For the longest time, especially in active addiction, thinking of others was something we rarely did. Our needs always surpassed those of others. Sometimes we were actually oblivious to those who needed help. Even in recovery it’s easy for us to forget about others and only think of ourselves. Many times we are only concerned with how we feel. We are worried about our issues. This is something that comes natural to us because we’ve been doing it for so long.
We must bring our focus back to others. The rooms of A.A./N.A. are a great reminder of helping others whether it’s a newcomer or someone who shares at a meeting about a struggle they are facing. If we focus on service to others we can forget about our problems. This helps us more than anything because it gives us a sense of peace and contentment to know we could positively contribute to the life of someone else. It can also be a humbling experience. We may think we have a really big problem and then we hear what someone else is going through and quickly realize that what we may be facing may not be as serious as the other persons struggle. To be able to help someone, relate to them and give them hope that it’s possible to come out a better person is a great gift.
In case you didn’t know:
In 2006, approximately one in eight youths aged 12 to 17 reported that they had participated in drug, tobacco, or alcohol prevention programs outside of school in the past year. However, the prevalence of past month use of illicit drugs, marijuana, cigarettes, or binge alcohol was not significantly lower among those who participated in these prevention programs outside of school than among those who did not. (www.samhsa.gov)
I am grateful to know that I don't know everything. Today I will try to stay the right size--small. I pray that I remain teachable.