“Life will take on new meaning. To watch people recover, to see them help others, to watch loneliness vanish, to see a fellowship grow up about you, to have a host of friends—this is an experience you must not miss. We know you will not want to miss it. Frequent contact with newcomers and with each other is the bright spot of our lives.”
-Big Book, page 89
We typically enter recovery at the most difficult part of our lives. To our amazement, however, when we stick around we begin to get rewards out of sobriety that we could have never foreseen when we entered the program.
One of these is the camaraderie and unique bond we form with others in the fellowship that have embraced recovery just as we have.
Many treatment centers have embraced this special aspect of recovery by creating alumni fellowships for those who have graduated their programs.
Here we take a look at just a few of the countless benefits of these alumni fellowships and why they tie into one of the most special experiences of recovery.
1) Building a support group
Having a strong support group is not only one of the pleasures of the fellowship; it is one of the keys to building long-term sobriety.
Support groups give us accountability to the program and our sobriety, and give us the support we need when times are difficult.
Alumni groups are an excellent way to build up a strong support group of people who have been through the same program as you.
2) Not forgetting where you came from
A saying often heard in the rooms of recovery is to “keep it green”. This refers to our tendency to forget the pain of our addiction and/or alcoholism and remember only the good times.
Alumni associations are a great reminder of where we came from, and keep the memory of our early struggles fresh in our minds.
3) Opportunities to have fun in sobriety
A common fear amongst newcomers in sobriety is that they will not have fun in recovery. Alumni associations put these fears to bed!
Alumni associations provide countless opportunities to have fun in sobriety, such as gatherings, meetings, special trips, and countless other examples.
4) Service work opportunities
Service work is not only a crucial aspect of maintaining long-term sobriety; it is what keeps recovery going generation after generation.
Alumni fellowships will typically provide countless opportunities to get into service for recovery. This can include service work for the alumni group itself, or opportunities outside of the alumni organization.
5) Showing the newcomer that the program works
We all remember what it was like sitting in the chairs of a treatment center wondering if recovery was going to work for us. We owe it to the newcomer to stick around and show them that the program does work!
Alumni organizations provide the perfect opportunity to show the newcomers in the treatment center that the program does in fact work. Alumni organizations thus allow us to give the newcomers the gift of hope.
This article is intended for those considering a new way of life, free of the pain of drug and alcohol addiction. For more information on recovery and anyone seeking help with addiction and substance abuse problems, please call True Recovery at (844) 744-8783 or visit us online.