The idea of creative recovery really takes off when we start helping others to recover. This becomes one of our most powerful tools for a number of reasons:
1) Helping others strengthens our own recovery.
2) Helping others gives us real meaning in our lives (purpose).
3) Helping others keeps us grounded in recovery principles.
4) Helping others generally helps cultivate gratitude.
When we help others in their recovery, it reinforces our own path to recovery, and helps us to stay on target ourselves. We deeply relearn what we are teaching, and we have a chance to interact with those who might be struggling to get clean and sober. This helps us to appreciate the sobriety we have achieved and work harder to hold on to it. So reaching out and helping others to recover can become a worthwhile purpose all by itself.
How can we help others in recovery?
The answer to this will vary for each person. This is part of finding your own path in recovery. If you simply do what others suggest for you then you will probably fall short in this area. Better is to explore different ways of interacting with others in recovery, and find out what your strengths are as far as working with others.
For example, some people might find that they do really well in traditional 12 step meetings. They might find a meeting with lots of newcomers and really have a good message to share with these people. This might become their niche and their way to reach out.
Another person might find that they working with individuals. So they might end up sponsoring a few people and helping to show them the ropes of early recovery.
And still other people might find different ways to connect with recovering addicts and alcoholics, such as through employment or through different mediums (such as through recovery literature or through online recovery for example).
The point here is that you do not have to feel locked in to one of these methods. You are free to try different ways of connecting with others in recovery and see what works for you.
Staying grounded in our recovery
Some people feel that there is a need to go “back to the basics” in their recovery. This feeling comes from the need to stay grounded in our recovery, because we can actually forget that we are recovering addicts and alcoholics. Helping others in recovery is the perfect way to keep us grounded because it reinforces our own addiction in our minds, while also keeping us vigilant about the need to keep growing. Without these constant reminders we can start to forget that we are in recovery from addiction and those subtle thoughts of using or drinking can easily start creeping back into our life.
If you feel a need to get back to the basics, then find a way to help someone else in recovery. This is the most direct route to a solid foundation for your own recovery efforts.