Becoming an empowered member of the community means having choices within that community and also having a voice where you’re opinion is valued. Giving back and sharing your experiences with other people can promote this and gives weight and depth to your role within the community. Becoming accountable for your actions, and, facing up to your responsibilities as a recovering individual. Making a difference can promote empowerment and self esteem, building confidence and self awareness at the same time. Having said this you need to be aware of when and how to express your opinion and in what arena your voice would be most effective. The beginning of your journey may be making sure you have a solid foundation on which to build your first step into the community. Exploring your new found direction. Working out your first year plan. Taking risks and trying new things. Learning to accept the consequences of your actions and finding the best ways of dealing with those consequences.

1: What could you do to give back to your community?

2: How would you start this off?

3: Who would be your target group?

4: How can we help you to achieve this?


Reclaiming your place in the community can be daunting and at first seem like an uphill battle. But once you start the journey it becomes easier as you involve yourself in more and more. Getting involved in things that you enjoy, volunteering, furthering your education, sports, socialising, attending interest groups. All of these can promote a positive social network and this in turn takes away a lot of the irrational fear that can kick in when making these first steps. Having a nice place to hang out, local café, park, etc. Some areas are lucky enough to have recovery cafes and centres designed for just this. Having a routine that is not all work but involves a fun aspect as well. Making new friends and rekindling old friendships can also promote wellbeing in a new environment. Filling your week with new challenges.


1: What fears do you have around re-engagement?

2: What evidence is there to support these fears?

3: How can we address those fears?

4: Where would you like to see yourself in 3 months time?

5: Set yourself a challenge right now to achieve for next week?


Redefining self is something  that can take time but where to start is to look at yourself and ask yourself…what are my strengths and resources. Knowing your addiction is only a small part of who you are and knowing what you are capable of and that you are worth so much more than what you give yourself credit for is the key to your foundation. Not allowing yourself to be labelled any more and standing up for your rights as an individual, exploring life outside of your comfort zone and beyond treatment. Be aware of what you can offer and being accountable. Proving to those who repeatedly told you that you would never amount to anything with your life that you are capable of anything life throws at you. You are a survivor, not a victim.


1: Who are you?

2: Who do you want to be?

3: What are your strengths?

4: What are your weaknesses?

5: How can you use your strengths to combat your weaknesses?

6: What would the child you were say to the adult you’ve become?



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