If you are in recovery, it is important to help and take care of yourself. However, giving back within the sober community matters, too. Giving back allows individuals with substance use disorder (SUD) to support each other and aid in the healing process. This article will review the importance of giving back and the steps to do so.
Filling Your Life with Positivity
Volunteering, especially within the sober community, plays a vital role in staying sober. Why? Because it fills your life with positivity and connection. Spending time with people who are facing similar challenges can make a big difference to your outlook. As you make a difference in another person’s life, it helps you see your value. It will also help you see how far you have come with your SUD.
Essentially, helping others helps you to continue to live positively. An excessive amount of negative thinking harms the recovery process. Recent studies have shown that recurring negative thoughts make it more difficult to maintain sobriety. Dealing with negative thinking, especially with positivity, strengthens one’s recovery. Therefore, giving back will help you to become more positive and take charge of your life. When you see others succeed with your assistance, you will feel more positive about your own life.
Losing the Burden of Addiction, Gaining a Community
Often, individuals with SUD struggle to find a supportive community, especially as they begin to recover. Consider mingling with other recovered individuals. Different fellowships and support groups bring together individuals with a SUD. These gatherings serve life-changing interactions. These groups thrive because people who understand the struggle of SUD help each other. They provide each other guidance or advice based on each other’s journey with SUD recovery. As a person recovers, they hold a wealth of knowledge regarding recovery that can assist another person still struggling with a SUD. These communities signify pouring the wealth of wisdom and support into each other’s cup. If you choose to participate in the pouring, this markedly decreases the desire to use substances and drink. At the end of the day, you are helping your community get to a place of freedom, which is truly a gift in itself.
How Can Giving Back Help You?
Helping others may assist your mental and emotional health. Volunteering helps relieve stress. A study showed that stress leaves an individual vulnerable to using substances and drinking. Studies also show that volunteering lowers stress and improves moods. Furthermore, service work shifts your focus from your problems to sharing your time and talents to serving others. By focusing on helping others, it helps people from developing an obsession with their problems. Additionally, serving others helps us recognize the power of our gifts and talents. As they see their efforts create change in another’s lives, they feel more self-confidence and happiness.
How to Give Back?
SUD recovery groups offer a great opportunity to give back and serve your peers in their recovery journey. The following ideas can help you start:
Commit to volunteering
At your local recovery group, find ways to help the meetings run smoothly. This may entail committing to bring snacks or coffee to a meeting. Or you may decide to sign-up for a role like a meeting facilitator, speaker seeker, secretary, newcomer greeter, etc. Also, you can volunteer as a guest speaker to share your story of recovery with the group. The more you get involved, the more opportunities you’ll have to impact the group’s dynamic. Then, when a meeting is going well, you’ll find that your group will be able to work closer together and enjoy the time they’re spending together more.
Invite a Newcomer to a Meeting
Perhaps, you will have the opportunity to help a person still struggling with a SUD. For example, you may run into a former friend who still struggles with using or drinking. Or, as part of an outreach program, you may encounter individuals still using substances or drinking. Take advantage of these opportunities, and invite them to a meeting with you. Remember, you once felt the helplessness of SUD, too. At that point in your life, a hand reaching out made such a difference. Moreover, walking into the rooms with the newcomer makes the whole experience less intimidating.
Become a Sponsor or Accountability Partner
Different recovery groups use different methods of recovery to support sobriety. Some follow steps, while others use behavioral therapies. Regardless of which one you attend, peer accountability still plays a vital role in these groups. Whether sponsoring another or being an accountability partner, many find these roles rewarding. Such a responsibility allows a person to assist another make their journey more organized, fruitful, accountable, and less lonely. Having someone to share those experiences with can be therapeutic, motivating, and ultimately, allow you to keep your struggle under control.
Consider Organizing a Sober Event
Organizing a sober event holds room for giving back, outreach, and finding new friends. Consider using your event as an opportunity to teach people about the effects of alcohol and drugs. Or create a forum for discussions on addiction, prevention, and treatment. Such events offer the chance for the local community to learn more about SUD and for people with a SUD to connect.
Also, you can plan a sober social. This offers the opportunity for people to socialize and have fun without substances or drinking. People at the social can meet like-minded people, which can lead to your sober community growing.
Restoration Recovery Supports Giving Back
At Restoration Recovery Center, we encourage giving back to the recovery community, especially via our onsite recovery groups and group therapies. We recognize that when you serve others, your own recovery strengthens.
Giving back to your sober community matters. It helps both your program and others. Additionally, giving back and helping others opens up dialogue among recovery-focused peers. Many options for giving back exist. One can give back by sharing their own story or experience in a supportive group. Sharing such experiences can help someone else in their recovery process. Volunteering and helping others lowers alcohol intake and improves mental health, mood, and increases self-worth. Both group therapy and recovery groups bear fruit for those living with a substance use disorder. For this reason, Restoration Recovery offers both options in addition to providing effective SUD treatment. Not only will you have the opportunity to give back in a meaningful way, but others still struggling with SUD will also benefit from your presence. We believe that when you serve others and give back, your own recovery strengthens. To learn more about our treatment program, contact us at (888) 290-0925.