Once in recovery, we may feel as though we have been disconnected from ourselves, friends, and family. We might have a heightened desire to feel more involved with our loved ones and our local community. By leaning into these feelings, we can reacclimatize ourselves to society.
What Can Community Mean to Us?
The word community can mean different things to different people. To some, it can mean our background and culture. We may live in the community that we grew up in, and it can hold many traditions for us. Other types of communities may be a melting pot of individuals who all come together for the sake of their shared public places like parks, community centers, and libraries. Regardless of what community means to us as individuals, the local community can mean a great deal to those who are a part of it.
Getting Involved With the Recovery Community
There are numerous ways we can get involved with our community. After completing treatment, some of us may feel like we want to help others with sobriety like we have been helped. We can find recovery resources that can help us inform our community about the risks of substance use. Additionally, we can find out where local meetings are held for places like Al-Anon and Narcotics Anonymous.
We can raise awareness about the importance of mental health. Additionally, we can talk about the specific dangers of drug or alcohol use. By sharing our knowledge and experience, we raise awareness about addiction, which can help people who would otherwise develop an addiction or avoid seeking help.
Many of us can find that giving the same kinds of help that we received in our time of need can make us feel extremely fulfilled. We can feel like we are an integral part of the community we get to call home.
We might want to reach back out to the treatment center we attended to see what sort of alumni program they offer. Many facilities love the idea of successful members coming back to share their stories and struggles with current clients. When we can share our experiences with substance use and recovery, we help others realize that they can overcome their struggles as well.
Types of Community Volunteering
Besides helping in the recovery community, we can give back by participating in other times of volunteer work. For example, many people volunteer by partnering with the following venues.
Summer and After-School Programs
After-school programs and summer camps for adolescence are usually in need of volunteers. These volunteers may help with arts and crafts, sports, music, and more. By volunteering with the youth, we can provide them with great role models and rediscover activities we enjoyed as kids.
Assisted Living Facilities
We can reach out to assisted living facilities to see if there are any volunteer opportunities to help the elderly. For example, we might bring care packages or baked goods. Simply sitting and talking with the residents can make a huge difference to them too.
There also be structured volunteer opportunities to help the elderly who are not in assisted living facilities. For example, older people may need someone to drive them places, run their errands, or help them with any chores around their home. A little can go a long way, and both parties can benefit from these types of human connections.
If we have a passion for helping animals, we can look into volunteering with our local animal shelter. Volunteers are always appreciated at animal shelters.
Getting out of our homes to socialize with animals can be very healing for mental health. Animals don’t judge us or the choices we have made. Instead, they offer us love and can make us realize how much we are needed while we take care of their needs.
The Benefits of Community Work
There are countless volunteering opportunities in our local community. This is good news because volunteering can help us get back into the real world after treatment. By engaging in community work we care about, we can make new friends who enjoy the same activities we do. We can explore what type of work we like through volunteering and perhaps eventually make a career out of it. Once we are living in sobriety, there are so many opportunities we can embrace.
In recovery, we can be open to new ideas and hobbies, new ways of doing things, and new ways of taking on life. Living in sobriety often feels like a second chance at life, and we can take full advantage of that. We can make the most of our days and wake up feeling like our glass is half full. Volunteering in our community is a fantastic way to nurture this positivity and share it with others.
Once we are living in sobriety, we may feel like we want to reconnect with the individuals and groups around us. One way to do this is to get involved with our local community. We can volunteer to help in ways that matter to us. We can support our youth, drive our elderly friends around and help with their errands, or volunteer with our animal shelters. There are so many things we can do to feel like we are a part of our community. Through volunteer work, we can make connections with like-minded individuals. If we want to share our stories about our struggle with substance abuse, we can help others reach sobriety. In turn, they will pass down their knowledge to the next people who are struggling. We can all come together and help one another. Call 449 Recovery today at (949) 435-7449