12-step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous and other similar groups provide a roadmap towards healing and hope for those in recovery. Each step revolves around an important theme or concept, and through hard work and determination those who are sober are empowering to leave their past behind and embrace a new spiritually-centered life. The 12th Step is seen as a truly transformative step in which those who are in recovery have moved away from focusing on satisfying themselves and devote their life being of service to others who are struggling with substance abuse.
The 12th Step is an Ongoing Journey
It may be a saying that is well-worn, but it is worth repeating–recovery is a lifelong process. This philosophy is abundantly clear in the 12th Step which reads as follows:
Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to (addicts), and to practice these principles in all our affairs
The bottom line message conveyed through the 12th Step is that the serenity and peace that comes with recovery can only blossom if one shares their struggles and victories over substance abuse with others. Addiction is not only a complex and baffling, it is also a disease of selfishness. When an addict finally admits their lives are unmanageable and decide to seek treatment, they learn through the Steps to address their past and realize they are but a small part of a greater world.
Through their progression through the Steps, the newly recovering addict comes to terms with their own failings, learns to reach out to others and a greater power in a meaningful way, makes amends and peace with their past and ultimately allows their true spirit to shine. Through the sharing of their story and themselves to others that are struggling with the disease of addiction, people allow recovery to grow deeper and more meaningful in their lives.
The Benefits of Helping Others
For those who help others in their recovery, the benefits are numerous. Helping others builds one’s self-esteem and confidence knowing they are making a positive contribution in their community. This focus on serving others also helps reduce feelings of selfishness and helps people find true happiness. Helping others who are struggling with drug and alcohol addiction reminds those in recovery what they left behind and they will always remember the pain of substance abuse.
Being of service to others while in recovery is an excellent way to meet new people and engage in new experiences which are fulfilling. For those who volunteer, it helps minimize feelings of boredom which is a common trigger for relapse. Most importantly, giving of one’s self helps them grow spiritually which is an absolute necessity if recovery is be sustained in the long run.
What Are Some Ways in Which Recovering People Can Be of Service?
There are plenty of opportunities that people in recovery can be of service to others. A great way to get involved in through a 12-Step fellowship. People can become a meeting secretary or volunteer to be a guest speaker at a speaker meeting. People can also help set up meetings and be part of the activities committee to set up social events. Additionally, people can visit those who are in the hospital or prison that in recovery. Another way that people can give back in their recovery is to become a sponsor for a newcomer to the program.
An Important Thing to Remember About Helping Others
When people in recovery begin to help others, having the right attitude is necessary. Being of service does not mean having a superior attitude or looking down on the person they are trying to help. The best attitude that one can take when helping other people is to have a sense of humility and empathy towards others. When people adopt this mindset in their volunteer efforts, they recognize they are not better than the person they are helping. Instead, they understand they are on a more spiritually based path. Additionally, those who help others as a part of their recovery recognizes that anyone can hit a downturn in life where they lose everything.
If You Want To Help Others, You First Must Learn to Help Yourself
As human beings, we are wired to be of service to our fellow man. When you or a loved one is actively addicted to drugs and alcohol, helping others takes a backseat to one’s own selfish desires. To regain a sense of self and to break the vicious cycle of addiction, drug treatment will provide people the opportunity to address those issues in a safe and empowering environment. Dream Center for Recovery provides addicts from all walks of life quality drug treatment programming that is effective and individually tailored to meet each addict’s specific needs.
Become the person you know you can be with help from Dream Center for Recovery. Call today.