Recovery offers the chance for a fresh start.
It provides the opportunity to give your life new meaning and purpose. A chance to give back in a way that helps others. This is an important part of recovery and of the 12-Step program. It is also a way to pay it forward.
When you help someone, it is a way of saying thank you to those who helped you attain your sobriety. It is showing your gratitude for having received the knowledge and tools you need to stay sober from rehab, support groups, friends, and family. Giving back helps you stay connected and focused on your recovery.
Additional benefits of giving back include:
- Gaining a better perspective of recovery and the benefits of living a clean and sober life
- Having a better understanding of what is really important to you
- Making you feel more empowered in your recovery
- Improving your self-confidence and self-esteem
- Building your resilience against depression and other types of mental illnesses
- Developing new skills
- Helping improve your community
7 Ways to Give Back
- Focus on Caring for Yourself. By taking good care of yourself, you are showing your family and friends that you are very serious about your recovery. By making sure that you are eating a healthy diet, getting enough rest, and exercising regularly, you will have the physical, spiritual, and emotional strength needed to help others.
- Become Involved with Your Family and Friends Again. This might include helping out with projects around the house, watching a child participate in a sport, or taking part in family activities.
- Help Out at 12-Step Meetings. There are many things you can do to help at a meeting, such as leading the meeting, volunteering to set up and break down the room, being in charge of providing coffee or tea for your group, or driving members who do not have transportation.
- Speak and Share at Meetings. By sharing your story and experiences at a meeting, you may be the reason that someone finds relief from an awful day or discovers some sense of peace in their life.
- Become a Sponsor. When you meet the requirements to be a sponsor, you may decide to make the commitment to help someone along their path to recovery just as someone helped you.
- Donate to a Charity. If you are financially able, donate to a cause you care about. Many charities also welcome donations of time or materials.
- Volunteer Your Time Outside of the 12-Step Program. There are many places that welcome volunteers, such as local hospitals, community organizations, and churches. You may be able to help out at a soup kitchen or food bank. Work with children through a school, library, or mentoring program. Volunteer at an animal shelter or help in a community garden.
The Advantages of Community Service
Providing community service is a way of giving back that helps to keep your stress levels down and your mood elevated. By being able to maintain a balanced, calmer emotional state, it is easier to resist cravings and cope with any triggers that may come up in your life.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration names four major areas that support addiction recovery:
- Health – managing or overcoming their disease and making informed, healthy choices
- Home – having a safe and stable place to live
- Purpose – taking part in daily meaningful activities and having the resources, independence, and income to participate in society
- Community – having social networks and relationships that provide friendship, support, hope, and love
Are You Ready for Recovery?
If you or a loved one is suffering from a substance abuse addiction, there is help available. Take the first step and call a professional staff member at Canyon Vista Recovery Center in Mesa, Arizona. They will be able to answer your questions and help you begin your journey toward a healthy and sober life.