One of the greatest gifts in addiction recovery is free: giving back to others. This may seem like a tall order for someone who is going through the process of getting sober. Yet through selflessness and acts of kindness, a recovering addict can find the hope and motivation they need to turn their lives around for the better.
Let’s discuss the benefits to giving back in addiction recovery and examples of what to do.
Why Giving Back Makes a Difference
Gratitude is important because it reduces negative thoughts and behaviors. If you take time out each day to be grateful for the things you have, it puts you in a more positive frame of mind. One of the first ways to practice gratitude is by thanking the people who helped you get clean and sober. Your family. Your friends. Your counselors. These individuals believed in you, so now it’s your turn to pay it forward.
When you help someone else, you are essentially saying “thank you” to the people who helped you. As you help more people, you can make a difference in their lives, which will bring you a sense of happiness that is greater than any high.
Here are the key reasons why it’s important to give back in addiction recovery:
Make your community a better place
Discover meaning and purpose in life
Develop new skills
Stay connected to others
Gain new perspectives
Ways to Give Back in Addiction Recovery
No one expects you to move mountains in the first weeks and months of recovery. Start small and grow more comfortable in your new skin. Here are some of the ways you can give back in early recovery.
Focus on self-care. This may sound contradictory to what we’ve been discussing, but it’s not. Your friends and family have rallied around you, so show them that you are taking your recovery seriously. Eat healthy, exercise daily and get adequate rest. This way, you will have the physical, emotional and spiritual strength to help others.
Become a sponsor. As you grow in your 12 Step journey, you can reach an opportunity to become someone’s sponsor. Consider this role, as you can help someone move through their recovery process. If you’re not ready to be a sponsor, consider a service committment in your group (i.e., getting coffee, setting up chairs) or leading a meeting.
Volunteer your time. Find ways that you can give back to your local community, whether it’s helping out in a soup kitchen or bringing homeless people breakfast. There are always ways to make a difference.
Donate to a charity. Not everyone is in a financial position to donate, and that’s OK. Even a few dollars can help an organization reach their goal, and it will feel good to see your name on the list of donors.
Are you ready to start your journey to sobriety? Call The River Source and discover the rewarding, affordable options we have for men and women 18 years and older.