If you’ve recently been through our treatment center, you’ve met our alumni who’ve shared their stories and offered encouragement. Our alumni provide a powerful perspective when they tell our clients their unique recovery journey. Additionally, they set an example of what successful sobriety looks like.
Through service, attending 12-Step meetings, providing guidance through sponsorship, and enjoying alumni dinners, alumni are a vital part of our community. Recently graduated clients might not know how to be a part of our community after leaving our program, but there are plenty of opportunities to contribute to the loving community we have built here at Jaywalker.
The Importance of Brotherly Love
Those in treatment and early recovery rely heavily on their support system. At Jaywalker, we care about the connections we make. Our community is built on the idea of loving each other as brothers would. We give each other a shoulder to lean on when life throws curveballs.
Brothers protect each other and teach each other while growing up. The bonds you make a Jaywalker are life-long, like family. Without this support, many might not make it. Jaywalker is home to those who have struggled the most with maintaining sobriety and staying on the straight and narrow. The connections you make help you remain accountable while also having people in your life you can count on.
When you graduate from Jaywalker, you are given the opportunity to continue these bonds long after completing treatment. Being an alumnus, you are able to pay it forward. Brotherly love refers to the eighth step, centered on making amends with others your substance use may have harmed. This includes yourself, your loved ones, and your community. It’s about spreading that love not just between your friends and family but your immediate community. As an alumnus, you can go above and beyond for your community because of the love you share with them.
Telling Your Story
As an alumnus, you have the unique opportunity to use your voice in a way that gives perspective to those who need it. Many who come from Jaywalker might feel alone at first, like they are the only person in the world who carries pain. What you might have found when you first went through our program is that many have been in your shoes. How valuable were stories of others who had experienced pain and struggle like yours, barely able to hold on? As an alumnus, it’s now your turn to tell your story to someone who needs to hear it.
We aren’t exaggerating when we say that telling your story could save someone’s life. Hearing how you came to the decision that sobriety was right for you and how you fought your way through treatment can be affirmative to others. They can listen to your story and realize they too can find the strength to fight another day. Many don’t realize the worth of their perspective. Your account could be life-changing, coming at a time when a person needs it most. Don’t underestimate the power of your experience, strength, and hope.
Showing What Sobriety Can Do
Telling your story is one thing, but showing what stability and sobriety can do for someone can make an enormous impact. Through continual service in the community, volunteering at meetings, and showing up, you can show those in treatment what could be in store for them in the future. Your recovery journey wasn’t perfect, but you made it through, and here you are! Being an alumnus allows you to be a model for those who need a mentor and a community leader, teaching them that they too can be well-adjusted and happy in life.
Active Listening Is Enough
Sometimes brotherly love is just lending your ear. Having someone who has been there, listening to your struggles and providing open support, can become life-changing to those who feel like they’ve been screaming and no one has been listening. Many people aren’t used to just being heard. Being that someone can give them the affirmation they need to keep going. It can be an affirmation that they aren’t alone in their struggle and that there are people out there who care about them.
If you don’t know where to start as a supportive alumnus, then start by lending an ear to someone who needs it. Listening to someone else talk about their struggles can genuinely change a life if people have never lent an ear. Being seen and heard can make the difference between a continued struggle and beating their addiction.
Jaywalker’s philosophy is deeply connected to the 12-Steps found in Alcoholics Anonymous. Step eight, “Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all,” follows the tradition of brotherly love. We practice this sincerely. We aren’t afraid of the word “love” because we see nothing wrong with caring about those in your community. Loving others doesn’t make you weak; it makes you and your community more resilient. Alumni are able to provide continued love and support after they’ve graduated from our program, giving our clients perspective, mentorship, and grace that is necessary for the beginning stages of treatment. So many have come through Jaywalker, who have been motivated by alumni stories. If you would like to learn more about our alumni services, call Jaywalker Lodge today at (866) 529-9255. Alumni dinners and services might be affected by Covid-19 restrictions. Please contact us to check in with our current policies.
As Chief Executive Officer Bill provides leadership and manage all day-to-day operations of Jaywalker Lodge, an extended care residential addiction treatment program for adult men.