Everyone has a story to tell. For centuries people told their stories so they could share their knowledge. Each story a person tells gives insight into their best and worst times. They can express joy, sadness, and dismay. Stories have power.
The power of a story lies in the teller. When the person telling the story lays bare the good and the bad, the listener (or reader) can connect with the characters. That’s why when you hear or read a story that holds truth, you can feel what the character is going through. A good story can also show you events similar to those in your life and give you ideas or solutions. So, when you’re the storyteller, stay true to yourself by sharing the worst and best moments of your life.
The Importance of Storytelling
Stories that tell tales or are autobiographical give a peek into another world or life. That’s why oral or written accounts of events are essential.
There is an art of telling stories. A good storyteller can share and engage their audience. Their contribution to a group or community means knowledge, history, and lessons can pass to others. For example, your decision to share during a 12-Step meeting helps you let go of the past. Your share also serves to let others know they’re not alone and there is hope in recovery.
During an Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), or other 12-Step meetings, members share their experiences with the group in “speaker meetings,” which are usually open meetings. Open meetings welcome anyone to come and listen to the stories of those who speak. Speakers provide a face-to-face service because they tell what life was like for them before, what led them to treatment, and what living without alcohol or drugs is like for them. Their stories are honest about the best and worst times of a person’s life.
Sharing With Others
You learned to share your toys, crayons, or food as a child. Yet, as an adult, you can hesitate or refuse to share with others. What happened? To find the answer to this question, you have to look within yourself. Maybe you discovered sharing was unilateral, or people took advantage of you, or you believe what’s yours is yours. Spend time doing a mental inventory and see if you can learn why you decreased or stopped sharing with others.
Perhaps sharing became a fear or weakness when you used alcohol or drugs, as the thought of others knowing led to hiding or covering up your addiction. Now that you’re in recovery, the urge to hide substance addiction behaviors and consequences can hinder your sobriety. It’s understandable, though. When you commit to the act of sharing, it means you’re giving a part of yourself to others. Those in the group will know who you are and what you did. Your group members will also see how you took steps to change your life.
The Benefits of Sharing
Merriam-Webster says sharing is the act of letting someone else have or use a part of something that belongs to you. The benefits of telling your story include:
- Your story can help others. AA, as well as other 12-Step programs and recovery groups, recognizes the power in a story. Not only can you help someone in the audience, but you help yourself heal. Passing on your wisdom is empowering, especially if you feel you cannot help others.
- Find your voice. Expressing yourself is vital in the mind-body-spirit connection. Each time you speak to others, you can think and learn about your experiences. Over time, you can discover a way to make your history make sense. Therapists will encourage you to think about your life with a beginning, middle, and end. Every behavior and event served a purpose. Whether an experience was good or bad, all experiences made you who you are today. So, don’t ignore the bad in your story.
- Reconnect with your values. Sometimes alcohol or drug addiction takes you away from your core values or morals. While you’re in your alumni or peer-support group, be open about everything that happened before you began treatment. Don’t be afraid to share moments of doubt you can have while in recovery. Stay true to yourself.
- Find inner hope and peace. Reconnecting with your authentic self is an incredible opportunity. You face your worst and best moments with strength and humility. Your faith, hope, and peace are crucial to discovering what is essential. They’re vital for your belief in something greater than yourself, morals, or core values. Set aside your shame or guilt and love yourself. When you love yourself, you can accept your imperfections and recognize they make you perfect.
- Lead with love. Love yourself and others. Embrace life – share and reconnect with your mind, body, and spirit. Once you are true to your authentic self, your mind and body can start to heal.
Being honest with yourself and others means sharing the best and worst moments of your life. You release your guilt, shame, or embarrassment every time you share. Your story can also impact someone you don’t know. The power of sharing your story lies in letting others know they’re not alone. They find hope and faith in their recovery because they see yours. Additionally, when you share your life with others, you start at the beginning and see how your choices led you to where you are now. Every decision you made in your past can lead you to the decision to start substance addiction treatment at Renaissance Ranch Treatment Centers. Your treatment and recovery are a part of your life story. We’re here to guide you through every part of your story, and we will continue to stay with you. To learn more about our location in Utah and the services we offer, call (801) 308-8898 today.