Community service is a valuable part of recovery from a drug or alcohol addiction in many ways. Participating in service not only provides an obvious benefit to others, it also strengthens a person’s sense of self worth, focus, and optimism about life. Volunteering also offers the practical value of building skills that can be useful for a future career as well as getting you acquainted with people involved in a field that interests you. The following is short guide to why service is an integral part of recovery and an invaluable step towards staying sober for life.
Taking steps toward a better career.
The process of looking for a job can be quite frustrating, especially when most of your time is spent sending out resumes and waiting to hear a response. During that grueling wait, it can be very easy to lose hope and get down on yourself, which often leads many to start drinking or using drugs again. Instead of losing hope, take the opportunity to volunteer with an organization that interests you.
This can be anything from an animal shelter to an arts organization to helping others struggling with an addiction. The important thing is to volunteer with a cause that you’re passionate about. This can make the waiting game go by faster, and in many cases even help you get your foot in the door at an organization that you really care about. If nothing comes of it, at least you will have some valuable experience to add to your resume and you’ll feel good about sharing your time with others in need.
Getting back into the rhythm of work.
If you’ve out of work for awhile or just very much focused on recovery, then volunteering can help you get back into the rhythm of working. Volunteer work can be demanding, so you’ll experience the need for managing time, getting along with people of all backgrounds, and maintaining a professional demeanor that will be so valuable to know when you do finally start up a job once again.
Volunteering exposes you to new role models who may not be a part of the recovery community. It’s important to be able to be around people of diverse backgrounds in order to develop social skills that help you rebuild your life in a healthy way.
Exploring your interests.
If you’re not sure what direction you’d like to go in your career, then volunteering is a great way to explore the possibilities. Decide what your strongest interests or passions are and find an organization where you could explore some of them. Volunteering is great for doing this because if you end up not liking something, it’s easy to move on to something different.
By trying out new interests, you’re also building more confidence in yourself and your abilities. Volunteering encourages you to take risks, learn something new, and reach out to people you may have otherwise never known.
Building strength and character.
Volunteering also does a lot to help you overcome any internal barriers you may feel you have. These can be anything from low self esteem, extreme shyness, fear of public speaking, or anxiety.
Volunteering can put you in a position to directly challenge these internal roadblocks to gain a healthier perspective and move past damaging beliefs about the self. All of this helps you get closer to the goal of finding work that is fulfilling.