Teachers Who Work Outside the Classroom
May 4th is “Teacher Appreciation Day.” Nearly everyone can reflect on their school days and remember a great teacher they had. It might be someone who pushed them to go the extra mile or helped foster an interest in a new subject. Teachers often are underpaid and not fully appreciated by those who don’t understand how demanding their workload can be.
Something to consider is whether teachers exist only in the classroom. As people move through their lives, they encounter many people who serve in a teacher’s role. It can be beneficial to think about which people may have fulfilled a “teacher-type” position in your life and thank them for it. These teachers may not recognize the effect they had on another’s life. Reaching out with a phone call, text, or a handwritten note can mean the world to someone.
If you’re not sure about who might have been or continues to be a teacher in your life, here are some ideas.
Sponsors in Support Groups
Sponsors are one of the great benefits of being part of a support group. 12-Step type groups often have members who have banked a lot of time in sobriety. They graciously choose to volunteer as sponsors to newer members to help. They offer advice, perspective, and proof that staying in recovery works.
If you have a sponsor, take the time to consider how they have served as a teacher in your recovery. Were they there when you were experiencing temptation and talked you out of drinking or using? Did they reinforce how strong you are when you felt weak? Are they a role model for how you want to view yourself when you reach the point in recovery they have achieved? Tell them how they taught you and why you are grateful.
Family Members and Close Friends
Living in the grip of an addiction to drugs or alcohol isn’t a solo act. The impact reaches beyond just the life of the person struggling. It can affect their parents, siblings, children, other family members, and close friends. Has someone in your family or friend group stepped up to the challenge of dealing with the issues arising from your addiction?
Maybe they refused to abandon you, even when you felt you had lost everyone in your corner. They might have driven you to treatment appointments. They may have sat up late into the night talking with you about how you had the power to turn your life around. Your family and friends may not be aware of how much they taught you. Reach out to this family member or friend and tell them how their words and actions impacted you.
Treatment Team Members
Often a person dealing with addiction also has co-occurring diagnoses. Mental health issues can go hand-in-hand with addiction. When this happens, it’s not uncommon for the person to have multiple treatment team members. Consider who on your team served in what capacity in your recovery.
You might have a therapist who helped you reframe your life and hit the reset button. You may have benefitted from a medical professional in a detoxification program who gave you step-by-step plans to improve your physical health. Make a plan to reach out to an individual who taught you what you needed to know to enter and sustain recovery. Sometimes knowing the specifics of what they did or said that helped you will inspire them to use those same techniques with other clients.
Inspirational Authors and Websites
Bookstores and websites are full of inspirational books that guide a person in recovery. Whether the struggle is with addiction or mental health, many written words exist to help inspire those in need. You can also find a litany of blogs that offer guidance and resources related to recovery.
If you have benefitted from inspirational words, take a moment to let the author of the book or creator of the website know. While they may hope they are helping people, receiving confirmation can give them the incentive to keep up their excellent work. If you want to thank an author, look for contact information on their website or social media accounts. You can also leave a glowing review of their book that may persuade someone else to get it.
If you enjoy a particular website, send an email or leave a positive comment on its social media accounts. You can also recommend books and websites to others on your social media accounts. Tag the author or webmaster so they can see what you said.
Everyone has a favorite teacher they had, but they don’t exist just in classrooms. Taking the time to thank family members, treatment team members, sponsors, and others who taught you can be meaningful for both of you. It also gives you a chance to review what you have learned in recovery. The Detox Center of Colorado specializes in teaching our clients how to take charge of their lives. We start by determining a course of action to help you detoxify from drugs and alcohol. We then help you plan your next moves in recovery to learn how to manage your life and achieve lifelong sobriety. Our program serves clients 18 and older in our cozy, eight-bed facility in the Denver area. Let our compassionate, professional staff help you take the first step in recovery. Call us now and find out how to get started on learning how to change your life! (303) 952-5035.