Have you ever noticed that time seems to go by faster as you get older? Holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries all come and go—and before we know it, here they come again.
As we age, we have less “new” or “first time” experiences. There are no unique memories to stand out. Our lives get busy… days, months and years fly by, and then we recognize that there are opportunities we have had to help others… but we didn’t. I can only speak for myself. I have missed some of those moments… heck many moments…
So what am I getting at? Well, every one of us in recovery has an opportunity to give back or pay it forward to someone else who is in their moment of discovery…their ah ha moment of change. We all have an opportunity to tell people that it is possible. To be the example. You don’t have to move mountains in order to accomplish this. Half the battle is simply getting sober and becoming a living example of someone who is responsible in their recovery. The other half of it is carrying a message in whatever way works for you.
I can only speak for myself although when I started having an interest in others, that’s when the ‘selfishness’ switch went off and the ‘pay it forward’ switch came on. When I started experiencing the benefits of recovery and I started becoming stable, I began to realize how valuable and how grateful I was for my sobriety. I became grateful to the people that became years before me to lay the foundation that has given me and so many other people the opportunity to see my full potential.
I was once blinded by my own denial. But, once I was able to SEE again, it just became natural for me to help others.
Another reason for this shift in attitude came because of my peers in recovery. They helped me, gave me advice, gave me support… they became my allies in my war against addiction. But it doesn’t just stop there. One thing I realized along this journey is that my peers also needed me. There is always someone new coming into recovery… their first day.. and there is always someone who is going to be there to extend their hand and offer a warm welcome to the newcomer. Someone was their for me on my day 1, waiting to give me the message. They were there to show me how to make it through detox and how to start getting support. They were there to share with me their message of hope. You just never know what a newcomer might say that could change your perspective, and therefore your life.
That is because recovery is about ideas. It is about changing our attitude. It is about shifting our perspective and doing something different. And you never know where you might get that kind of inspiration from. It may be from the newcomer, from the person who has the least amount of knowledge (or so you thought?) about recovery. They might say just the right thing that really causes you to stop and consider things again.
So my challenge to all of us it go up to the newcomer and extend your welcoming hand of recovery. Be a beacon of light to someone who is at the starting point of their journey. Carry your message of hope. We all have different approaches and unique talents in how we carry the message.
Some of us aren’t comfortable sharing in big groups. Some of us aren’t good at sharing at meetings. Some of us are better at talking one on one with a cup of coffee in front of us at our favourite java joint. Some of us prefer to share the message online. It doesn’t matter how you do it… When you are ready… just do it.
I carry the message in my own way, based on my own unique talents.
Look for for outlets in which you have more skill. I try to keep it simple, that works best for me.
The bottom line is this… Healing people… heal people.
I can’t do it alone. You can’t do it alone… None of us can do it alone!
So think about it…. Healing people… heal people.
Amazing… Thanks for stopping by… Luke D