What Do I Have to Offer?
When I came to work for Heroes in Recovery three years ago, I often asked myself what I had to offer the organization or the recovery community. I had previously worked in the field of education for the past twenty-five years and was feeling burned out and wanted some kind of change in my life. Then it hit me that I was actually fifty years old. Was it actually too late to switch careers?
Luckily, I didn’t have to switch careers. Heroes in Recovery allowed me to ease into working in the recovery and addiction field part-time as a lead advocate and still maintain my job in the field of education. In many ways, the two fields are synonymous with one another. Along with teaching today’s youth, I also educate others on addiction and mental health issues from a personal point of view.
Only recently, I started to wonder what was unique about my story and what I have to offer to those that are still out there struggling daily with the issues of addiction?
We have all heard sayings like “a leopard cannot change its spots” or “you cannot teach an old dog new tricks”. I am here to break those old myths and encourage others that are chronologically challenged that it is possible. I entered my first treatment center at the age of 49. Had I had known that I had been an addict before? ABSOLUTELY! But until then, I was unwilling and unable to admit that fact. I had to reach the point of saturation and have enough insanity in my life.
When is it too late? Is it ever too late to get sober? I think it is never too late. Like most people in my age range, I do not think of myself as past middle-age. I mean…I do not watch C-Span all day, wear dress socks with tennis shoes, or complain about the youth of today! But in reality, I belong in that age group. The beauty of it is that I get to live in that age range clean and sober. I’m not angry, drunk and full of doubt, but humbled by the gratitude of what I have in life and that I get to live another day. Achieving and maintaining sobriety at any age is a blessing.
I drank away my 20s, 30s and 40s. In my fifties, I am just getting started living again! Through sobriety and the help of my higher power, I have learned to let go of my resentments from the years I wasted drinking myself into oblivion. Through the grace of God, I am learning to live again.
If you would like to share your story with Heroes in Recovery, you can contact me at Bo@heroesinrecovery.com. When you share your story, you help break the stigma associated with mental health disorders and substance abuse.