When attending a recovery meeting and someone refills a cup of coffee for a fellow, that is service work. If someone notices a spill on the table and wipes it up or loads the dishwasher after a meeting, that is service work. The person who chairs the meeting, the one who unlocks the doors before a meeting, or the person who offers someone a ride to a meeting. All of these things are solid examples of service work.
It is late one night, and someone needs some reassurance so they don’t have a slip – answer the phone call – that is service work. Helping set up an event such as an anniversary potluck or a speaker meeting. Being willing and able to help when a sponsor or fellow asks. All of this is service work because it benefits the best interests of the group or the individual who is still struggling with substance use disorder (SUD). Service work is giving back and doing something without expecting anything in return, simply being of service to others.
What Is Service Work in Recovery?
Service work is simply anything that supports the recovery group or other fellows in recovery. It even includes reaching out and being there for someone who is still struggling. Someone might just need help with finding their way to recovery. Opportunities to be of service within the home group are countless. A sponsor or mentor might ask a member to make a few calls to newcomers. Often service work includes helping clean up after a meeting or even making and pouring coffee.
In recovery, there is growth. There is a natural progression of selflessness. Spending less time focused on one’s self and more time focusing on the needs of others. So when someone stays after a meeting to straighten up the chairs or sweep up some crumbs, they are giving back to the group. They are becoming more invested in the group and its success.
How Service Work Strengthens Personal Sobriety
Narcotics Anonymous (NA) clearly states in its literature, “We only keep what we have by giving it away.” They discuss that one of the crippling aspects of this disease of addiction is “self-obsession.” So by giving to others, either through a gesture or with one’s time, personal recovery is also being strengthened. If time is all someone is able to give, even if it is only a few minutes here or there, that could make a world of difference for someone who is still struggling.
How does vacuuming after a meeting support someone’s personal sobriety? The few minutes of their time completing a task for “the greater good of the group” not only helps the group. This member of the group is now directly paying attention to the task. They are not caught up in their own mind. This member is not fixated on where they are going to go after the meeting or what they are going to do when they get there. They are now present in the moment of giving back with such a simple chore.
When an individual shares with others what they have learned in recovery, they are “giving back what they have been given.” This is also a form of service work. They are taking the time to work with another person in the program. They are sitting down and discussing one’s experience, strength, and hope with someone new to the program. This supports the growth and strength in sobriety for both members of the group. They are both learning and growing together.
Service Work at Destiny Recovery Center
Opportunities to volunteer for service work at Destiny Recovery Center are endless. This can include activities such as chairing a small group meeting, offering to sit with someone who is having a rough day, and cleaning up after a meal. All of these are examples of giving back and doing for others. When you see something that needs to get done, and you take the initiative to help out, that is for the greater good of the group.
Destiny Recovery Center also participates in community outreach, strengthening the representation of those in recovery. An event may arise where additional hands would be helpful. However an individual can contribute would be for the benefit of the program.
Being able and willing to share a talent with the group. For example, playing an instrument would be a great example of service to the group. Someone might need some quiet downtime of reflection and just someone to sit with them.
Everyone has something to offer. No matter how small the task may seem. If one is struggling to find a way to give back or participate in service work, simply observe others in the group. It won’t take long to notice who is giving of themselves. Completing something to be a part of something greater than one’s self is the end goal.
Being kind to others, offering to assist others with simple tasks, and being reliable and accountable, are all key features of service work. Participating in service work promotes a sense of connection and belonging to the recovery community. It also supports putting others first and assists in keeping one’s mind focused on selflessness and centered in a positive direction. Participation in service work is part of the foundation of many recovery programs. This ensures connections in the recovery community are continuous. To learn more about service work opportunities, and seek assistance for treatment services, call Destiny Recovery Center today at (909) 413-4304. Our knowledgeable and professional staff is waiting to welcome you.