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Service as a Tool for Recovery

Often when we are caught in the destructive cycles of our addiction and depression, we lose our sense of self-worth and value in the world. We become stuck in our pain and feelings of worthlessness, and we forget that there are infinite ways we can give back and help other people. Serving others is a beautiful way to help us grow in our recovery.

When we serve, it allows us to remove ourselves from the turmoil of our minds because we’re allowing ourselves to focus on other people and their needs. We’re reminded that we aren’t the only ones living with challenges. This can bring us a humility that is hard to have when we’re fully focused on our own problems. When we see the difficulties other people are facing, we start to see just how blessed we are, and we are reminded to have gratitude for everything we have.

Serving others allows us to see how connected we truly are. Many of us share in common very similar unhealed wounds, traumatic experiences and deep-rooted fears. Serving allows us to see our similarities and our connections, and to learn more about the commonalities of human nature. This can help us feel much less alone. We strengthen ourselves any time we connect with other people.

Giving to others helps us to feel a sense of purpose. Often when we are caught in our addictions, we lose our sense of who we are and what purpose we can serve in life. Giving and sharing gives us back our fulfillment. It makes us feel we are offering something valuable to others. Feeling proud of ourselves, feeling fulfilled, and living in purpose are transformative in our recovery process.

The more we help others, the more we are focused on doing things that are constructive and productive. This helps us get out of our cycles of self-destructiveness. We have something valuable to look forward to that impacts other people positively and makes a difference. We are putting our energy towards things that aren’t counterproductive and self-destructive. We aren’t self-medicating or trying to escape our pain. We are finding healthier outlets for our emotional energy.

When we serve others, their gratitude and appreciation are enough to bolster our sense of self and rebuild our self-worth. We start to see ourselves not just as addicts but as givers, people who have something valuable to offer. We remove ourselves from the patterns of creating hurt within us and around us, and we start new patterns based on how wonderful it feels to help others.

At Riverside, we can help with the various elements of recovery. Finding our purpose is one of those. Call (800) 871-5440.