Recovery is a gift, which sometimes has its ups and downs, just like life. Learning to live without the use of substances takes a day at a time. You’ll get a lot of help from your peers in recovery. Many people who are new to recovery want to start giving back to others who have helped them. So how can you give back?
In the first few years of recovery, it’s essential to focus on yourself, working the steps, and learning to live life without the use of drugs or alcohol. However, many people feel a lot of gratitude but discover that they’re not sure how to express it.
Gratitude can be an action, instead of just a feeling. While it’s not advisable to help newcomers when you’re new to recovery yourself, it’s important to feel like you’re a part of your 12-step meetings and feel that you can contribute to your community, home, and recovery groups.
Here are five easy ways you can help give back:
- Get a service position. A service position is a position that you take and commit to every meeting. So, if you go to a group you love on Fridays, you can offer to help by handing out medallions/key tags or by setting up the chairs and literature. There are a lot of tasks that go into running a 12-step meeting, and all of them are important. So ask how you can help and get involved!
- Help with events. Many sober groups and meetings have activities for people to enjoy while in recovery. Dances, picnics, and potlucks are usually scheduled every year. Find out who organizes an event you’re interested in, and ask how you can help.
- Volunteer in your community. Places like food banks, soup kitchens, and other social services always need help to carry out their cause. Make sure that you’re not stretching yourself too thin or going to areas that trigger you.
- Help in church or other activities. If you go to church, ask your pastor or spiritual leader what kind of tasks are available to volunteer for. You may end up just setting up coffee and donuts, but your community will appreciate the efforts.
- Help more with your family or roommates. If you’re on good terms, or you’re trying to heal a relationship, start helping out more. Even if you’re not asked to help, taking on family responsibilities can help establish trust and improve your relationships. You could volunteer for a grocery run, take kids to a movie, or cook dinner for your weary spouse.
These suggestions are just that – suggestions. Hopefully, they will help you brainstorm how you can give back when you’re new to recovery. Helping others is a way to establish trust, make new friendships, and build self-esteem. While most of these suggestions seem small, they can help you make significant changes in your life.
Recovery is a journey, not a destination. Enjoy the small things while you can, and know every day you’re clean and sober is a gift that you can share with your loved ones. Healing is a journey all your loved ones can take with you.
If you’re not sure the best way to give back to your community, ask a friend or sponsor. They’re sure to have some ideas for you!
Getting Help for Addiction
Are you or somebody you love struggling with drug or alcohol use? You’re not alone! Recovery is possible! We offer a safe space for women to learn more about addiction recovery, set their goals, and begin to learn to live a life without the use of substances. Please give us a call at 1-800-970-8774 to learn more about your options.