Volunteering is an excellent way of giving back to the community and fostering more self-esteem. After all, if you want to feel better about yourself, it often helps to start giving freely to others. As a recovering addict, you were probably beaten down a good bit when you first walked into treatment or the recovery rooms. Now it is time to increase your self-worth—and that begins by putting others above yourself.
Taking the Next Step
After successfully completing a rigorous addiction treatment regimen, you may feel re-energized and ready to integrate back into society. Alternatively, you may feel lost and unsure of the next step to take. Many rehabilitated addicts feel purposeless after completing their treatment process. Because of this, it is important to consider volunteering since it can help you grow mentally, socially and spiritually. In fact, experts consider volunteering to be an integral aspect of the recovery process.
There are several volunteering opportunities available at addiction recovery groups like Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous. In addition to these, there are organizations that provide volunteer opportunities that cover a vast field of skills and individual interests, such as The Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, the library, various non-profits, soup kitchens and more.
Ditch the Negative Emotions
During the recovery process, you may carry a lot of emotional baggage including guilt and shame. Although you strive to shed these feelings during rehab, they usually tend to linger. During the days you were suffering from addiction, you were selfish and self-centered but now volunteering gives you the opportunity to give back to the society, to be selfless and to help others.
Volunteering is a good way of mitigating those negative sentiments of the past. When you choose to help other people in need, you can easily repay your social debt to society. It doesn't matter if you did not negatively affect others during your addiction because the fact is you were not positively contributing to society. Volunteering not only gives you the avenue to give back, it also enables you to start fostering feelings of self-worth. The people who need you will hold you in high esteem and this can initiate positive changes in your life. When you feel good about your purpose in the world, you are less likely to relapse.
Build a Positive Social Network
Volunteering also helps recovering addicts in building a positive and beneficial social network. Establishing positive relationships with individuals who are bound to support your recovery is very important. It is advisable to abandon your old buddies and connections and work on getting new acquaintances. Volunteering gives you the avenue to meet new people who share your ideals and may lead you to new opportunities. Many people in recovery are in need of volunteers like you to help them with their addiction process.
All in all, working as a volunteer is an excellent way to better your life and help others at the same time. It is recommended that you pursue your passions by volunteering at a place that makes you feel good about yourself. When you feel good about your endeavors, you will also be able to give your best shot and feel purposeful at the same time.