Attending treatment for a mental health condition or substance use disorder (SUD) was most likely a pivotal point in your life. It took courage to accept that you needed help, and even more courage to ask for that help. You may have been embarrassed or ashamed, but you knew that you could not continue on this road alone. During treatment, you explored many complicated emotions and developed coping skills to implement in your daily life. At times it was difficult, but you pushed through and are on the other side. That’s an amazing accomplishment. Now you are part of Sage Recovery’s Alumni Community.
We understand that recovery is a journey that does not end with treatment. In reality, treatment is only the beginning of recovery. This means that there will still be a lot to learn after treatment. You’ll need to find the best way to manage your condition and live the life you want. There will be times of great joy when your mental health barely affects you. At other times you may find yourself struggling.
This is all part of the process, and that is why Sage Recovery is dedicated to continuing to support you even after you leave one of our programs. Being a member of the Alumni Community means more than just having graduated from the program. Rather, it means that you do not have to walk alone.
During treatment, you may have formed close bonds with other people. There were most likely several therapists and staff members who touched your life in a special way. When you reached out your hand for help, they were there to listen and guide you. You may have also deeply connected with other clients and resonated with their struggles. Even in such a tumultuous time, you may have developed friendships with the people who went through the same program as you. Due to the nature of treatment, you get to know people on a very intimate level very quickly.
Residential programs and intensive outpatient programs create an environment where you are spending a significant amount of time with a group of people. This time is spent sharing incredibly vulnerable parts of yourself and requires trust and openness. Such a unique situation creates unique relationships. Maybe it was the first time you were able to open up to others and feel heard and accepted in your rawest state. It can be hard to leave behind this support system.
Fortunately, you do not have to leave these relationships behind. Sage Recovery prioritizes these relationships with our weekly alumni meetings at the Westlake location and monthly meetings at the Villa. We invite you to bring your true self to these meetings. Share both your successes and struggles. You can receive feedback and encouragement while supporting others in their journeys too. In addition to staying connected to your sober support system, you can also connect with Sage Recovery alumni who attended treatment before and after you. This provides the opportunity to learn from individuals further along in recovery who are leading a fulfilling life while sober.
Sometimes it is daunting to imagine staying sober over the next few days. Anything longer than that can feel impossible. Hearing from those who have been in your shoes and made it through can be motivating when you need it the most. This group also provides the opportunity to help those who are even newer to recovery than you are. Helping others in this position can offer enrichment and a new meaning to what you endured.
Social support is important for mental health. This is true during both joyous times and periods of great struggle. As you continue on your recovery journey, you may find that you need people more than ever. You are navigating many changes as you transition from treatment to everyday life. It is natural and encouraged to lean on others during this time. Peer support is a specific type of social support that can be especially important during this time.
While your friends and family can be crucial parts of your support system, they may not be able to fully empathize with what you are going through because they do not share your same experiences. This can feel frustrating and isolating at times. Connecting with peers who have been through what you are experiencing can alleviate these feelings. It can also help reduce any feelings of shame you are carrying with you. Furthermore, it can help decrease some of the cravings you experience and increase your self-efficacy. Staying engaged with Sage Recovery’s Alumni Community can provide this much-needed peer support.
Sage Recovery is dedicated to your continued wellness even after you leave one of our programs. We encourage you to stay connected with your peers through our weekly Alumni Community meetings at the Westlake location and monthly meetings at the Villa. You should not have to go through recovery alone. It can be rewarding to share both successes and struggles with those who understand and can provide encouragement. If you are just starting your recovery journey, Sage Recovery offers a variety of programs for adolescents and adults. We understand that we may not be the right fit for you, but we will still work with you to find a match for your needs. Call us today at (512) 306-1394.