Achieving sobriety is all about giving someone a second chance at a healthy, more fulfilling life. That's why it's not uncommon to find many "late bloomers" in recovery.
No matter how late in life the recovery process is started in or how severe an addiction has become, a person can change their life around with hard work, focus, the right kind of continued support, and motivation.
Late bloomers do face their own unique challenges in addition to the normal challenges of recovery when they begin their journey. When someone decides to enter recovery later in life, they cannot get back the years the lost to addiction, but they can make the most out of the years they have ahead of them.
This truth can oftentimes cause a lot of pain and regret, but it also opens up a person to the hope of possibilities in the future. Getting sober not only improves a person's physical and emotional well being, it brings about many other benefits as well. Some of these include:
- a higher sense of self worth
- a better sense of self esteem
- motivation to pursue a career or achieve goals
- improved relationships and friendships
- connecting with partners and family members
- greater inner strength
- a newfound appreciation for life
- genuine pleasure derived from helping others
- a newfound sense of purpose
- an overall greater sense of peace and well being
Oftentimes a person who achieves sobriety also develops the confidence and drive to achieve dreams that they may have put on hold for decades. This is one great benefit to the late bloomer in recovery, who may have spent most of their life feeling unfulfilled and empty.
The newfound strength they gain in being sober often makes it possible to return to unfulfilled goals and dreams, and try to once again make them a reality. Many late bloomers are able to do just this.
There are also some unique advantages to being a late bloomer that others in recovery don't get to enjoy. These include:
- using life experience as a rich source of wisdom
- having the opportunity to enjoy success in the later years of life, rather than early on.
- having a greater sense of humility and appreciation for success
- possessing coping skills that can only come from life experience
- having a better understanding of life's ups and downs
It's important to remember that recovery is a continual process, not an end goal. Maintaining a realistic view of recovery will ensure that you get the most out of it. A few other important things to keep in mind are:
- keep a balanced approach to everything in life to ensure that you don't substitute one addiction with another.
- know that failure is a normal part of the process and something that can teach you valuable lessons.
- there is no such thing as perfection
- the journey you take toward a goal is as important as the goal itself.
- opening yourself to learning and experiencing new things is necessary for growth
- building self esteem will help you do better in life
- you deserve a second chance no matter where you come from, what you've done, or how much of a late bloomer you are.
Keeping these ideas in mind, while maintaining a realistic outlook on recovery, will insure that your process is a successful one. Take advantage of your strengths as a late bloomer and use it to inspire yourself and others.