“If you are really thankful, what do you do? You share.” – W. Clement Stone
Working a thriving and growing program of recovery from a substance use disorder requires us to develop new skills and coping methods. If we are doing the work, we’ll start to feel an honest sense of compassion and empathy for the people around us. These new assets will serve us well in our recovery, but are also something we can bring into the broader community in which we live our lives.
Investing some of our time and effort in our communities gives us a chance to see that we are not the only ones who have struggles to overcome, and that addiction hasn’t cornered the market on suffering. Outside of our treatment, therapy, or meetings, we pass more people than we can count each day. Just like us, the people we pass face daily struggles that we know nothing about.
By stretching our boundaries and getting involved, we can practice the principles that we are learning in our recovery program in a healthy manner that is supportive of others in need. We can start to give back to a community from which we took so much during our active addiction.
There are as many ways to get involved in our communities as we have interests and experience. Some of the people and organizations that could benefit from our help include:
- Food Banks: Food Bank and Family Services, Loaves and Fishes
- Volunteer Match: Sacramento
- City of Sacramento: Volunteer opportunities
- Volunteers of America: Sacramento
- Women in Crisis: Sierra Moms
Now that we aren’t consumed by addiction and chasing the next drink or drug, we’re bound to find ourselves with some free time. We don’t have to limit ourselves to helping only people recovering from addiction. We can gain some valuable perspective on our own lives by giving to others.
As the holidays approach, we can ask ourselves: what better time to start giving back?
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