Recovery Elevator is excited to offer a new type of blog experience to our readers! We are reaching out to our Café RE members and giving those that are interested the opportunity to be guest bloggers for our site. Think of it as a podcast interview in written form. You will get parts of their story along with tips and tools that they have found beneficial in their own recovery journey. Please let us know what you think, or perhaps topics you would like to see covered, in the comments.
I’m excited to bring our first guest blog submission to you today! Stephanie McCarroll has been a member of Café RE since August 2020, has been alcohol free since January 12, 2020 and is very active within the community. You can often find her on one of our daily ZOOM chats, if not hosting it, offering support and accountability to our members. Thank you Steph!!
Benefits of Service in Recovery
By Stephanie McCarroll
One of the most important aspects of long term recovery is being of service to others. At the early stages of sobriety, my focus was to get through the day sober. While sobriety continues to be my most valuable thing I have, my life moved past just getting through the day without a drink. A greater need arose in myself to heal and thrive in all areas of my life: physically, mentally, emotionally, socially and spiritually.
Like the disease we have, recovery is also progressive.
True recovery is a path beyond simple abstinence. Rather, it is a journey by which we build strength to face the wounds that may have led to addiction and create a flourishing sober life. Being a helpful and valuable part of my recovery community is an integral part of such a life, and it is deeply nourishing to our social and spiritual wellbeing.
Alcohol isolated us.
It demanded we put our substance abuse above all others in our lives. Some of us feel a great deal of guilt for the time lost to our addiction. Although we cannot go back and erase our mistakes, our addiction gave us insight of what slavery to alcohol looked like. Hearing that other alcoholics could stop and recover was something that inspired us to keep fighting. We were no longer alone. We had evidence we could recover.
For those who have shared their stories, they chose to be of service, giving powerful testimony of the benefits of living an alcohol free life. In recovery, the idea of service could be a new, daunting thought. Yet, giving back to our communities provides us with so many benefits.
Science has proven that being of service positively affects your brain and mental health. According to research, when you give your time and resources to people in need, your brain activates pleasure sensors, giving you a feeling of wellbeing. In this way, being of service in recovery is a form of self-care and lifts our spirits. It also helps us to manage stress.
It also helps us rediscover our self-worth. It means being part of something bigger. At Cafe RE, members are encouraged to find ways to be of service wherever possible. Because Cafe RE is an intimate community, members volunteer to host chats and participate in community service projects.
In recovery, my art of writing has been rediscovered. Like those who had a fondness for music and photography, I wanted to reach out to the writers. This prompted me to inquire about the possibility of forming a members-driven Guest Blog for Recovery Elevator. Paul said YES!
In finding the right service opportunity for you, it can be helpful to tune into your passions and what makes you come alive. Being in recovery is a beautiful gift that gives you the chance to pursue the things you love most about life, things that may have been robbed from you during your addiction.
If you would like to give back to the recovery community and guest blog, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We know our members have a lot to say and want to be of service. We are excited for this new endeavor and know it will help a lot of people.