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If you’ve received drug or alcohol addiction treatment, then you may agree that support can go a long way. Volunteering as a recovery activity allows you to serve others and prevents you from becoming too focused on your own life. It’s easy to become enveloped in a little bubble of protection when you’re in addiction recovery. Sustaining your sobriety isn’t just about the things you should avoid, though, but the things you should do. There are many benefits of volunteering in recovery for both yourself and those you help.
As a drug and alcohol addiction treatment center in Massachusetts, we know how important it is to keep your mind busy and help others in the process. There are plenty of positive things that can come out of offering your services to others in their time of need.
It’s common for people in addiction recovery to prioritize their sobriety above everything else. While sobriety is a main priority, it isn’t the only one. A big part of staying clean is learning how to incorporate new things into your life and make any necessary changes. One of the things you should incorporate is volunteer work. Below are some benefits of volunteering in recovery our Banyan Massachusetts team has offered that may inspire you to go out and reach out to those in need.
Volunteering doesn’t always involve manual labor. You may volunteer with animals or small children doing fun activities and just being there for them. Disconnecting your mind from the other distractions or stressors in life to focus on others can relieve the stress you may be putting on yourself in recovery. This can help you improve and sustain your mental health.
Although addiction is a chronic disease that cannot be considered a conscious choice, many people associate selfishness with substance abuse. And while you may not have had these intentions during your active addiction, it may be difficult to break out of the self-serving cycle that drug and alcohol abuse can trap you in. Practicing selflessness can help you avoid the natural inclination to think about what you want versus what’s best for yourself.
Isolating yourself or sticking to the same group of friends isn’t always wise. Unfortunately, people in recovery tend to do this often from fear of breaking their routine. Volunteering is a safe way to connect with people who aren’t in your inner circle. You may learn from the experiences of others and in turn, continue to grow as a person. You may also offer them a much-needed friendship.
Many people in recovery tend to avoid stressful situations and emotions. While some may be more open to this aspect of healing, others may choose to be completely ignorant of the hard truths that often reveal themselves in times of difficulty. One of the many benefits of volunteering during recovery is that it places the person in a position where they have to learn how to manage these challenges. As a result, the individual may grow while helping someone else in the process.
Your life no longer revolves around your addiction, and it shouldn’t revolve around your sobriety either. To be clear, this doesn’t mean you focus less on your recovery, but rather incorporate new and fun ways you can enjoy being sober. Because there are so many ways you can volunteer, you may find your purpose in an unexpected place.
Many people who have suffered from addiction want to learn how to make amends in recovery with those they may have hurt along the way. While volunteering in addiction recovery cannot erase the past, it does offer the individual an opportunity to actively work on supporting their words with actions.&
While the benefits of volunteering in sobriety may include lots of inner healing, it’s also just about staying busy. Boredom and loneliness are two of the most common threats to sobriety, but volunteering can give you something to look forward to during the week. It’s better to actively help others than risk your thoughts from taking a dangerous turn.