One of the most beautiful things about recovery is the opportunity to show up for others. When I was using, I was so stuck in my own world. I cared about my own needs, how to fill them, and that was about it. Although I had friends and people around me, I wasn’t really able to show up for them in a true and deep way.
Whether it’s caring for our Cochin Chickens (learn more about the Cochin breed on The Hen’s Egg), spending time with friends and family, or showing up and getting the job done at work, being sober allows me great opportunities. These are things I would not be able to do if I was using, and I’ve seen that in my own experience before.
Family and Friends
Friends and family are important parts of my life. From my sober friends in recovery programs to my support network and loved ones, I’m deeply grateful for the relationships I have. Instead of going it alone and feeling lonely basically all the time, I have a community around me. I support them, they support me, and we work together in life.
When using, I was all about myself. Although I had friends, I really just cared about having my needs met. Other people’s feelings were not my concern. Because of this, I went everything alone. When I had a big decision to make, I made it by myself. I used poor judgement and never ran my thoughts by anyone else.
This lack of honesty and openness makes us feel alone in the world. Instead of hiding who I am and what I’m experiencing, I show myself to others and show up for others. This helps create open and honest relationships, and ones with people I know who can work with me to grow.
Work and Obligations
In using, I barely was able to keep a part-time gig. Even when I did get a job, I was not able to show up regularly. Even when I did show up, I wasn’t fully there. I was not behaving like an employee I was proud of, and was never a shining member of any workforce.
Since getting sober, I’ve been able to work jobs I enjoy. There are of course parts of jobs that I don’t love, but I show up anyway. This is an act of building esteem, and I’ve come to enjoy the wholesome joy that comes after being a good employee. I can sleep well at night knowing I am an asset to the company I work for, and that I gave my best.
Suiting up and showing up at work is not something I would ever have thought I could be proud of or grateful for. It really feels good, leaves me nothing to hide, and helps me connect. I’ve found that when I show up for work fully, I’m much more content with myself.
This may seem weird, but today I am able to show up for animals in my life. This may seem like a small thing, but it’s actually huge. From keeping chickens of a bunch of different breeds to having dogs and cats, I have a full life today with the animals I can show up for. Although this may seem completely off-topic, it really is related.
I’m able to be with the animals in my life, show up and care for them, and build esteem. Rather than beating myself up about not being able to care for anyone or anything, I work with my animals to provide a life that makes them happy!