I Think It’s Too Late For Me. Can I Really Start Over?


Table of Contents

First things first — it’s never too late. If you’re still breathing, there is still time left. Don’t give up hope, and don’t give up on yourself. If you’re struggling with addiction, there is a solution — and it really works! Thousands of us have been where you are now, and we are happy and whole in our lives in recovery.

As far as starting over goes, life is a series of restarts. The idea of having to “start over” paints a picture that beginning again is a bad thing. But the ebb and flow of life doesn’t work like that. Just look at nature: trees fall over and die, but from the collapsed trunk, a new tree grows. We’re lucky because we don’t have to fall over or die to start anew. We can do it right now, right from wherever we are.

No, it’s not too late for you. It never will be. But the longer you put off beginning your recovery, the longer you may have to suffer. There’s no need for you to suffer anymore. The 12-Step program of recovery has been helping those struggling with addiction find recovery since the 1930s. That’s a long time and a great track record. You can see the proof that it works all around you, at any 12-Step meeting, anywhere in the world.

Why You Can’t Give Up Hope

Alcoholism and addiction are deadly diseases. They take control of our lives and can leave us ruined, feeling completely hopeless. The 12-Step program is designed to produce within us the necessary psychic change and vital spiritual experience that can help us find lasting, happy, meaningful recovery from alcoholism and addiction. The psychic change and spiritual experience occur while working the 12-Step process, and they can help set alcoholics and addicts free from the bondage of the disease.

The book Alcoholics Anonymous says this about those struggling with addiction: “Once a psychic change has occurred the very same person who seemed doomed, who had so many problems he despaired of ever solving them, suddenly finds himself easily able to control his desire for alcohol, the only effort necessary being that required to follow a few simple rules.”

Those few simple rules are the program of recovery. We are asked to work the 12-Steps continually with a sponsor, and once we are steady, we are asked to help others in recovery work the 12-Steps. We are asked to participate in 12-Step meetings and fellowship with others in recovery. Also, we are asked to turn our minds to being of service to others, whether they’re in recovery or not. That’s it. Some people shorten it to “Clean house, trust our higher power, and work with others.” What it boils down to is simply this: work the 12-Steps, go to meetings, and help people.

Certainly, that’s not too big a price to pay to find our lives repaired, improved, and filled with love and purpose. Even if we’ve given up hope, we must admit, if there was a solution to our problem, we could give it a shot. What’s the worst that could happen? Things get better? If the 12-Steps don’t change your life after one year, you can feel free to have your old life back.

It’s Never Too Late, But You Have To Start

The book Alcoholics Anonymous asks us to consider this, “We were in a position where life was becoming impossible, and if we had passed into the region from which there is no return through human aid, we had but two alternatives: one was to go on to the bitter end, blotting out the consciousness of our intolerable situation as best we could; and the other, to accept spiritual help.”

When we look at our options like that, hopefully, it gets a little easier to make the call. It’s not too late for us to live a life beyond our wildest dreams, and hope springs eternal as long as we don’t give up on ourselves. If things seem impossible, perhaps we can consider the testimony of one of the founders of the 12-Step program, Bill Wilson. Looking back at the time just before he worked the 12-Steps, he says, “I was soon to be catapulted into what I like to call the fourth dimension of existence. I was to know happiness, peace, and usefulness, in a way of life that is incredibly more wonderful as time passes.”

He was at the end of his rope before then, too. Like a lot of us, he feared it was a done deal for him. His life was over, and it would never be good again. He wasn’t a young man when he worked the 12-Steps, creating them with Dr. Bob and working them together. They didn’t even have the benefit of experience like we do today. Yet, he still describes his life after the 12-Steps as the fourth dimension of existence that just keeps getting more wonderful.

We’ll leave you with this from the Big Book: “We will comprehend the word serenity, and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. The feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.” It goes on from there, and trust us — it gets even better. But we want you to find out for yourself. It isn’t too late. If you start the 12-Steps now, the good stuff is only just beginning.

Alcoholism and addiction wreak havoc on our lives. When we suffer from this disease, we can be ruined across the board. It may seem like life is impossible, like things will never change. But there is a solution for the disease of alcoholism and addiction. The 12-Step program can produce the necessary psychic change and vital spiritual experience that bring about recovery and freedom. No matter how bad things have gotten, no matter how far down the scale we have gone, the 12-Step program can bring meaning, purpose, joy, community, and transformation to every aspect of our lives. The 12-Steps can work for anyone, at any time, when we are honest, open-minded, and willing to do the work. If you have struggled with achieving or maintaining recovery, do not give up hope. We were once in your shoes, and now we find ourselves living happy new lives in recovery. If you’re ready to begin your recovery, Jaywalker Lodge is here to help you get started. Call us now at (866) 529-9255.

author avatar
Stefan Bate, MA, LAC, CCTP Chief Clinical Officer
Stefan Bate, BA, MA, LAC holds a Master's Degree in Applied Psychology from Regis University and is a Licensed Addiction Counselor in the state of Colorado. Stefan has wide-ranging experience in the field of addiction recovery including: working as a recovery coach, therapist, and program director.

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