Paying Your Recovery Forward


At Hemet Valley Recovery Center & Sage Retreat, we would like to commend everyone in recovery who navigated Thanksgiving clean and sober. As we mentioned last week, major holidays can be taxing for people working a program, especially for those in early recovery.

Making it through the holiday is no small achievement because of the many triggers that can come about during the emotional days of the year. If you managed to stay sober, then you probably utilized your recovery toolbox. Hopefully, you took the time to think about gratitude and about all the people who are helping you on this journey of healing.

Gratitude and paying it forward are two vital components necessary for achieving lasting recovery. There are times when it’s challenging to be thankful for both your recovery and the people in your support network. If ever you find yourself slipping back into a selfish mindset, it’s crucial to pause and remember how far you have come since first getting sober. Chances are your life today is a complete 180 from just a short time ago.

Still, it’s prudent always to be looking for methods of paying forward what has been freely given to you. We recover together, not alone. This means that a significant number of people are instrumental to your continued progress. Be sure to share with such people how grateful you are for their support. What’s more, ask if you can be of service in anyone of them or your home-group.

It’s often said in the rooms of recovery: you cannot keep it, if you do not give it away. So, always be on the lookout for opportunities to be useful to your peers, and especially to those who have less time than you in the program.

Paying it Forward in Recovery

In every meeting across the country and beyond, there are service opportunities available. Examples include making coffee for the group, bringing cookies or healthy snacks, stacking chairs before and after the meetings, and offering to lead a meeting.

Service positions also exist at every recovery meeting. Most meetinghouses have a few stipulations for applying for a rotating service job, i.e., having worked all the steps, regular attendance at your home group, and some require that you have a minimum length of time in sobriety. Such restrictions vary from one group to the next but talk to your sponsor to see if you might be eligible.

Having a service role at your home group is beneficial for several reasons. First, it is one way to pay it forward to the group. Second, it’s an excellent way to stay accountable; accountability is a pillar of addiction recovery. The more layers of accountability, the better protected you are from relapse.

Even if you are not yet ready to take on a service position, there are other ways you can aid the group. Showing up early to introduce yourself to newcomers and staying after the meeting to talk with them at greater length is exceptionally beneficial. Showing interest in newcomers, inviting them to grab a coffee to chat, not only helps the newcomer, it benefits you. Remember, addiction recovery is about carrying the message to the next generation.

If you have worked all the 12 Steps, then your sponsor may feel that you are ready to begin taking others through the Steps. If that is the case, talking to newcomers on a regular basis is a jumping-off point for sponsorship. Again, you cannot keep your recovery and the progress you have made without trying to help others in the same way you were assisted when newly sober.

California Addiction Program for Adults

If your life is unmanageable due to the use of drugs and alcohol or a co-occurring mental illness, then we invite you to reach out at your earliest convenience. HVRC is unique in several ways, including being licensed as a Chemical Dependency Rehabilitation Hospital (CDRH). The classification allows us to offer addiction recovery programs and specialty services all in one facility.

Please contact our admissions team today to learn more about the HVRC difference. 866-273-0868