Addiction and alcoholism are commonly characterized as diseases of selfishness and self-centeredness. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous says that these are the problem with alcoholism and the only way to remedy them is to clear out what keeps us self-centered by having a spiritual experience. The last of the twelve steps made famous by alcoholics anonymous describes the necessity of “carrying the message” to other alcoholics who are still suffering. “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps,” step twelve reads, “we tried to carry this message to alcoholics…”
“Life will take on new meaning,” The Big Book reads in a chapter titled “Working With Others” when we watch and help others recover. “Practical experience shows that nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking as intensive work with other alcoholics. It works when other activities fail.”
We aren’t quick to give. The modern world is one based on getting. Largely, our survival is based on making sure we get enough or more than enough. How we measure our happiness, our worth, and our quality of life is, in mainstream thought, entirely dependent upon what we have. When we start gaining back the physical or material rewards in recovery we lost in our active addictions, it is easy to get swept back up into self. Self-centeredness and focus on self-driven material wealth leads many people to a lonely, meaningless place.
Philosophers, psychologists, spiritual leaders, religious leaders, and everyday people alike agree, however, that who we are is not dependent upon what we have but what we give back.
Giving back and doing good feels good. Not only is being of service a mood-booster, but it is a health booster as well. Acts of kindness and altruism have been found to significantly reduce the physiological symptoms of stress. Research recently found that people “who performed acts of kindness, whether those acts were for the world or specific people, were more likely to report feeling happy or experience an improvement in mood than those who did [self-focused behavior].”
Anne Frank, the young girl made famous for the words written in her journal during the holocaust once penned that “No-one has ever become poor by giving.” Indeed, science now proves that one becomes much more rich by giving.
Aurora Recovery Centre incorporates a spiritual component to our clinically based program in order to holistically treat the mind, body, and spirit. Taking a whole-person approach to recovery, Aurora is able to meet the individual needs of each member while showing them the way to lifelong recovery. For more information on our treatment programs, call 1-844-515-STOP.