Unfortunately for many addicts, they may have a criminal record which makes it hard to find employment, and thus they may be stuck on social welfare, which limits their options on how to successfully continue with their recovery without relapsing.
However, volunteering is suitable for many people in this situation.
Volunteering opportunities are available virtually everywhere. Animal shelters, clean-ups of parks, beaches and other places in nature, helping out in a soup kitchen: These are just a few opportunities to give something back to nature and the community you live in.
Volunteering is a fantastic way to re-build self-confidence, and show employers that you are committed and eager to get back into work, and that you are trustworthy: All of these elements make it more likely to find paid employment.
It’s also a great way to meet interesting and compassionate people from all sorts of backgrounds, and is a great opportunity to make new friends and a build a support network of individuals that are not addicts themselves.
It is also immensely satisfying and gives renewed meaning to those in recovery who may feel empty inside now that they have had to start rebuilding themselves from the bottom up. They may feel lonely because they have chosen to rid themselves of friends who are still addicts themselves, which leaves a ‘vacuum’ that needs to be filled.
And who knows? After some time volunteering you may build friendships who know of paid work opportunities and will vouch for you, or if you are lucky you may impress the charity or organisation you are volunteering for so much that they offer you a paid position. It can happen, but even if it doesn’t, you will still be up and about rather than stuck in your room at home – possibly a room you associate an addiction with – and doing something positive that you can feel good about and distance yourself from your negative memories and places that remind you of the past.
Of course, it’s a good idea to pick one you most enjoy. You like animals? Work in a animal shelter. You feel the need to help the homeless because maybe you can relate to them? Then a soup kitchen would be ideal. Like nature? Then beach clean ups or park and woodland area clean-ups can be very therapeutic and satisfying.
It can be hard to build the confidence to go volunteer – especially if suffering from depression or anxiety – but ultimately it’s a great idea to build your self-esteem back up, give your life renewed meaning, and keep yourself occupied, away from places and people that you associate with your past addiction.
Love & Compassion
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