Healing People, Helping People


Have you ever noticed that time seems to go by faster as you get older? Holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries all come and go; before we know it, here they come again.

As we age, we have fewer first time experiences or unique memories that stand out. Our lives get busy; days, months and years fly by, and we recognize opportunities we have had to help others. I can only speak for myself, but have to admit I missed some of those moments — heck, many moments.

What am I getting at? Well, every one of us in recovery has an opportunity to give back or pay it forward to someone else who is in their moment of discovery, their “Aha!” moment of change. We all have a chance to tell people that it is possible, to be the example.

You don’t have to move mountains in order to accomplish this. Half the battle is simply getting sober and becoming a living example of someone who is responsible in recovery. The other half is carrying a message in whatever way works for you.

I can only share my personal experience, but it was only once I began having an interest in others that the “selfishness” switch went off and the “pay it forward” switch came on. When I began experiencing the benefits of recovery and started becoming stable, I realized how valuable and grateful I was for my sobriety. I was thankful to the people who came years before me to lay the foundation that has given me and so many others the opportunity to see our full potential.

I was once blinded by my own denial. But once I was able to see again, it became natural for me to help others.

Another reason for this shift in attitude was my peers in recovery. They helped me, giving me advice and support; they became my allies in my war against addiction. But it doesn’t just stop there. One thing I realized along this journey was that my peers also needed me. There is always someone new coming into recovery — everyone has a first day — and there is always someone there to extend their hand and offer a warm welcome to the newcomer. Someone was there for me on my day one, waiting to give me the message. They were there to show me how to make it through detox and how to start getting support. They were there to share their message of hope.

That is because recovery is about ideas. It is about changing our attitude. It is about shifting our perspective and doing something different. And you never know where you might get that kind of inspiration from. It may be from the newcomer, from the person who has the least amount of knowledge (or so you thought) about recovery. They might say just the right thing that really causes you to stop and consider.

My challenge to all of us it go up to the newcomer and extend your welcoming hand of recovery. Be a beacon of light to someone who is at the starting point of their journey. Carry your message of hope. We all have different approaches and unique talents in how we carry the message.

Some of us aren’t comfortable sharing in big groups. Some of us aren’t good at sharing at meetings. Some of us are better at talking one on one with a cup of coffee in front of us at our favorite java joint. Some of us prefer to share the message online. It doesn’t matter how; when you are ready, just do it.

I carry the message in my own way, based on my own unique talents. Look for outlets in which you have more skill. I try to keep it simple, that works best for me.

The best gift that you can give to someone is your time, because you are giving something that you can never get back!

The bottom line is this: Healing people helping people.

I can’t do it alone. You can’t do it alone. None of us can do it alone!

So think about it: Healing people helping people.

Thanks for stopping by… Luke D