The term alumni derives from the term alumnus meaning “having previously belonged to a group, company, or organization. Yes yes, that’s a little too boring and proper for most attention spans, but it’s vital information to know in the following discussion. In all actuality, more than likely, nobody would be taking the time to read this article if we hadn’t positioned ourselves to a point of needing help or advice from somebody with similar struggles whom had also doused their life in kerosene and struck the match. Far too often, the bulk of us addicts and alcoholics were living what we thought to be the ultimate lifestyle and taking the phrase “living the high life” a little too seriously. We were having a little bit of innocent fun so it seemed, and before we knew it, we were sucked into this whirlwind of a tornado going nowhere quickly. It sucked us right in and whipped us about until eventually, we become one with the tornado. This is addiction at its finest. Arriving at this point sometimes requires a little additional help such as a detox facility, treatment services, and a follow-up alumni program for some of us chemically dependent folk. These are highly likeable options in comparison to being caged up in the system or being buried with an epitaph.
Different Types of Higher Learning
So the likely scenario of addiction and alcoholism taking over is put on the table. Assuming that it was too much to bear, some individuals enter treatment and seek counseling and the guidance of others to help better their lives. Upon entering said establishment or any anonymous program, we are taught of the 12 steps and how to turn our lives around in a positive direction. These 12 steps are literally the key to one’s sobriety. A common thing overlooked with these steps is that of the 12, only the first step has anything to do with drugs and alcohol. The other 11 steps are entirely about bettering ourselves and producing the best human being possible that we can be. This brings us to the first point being made. If recovery is about knowledge and growth, why not do all the extra things that can help? Why not attend an alumni program? Why not go to alumni coordinated events and participate? It can help a lot more than it could hurt is for sure.
Life will miraculously change once we have sobered up and put a bit of work into it. Attending an alumni program for treatment centers and halfway houses is just icing on the cake. It is here that we are taught so much about the term “fellowship.” When I say “we,” I’m talking of course of us addicts and alcoholics that require some form of Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous to keep thriving in regular every day society. When I say “we”, I’m also referring to the handfuls of us that need guidance from somebody who has done the thing and cleaned up. No, it is not always fun or exciting, but what is exciting is that it keeps us alive day after day from this deadly disease. Going to an alumni program is 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 shines rays of hope for those that are still feeling hopeless.
Alumni programs are in place so that addicts and alcoholics can continue to relate to each other with the prior connection of having been through the same groups and 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 who feels out of place and may be struggling to connect to authority or therapeutic figures. Coming into treatment can be an overwhelming new process for many and to have somebody who resembles being on a similar level but may be just a few steps ahead really helps. It’s much different than meeting another fellow addict or alcoholic at a meeting.
Another beautiful aspect of attending your alumni program is because of 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 and 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 and hopes that he brings wisdom to the table. It is through practicing the 12 steps and entering some form of a fellowship that we become people again. Yes, as active addicts and alcoholics, we were people still, but we were shells of the human beings we had the potential to be. Generally, alumni events are made to be fun and helpful at the same time. Often times there are food, games, and/or a meeting of some sort involved. Give it a go, you might just thank yourself!
Need somewhere to be Alumni of?
The truth to the matter is that we all have our ups and downs- this is part of the human experience. For some of us though, we deal with a mental restriction known to be addiction/alcoholism. It takes a very firm grip of your life and makes most aspects unmanageable as you’re left feeling powerless. If you or a loved one is struggling with chemical dependency and are ready for help, please call 1-800-481-8457 or visit oarcstaging.wpengine.com. We are ready to give you any suggestions possible and set you or your loved one on a path that we can all proudly stand behind.