What is My Purpose in Life? by Alumni and Staff Member Christopher Smith


Chris S. is a strong member of the recovery community here having been through treatment at our facility as before joining the staff. This is a stirring entry about his ongoing journey toward finding fulfillment in sobriety.

Everyone ponders the question, what exactly is my purpose in life?  Why am I here?  For an addict and alcoholic, this question becomes even more real.  I know that my purpose is not to be controlled by a substance. 

But why then am I here?  Why did God allow me to become addicted to something that controls my every move, my every decision?  Why did God allow me to become addicted to something that tore apart my family and that ruined my career?  Why did God allow me to become addicted to something that destroyed my life as I knew it?

The answer to this I believe lies in exactly what I thought was my own worst fault, my worst weakness, and my worst defect.  You see, I have one purpose in life and that is to serve (help) other people. 

Actually, from a Christian stand point, I have a dual purpose.  To love God, and to love my neighbor, but in serving and loving my neighbor, I am in effect, loving God.  So I believe and have come to realize that everything that I thought destroyed my life is actually what has become my purpose.

Now this doesn’t necessarily mean that I am slated for a career in the drug treatment business.  But what it does mean is that I am to use my experience, strength and hope to help my fellow man.  As an alcoholic and addict I have been through so many different experiences that I can relate to or at least empathize with, many, many types of hurts and habits.

If I had lived a perfect life and had never been through the things that I have been through
then how effective would I be at having an impact on those around me?  If I had gone straight through college, gotten a career going and maintained that career, gotten married and had kids, and never seen any major problem, then how much hope could I bring to someone who was to come to me that was struggling with addiction because of feeling like he could never live up to the expectations that his dad has for him, let alone the expectations that he has for himself? 

I wouldn’t be able to bring a lot to the table for him.  You see, God never uses perfect people to do His work.  But I have to be at peace with the fact that I am flawed and imperfect before I can do any good for anyone else.

It doesn’t matter then what I am to do for a career.  If I were to go back into business, be an alcohol and drug counselor, or be a computer tech; it doesn’t matter.  These things are only a means to which support my purpose in life, which is to be of service to my fellow man.  Is that not the happiest place to be in anyways?  When I have done some good for someone and been able to be of service to them, then I know that I am fulfilling my purpose in life. 

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