Why Giving Back in Recovery Matters So Much

closeup of hands stacked on top of each other - giving back

You’re working through recovery.

You take a look around you and notice all that you have. How did you get so lucky to make it through this life-changing situation? You know what it feels like to be on the other side, fighting for your life and wondering how you are going to get your next fix or if you’ll die first. Now, you want to do something to say thanks.

Why So Many People Give Back

Volunteering or giving back during drug and alcohol recovery feels good. It is one of the most rewarding experiences you may have. There’s no question that volunteering benefits others, but let’s take a closer look at how it benefits you.

You Have Something Else to Focus On

During the substance abuse recovery process, one thing that can be so challenging to manage is the thinking. You worry, wonder, and stress over everything. You have feelings that range from relief to anxiety to guilt. All of this adds up over time and becomes mentally challenging.

When you are giving back, you are thinking about other people. You are focusing on helping people in a worse position than you are in right now. If you are feeling stressed, volunteering helps to reduce those feelings. You have something constructive and positive to focus on.

It Helps Ease Feelings of Isolation

Recovery is a very difficult place. Those with whom you spent time while you were using are no longer people you can have in your life. Your family and other friends may not be 100% supportive of you just yet. When you volunteer to help those in need, you have other people to spend time with, and you can enjoy a more positive day-to-day experience as a result.

Along the same lines, you’ll feel like your relationships and activities are appreciated. You may remember what it felt like when no one was there to support you or understand your situation. If you reach out to someone facing these same challenges, you help them feel less alone.

You Are Repaying Society

Maybe you still feel guilty about how you behaved with the people around you when you were using substances. Perhaps you didn’t always do the right thing. You may not have had a lot of self-worth while you were using. That’s understandable during addiction. Now that you’ve worked through that, it’s time to give back.

When you work to repay society, you are putting good energy out into the world. These types of selfless acts can give you more confidence in yourself. As a result, you may be less likely to use drugs or alcohol again.

How Can You Give Back During Drug Addiction Recovery?

Once you enroll in alcohol or drug rehab in Tucson with our team at Cottonwood, you’ll focus a great deal on improving your health and mental wellbeing. Once you are strong enough, we’ll talk to you about how good of a fit you may be for volunteer opportunities within the community.

It’s important for you to choose the right type of volunteer work. If you’ve never volunteered before, consider these guidelines:

  • Choose something that’s important to you. Do you want to focus on substance abuse? Is there another charity or service that’s more important to you?
  • Do you like working with people? Sometimes, you may not be comfortable in a social environment. Consider a behind-the-scenes type of volunteer service, then.
  • Do you have any professional skills that may be valuable to someone? This is one of the best ways to give back – by doing something you’re good at and giving it to those who may not be able to afford it.
  • How much time do you have? Volunteer work can be challenging. Start slowly. You can always do more later once you see how well it fits your needs.
  • Do you feel comfortable around people who may still be in active addiction? Don’t risk your sobriety if you are not at that point just yet.

Volunteering isn’t for everyone, and maybe it’s not right for you at this moment even though it might be right in the future. However, for most people in recovery, giving back is a rich and rewarding experience that can restore much of your confidence.

For more information about Cottonwood Tucson, drug and alcohol treatment in Arizona, call (800) 877-4520. We are ready to help you or your loved one find lasting recovery.

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