As a person who has gone through the depths of alcohol or drug addiction, you have lived a long time through turmoil. Once you entered recovery, your life began to turn around. Sobriety often helps someone more clearly view just how messed up things were during their darker days.
Memories of missed opportunities, relationships that were affected, and time you can’t get back may occupy a lot of your thoughts. The good news is you don’t have to keep renting headspace to the negativity of your past. Now that you are in recovery, you have a unique opportunity to turn what once was your “mess” into your message.
Teach the Younger Generation the Lessons You Already Learned
A person’s experiences as someone who suffered from alcohol and drug addiction can provide valuable lessons for others. An excellent way to show that is to look into opportunities to talk to younger people. Schools, clubs, and other youth-focused groups often welcome people who can lead by example.
The inexperience of youth makes them ripe for being at risk for developing a substance use disorder. A hallmark of being a teenager is the inability to see around corners when it comes to their behaviors. As a person in recovery, you can help shine a light on what can happen. You can teach young people what their lives can turn into when the use of alcohol or drugs goes from experimentation to addiction.
For many teenagers, a problem with alcohol or drug use may already have developed. Listening to someone who has gone down that road already may help them see the light. It also provides an opportunity for this audience to see how they can change course. A role model who can speak to the truth of choosing recovery may imprint on many young minds.
Spread Your Message as a Sponsor
Many 12-Step and other support groups feature sponsors. A sponsor helps match up with someone who is new to recovery and serves as part of their support system. They provide guidance, suggestions, and a sympathetic ear. They also know enough from their experience with addiction to help the person they sponsor shut down the “I can’t” or “It’s too hard” voices.
If you have had a sponsor, ask them for advice about becoming one yourself. They can help troubleshoot any concerns you have. If you are ready to become a sponsor, look for someone in the group you attend who is in the beginning stages of their recovery. See if they are interested in having a sponsor. Discuss what that would mean for the two of you.
Remember that not everyone feels ready for a sponsor. If they turn you down, don’t take it personally. Not every match turns out to be the right fit. If you mentor someone for some time but feel it’s not working out, open up that discussion. The mentee may have ideas for ways for the two of you to alter how you work together.
If ultimately it’s just not working out, that’s fine. Cut your losses in a positive manner and see if another opportunity presents itself. Just as chemistry matters in friendships and romantic relationships, it counts in mentoring, too.
Live Your Life as an Example to Others
Sometimes the best lessons from a teacher don’t come from lectures or the classroom. As a person who lives life in recovery now, you have the beautiful opportunity to be a role model simply by being you.
Others may be observing you and taking notes. It might be someone familiar, like a particular family member or friend. It might be someone you don’t know needs to see you lead by example. Whoever it is, you give them a gift by modeling how someone handles the “mess” you once found yourself in.
You can now provide a message of recovery and positivity. You can show those who are watching that anyone can become the phoenix rising from the ashes. Someday someone may come to you and say they noticed your journey. It might have helped them avoid developing an addiction to alcohol and drugs. It might have caused them to seek help if they were already in trouble.
Spotlight the New You for Someone From an Old Relationship
Many people who suffer from addiction end up losing valuable relationships in their lives. They might go through a breakup or divorce. They might end up not speaking to a family member. Sometimes friendships end or go on hold.
Modeling your new message may not fix a relationship you wish you could get back, but it might prove helpful. Regardless of the outcome, you can have pride in knowing that you proved that you could get help and turn your life around. Anyone who still knows you or hears about your recovery through the grapevine will hear your message loud and clear.
Some people who are in recovery from an addiction to alcohol or drugs get stuck on the negative aspect of their pasts. They concentrate on the “mess” things became, which can complicate recovery. However, you can turn that “mess” into a positive message that carries you forward and helps others. Options like talking to young people, becoming a sponsor, and simply living life as a person in recovery can provide opportunities to deliver your message of recovery. The Detox Center of Colorado understands how important your recovery is and can help you get there. We provide a private detoxification process in our homelike setting located in the scenic Denver area. We also provide any needed medical and psychological assistance during the detox process. Our facility will help you plan your next steps to enter recovery and stay there. Call us today at (303) 952-5035 to hear our message of living a sober life and leaving the mess behind.