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Giving Back in Recovery

When we look back on our addiction recovery journey, we realize it has given us so much. We’ve been supported, nurtured and guided along the way by friends and family, therapists, sponsors, doctors and caregivers. We’ve been encouraged and motivated when we felt down on ourselves, when we felt weak in the face of our overpowering addictions. We’ve been inspired by other people’s success. Now that we’re in recovery, many of us feel pulled to give back to other people, to help them along their own recovery journey, and to give them some of the love and support we’ve been blessed to receive. When we feel compelled to be of service to others in recovery, let’s heed the call. Our service and our compassion are powerful antidotes to the pressures and challenges of recovery, they keep us grounded and in alignment with our goals, and they bring comfort not only to the people we’re helping but also to us. They allow us to feel good about ourselves and to feel fulfilled, making us that much more likely to stay the course of our recovery.

Our struggles with addiction have caused many of us to feel down on ourselves, ashamed and full of remorse. We can feel as though our regret from the mistakes we’ve made, the ways in which we’ve hurt people, and the bridges we’ve burned are eating us alive. When we’re working to get and stay sober, we want to find ways of improving our sense of self, of empowering and strengthening ourselves, and of amplifying our self-worth. We want to love ourselves. When we give back, we feel good about ourselves. We feel grateful for the opportunity to help other people. We feel a sense of fulfillment we’ve been missing for so long. For years we’ve felt our lives were empty, meaningless and devoid of purpose. Now in recovery, our service to other people can become a meaningful part of our purpose.

The intense pain we’ve experienced throughout our years of struggling with addiction can make us feel as though our suffering has been in vain. We question the deeper meaning behind it. We wonder why we’ve been subjected to so much trauma and loss. As we heal, we see that our struggles have actually been preparing us for our journey. They allow us to appreciate our sobriety, the happiness and inner peace we’re able to cultivate. We realize that in recovery we can pay it forward and use our stories as inspiration for someone else’s recovery. Other people can benefit from our wisdom. The lessons we’ve learned from our experiences can become part of their addiction survival guide. We can take comfort in the fact that our struggles did in fact have purpose and meaning, and in giving back, we fulfill our beautiful calling to send love and light in someone else’s direction.

Sometimes we assume that to give back we need to have a lot of money or resources to donate. We think we should wait until we’re wealthy to be able to give back. Service can take on many forms, though. We serve when we provide a listening ear for someone who is in pain. We serve when we allow people to share their stories with us and provide compassion and understanding rather than judgment. We serve when we share our stories. We serve when we are a living example to someone else that recovery is possible. When our service comes from our hearts, it is priceless. There is no monetary value that can be placed on that. We’re giving the gift of our strength, our energy and our love. We’re giving the gift of everything we’ve learned from our experiences, all the years of wisdom we’ve been accruing, all the lessons we’ve accumulated.

When we’re feeling the normal but overwhelming challenges of recovery, the depression and anxiety, the pressure to give into the temptation of our addictive urges, the feelings of sadness and fear that are a part of life but that we’ve grown used to numbing with our drugs of choice, we can use our service as a remedy. We feel happy when we see that we’ve helped another person. We feel grateful for the chance to lighten their load and make them feel a little better. We feel optimistic about the road ahead when we see that we’re capable of offering so much. Even if in the moment our act of service doesn’t appear to be a grandiose gesture, we can take pride in knowing we’ve been generous and giving. We’ve given of ourselves, and that is the greatest gift we can give. We’ve been forthcoming with our love and our positive energy. We can feel fulfilled knowing we’re bringing our purpose to life and making good use of all of our difficult experiences. Service can remedy the emptiness we feel, the worry, the self-doubt, the uncertainty about what the future will hold. It can bring our minds and hearts back to a positive place full of optimism and joy. For years we’ve battled depression and the pain of addiction. We’ve felt numb, empty and lost. Service helps fill those voids and give us a sense of direction and hopefulness. When we pay it forward, we see just how far we’ve come. We empower ourselves and the people we help to keep going, to never give up, and to love ourselves through the whole process.

At The Guest House Ocala, we are uniquely equipped to help our guests heal from trauma-induced substance abuse, process addiction, anxiety and depression in a safe, comfortable and confidential setting Call 855-483-7800 today for more information on our treatment programs.