Wasatch Crest’s Uinta Sober Living Program Director Tyson Allred discusses what it means to take ownership of your recovery. You can watch his talk below.
Starting on a new path in life takes courage. In early recovery, you’re going to have to set boundaries, have hard conversations, and face many unknowns. Because of this, embracing recovery requires leadership qualities, such as:
- Integrity: You must act as a role model for the people around you. Integrity is a huge part of this. Are you the same in the light as you are in the dark?
- Confidence and honesty when making hard choices: This might mean cutting unsupportive people out of your life and not attending things you want to because it puts your recovery in danger.
- Consistency: Do you do what you say you are going to do?
- Empathy: This means not being judgemental and really listening to the people around you.
- Adaptability: You must be willing to pivot when you’re wrong, which requires humility to admit that you’ve made a mistake.
I believe leadership requires time and energy. I can’t buy it. I can’t delegate it. I put my time and energy into listening and creating relationships with people. I take ownership of my recovery. I do not ask anyone to do something I’m not willing to do myself. I try to live my life as a role model. I also try to emulate different leaders for different areas in my life, business, recovery, marriage, and family life.
“Leadership is influence — nothing more, nothing less.”
Influence can be positive or negative, depending on what you choose to do with it. You should be aware of what your rippled effect is. What you do everyday matters to the people around you. Are you cutting someone down or are you trying to uplift, inspire and motivate?
“Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.”
In early recovery, I had an idea of what I wanted my life to look like, but I didn’t know how to get there. My sponsor walked me through the process one step at a time. It wasn’t easy. It took time. And it was rough rewriting my life. With courage, I was able to embrace my recovery and put in the work that success required. A leader inspires change in others. They will not do it for you. Instead, they will show you how to become the best version of yourself, which requires motivating you to leave your comfort zone.
“If you want to feel happy, do something for yourself. If you want to feel fulfilled, do something for someone else.”
Doing service changes your brain chemistry which helps inhibit addiction. I caused a lot of wreckage in the community during my active addiction. I didn’t know how to make amends. Today, the way I make amends is by being of service. I find things that need to be done for people who can’t do it themselves. I put in the time and energy. Leadership is not a position or a rank. It’s a choice. It’s a choice to look out for the person on the left and right of you.
“To each there comes in their lifetime a special moment when they are figuratively tapped on the shoulder…
…and offered the chance to do a very special thing unique to them and fitted to their talents. What a tragedy if that moment finds them unprepared or unqualified for that which could have been their finest hour.”
I want to be prepared when opportunities to succeed present themselves. I don’t want to be too focused on my microcosm. Every day, I do the best I can, so that when opportunities come, I’m ready to capitalize on them and progress. I didn’t get sober to be mediocre. I’m wanting to see what this life holds. That’s the passion of leadership.
About the Author
Tyson Allred is Wasatch Crest’s Uinta Sober Living Program Director. A certified peer support specialist, Tyson leads therapeutic groups and works with clients to develop practical life skills. Tyson draws on his recovery experience as a Wasatch Crest alum and empowers clients to believe that their recovery is possible. Tyson fills his free time outside in the Wasatch Range—trail running, bow hunting, dirt biking, fishing, and camping. He also tries to compete in at least one Spartan Race every year.