Regret and the consequences of addiction.
In the literature of recovery they discuss the dire outcomes of active addiction. According to the literature, it is inevitable that if you don’t stop using drugs, you will end up either imprisoned or you will end your own life. Along the way, you may bounce in and out of various addiction treatment programs.
There is always hope.
The only hope to avoid this downhill ride to the end is to simply stop using drugs. And then, to discover a different way of living. It helps if you do not return to drug use in the future. The fear of possible consequences scares many people into remaining clean. And, in many cases, they can stay clean for an entire lifetime.
However there are those who are chronic relapsers. The people who relapse on a regular basis find themselves having to climb out of the hole over and over again. They spend most of the time between relapse events getting their life back together and recovering mentally and physically. They do their best to recover from financial and legal damages that may have occurred.
It wasn’t so bad. Or was it?
These people may look back on their life and say to themselves, “I was clean for most of the time. I just had my occasional slips.” Drug addicts tend to be a highly creative and intelligent group of people on average. For the addict who cannot stay clean for long periods of time there are many years of lost opportunity.
You were meant to have a better life than this.
Addicts tend to be the kind of people who, in an alternate reality where they never came in contact with drugs, would have been highly productive people. Many could have been successful entrepreneurs. These are the people who were destined to be the builders and creators of society. They simply, for some reason, took a dark turn in their life. Some of these chronic relapsers may take pride in the fact that they generally have avoided being institutionalized, ending up in jail or prison. They take some pride in the fact that they have cheated death so far. However, they now must live with the regret of lost time.
Living a life of survival.
The sad fact is that they spend many years in the clean up act of early recovery. They may be happily employed and have a nice job. But, they find themselves living in more of a survival mode. They do not live the successful self-actualized life that they were meant to lead. Imagine this sad feeling of regret to look back on your life after relapsing on drugs. You realize what you could have done if you would have just not used drugs persistently for so many years.
The sadness of regret. And hope for the future.
You may still be alive and healthy and living a pretty good life. But, you know in your heart that you were meant for so much more. Of course while you are still living and have your health it is never too late to make a fresh start. And, do your best to do what you were meant to do. Do what you love to do in life. But, it will always live in the back of your mind that you could have done the same 10 20 or 30 years earlier. You could have enjoyed success so many years earlier in your life in your youth. You could have enjoyed more time with your children. More time with your family. You could have spent your time doing more of the things that you truly love to do. You could have made a difference helping many people, improving their lives.
Never forget the price you have paid to get here.
This is certainly something to keep in mind next time you may be thinking of picking up drugs again. It is, of course, important to always keep in mind the terrible consequences that may come, including severe illness, chronic health issues, death and imprisonment. But also, think of the years and years of lost opportunity and lost productivity. And, the lingering regret that may never go away.