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How can we be of service to those that are still suffering?

Posted by on in Drug Addiction
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This is my last blog as the addiction expert for the month of March.  I want to thank Cate for including me in such an inspirational cause and for those who took the time to read my blog, it was a blessing to be part of such an important website with so many goals, education, and support.  I do hope that my posts were able to help others the way they have helped me and they certainly reminded me of where I came from and of the progess I have made in the past six years.  It has not been easy reliving my past, but in order to reach out to even just one person, to me it has been entirely worth it.

I will leave my last blog with the notion of being of service.  Being of service is a gift that you receive while in sobriety, or even working on a better version of yourself, it is an intrigal tool in maintaining a level head and in getting out of your head, while in turn, assisting others in need.

I feel as though I have been given a special and unique way to be of service, by helping to pass laws in Washington, DC, being a spokesperson for the National Inhalant Prevention Coalition, making a public service announcement for the Alliance for Consumer Education, and when not working in treatment assiting other addicts, alcoholics, those with eating disorders and co-occurring disorders, I am able to help people in need from around the country.  I use my company website to post only positive, life-enriching quotes.

But being of service does not have to be that grand.  Being of service is saying hello to a newcomer in a meeting, passing on your experience, strength, and hope by leading a meeting, being an active participant, a sponsor, or simply leading by example.  Because not only do these actions help those around you, people that can relate to what you have been through or what you are going through, it benefits you as well.  Even as much as a positive comment or smile can help someone who is having a difficult day, as I'm sure you can relate, and I'm sure there has been a time when someone's random act of kindness has changed your day, if only for a moment, but definitely for the better.

This is not something that is specific to AA, NA, OA, etc., this is a practice that assists us in our daily lives.  I find that the more positive acts I do in my daily life for others, the easier it is to fight away that depression and anxiety, and the more it gives me purpose.

A question to ask yourself is what did I do today to help my fellow man?  If I didn't do something, what is it that I can do tomorrow, whether it be big or small?  Being of service to those you encounter in your life is enriching and in my experience, aids me in fighting off my demons, as seeing the good you can do for another fights off those issues of self worth, questioning if you're good enough, even the black and white thinking of are you a good or bad person. Because random acts of kindness and service are mindfully based, they keep you in the here and now, not so much following that saying of having one foot in the past, one in the future, and the like.

We all struggle, in one way or another. We have that in common, the particular infliction being moot, due to our desire to change and help others along the way being the same. For as Trappist monk and poet Thomas Merton has been quoted saying:

"Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy"

Be well,


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Allison Fogarty is an interventionist, Registered Addiction Specialist intern and has worked extensively in multifaceted directorial roles of residential treatment. Allison has been on A&E’s Intervention, worked with the National Inhalant Prevention Coalition, and Alliance for Consumer Education, where she has appeared on several talk shows, public service announcements, and as a guest lecturer at several addiction venues in the fight to prevent the use of, and further the education of, inhalant abuse.

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