Whether you are an addict or not, there is certain fulfillment that comes with helping others and being of service. In fact, because of this many people have dedicated their lives to helping others. And for recovering addicts, many have realized that by helping others in their recovery, they also help themselves.
There’s a saying in Alcoholics Anonymous that in order to keep it you have to give it away. In order to keep your sobriety and well being, give it to others by helping them in their recovery. But that’s not the only reason why people help others in recovery.
It’s not purely for selfish reasons. Instead, being of service often brings a feeling of enjoyment, pleasure, meaning, and life satisfaction. This might be especially true for someone with a past of hurting others and creating destruction. When someone is in recovery and he or she has reached an unshakeable sobriety, it might bring a sense of fulfillment to facilitate that in others.
Benefits That One Might Experience by Helping Others in Their Recovery:
- Assisting someone new in recovery can help someone remember what it was like for them and strengthen their commitment to avoid returning there.
- Research shows that those who help others are less likely to suffer from depression.
- Being of service can boost one’s self esteem.
- Helping others can be an opportunity to learn new skills and/or share the skills that one already possesses.
- Helping others can be a means to strengthen one’s confidence.
- Helping others can be seen as volunteering which may help a person who has a poor work history.
- Helping others can help break down the self absorption that comes with addiction.
- Being of service brings feelings of meaning, purpose, and life satisfaction, which might have been missing in one’s life prior to getting sober.
In addition to these reasons, a person may simply not have a reason for living and for making choices toward well being and happiness. Some might have their children, spouse, work, or spirituality. But others might need to find the motivation. With motivation and a clear decision to move in a new direction, a person can create the change they seek. This change might be inspired by the idea of being of service and having the opportunity to help others.
In fact, a study conducted at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine found that making time to help others while in recovery can significantly improve the lives of recovering addicts. It’s for this reason that Alcoholics Anonymous encourage their members to be of service while they are in recovery.
Part of this is the sponsor-sponsee relationship. This part of the program allows a member with a longer length of sobriety to be of service to someone new in recovery.
If you are in recovery and you’re looking for a way to bring meaning, purpose, and fulfillment to your life, perhaps it’s being of service to others.
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