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Being An Alumni Of A Trauma Treatment Program

The shame and stigma of trauma is incredibly strong, so strong, in fact, that too often the idea of fitting into the stereotype of that person who has to go to treatment in order to deal with the past stops people from seeking the healing they deserve. Healing from trauma is very much a need, especially when trauma has manifested in a harmful way, like through a drug addiction, alcoholism, or self-harm. Healing from trauma is, however, a matter of deserving to heal. Unfortunately, the shame, stigma, and stereotype of someone who has been through something horrific and who has had a horrific time in trying to do their very best in coping with some of life’s worst horrors interrupts this important view. Everyone, and that does mean absolutely everyone, deserves to heal from trauma. Everyone deserves to live a happy, healthy life of serenity in mind, body, and spirit. Making the decision to seek treatment for trauma, addictions, and related mental health issues is incredibly brave. Sticking it out by going through the snot-dripping, heart-wrenching, puffy-eyed crying process of feeling feelings is incredibly brave. Learning how to live differently, embracing new behaviors, and releasing old behaviors, is incredibly brave. Graduating trauma treatment and taking everything you’ve learned, every experience you’ve grown through, and applying that to a new way of life called trauma recovery is incredibly, incredibly brave.

If you’ve graduated trauma treatment and you’re living your life of recovery, give yourself a big pat on the back, because you’ve accomplished something amazing. By now, it is most likely that you’ve eradicated the messages of old programming which tell you to be ashamed of going to treatment. If you still have some lingering “board members” who wish to tell you anything other than the positive truth, remember this: Almost everyone on earth will encounter some kind of trauma in their life time. Everyone on earth who encounters trauma in their lifetime will be affected by that trauma, though some will be more affected than others. Whether or not they develop post-traumatic stress disorder, they are still affected by trauma, spiritually, mentally, viscerally, and more. Most people will go their entire lives trying their best to cope with the trauma they’ve encountered and the consequences of the behaviors they use to cope with that trauma. Few, very few, will have the awareness to recognize they deserve healing. Few will take that awareness and turn it into motivation to seek healing. Even more few will take that motivation and turn it into momentum to successfully complete a trauma treatment program and live a life of trauma recovery.

You’ve Graduated. Now What?

Living in a residential trauma treatment program for multiple months offers a necessary myopia- a small, comfortable, and more importantly, safe little world dedicated entirely to your healing. Though you learn a tremendous amount of skills for navigating life outside of treatment, the transition can still be a bit jolting. Life outside of treatment and recovery certainly is not like life inside treatment and recovery. People are suffering. People are traumatized. People haven’t learned how to act in healthy ways. The world is full of temptation, trauma, triggers, and challenges. Regardless of our recovery, life continues to happen on life’s terms, which means, to our greatest dismay as trauma survivors, many of life’s elements are completely out of our control.

Life outside of treatment is a challenge, but as alumni, we are up for the task. We are prepared. More importantly, we work to create a network of support, a plan for ongoing care, and a rigorous self-care regimen to keep us balanced, sane, serene, sober, and feeling safe.

Adhere To Your Discharge Plan

Before you leave treatment, you’ll be presented the opportunity to create a discharge plan. A discharge plan is your plan of action which you take with you as you leave treatment and move onto the next phase of your life and recovery. Whether you are going to sober living, a lower level of care, or back home, it is of paramount importance that you take a comprehensive plan with you. Your discharge plan will most likely consist of:

        • Finding and working with a therapist or transitioning into a lower level of care like a PHP (partial hospitalization program), IOP (intensive outpatient program), or outpatient program
        • Finding and working with a special practitioner of a certain kind of trauma therapy, like EMDR, Somatic Experiencing, or Neurofeedback
        • Finding and working with holistic healers in the modality which serves you best, which may be massage, acupuncture, reiki, or yoga
        • Creating a lifestyle checklist for the daily, weekly, and monthly activities which help you live your best life, like working with animals, getting into nature, doing art therapy, spending time with friends, and attending recovery support meetings
        • A comprehensive understanding of your greatest triggers and your plan for coping with those triggers when they arise through self-care
        • A comprehensive list of all your best self-care tools, from clinical to experiential, to artistic, and beyond

You’re Never Alone

One of the greatest feelings you’ll experience in residential treatment for trauma is the feeling of solidarity and community among other people who have lived through and are healing from trauma. Graduation can be daunting because the fear of returning to feelings of isolation, separate from others who truly understand you, is very realistic. Becoming an alumni of a trauma treatment program is the opposite of isolating. You’re entered into a worldwide network of people who have made the same incredibly brave decisions you have and who are living an incredibly brave life of trauma recovery every single day. Moreover, you’re always connected to us here, at The Guest House and to our extensive, and ever-growing, alumni network.

When you graduate trauma treatment, the rubber meets the road, as it is said. To live successfully in recovery from trauma, addictions, or related mental health issues, we need the care and professionalism of an experienced, specialized staff who provide us excellence in treatment. Our alumni learn how to thrive in their lives not in spite of trauma, but because of it. We’re always here to welcome those in need of help at The Guest House Ocala. Call us today for information and resources: 1-855-483-7800