The principles and virtues of addiction recovery are what the program is built upon. Honesty, willingness and service, for example, are essential to recovery; without these the goal of long term sobriety could not be achieved. Adhering to the principles, like those mentioned above, are not only good for recovery, it is a good way for anyone to live. But for those with a history of addiction, a disease that is often typified by extreme selfishness, practicing the principles of recovery in all of one’s affairs can be difficult at first. For many recovering addicts and alcoholics, being honest with others is 180 degrees different than how one has been historically.
Overtime, adopting the principles of recovery and practicing these in all of one’s affairs becomes easier, and eventually acting counter to that way of living becomes more and more difficult. An individual comes to the program wanting to find a new lease on life. You surrender and commit yourself to the vital task of being not only honest with yourself, but with your peers. You commit to working a program as if life depended on it (and it does), not only working the steps, but living them. In time, if direction has been followed to the best of one’s ability per working the steps, you will accumulate a length of sobriety. Then what? The simple answer is that you make a commitment to pay it forward.
If You Want to Keep It, Give It Back
Giving back to the program which was given to you gratis, is a major component of recovery. Even if you have only attended a few meetings, there is a good chance you have heard it said that you can’t keep it unless you give it away. You may have scratched your head upon hearing that, saying to yourself, ‘I can’t keep it, unless I am willing to give it back.’ A paradox, right? Well, not exactly. As you work through the steps with a sponsor, you will come to realize that this person who you barely know is helping you save your own life. Something you were unable to do on your own. On the surface, it will appear that said person is in no way being compensated for teaching you how to work the program, and live life one day at a time.
At some point along the way you will come to understand that this relative stranger helping you, was once helped in the same way by another person. And is still likely being helped by a sponsor of their own. In effect, helping another find the gifts of recovery, in turn, helps them keep what you have earned from recovery. Such work does not only apply to sponsorship, it could be as simple or as menial as cleaning up after a meeting (even the bathroom) or making coffee for the group. Humility goes a long way, when it comes to long-term sobriety. Walking up to a newcomer and welcoming them to the group is a way of paying it forward.
The Recovery Community and Beyond
Practicing the principles of recovery in all our affairs doesn’t just apply to how we conduct ourselves in the rooms of recovery and among our peers working a program. Sure, after acquiring some time in the program your role with the support community is of the utmost importance. But you, or rather all of us, are members of a greater community—society. The good work you do in the program can also be channeled into the greater community. What’s more, as your time in sobriety accumulates and you begin to feel sturdier in recovery, you may find yourself desiring to become a productive member of society. Feeling inclined to do things like volunteer your services to good cause.
There is no shortage of ways you can be of service to the greater community. You may discover that you own life experience, even the bad parts, could be of great help to at-risk youth. Organizations and campaigns dedicated to mitigating the risk of certain young people walking down a similar path—that of addiction.
PACE Recovery Center Encourages Community Service
Throughout the year, PACE Recovery Center encourages the men in our treatment program to become involved with community events. This can include volunteering at charitable events, particularly working with the homeless during the holidays.
This year PACE Recovery Center has committed to supporting the Tucson Conquistadores Classic – An Official PGA TOUR Champions event. The event is sponsored by the Tucson Conquistadores, a civic, not-for-profit fundraising organization established in 1962. Over the decades, the Conquistadores have contributed more than $32 million to youth athletic programs throughout Southern Arizona.
The Tucson Conquistadores Classic begins March 15 and continues through March 19, 2017. It takes place at Omni Tucson National Golf Resort. And should you happen to be Tucson, AZ, this week, you may want to get involved.
It Is All About Giving Back…
Giving back is at the heart of the Tucson Conquistadores and Champions Tour. Net proceeds from this tournament go directly to youth charities in Southern Arizona including The First Tee of Tucson, Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCA, Pima County Special Olympics and the Southern Arizona Community Sports Center at Curtis Park.
Here’s to a successful tournament and paying it forward.