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Looking Back Through the Portal

Part of what makes any addict successful in their recovery is the ability they have to foster a higher-order purpose in life that elevates the value of helping others, while diminishing the effect our lower-order purpose (which can be loosely defined as hedonistic self-interest) has on our daily living. An important factor in creating this new purpose is giving back to those who are now where we once were. Anyone who has battled addiction can discuss at length, and in great horrific detail, the early stages of their recovery. It was days, weeks, and even sometimes months riddled with anxiety, fear, stress, depression, anger, and frustration. There is not much joy that is obviously derived from revisiting this place, however, there is invaluable meaning and freedom in returning back in order to help be a guide for someone who is currently in that predicament. We learn that giving back to another suffering addict helps to keep us sober, and because this is true we can ask, why is that? Giving back to others is our way of enacting this higher order purpose that is the delivery service that takes us from our previously addicted and selfish state to an experience where we learn to transcend our old self through the action of serving other.

In action, we can act to help those currently suffering in many ways. We can take time out to go to coffee or dinner, we can talk at the beach, we can discuss ways in which we found certain strategies valuable, or we can simply just be available to take phone calls during times of distress. By just being present and authentic with another addict and living our truth, we can be a beacon of light during a time when they believe there is no clarity at the end of the tunnel; we can embody hope and transmit that to another addict. These interactions not only help the suffering addict by helping to address questions, letting them know what to expect, preparing them for potential dangers ahead, and providing a living example of hope and what can be achieved in sobriety, but they also help us as the agents of hope and potential progress. These interactions allow us to remember the importance of humility within recovery and remind us that we can be as vulnerable and susceptible to relapse as the newcomer.


Tree House Recovery of Orange County, California is a premier men’s addiction treatment facility that uses eight different modalities to help our men become the best versions of themselves they can be. We teach our men that every day of their journey is something to celebrate, and that recovery isn’t a sprint– it’s a marathon. By showing our men how to celebrate each day’s victories, we show them that self love isn’t about what we have or haven’t done. It’s about getting a little closer to where we want to be. To get started with Tree House Recovery, call us today at (855) 202-2138.

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