Everyone in recovery hears about how important service is to their journey. But how exactly does the act of sharing your own experience, strength, and hope help others? The following is a short guide about the role of service in recovery, how it helps the individual in addition to helping others, and ways in which it can be done. We'll also talk about how to keep good intentions and a healthy perspective when offering our service to people in need.
How service to others benefits your own recovery:
Keeps you connected to the origins of your own journey - By helping others who are just starting out with their sobriety, you are constantly reminded of how your own journey began. You can offer valuable wisdom and insight to these newcomers while keeping yourself connected to the the recovery process.This is especially helpful to people who have been in recovery for many years and run the risk of losing touch with their own healing process.
Helps you keep a healthy perspective - One of the biggest benefits of service is gaining a healthier perspective and a greater sense of humility. Spending time helping others can distract you from your own feelings of sadness, loneliness, or self pity just long enough for you to get a better perspective on things. In exchange, you develop a sense of humility and a feeling that your problems may not be as big as you think.
A greater sense of self worth - There is no better way to grow more self worth and confidence than by helping others. When others seek your help and value the time you put into service, you know that you're a valued human being who can make a difference in others' lives.
Teaches new skills and exposes you to new experiences - Many people in recovery have little work experience or simply want to make big changes to the direction their lives are going in. Volunteering, mentoring, or helping out in any way you can exposes you to new people and situations while teaching you skills that can be applied to a future career.
How your service benefits others:
Many former addicts have a hard time trusting others. When you offer your service in the spirit of selflessness, this shows someone who has is afraid to trust others that there really are good people out there who genuinely want to help.
People in recovery always need support. Offering your own experience, strength, and hope provides others with a place to turn to and something to believe in when things get hard.
Your service shows others in recovery that they're not alone in their experience. You give them hope and motivation to continue on their path.
Ways that you can help others in recovery:
-actively participating in a 12 step group
-volunteering with organizations that help addicts
-visiting addicts in prison or in hospitals
-sharing your experience by writing a blog, creating a website, or on another public venue.
-speaking about your experiences with groups
-reaching out to others in recovery by offering your phone number or email address
-sponsorship or mentoring others in recovery
How to keep your intentions pure when helping others:
It's important to periodically check in with yourself when spending time helping others. Ask yourself what your motivations are. Are you experiencing any feelings of resentment, dissatisfaction, exhaustion, or superiority? This could be a sign that you need to take a step back and reassess your actions. The act of service should always come from a place of humility, generosity, and kindness.