I Am Responsible: The Top 5 Reasons to Stay Involved In the Recovery Community
If you have been in the recovery community for more then a year, consider yourself a recovered alcohol or addict, have taken the 12 steps, helped newcomers and attended a gazillion 12 step meetings, WHY should you stay involved?
Isn’t It Someone Else’s Turn?
When I did all of those things above, my life got good. Really good! I got married in recovery, had a baby, got my white picket fence dream house, did volunteer work for my community and my church, had money and new cars, I was respected and became a contributing member of society. Why did I even NEED to continue helping drunks and addicts. Wasn’t it someone else’s turn? Hadn’t I done enough…? Occasionally those thoughts cross my mind, but luckily it doesn’t happen often, and thankfully I don’t listen to them and this is why:
The Top 5 Reasons to Stay Involved
What if you showed up at a meeting and no one was there but newcomers? What sort of meeting would that be? The blind leading the blind. Someone was there for you when you were new. They carried a message of hope to you, right? What if your sponsor said no when you asked her/him to sponsor you? It’s our responsibility to be there for the newcomer. It’s a responsibility that doesn’t have an end date and thank God for that or we’d all be drunk or high.
Do you know what Bill W., the founder of *Alcoholics Anonymous, used to say when people used to thank him for starting AA? “Don’t thank me, pass it on.” That’s why AA named the biography of Bill W. Pass it On.
2. The Joy of Giving Back
There is no better feeling in the world then being of service. You may not want to do it in the beginning but once you really get involved with service work there’s nothing better. It gives you that bounce in your step and twinkle in your eye to know that you have contributed something that has benefited someone else. You don’t want to miss this experience. Trust me!
3. It’s the Antidote to Selfishness
Remember what I wrote up above about the marriage, the house, cars, money ect? When the recession hit I lost all of the possessions, the money and eventually the husband. I became a single mother with no education, no job, broke, in a strange city, living in my mother’s house at age 40. All of this happened in sobriety.
What did I want to do? I wanted to focus on myself, dwell on my problems, wallow in my misery and think about me, Me, ME!!
What was my Higher Power’s plan for me? Every time there was a loss in my life He’d give me three or four sponsees to help. I was so busy with them, I forgot about my own problems. Also, when helping someone who is barely able to stay sober, I became grateful for my own sobriety, the sobriety that I had come to take for granted.
The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope. –Barack Obama
4. Where Else Are You Going to Find Sponsees?
I’ve known people throughout the years that have made a conscious choice to walk away from 12 step meetings. Their reasoning was they didn’t need to go to meetings to work the 12 steps. I would ask them, “How are you going to work the twelfth step? Where are you going to find other drunks and addicts to help?” They usually had some weak answer. In case you were thinking about doing this let me tell you the results of these people walking away…every single one of those people relapsed.
5. It Keeps You Sober
As I said above, those people relapsed because they stopped helping others. You can work every other step out of the 12 steps but if you ignore the twelfth step and don’t help other drunks and addicts there’s a good chance you will not be able to retain your sobriety.
PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE shows that nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking as intensive work with other alcoholics. It works when other activities fail. Alcoholics Anonymous pg. 89
Become Involved in a FUN Way
Do you want more FUN ways to be involved in recovery? A2WG has monthly events and retreats. Get involved with the planning process. Become a leader, helper or coordinator. Do you like baking, blogging or social media? All of those volunteer positions (and more) can give your sobriety the jolt it needs. Check out the Get Involved page to see what interests you. A2WG is a fun recovery organization to be involved with.
Have you ever left the recovery community or considered it? What were the results? How do you stay involved in the recovery community today?
Peace, Love & Sobriety,
*A2WG is not affiliated with AA