Have you bought into the belief that you’re too old for recovery?
I know people with 20 years of therapy under their belts, who have never heard the term Adult Children of Alcoholics.
Unfortunately, by the time they figured it out and realized that an ACOA is a real thing, they felt too old to jump on the recovery boat.
And the interesting thing is, I’ve heard this belief pop out of the mouths of people in their 20’s all the way through to people in their 60’s.
What’s true is this: change of any kind can be terrifying. Stepping out of your comfort zone, in any area of your life, can bring you to your knees. This is just one of the many side effects of being human.
But what’s never been nor will ever be true is the idea that you’re too old for recovery.
If the belief that you’re too old is stopping you dead in your recovery tracks then you’ll really dig today’s post.
You’ll discover 4 mindset shifts that will shake down the debilitating idea that you’re too old. Even if you’re not an ACOA in recovery, there’s something here for everyone.
Like I said, there are so many people out there that carry around this limiting belief and as result they miss out on so many opportunities to grow. And I do not want that to happen to you!
After you’re done reading, I’m curious to know,
Are you letting the idea that you’re too old for recovery hold you back?
Meet me in the comment section and share your thoughts.
Remember, your voice, experiences and insights are vital to this community. And what you have to share is not only unique but it may be exactly what someone else needs to read. And that someone could be you.
Thanks for reading each week!
Until Next Tuesday,
xx – dawn
P.S. Know someone who thinks they’re too old for recovery? Share this one with them.
#1 ACOAs Are The New Kids On The Recovery Block
Consider this …
It wasn’t until the late 1970’s, that ACOAs were recognized as an actual group of people by the therapeutic and scientific communities.
The Adult Children of Alcoholics – 12 step community – started in 1978.
It wasn’t until R. Margaret Cork published her book The Forgotten Children in June of 1980 that Children of Alcoholics gained attention nationally.
Jane Woititz, who’s considered to be a pioneer in the study of ACOAs, didn’t come out with her groundbreaking book, Adult Children of Alcoholics until 1983.
And the non-profit, National Association for Children of Alcoholics or NACOA, has only been around since 1985.
ACOAs are one of the youngest on the recovery block. Understanding our issues and getting support from the recovery community at large, is still a new thing.
So if you’re thinking you’re too old to dive into recovery, you’re really not when you consider how young the ACOA movement is. She hasn’t even had her 40th birthday yet!
#2 Ever Heard Of Bronnie Ware?
Bronnie Ware is a palliative nurse. A nurse who counsels people through the last days of their lives.
One day she decided to start recording their biggest regrets in life.
Through her research, Bronnie noticed that certain regrets kept popping up over and over again.
Here are three that will put your fear of being too old into perspective.
#1 I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
#2 I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
#3 I wish that I had let myself be happier.
With recovery, no matter your age, you can cultivate the courage to live life on your terms. You can learn to accept and express feelings and you can even experience happiness. Whatever that may be for you.
So if you were to fast forward your life 10 years ahead do you think that you’d regret putting recovery on hold because you believed that you were too old?
Are these the kind of regrets that you want to have in the last days of your life?
#3 Don’t Leave It All Out On The Floor
There’s a saying in the sports world when an athlete gives a game or competition 110 percent. And that is,
“He left it all out on the floor”
Meaning that this soccer player, boxer or sprinter went out there and gave it all she had. When it was over she literally had nothing left to give, win or lose.
Now. This idea may be complimentary in the sports world but in the ACOA world it’s problematic.
In order to survive a chaotic childhood, ACOAs often stuff their potential, dreams, wants and desires down in a deep, black hole. And unfortunately, they’re never recovered.
As an ACOA you do not want to leave your life, no matter your age, all out on the floor.
You want to use it up and live it!
The National Association of Children of Alcoholics reports that 76 million Americans have been exposed to alcoholism in their family. Just imagine the number of people that passed on recovery because they believed they were too old and as a result, they never lived their potential or stepped out from behind the shadow of their chaotic childhoods.
It wasn’t your choice to be part of that 76 million but recovery is your choice.
Don’t leave this world with your potential all out on the table.
#4 But Your Life Depends On It…
At 25, I thought I was too old for recovery.
I remember sitting across from my therapist, Joan and bitching about how it was absolutely too late for me to move forward.
Joan listened and nodded as she always did. And then she said,
“But your life depends on this”
Suddenly my fear melted away. Worrying about being too old was a waste of time and energy. It was then that I realized I needed to reset my focus and stop running from what was right in front of me.
My life and the quality of life I wanted to live, beyond my dysfunctional family, completely depended on me making a choice. I knew it was time for me to stop playing the I’m the too old game.
Maybe it’s time for you to do the same?