I can understand how someone may see that spending twenty-five years drinking and drugging is a failure. I saw my life that way when I first got into recovery. I wondered how I made such a mess of things for so long and how I might ever make it up to myself, to those I love, and to those who love me.
After thought, prayer, and discussions with friends, I decided to use my experience as an example of what not to do with your life. Helping young people understand that they could avoid my mistakes became one of my goals. I have worked with many young people and God continues to put such people in my life. I help them to understand the futility of living a life using drugs and alcohol.
Sharing my experience with others in recovery or helping a loved one to get into or grow in recovery, has been a blessing that could only have come from my failure of spending those twenty-five years the way I did. Of course, there are still days when I can’t help but wonder why it took me so long to find my bottom. I have learned to toss those thoughts aside and understand that today I am doing the best I can.
I can choose to believe my life was wasted because of drinking and drugs. I am sure many people look back on their lives and think, “If only I had done things differently,” but we can’t go back. The only choice we have today is to pursue our dreams, help others, and live life to the fullest. We can’t go back but we can move forward. I share this valuable lesson with anyone who wants to make up for lost time.