incredible-marketing Arrow

Once upon a time, you were a newcomer in your recovery program. You knew very little about how the 12-Steps works and what a sponsor was. In fact, you knew even less about what you were supposed to do next. Walking into your first meeting or group session, you felt vulnerable, confused, possibly even scared. As you continued to show up, you may have noticed there was one or maybe several people in your recovery community who you looked up to. These people possessed something you wanted, something you admired. Maybe they were knowledgeable in the 12-Step program or seemed very secure in their recovery. Maybe they led a meeting, and you felt they were someone you could deeply relate to. They made you laugh, cry, or think just a bit more than usual. Could it have been that they appeared to be happy? 


In early recovery, it can be so comforting and refreshing to find someone to emulate. Entering sobriety ready to learn from others can be hard when you have lived on self-will for so long. These role models were essential to your journey on recovery. They represented all the ways that you wanted to grow, the characteristics you looked forward to having. Now that you have been sober for some length of time, if you are attending meetings and continuing to actively participate in your recovery, you are growing into those attributes of the role models you once had. 


Now it is your turn to be a role model for a newcomer, just like you were at one time. 


The Sparkle in Your Eyes

A common saying in sobriety refers to the light or sparkle that returns to our eyes as we accumulate more sober time and work through a 12-Step program. As you’ve progressed, you may not always notice this change in your demeanor, but a newcomer will. While there may not be a literal sparkle in your eye, there are aspects of your disposition that will inevitably change over time. Confidence returns, and you begin to hold yourself higher. Smiles are abundant, even on the days when you don’t feel at your best. Eye contact becomes easier and you show sincerity in your care for other alcoholics whether they are a newcomer or have been around for many years. In the eyes of a newcomer, these may be characteristics they cannot or have not related to yet. Even if they feel angry or scared upon first entering sobriety, underneath a solemn demeanor is a longing for human connection. Your happiness and morale represent what they could attain if they stick around. While it may not be a literal sparkle, the truth is that you are a beacon of light for someone coming in who may have been lost in darkness for a long period of time. Keep your shine strong!


Sharing Your Experience, Strength, and Hope

Leading a meeting can be an opportunity for you to reach the newcomer who hasn’t found something to relate to yet. When you courageously go before a group of alcoholics or addicts and share what you have gone through and the ways your 12-step program has made your life better now, there is always someone listening who needs to hear it. Our stories may vary and how we came to our recovery program won’t always be the same, but the feelings we experience during our addiction are universal. At one point, we all felt hopeless, unloveable, and alone. A newcomer is the most important person at any meeting. Desperation or surrender may have led them to recovery. Inspiration is what will make them stay. Your story, struggle, and motivation might be just the thing to inspire them to grow stronger and put more effort into their sobriety. It could remind them that recovery is possible and that they are worth it. Aspects of your lead that seem minute or insignificant to you could actually be the thing that makes a newcomer want to stay. Every time you lead a meeting, remember that there is someone in the room with you that needs your experience. To be a role model, lead with honesty, bravery, and compassion. Knowingly or unknowingly, you could change someone’s life. 


Never Stop Learning

We are not perfect. There may be days where you are not feeling like the best version of yourself, for any reason. Life brings challenges and sharp turns and we don’t have to have the answers for everything. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or reach out for support, no matter how much time you have. In a newcomer’s eyes, you don’t have to be the ideal specimen of recovery. You are human, just like everyone else. Teach them by showing them it’s okay to not know everything. Return to the basics of recovery when you need to. Take a coffee commitment or begin the 12-Steps again with a sponsor. Show a newcomer that it is okay to continue learning. Recovery will always be a process, one day at a time. We still show up, stay active in our sobriety, attend and lead meetings, and do the work. Both you and any newcomer are a work in progress. That is the miracle of recovery. 


You don’t need to be a person’s sponsor to still be someone they want to emulate. Taking suggestions, doing the next right thing, and staying honest are all ways that you can be a good role model. You are a beacon of light, even on the days when it doesn’t feel that way. As you get more time, you begin to realize that the purpose of your sobriety is to reach out and help the new alcoholic or addict who is struggling and learning. You were once that newcomer. Be the role model that you needed during your first few months in recovery!


 Are you ready to take the next steps in your recovery and change your life for the better?

Call The Guest House today! 855-483-7800