike those shared with family and other friends.
Like you, individuals who choose to walk the path of recovery perceive life from a different perspective and place a higher value on what they’ve learned and how much they’ve overcome. While you might not all be kindred spirits, you certainly speak a language that few other people understand.
Here are 7 benefits of rehab alumni programs:
- You’ll Handle Stress Better
Healthy ways to cope with stress in recovery might not be the same for you as someone else, but staying open to new methods is always a plus.More importantly, members of your rehab group are good resources to share in life’s joys and challenges. In fact, you might be surprised by how supportive and encouraging these friends can be years later, and how they’re able to remind you of your sobriety goals so it’s easier to stay on track.
- You’ll Know You’re Not Alone
Your treatment program taught you many techniques to navigate sobriety, and they have a lot of value. But rehab is only the beginning of your journey. An alumni support system extends beyond the walls of the care center and into real life, giving you essential guidance whenever you need it. Many whole-person care facilities offer special apps, social media groups, and other forms of continuing care so whenever you need to reach out, someone is waiting to help.
- You’ll Stay on Track
When post-rehab life takes off, it’s all too easy to return to previous routines, familiar environments, and previous relationships that might not be aligned with how you feel now and where you want to go in life. However, a facility’s alumni director and every prior graduate of its treatment program understand what you need and can help you stay on track to achieve your sobriety goals.
- You Can Explore New Interests with Each Other
Use your alumni associations as a base to broaden your horizons. Your sober friends are just as eager to grasp life with both hands as you are. It’s not uncommon for rehab alumni groups to engage in recreational activities, attend special events, and even travel together.
- You Can Join Together to Give Back
There’s tremendous value in assisting others in need or working toward a common goal. Volunteering provides many tangible benefits for you, too, such as helping to define your values, become more engaged with your community, be part of a cause larger than yourself, and demonstrate how much you have to offer. Giving back with others of like minds also creates stronger connections and lasting memories of a job well done.
- You’ll Have More Opportunities to Express Gratitude
Conversations with rehab alumni are often life-changing, especially when someone has the ability to recognize the people who’ve nurtured their sobriety. Maybe you’ve reached a point where you want to express gratitude by being one of these people for someone new to recovery, or continue to encourage those individuals from your stay in rehab, or simply say “Thank you” to that one person who sat on a bench and listened while you processed everything you learned in treatment.
- You’ll Gain A Sense of Belonging
Without a doubt, having a sponsor in Alcoholics Anonymous or another 12-Step or mutual aid support program is an incredible asset, especially in the early stages of recovery. There’s also value in staying connected with people with whom you shared experiences of detoxification, treatment, and group therapy meetings.
With your facility’s alumni, that history fosters a sense of belonging. Yes, there were times when you all weren’t at your best, but at many other times you were becoming better, stronger, and more of your authentic selves together, and that matters.
Resources You Can Trust
At Fair Oaks in Sacramento, we’re committed to everyone who trusts us to help them regain wellness, and that commitment doesn’t end when you leave. We want every client who passes through our doors to have a long, successful recovery with all of the wonderful experiences that sobriety has to offer. So as part of our dedication to whole-person care, we offer a free, continuous alumni program to assist clients in maintaining their sobriety after they complete treatment.
Among resources for additional assistance and learning opportunities, there’s also a weekly Alumni Group meeting to remain connected, enjoy social activities together, and provide long-lasting support. Monthly events and newsletters are part of the program, too, so you always know what’s happening. It’s our hope the Alumni Group is a positive presence in our clients’ lives and helps model to others what it’s like to lead productive and enriching sober lives.