Giving Thanks – Value of Giving Back in Recovery

Addiction is a Selfish Disease

The depths of addiction are a lonely, dark place where you likely don’t think a lot about other people. Addiction is a selfish disease that can cause individuals to only think about their wants and perceived needs, such as where their next fix will come from and how they can hide their actions from those who care about them.

Once in recovery, individuals are able to step into the light and give back. Giving back and being in service to others is a great way to not only help others but to benefit your recovery, too. When you put energy into helping others you gain appreciation for what you have in your life, and for those who have helped you get to the point in your recovery journey.

Why is giving back important?

The act of giving back to others decreases negative thoughts and behaviors. It allows you to display a sense of gratitude towards those there for you in your recovery, such as treatment staff, your therapist, friends and family. The impact of serving others can give you a sense of purpose and accomplishment, and seeing the impact your actions have on people’s lives can bring an immense amount of joy. Studies have found that those who give back in recovery are more likely to stay sober than those who do not.

What are ways to give back?

Giving back is not a one way path. Giving back can take many forms such as donating monetarily, volunteering your time, donating your skillset or talent, participating in a local nonprofit’s event, joining a volunteer committee or group, and so much more!

Regardless of how you choose to give back, it is always important to remember to take care of yourself and invest in yourself, too. While giving back is a form of self-care, setting healthy boundaries will protect you from exhaustion and resentment. Always consider how you choose to give back and what is best for your recovery to ensure you are protecting your own mental health and sobriety.

Looking at local opportunities to give back this holiday season

Northeast Wisconsin is filled with different opportunities to give back and support others during this holiday season. Here are a few ideas for ways to give back this holiday season:

  1. Ring the bell for The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign
  2. Deliver Christmas Meals for We Care Meals
  3. Donate handmade crafts to the Greater Fox Cities Area Habitat for Humanity “Volunteer Made” section at our Habitat ReStore
  4. Volunteer at your local recovery center
  5. Wrap presents for less fortunate families
  6. Adopt a Family to provide them with gift this holiday season
  7. Volunteer at the local animal shelter
  8. Find a charity walk
  9. Ask the library if they need help
  10. Sign up to sit with the elderly
  11. Ask your friends and family if they need help with anything

Volunteering is an exceptional way to give back to your community. The ability to give back, is a way to say “thank you” to those that got you this far and will provide you the experience to live outside of your own life and reflect on the blessings that you already have in yours. Always consider how you choose to give back and what is best for your recovery to ensure you are protecting your own mental health and sobriety.

Check out way to get involved and give back to Unity Recovery Services at