The Quality of a Recovered Life

When I came up to New Life House I was in desperate need of sobriety. It’s interesting to look back on my life when I was using before I came to L.A. to get sober, while using my thought of what sobriety meant was that I just was not using drugs or alcohol. I was quick to learn that not drinking was just a part of it and sobriety entailed a lot more.

While drinking I was not a nice person and I would lie, cheat and steal from anyone who I thought I could benefit from. What I have learned is that is all about me being selfish. It’s easy to go about my life as if I am the only one in the world. I feel as if it is a back door to my sobriety to be selfish. When I am only thinking of myself, I am not able to connect with people in my life – just like when I was drinking – I am only thinking of what it is I can get, not what I can give to others. To be honest I can pretend as if I am ok with that, but in the grand scheme of things, I realize how it makes me both separated from others and allows me to wallow in self-pity and think of how bad my life is.

Today, the importance of being of service in my recovery is key. When I am of service it allows me to do a lot of things I am not able to do otherwise. The first of them is that I am able to stop thinking about how my life is not where I want it to be and get involved in the lives of others. Through helping others I can take my mind off of myself and work with a person who is newer to sobriety then me. My perspective shifts and suddenly my problems are not as bad as I think. Through doing estimable acts for others, I start to feel good about who it is I am, but I can only do this if I do not live a selfish lifestyle.

Ultimately it comes down to how I want the quality of my life to be on a spiritual and emotional level. I can live a life that is all about me and end up being miserable like I was in the past, or I can live a life based on helping others. I can be happy and free because life is not about me and what I can take from it, life is about adding something to and being able to enjoy it in the process.

2 Comments
  • Robin Hilton-Folk
    Posted at 17:37h, 16 April Reply

    The principal of being of service to others as the writer shared, is something we should all inspire to live our life by. When I am having a pity party and then have a SHIFT of my thinking, stop dwelling on myself and reach out to someone else, several things happen. I get out of my head, find pleasure and joy to be able to lend a helping hand and to be of service to someone else, which in return, helps me!

  • Debbie O-A
    Posted at 11:09h, 01 May Reply

    It is a joy to live a purposeful life and it sounds like you are doing exactly that! Congratulations for the hard work you have done, and for passing it along.

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