4 Ways Doing Service Work Can Keep You Sober

4 Ways Doing Service Work Can Keep You Sober

Getting sober is a long tough path. Once you’ve gone through the physical and mental stress of detox the next part of recovery is staying sober. It’s a lifelong journey, but there are a few things you can do to help maintain your sobriety. Service work is one of those things. 

Service work is any type of volunteer work that puts you in service of others. The 12-Step programs recommend service work and a myriad of opportunities are available, ranging from small meeting commitments like setting up chairs and making coffee to General Service commitments like Area Delegate and Grapevine Representative.

 Benefits of Doing Service Work:

  1. It’s a fulfilling way to make some amends: The hard truth is that while you were on your path of addiction odds are you did some damage to those around you. Whether it be, family, friends or your community. Doing volunteer work can help to alleviate some of the guilt and regret you may have towards your past. It’s a way to make a positive impact.
  2. Service work builds bonds: A very important part of recovery is building bonds with people that are sober. It provides you with friends that won’t be influencing you to use. These types of bonds also give you people to surround yourself with on days when you are struggling. People that can help ease your pain and take your mind off of your addiction.
  3. It provides a commitment to your 12 step program: It can become easy to say I am okay today, I don’t need a meeting. That thinking early on can lead to a downward spiral heading straight back to addiction. Making a commitment to your program as small as making coffee, bringing snacks, or even just unlocking the door for everyone else can be the tiny step you need to keep you going back. 
  4. Having an outlet will keep your mind in the right frame: Have you ever heard the term “ an idle mind is the devil’s playground”? It’s true. It’s easy to get thoughts stuck inside your head. When you are idle those thoughts can and will take over. The best way to avoid that happening is to stay busy. Doing service will keep you busy. 

As you can see there are 4 great ways service work can keep you sober. It provides fulfillment, builds bonds, creates commitment and gives you an outlet. If you’re in a program ask your sponsor about opportunities. Not in a program, that’s okay run a quick google search for opportunities. Don’t be afraid to do what you need to so you can maintain sobriety, and for more information, please call us at 833-801-LIVE today.


The Spiritual Program of the 12 Steps

The Spiritual Program of the 12 Steps

Many people enter recovery, only after colliding with an experience so challenging, that they become willing to consider a new way of life.  This experience is commonly called a “bottom”. Despite having reached new lows in their life, they still desire to place bounds around what their recovery does and does not include. Often, those boundaries involve the desire to live without embracing a spiritual life.  

Many people arrive to 12 Step programs insisting on recovery without ‘the spiritual part of the program.’ They do not yet understand that the entire program is spiritual.  On the surface, it appears that some aspects, like fellowship and service,  do not require an active spirituality.  Once intimacy with these aspects is experienced, it is apparent that these are also spiritual in nature.

Fellowship, experienced in many ways, includes a lifestyle of maintaining close relationships with people in recovery.  As with all relationships, conflict arises and a crossroads is faced.  The invitation to choose unity with our fellows over whatever indignity is extended.  This crossroads is the same that is faced in the bottom - do we choose the pattern that feels comfortable in the moment or do we choose the path of action that enables longevity for both our own and AA’s well-being?

Service, at its core, is the journey of taking another addict through the 12 Steps which is called sponsorship.  The point of the 12 steps is to have a spiritual awakening sufficient to produce a psychic change.  This is the only means by which an addict will become and remain sober.  Since the service involved in the 12 Steps is about facilitating a spiritual awakening for another sufferer, it is imperative that this experience can be sourced from within.  It is thereby impossible to deliver on the 12th Step without participating in the spiritual ‘part’ of the program.  

There are other kinds of service in the recovery program that do not involve sponsorship and are seemingly free from direct spirituality.  However, there is an imperative to participate in sponsorship to maintain recovery as only one alcoholic talking to another.  It can also be said that other types of service, the sacrifice of self to be in service to another or to the collective is an inherently spiritual expression.  

If you are struggling with addiction, alcoholism, and/or mental health, know that there is hope. There is a solution. Harmoniously fusing together the best elements of clinical care, holistic healing, and 12-step philosophy, Enlightened Solutions has created a program of total transformation for men and women seeking recovery. Call 833-801-5483 today for information on our partial care programs in New Jersey.


