People Need People

Table of Contents

For those of us familiar with recovery, we are already well aware of the big fact that we simply cannot recover alone. We need each other. People need people in every walk of life, but it is especially true for those of us in recovery from alcoholism and addiction. It is a fact of our lives every single day. Not only that, but it is among the greatest blessings of our lives, as well.

The irony is easy to see, of course, when we consider that most of us struggling with alcoholism and addiction-like to fancy ourselves as lone wolves. We all like to imagine we can go it alone and do it our own way — we don’t need anybody. Certainly, none of this is true in recovery, and though we all resist it at first, it comes to be one of the greatest gifts of a 12-Step program: the people we need and love, who also need and love us. Nothing makes life more full, meaningful, or fun than the people we fill our days with. Especially when we share the journey of recovery with those people, particularly deep and lasting bonds are formed.

No matter how we think about ourselves, no matter how we aim to live our lives, the reality is people need people. We especially, as people in recovery, need other people in recovery. 

We Don’t Recover Alone

There are many realities in recovery, but this is one of the chiefest. We simply don’t recover alone. We need another person to sponsor us, we need other people at meetings, and we need a community of people in recovery around us and to walk the road of happy destiny with. If we were missing any one of these crucial ingredients, we might not find recovery. All three sides of the triangle of recovery heavily involve and include other people. Unity. Service. Recovery. We do none of it alone.

Sure we have to do some of the 12-Step work solo, but every one of the Twelve Steps still needs to be taken with a sponsor. Our sponsor has their own sponsor, as well. From the beginning of the 12-Step recovery, we have needed each other. Other people have been crucial from the very origins of the recovery program. We pass recovery on to one another, and every step of the way, we need others there with us.

Help Is Reciprocal

Help and service are incredibly vital elements of the recovery program. Indeed, the Big Book says our true purpose is to “fit ourselves to be of maximum service to God and our fellows.” Help and service are our true purpose in recovery. Even more than that, the Big Book says working with others and being of service to others is the thing that saves our lives when all other methods have failed. Being helpful is not only our purpose, but it is the answer to our problems, as well. That’s pretty straightforward and pretty darn neat. There’s a catch, though — in order to be helpful and of service, we need other people to help and serve!

We’ve sort of already touched on how much we need other people in recovery, but it’s often not something we think hard about. We need help from others in recovery almost constantly, and that’s true for all of us in recovery. We need the help of our sponsors, our trudging buddies, as well as our friends and family. We even need the help of strangers sometimes. More importantly, we need people in order to be of service. We need people that we can help. Our recovery is on shaky ground unless we are striving to turn our thoughts towards others and how we may help meet their needs. It says so right there in the Big Book. To meet the needs of others, we need others around us. We need people to ask us for help perhaps more than we need to have people we can ask for help.

The best part of this system of helping is that it is reciprocal. Benjamin Franklin said, “if you want to make yourself part of a community, ask someone for help.” He couldn’t be more right, especially because once we ask for help, people know we’re also willing to give help. This simple system of reciprocal helping makes us a part of the recovery community.

The Fullness of Life

Another reason people need people is a simple, but a beautiful one. Life is more full when we share it with people — friends, family, and loved ones of every kind. Our victories are greater and our sorrows are lessened when we share them. It’s easy to see after just a little reflection, that life would be empty without those we share it with. When we share our lives with others, life becomes full, the good gets better, and the burdens get easier. 

If You Want to Go Far, Go Together

An old saying goes, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” We don’t say that a lot in recovery because the truth is we don’t go anywhere alone. If we want to go anywhere in recovery, we have got to go together. Even just beginning the journey, it becomes clear that we wouldn’t want it any other way. Going anywhere alone means we’d miss all the incredible love, beauty, and fullness of life in recovery. 

Jaywalker Lodge knows that people need people, and we wouldn’t want it any other way. That’s exactly why we have fostered a thriving recovery community. Most of our alumni love being a part of Jaywalker Lodge so much that they often stay close by and remain active in the Jaywalker life, long after initial treatment has ended. In fact, our alumni join us for family dinners, recovery meetings, and service opportunities. That’s right — our alumni join us as we provide service to the larger recovery community and even the Colorado community at large. There is nothing more beautiful than people coming together to help one another. Once you experience it for yourself, you’ll see why so many stay with us for the long haul. If you are struggling with achieving or maintaining recovery, the Jaywalker community can make a difference in your journey. Call us today at (866) 529-9255.

author avatar
Stefan Bate, MA, LAC, CCTP Chief Clinical Officer
Stefan Bate, BA, MA, LAC holds a Master's Degree in Applied Psychology from Regis University and is a Licensed Addiction Counselor in the state of Colorado. Stefan has wide-ranging experience in the field of addiction recovery including: working as a recovery coach, therapist, and program director.

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