Some of the most successful people in addiction recovery have gone on to help others. They’ve become leaders themselves – they’ve sponsored, shared their stories, donated time and money to organizations, written books, spoken at conferences – the list goes on. It’s amazing to see just how far these individuals have pushed themselves and overcome their challenges – and it only provides hope to others, so they may follow the same path. No matter where you’re at in your journey to recovery right now, you will find that there are moments in which you’re truly inspired. This is the time to really take a firm grasp on the positive energy that’s building and put it to good use – you may even find others who are doing the same.
In 2016, Mitchell Friedman from the University of San Francisco wrote a research article about his experience with leadership in the 12-step community. He shared the fact that his recovery thus far had given him a lot of wisdom and personal knowledge of himself, to which he was better able to apply to leadership roles. He mentioned a series of factors that really play into leadership, such as:
- The natural role of becoming a leader
- Coping and struggling with change when adverse events occur
- Improving oneself, especially amidst hard times
- Holding a significant relationship with either real or symbolic “parents”
- Having role models that one can look up to
Overall, it seems that his leadership and positivity really derived from learning more about himself. Specifically, he stated, “I became more introspective and mindful of how I expressed myself and in turn how I was perceived by others. My understanding of my emotions and skills in managing them deepened, as did my ability to manage the moods and emotions of others.”
With Mitchell in particular, it was well-noted that he was already in the works of leadership before he attended AA. Thus, it could be said that not everyone becomes a leader, only those who have the passion (and knack) for it. Whether you’d prefer to be a direct leader in your community or someone who helps make change happen, you’re doing good. The role you take in the community speaks largely to who you are and what you value, and there is no doubt that your contributions will go unappreciated. Stay positive. Keep pushing forward, and don’t give up.
Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug-addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland river in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of 2 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first.
Call us today at 1-800-646-9998 to take the next step towards your happiness and health.