Why You Should Be Involved in Your Rehab’s Alumni Program

Why You Should Be Involved in Your Rehab's Alumni ProgramMost rehabilitation centers and programs have an alumni program, in order to continue to provide support for those who have graduated from the rehab program. There are a number of reasons that participation in the alumni program can be a valuable part of your life going forward.

An Alumni Program Anchors Your Soul in Gratitude

Choosing to be a part of your rehab center’s alumni program will give you a central point around which to build a life of gratitude. The staff at your rehab center met you at one of the lowest points of your life, and they chose to believe in you. They chose to believe that you were worth investing in, worth helping to get back on track. When even you probably didn’t believe it, these individuals chose to believe you were worth something.

Having a way to reconnect with this community will create the opportunity for you to be grounded in a place of gratitude for your life today. There is no value that can be attached to living a life of thankfulness, but its fruit is undeniable. Those with a focus on the things that have gone well in their lives tend to be happier, more content with their family and work circumstances, have better family and friendship relationships, and often even make more money than those without gratitude as a center in their lives.

An Alumni Program Lets You Own Your Full Story

It is not uncommon, particularly for those who see themselves as successfully recovered, to want to move on entirely from their rehab center experience, and even to act as though it never took place. But this is a terrible choice, because it does not give you the chance to own your full story. There is power that is found in the full narrative of a person’s life. Without the trials, the triumphs seem to be less meaningful. Without the struggle, the victory is less profound. In your own life, you have to come to grips with the fact that you were addicted, it did hurt, it did cost you (friends, family, your dream job, etc.), but you are no longer defined by it. But, not being defined by a moment in your life does not mean the moment never existed. The only way to find peace over the dark seasons in your life is to choose acceptance over shame.

You Can Share Your Wisdom with Others

At times, an alumni program gives you the opportunity to share from your experiences, both in addiction and in recovery. By sharing your story with others who have not yet found the path to recovery themselves, you serve as a reminder of hope.

This is valuable not only to those listening, but to you as well. It will be a reminder to you of the depths to which you fell, and the strength you have now gained. This will build confidence in your ability to continue to walk the sober life. Beyond that, you may even find yourself more confident in other venues as you recall the places you have already been and conquered.

An Addiction is Never Gone

You must never forget that an addiction is a disease.[1] Because this is true, there is always a risk of relapse. The pressures of life can start to mount and feel too big for you to handle. Your job can unexpectedly end, or any number of other challenges can come. In that moment, when you feel helpless, your addiction may whisper once again in your ear that tantalizing lie: “I can help you.”

It is because an addiction is never true gone that staying in touch with your rehab center can be so valuable. It will serve as a reminder for you of where you once were, and hopefully in so doing will act as a deterrent against those whispers from your addiction. Also, you have an opportunity to talk with trusted individuals who understand that addiction never really goes away. They will listen, without judgment, and will provide you not only the chance to air your worries but also give you valuable advice to bring to the battle.

If you find yourself struggling with an addiction that you thought you already beat, and you need someone to talk to right now, our counselors are available 24 hours a day. We can help you. You are not alone.

[1] http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/understanding-drug-abuse-addiction, “DrugFacts: Understanding Drug Abuse and Addiction,” accessed November 22, 2015.