Embracing Role Models in Recovery
Whether we realize it or not, many of us spend our entire lives developing role models. It doesn’t have to be the popular athlete, artist, thinker or even a family member. A role model can be a colleague, a survivor, a friend, a boss or anyone else who we believe are staying true to their ideals and living life the right way. Like many areas of life, the concept of role models can take on a whole new meaning for those of us in recovery. Our individual journeys cause to locate threats, lessons, ups, downs and role models often in the least likely places.
While the concept of role models may seem more the realm of the younger and more idealistic, the fact is they can be a tremendous source of inspiration and comfort as we move through the initial stages of our recovery. It is true that each one of our substance abuse journeys are different. However, when we see someone who has been able to successfully overcome their drug or alcohol dependency and achieve long-term recovery, we can’t help but get an automatic jolt of inspiration and tell ourselves that it can be done. This is an extremely valuable resource when we feel like we’re all alone, as so many of us do.
While our recovery lies squarely in our hands, we can embrace help and inspiration whenever we find it. If this means taking cues from others and seeking their advice to stay on track, we should use this as part of our recovery toolkit. Role models are a continuous part of life, and we never stop learning from others. While we don’t have to, nor should we, emulate anyone else’s life 100 percent, we can certainly benefit from guidance by example. In the end, this may actually help us become role models for others.