Enlightened Solutions Step Study: The Spirituality of Service in Step 12

After Bill Wilson, the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, had his breakthrough spiritual experience, wrote out the inventory of his grievances, and made amends wherever possible, he began to help other alcoholics. Throughout the hospitals and wards he had once resided in as an incurable patient, he sat, sober, at the bedside of other men who were struggling with alcoholism. Day by day, man by man, Bill shared the wisdom of his experience, strength, and hope. As Bill related his story to others, many men found they shared a common ground. Inspired by Bill’s miraculous ability to recover, they began to think recovery might be possible for them as well. This is the foundation of Step 12.

“Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs,” is how the twelfth step reads. “Nothing,” the authors describe in The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, “will so much insure immunity from drinking as intensive work with other alcoholics. It works when other activities fail...You can help when no one else can.”

Feeling misunderstood is the plight of many suffering alcoholics. With as much love, anger, urgency, or patience as they could withstand, family members and loved ones of alcoholics tried to point out their problem. In the depths of misery and despair there is a certain self-centeredness that disallows the perspective of another to get in. Many alcoholics experience a deep and toxic sense of shame, guilt, or stigma for being an alcoholic. Before they can recover, they must believe they have a problem. Additionally, they must believe that problem is not without a solution.

Having experienced the power of recovery, treatment, and transformation, you have the responsibility, which is truly more life a gift, to give back and give it away. Often it is said in recovery that in order to “keep it” we must “give it away.” Think of it like this: when one finds a diet that works, they are quick to tell the world. Whatever the gimmick that helped them lose weight, the underlying celebration is that they feel better after not feeling well at all. Step 12 is our spiritual diet. We feel better after we were practically banging on death’s door. Being of service to other alcoholics is the way to carry that message and say, “If I can feel better, so can you.”

 

Enlightened Solutions uses 12 step philosophy to help clients grow along spiritual lines as a way of enhancing their recovery. We believe in the power of participating in a positive and supportive community, like the one 12 step fellowships encourage. For more information on our programs of treatment for men and women seeking to recover from addiction, alcoholism, and co-occurring disorders, call 833-801-5483.


12 Step Necessities

Without any basic knowledge of what the twelve step world is like, it can be pretty overwhelming when entering it for the first time. Enlightened Solutions believes in utilizing twelve step philosophy to help our clients get the most out of their treatment experience. Diving into the twelve step community is about more than just the twelve steps themselves or going to twelve step meetings. Here is a quick guide to some of the necessities for living a twelve step lifestyle in recovery.

History of 12 Step Recovery

Bill Wilson was a chronic alcoholic with no cure in sight. One day, his old drinking friend visited him and said that finding religion helped him get sober. Soon thereafter Bill had a spiritual experience while he was in the hospital and never drank again. On a business trip, however, Bill found himself alone and very uncomfortable. Feeling tempted, he realized he needed to speak to someone who understood- another alcoholic. Through his experience chatting with a local alcoholic named Dr. Bob, he founded AA. Two alcoholics talking about shared spiritual experience. From there they developed what we know as the twelve steps today.

12 Step Meetings

Twelve step groups primarily operate through meetings. Held in churches, community centers, clubhouses, on the phone, or even online, twelve step meetings are happening all day every day. Twelve step meetings have a range of topics. From Alcoholics Anonymous to Gamblers Anonymous, anyone can find a twelve step fellowship to find recovery in. Meetings are a way to meet people experiencing similar problems and hear stories from those who are recovering.

12 Step Sponsors

A sponsor’s primary purpose is to carry the message of the spiritual experience found through the twelve steps to newcomers. Newcomers are people with thirty days or less in the program of their choice. Having completed the twelve steps themselves, sponsors act as a guide for taking new people through the steps. A sponsor can be called on for advice, guidance, and to check in.

The Twelve Steps

Most twelve step groups base their twelve steps off of the original founded by Alcoholics Anonymous. The steps are a guide to having a spiritual experience, which the AA founders thought to be necessary in order to give the brain the psychic change required to stop drinking. Included in the steps are conceptualizing a higher power, inventorying our lives, making amends, prayer, and meditation.

Recovery starts with You. Start your recovery with Us. Enlightened solutions offers a holistic program of treatment for men and women seeking recovery from addiction. For more information, call 833-801-5483.