It feels good to be there for others when called upon for help. Being of service to others is an excellent way to get out of your head, a place that is at times dangerous to linger in—especially in recovery. Few people who are actively using drugs and alcohol can perform selfless acts; addiction demands too much from the individual to expel any energy on others. Conversely, recovery affords ample opportunity to resend selfish and self-centered behavior, allowing one to dedicate themselves to assisting others in times of need.
Many of our readers are in early recovery which means that they are still figuring some things out regarding working a program and this is not by accident; Celebrate Hope is committed to introducing men and women to recovery. We serve as guides when rehabilitation is in its infancy. Our desire to help doesn’t cease when a client passes to the other side of our recovery safety threshold. We hope to provide sound advice for navigating recovery long after treatment comes to a close.
The majority of our former clients now subscribe to the tenets of the 12 Steps and strive to practice the principles of recovery in all their affairs. Such people endeavor to make progress, but are not always perfect, which is more than OK provided however that they adjust their program when necessary. Once you get into the swing of recovery—going to meetings, working with a sponsor, and such— it becomes easy to see that the enterprise of restoration rests on helping others. In early recovery, one is inclined to think that help is a one-sided affair. However, it is difficult to see how you might be aiding others in their recovery. Rest assured, you are doing more for your fellows than you realize.
A Fellow of Recovery
We all have a natural desire to form an understanding of our role in any system or organization, a fellowship is no different. In time, you form strong bonds with other people in your support network, people you can turn to when times are hard, or your recovery is in jeopardy. Some of you haven’t had the privilege, yet, of walking somebody with less Time than you through the steps. A fact that might lead you to believe that you are taking more from the program than you’re giving back. The truth is altogether different.
Each time you share your story or current difficulty at a meeting you are helping your fellows in recovery. Even those who are new that share rarely, if at all, are doing the group a service; the mere act of being a presence in a meeting on a regular basis is empowering for your peers. Merely showing up to daily meetings inspires people with less time than you to keep coming back. Rarely sharing is not prohibited in recovery, but keep in mind that the more you share, the more likely you are to receive constructive feedback applicable to your recovery.
It is also worth noting that sponsorship is not the only way to give back to the program. At every meeting across the country and beyond, exists service commitments. Chores in a sense, but ones with a priceless reward; as with any exercise in selflessness, you get back far more than you put in. Showing up early to a meeting for set-up or breaking down after meetings; making coffee or supplying snacks for the group, are all commitments you can volunteer for in early recovery. When you act in service to the group, a power Greater than yourself in effect, you’re helping yourself and others as well. Service commitments are perfect opportunities to practice the principles of recovery.
Together, We Stay Sober
The next time the option to help a fellow in recovery or your “homegroup” arises, please accept the honor. In doing so, you learn a valuable lesson, when others trust you it’s a sign of progress and feels terrific being trusted by your peers; a feeling that doesn’t exist in active addiction. When you fulfill your commitments, you learn the value of accountability, which is vital.
If you are struggling with drugs and alcohol and would like to begin a life-changing journey of recovery, please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope by the Sea. We can answer any questions you might have, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.