Empowering Others to Choose Recovery

When you are struggling with substance use disorder (SUD), you often reach a low point – the point where you are willing to seek treatment to find a life of recovery. During this process, there are various people who help empower you to make the decision of choosing recovery. Now that you have completed treatment, you now have the opportunity to empower others to choose sobriety, ultimately helping yourself and others.

Empower Yourself First

Before you can empower others to make changes, you must find empowerment within yourself. The powerlessness you feel in addiction takes away your ability to make decisions for yourself; your focus was on drugs and alcohol, not on yourself. However, now that you are in recovery, you have the chance to empower yourself to choose recovery.

You can empower yourself in your recovery journey by:

Seeking Motivation to Change

Having a purpose in life is a key element of empowerment. If you are in recovery, your purpose is to maintain sobriety and change your life for the better every day. Finding the motivation that drives you to change – a support group, family members, or helping others – can help you find empowerment within yourself.

Changing for Yourself, Not Others

The motivation to change and be a new person is empowering for you, nobody else. You should not maintain your sobriety to please others. While you may have a support system that is involved in your recovery and helps you maintain motivation, they should not be the sole driving force behind your motivation to change.

Empowerment gives you back voice and authority over your own life. It can help you create a space where you recognize that no matter what, healing is always possible. Being empowered in your recovery means knowing that there is nothing too challenging to overcome.

The Benefits of Empowering Others

Once you feel empowered in your own recovery journey, you may want to spread that message to other people. Helping others in recovery helps you, too. One study found that helping others and the sense of belonging it brings can help those in recovery stay sober; this is because staying connected and engaged with other people helps your mental health.

Helping empower others can keep you focused on recovery. When you are working towards empowering other people to choose recovery, you are out of the house, you are not drinking or doing drugs, and you are doing something for someone other than yourself. These actions help you get “out of self,” which means you are not focused on your stress, emotions, or any temptations to relapse.

Working with others on empowerment can also help your self-esteem. When you help other people, you feel good about yourself. It is not the fleeting feeling of euphoria drugs and alcohol give you that eventually fades; it is a steady feeling of rightness and purpose. When you can see the results of your actions and the positive impact you have made on the lives of others, you can improve your self-esteem.

How to Empower Others to Choose Recovery

Now that you feel that you are ready to empower others to choose recovery, you may be wondering how. There are several ways you can work towards empowering others, including:

Leading by Example

For many people just getting sober or entering treatment, sobriety does not seem like a long-term possibility. They may only have plans to stay sober long enough to complete treatment or feel defeated by the changes that need to be made in order to sustain long-term recovery. However, you have the opportunity to lead by example.

Seeing others in recovery achieve long-term sobriety instills hope and passion. When someone fresh in recovery or treatment sees that you have been able to maintain sobriety and change your life, they may feel empowered to do the same. Remember, leading by example does not mean memorizing recovery quotes and preaching or ranting to others about sobriety; it means becoming a consistent, reliable, and honest person.

Being Supportive Without Enabling

When someone just starts out in recovery, they often need guidance on the ways they can change their life for the better. This is where you come in: you can help guide someone through the early stages of recovery and help them find the motivation to change.

When supporting someone, it is crucial not to enable them. You can be honest with others and give advice without being harsh. Honesty is what people often need most in early recovery. The ability to be honest and supportive can help others build trust, support others in the future, and find the ability to be honest themselves.

Being Proud of Yourself and Your Story

Many people begin their recovery journey full of guilt and shame for their past. Letting go of this guilt and shame is essential to empowering others. In your recovery journey, you have most likely heard someone share their story of addiction and recovery and had the ability to relate. Now, you have the opportunity to be that other person.

In recovery, having people you relate to instills hope. When someone new in recovery sees that you have come from darkness and risen to the light, they may feel empowered to do the same.

In treatment, you most likely found the empowerment to continuously choose sobriety from others around you. Now that you are out of treatment and active in your community, you have the opportunity to do the same. You can empower people to choose recovery by leading by example, being supportive without enabling, and being proud of yourself and your story. However, in order to empower others in recovery, you must learn how to empower yourself. If you are struggling to find self-empowerment, NorthStar Transitions is here for you. In our alumni program, you can find empathy, camaraderie, and fellowship. Addiction is a complex disease, and only those that have experienced it themselves can truly understand what you are going through. By attending our alumni groups, you can find someone to empower you so that you can pass on the gift of empowerment. To learn more, call NorthStar Transitions at (303) 558-6400.

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