People attend retreats for various reasons, most often to recharge or get reenergized about something. Members of the recovery community attend recovery retreats to center back in their recovery program. Those in long-term sobriety may attend to meet with those they have come to connect with over the years or to share their experience, strength, and hope with others. On the other hand, others may find attending a retreat is like a recharge, a spiritual experience, or a reprieve from their daily routines.
When retreats are well-established, sponsors or mentors in sobriety may encourage people new to their programs to attend a retreat with them. This helps others find additional resources for someone in early recovery, supports their connections to others in the program, and helps them feel a part of a larger fellowship. Regardless of the reasons people might attend recovery retreats, the time spent engaged in connections is irreplaceable. Recovery-centered meditations and experiences are sure to fulfill the needs of both those in early recovery as well as those with decades of sobriety.
What to Expect at Recovery Retreats
When someone attends their first retreat, they may feel slightly apprehensive and feel unsure about what to expect. Luckily the recovery community is a welcoming bunch and will be sure to point newcomers in the right direction. Retreats offer a variety of experiences. They also include an itinerary before registration. This helps inform attendees ahead of time if it is the right fit for them. Some examples of what might take place at a recovery retreat include the following:
- Breakout sessions focused on a recovery topic
- Meals and snacks
- Fireside meeting
- Nature walks
- Auctions of prizes (proceeds going to fund a retreat for those who need assistance)
- Sobriety countdown (celebrating the combined recovery time of the entire group)
- Drumming circle
- Time to reflect and journal
These are just some examples of what a retreat might offer. Often participation is not required in every activity. However, staying on-site throughout the retreat may be required. All details will be clearly outlined before and during a retreat.
Benefits of Recovery Retreats
Taking a break from everyday life, including work, family, errands, bills, and all the requirements of life, retreats offer a reprieve. This is a chance to let all the worries and responsibilities be set aside, out of mind, and focus on one’s self. It is an opportunity to reflect and embrace the connections made in the recovery community. Often this included members of one’s local recovery group but members of other communities as well.
When attending retreats for years, friendships are created, and additional accountability is formed. This produces a greater sense of belonging. When this strong feeling of belonging exists, recovery becomes more meaningful and powerful. It is no longer a goal of not using or drinking but an internal motivation and pride in being a member of such a community. Recovery retreats can almost offer that same energy as a family reunion, with wonderful company, cherished memories, and celebratory stories to share.
The new knowledge from minisessions may include a better understanding of literature or a new way to interpret a key strategy for relapse prevention. While realizing you haven’t laughed so hard in way too long may be the greatest benefit you find. Others may overindulge in snacking or sneak in a much-needed nap. Sometimes a small group may decide to go on a nature walk and discuss something that has been bothering them for months. Having the space and patience to be free of that nagging thought might be their highlight.
Destiny Recovery Center and Aftercare
Nearing the conclusion of residential treatment, Destiny Recovery Center (DRC) will create an individualized aftercare plan to meet each client’s needs. An aftercare plan is simply the map of how one is going to continue to be successful in their recovery. Often this could include continued therapy sessions, attending meetings regularly, and working with a sponsor or mentor. Include relapse prevention strategies are also listed in this plan. Retreats can serve not only as a relapse prevention strategy but also renew those connections within the sober community. However, they can also be a part of one’s long-term sobriety plan.
If you are interested in a retreat or including one in part of your aftercare plan, DRC can assist you in identifying a point of contact in your area. Most often, the best source for locating retreats in a certain area is to reach out to someone at a meeting, whether SMART Recovery, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), or Narcotics Anonymous (NA). Members that have been associated with a program for even a few months will have heard about recovery retreats or know who to contact to obtain retreat information. Often, information concerning an upcoming retreat will be available months in advance, as part of the excitement is the countdown.
Retreats can be found all over the nation, during all seasons, and will offer a variety of experiences and opportunities for growth for those in recovery. Whether you find peace and solace in nature or enjoy lively crowds and games, retreats can offer chances for one to try something new and meet new friends. Overall, retreats strengthen personal growth, boost self-esteem and self-care practices, and leave one feeling refreshed and centered. Retreats can be a solid addition to an aftercare program and will promote continued sobriety. Destiny Recovery Center is able to share contacts in your areas to link you to retreat options for your aftercare program. Call us today at (909) 413-4304.