After you have experienced treatment, you may feel compelled to extend your wisdom and knowledge out to others who may need help in their own recovery journeys. Some people may find that helping others can increase their personal ability to recover, while others might feel a deplete in energy and focus on their own recovery by doing so. While social support is essential in fostering recovery success, there are many variables to consider when you begin to influence others in their recovery.
Keep Your Recovery a Priority
When you start to become engaged in others’ recovery, you may become less engaged in your own journey. It is essential that you keep your recovery as your number one priority. You need to be up-front about your sobriety with others. You need to be honest about the struggles you are experiencing so that others can feel comfortable sharing their struggles with you, as well. It is unfair to yourself and your peers to fake a smile when you are truly struggling inside. Following treatment, many people might think they are ready to share the lessons they learned with others, even if they have not yet acclimated to their new life outside of treatment. However, those who seem acclimated are still likely to experience adversity and moments of weakness when they least expect it. If you feel a calling to help others with their recovery, ensure that your own recovery is at a good place. You should be able to identify healthy and useful coping mechanisms that you have been using to replace old habits. Furthermore, be prepared to discuss the dark parts of your journey with those you would like to help. Remember that if you return to moments of weakness, you are allowed to step back from helping others to keep your recovery a priority.
When you become invested in someone else’s recovery, you are likely to feel responsible for where their recovery journey may lead them. While it will be awesome to celebrate small and large victories with them, there is the possibility of feeling guilt or shame if their recovery goes south. If you are given the opportunity to support someone else’s recovery, take advantage of it. While you are doing so, be sure to acknowledge and set your own limits of what you can handle.
Identify Boundaries When Helping Others
You may feel ready to become a sponsor, mentor, or just someone who wants to motivate recovery success. In these cases, it is essential that you develop healthy boundaries with the people you are encouraging. Boundaries can be understood as limits, but they can also be guidelines for what you can offer to others. For example, you may have found your religious faith to be the main factor in motivating your sobriety and want to encourage others to turn to faith for success, as well. You will want to be upfront about this with the people you want to help. You may want to set a boundary if you feel like helping your close loved ones in their recovery journey is too much pressure – instead, you may seek to empower those you do not have close connections with. Boundaries are important because they establish necessary rules that keep you devoted to your own recovery path. If boundaries are not set, you may stumble or fall while you try to help others. Respect, honesty, and open-mindedness are a few positive boundaries that everyone should consider when they want to help others maintain their recovery.
The Benefits of Helping Others in Recovery
There are numerous benefits when it comes to helping others in recovery. If you feel like you are keeping your recovery a priority, you may find that helping others can take the pressure and focus off of yourself for a temporary amount of time. This will help you to learn new perspectives and ways to handle different obstacles in your own journey. There is also the element of social support that is acknowledged in helping others. There is no surprise that you feel less alone when talking about your problems or struggles with someone who is experiencing similar difficulties. Social support encourages recovery. Having another person keep you accountable in your recovery can empower long-term success. At times where you feel insecure or weak, you may be able to use one another as a reason to stay sober. There are various physical and mental benefits of helping others in recovery, as well. Most of all, helping others can replace negative or distressing thoughts with feelings of gratitude and purpose.
Being able to offer empowerment and motivation for someone else’s recovery is a gift in itself. As long as you recognize your own recovery to be the most important in your life, there are many benefits in helping others maintain their recovery. By owning your recovery honestly and authentically, you will find that helping others naturally promotes your own growth and willingness to achieve success in your recovery.
It is common to feel compelled to help others on their journey to recovery, especially when you experience moments of strength and success in your journey. There are numerous benefits in doing so, such as increasing social support and learning new perspectives. It is essential that you keep your recovery a priority when helping others maintain their recovery. Identify and acknowledge your own limits and boundaries to prevent yourself from losing track of your recovery. Renaissance Ranch values mentorship and social support in addiction recovery, as it is an essential element of recovery success. We offer a range of outpatient services to motivate your recovery beyond the residential treatment setting, including our Band of Brothers program. Our staff recognizes the incredible benefits of helping others with their recovery, and we want to continue to help you. Reach out to us for more resources about helping others maintain their recovery while keeping yours a priority. Call us at (801) 308-8898.