Typically, when someone decides to enter treatment for addiction, it’s because things are looking dark. His job or his marriage may be in jeopardy. He may have gotten into legal trouble because of drugs or drug-related activities. He may have had a close call, such as an overdose or maybe he just feels like his life is spiraling out of control. In those kinds of situations, it’s easy to feel like you’ve made a hopeless mess of things, but in reality, there’s always room to come back.
For one thing, most people who develop substance use disorders typically do so when they’re relatively young. 18 to 25 is the prime age for developing addictions, although obviously many addictions persist much later in life. However, that means a large percentage of people will be entering recovery with most of their lives ahead of them. Consider, for example, the average age of marriage in the US. The average American man doesn’t get married until he’s almost 30. 50 years ago, the average man got married at 23. People are taking longer to find their way in an increasingly complex world, and addiction is just of many possible detours.
However, it hardly matters whether you begin recovery at age 21 or 61, you always have to start where you are. You may wish you had entered treatment 10 years ago, but there’s nothing you can do about it. What matters is that you make up your mind to do as much as you can with today. You can’t undo past mistakes, but you can resolve to live in a way you wish you would have been living all along. Many people in recovery feel like they’ve been granted a reprieve. They saw where their lives were heading but felt they had very little control to change course. When they finally gain control over their lives, they feel grateful for another chance to live the way they’ve always wanted.
Every day in recovery is another chance to be the person you’ve always wanted to be. The key is not to waste it. Every day, you have the opportunity to live with passion and purpose. You have the opportunity to care for others and be of service. You have the opportunity to challenge yourself to do a little better. Living with shame and regrets is just a way of staying stuck in the past. Everyone has made mistakes and everyone has regrets. Getting addiction treatment is an opportunity to learn from those mistakes and heal in a way that most people will never experience. It teaches you lessons you can use to create a better life.
Tree House Recovery is a men’s treatment program located in Portland, Oregon. Creating sustainable recovery through sustainable change, our programs help men learn how to live sober with adventurous lives. Call us today for information: (503) 850-2474