As much as we may think we want it in the moment, we really can’t completely leave our experiences with mental disorders and recovery behind. There will be things that remind us of what we went through and what happened to us. We may feel like it’s detrimental to our health to let the experience maintain a spot in our lives, but we really think it can be beneficial. There are often a lot of things leftover from our time in recovery, things that we haven’t let ourselves move on from. That’s just kind of the nature of trying to forget about something and something that people often do when they leave their recovery process. We are so eager to leave it all behind us that we move on too fast, and while we are better than we were before, we still have some things that are left. Those things linger and they stay with us; we can’t just rid ourselves of them that easily. But something that we don’t often think about is that focusing on ourselves doesn’t have to be the way we help ourselves cope and move on from these things. 

We, as people who have begun the journey of recovery and are better for it, have something that others who are looking to get to this place don’t have: a success story. We are the ones who have made it in a world full of stories of people who didn’t. The news doesn’t often tell the story of the person who made the right decision, put in the hard work, and got better, they tell the story of the person who lost it all and who sunk to the very bottom. We are something that people might not know exist and are looking for. We can be a huge help to the people who are looking to get better and need someone to talk to. We have our support systems but some people are not fortunate enough to have what we have. They may not have someone that they feel comfortable talking to. In the same way that speaking with people in group therapy is based on our trust of others going through something similar to us, it can be comforting for someone to talk to us about what they are going through. This sort of mentoring position can help someone else out immensely, but also can serve to help you as well. 

How Helping Those Struggling Can Give Us a Better View of Ourselves

By letting these people talk about their experiences and giving them our thoughts and advice on things, we may start to understand things that you hadn’t realized before. You may realize that there are certain emotions that have been left hidden from what you went through, certain demons that have been hiding in the shadows. Suddenly, you are not only helping someone else work through their issues, but you are working through your own as well. Our job isn’t done when we leave that last meeting or appointment in our program, we aren’t eradicated of any effects from our conditions, and we will continue to work on ourselves as move on past it. Helping someone else can make that work a little easier. It can be a subconscious process at first, and you may not even realize the work you have done until it is over. And what is even better is the fact that you have someone with you as go through it. Just because that person hasn’t reached the same point as you, or hasn’t gone through the same process as you, doesn’t mean they can’t provide you with meaningful advice and thoughts. In fact, having someone outside of your situation can give you a clear idea of what you can do, despite them not being at the same place in life. Their separation from that place does not devalue anything they can offer you, and it’s important to understand that their views and thoughts are just as meaningful as your own. Experience gives us perspective on things but it doesn’t make our thoughts facts. 

In the end, why wouldn’t you want to help someone else? We all want to feel supported by the people around us and want to have those connections to help guide us through these experiences. If we can give someone a chance at feeling better, why wouldn’t we take it? Even if we don’t find ourselves improving in the process, what is the harm in making someone else feel valued? But we do believe in the power of helping yourself by helping others. We do believe that you can find out something about yourself that you wouldn’t have been able to without helping them. We believe in the power of connection and we believe in you. We believe in your ability to not only change yourself after recovery but how you can change the world. 

If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with anxiety or mental illness, do not hesitate to contact the team here at True Recovery. Our program, founded in 2014, is built around finding what’s best for you to overcome your addiction. Our facility is located in Newport Beach, California, with our supportive housing located close to our campus in Costa Mesa. Take advantage of the local beaches, nature preserves, and Orange County community while we fight for you. Contact us at (866) 399-6528 and [email protected]