I recently met with a photographer at Bayside Park here in my hometown of Colchester, Vermont. He was taking a picture that was to be used for the upcoming article for the local newspaper. I was asked to share my story and give my experience on what pathway to recovery worked for me. As I stated to the reporter time and time again, my experience showed me the only way to recover was to abstain from all mind-altering substances and to experience an entire psychic change. Then it hit me like a Mack truck. So many people out there in my community never get the opportunity to recover. What am I currently doing to help them?
I sat down to have a weekly call with a BRC Recovery Alumna when she asked me “How do I get involved with my community? How do I make a difference?” The answer was simple. Action and more action. When we think back, most of us did a lot of damage not only to our families but our communities as whole. There is no time like the present to make a living amends to our community. This is our duty as someone who has recovered from a hopeless state of mind and body. It is time to stop being a “taker” in our community and listen to God when He tells us there is a call to action.
The Big Book tells us that “The spiritual life is not a theory. WE HAVE TO LIVE IT.” I ask myself daily, how am I living my best spiritual life today? Most of the time that simply means showing up in life to the best of my ability. Other times it means standing up and being a role model in my community because I owe that to them. My best days in recovery are always days when I have been of service to others. Living a life packed full of selfless acts is my goal. I want those of us in recovery to be known for our altruism like Starbucks is known for their lattes!
Each community has a different call to action. Whether you stay in Austin after residential treatment, or return to your home town, there is always room to give back and be of service. Get out there in the world. Live the life that you never thought was possible. Tell your story to others. Recover out loud so others will know that recovery is possible. Your community is calling for action, are you up for the challenge? I know I am.