A senior in college, Mark confesses he invested the first three years of his college life learning how to party. He’s come to terms with his addiction and is starting on the road to recovery.A junior administrator, Gary’s nearing his retirement years. He admits spending most of his profession inside a bottle and, like Mark, has come to terms with his substance abuse and is working toward rehabilitation.
The Golden Years …
Entering sobriety in his senior years, Gary faces distinct difficulties that Mark will not. But he may also have a few benefits over young Mark. Northlake Recovery looks at those variations in depth:
You Can’t Teach an Old Dog New Tricks
Although this isn’t true, adjustment often gets tougher as we age. Our routines are more fixed. Our routines are set. We have years of habit backing each decision, giving it more weight. It makes the course harder to change. If Gary has relied on drinking to deal through every phase of his life up to this moment, it might be more difficult to establish new habits. Caught in decades-long habits, it’s harder for Gary to stop drinking.
Wisdom Associates with Age
Not often, but regularly. We at least know ourselves and our surroundings better. We have a superior understanding of what makes us work, what sets us off, what attracts us, and what our restrictions are. How often do we wish we could tell our younger selves a little bit of wisdom we’ve discovered in our later years? The understanding we have gained can help us set the perimeters we need to stay sober. Gary’s extra years may offer more foresight than John’s lessened life experience.
Obligations Pile Up
Joining addiction treatment and support group sessions might be more difficult for older people like Gary. Compared to Mark, his list of duties is long. Work responsibilities, paying a mortgage, and being a husband, father, and grandfather make things more difficult.
In our early years, it’s common for our settings to transform. Relationships fade, jobs switch, and families are still being developed. By the time we retire, our social surroundings are typically more secure. It’s likely Gary has been partying with the same friends or family members for years, which can make it more challenging to break off those connections to stay sober.
The “I’ve Made It This Far” Mindset
Gary has been drinking for years, yet no disaster has interrupted his life. Sure, there have been repercussions, but he’s still alive and kicking. He’s managed to survive. This can make inspiration to change later in life challenging to say the least. “It’s just part of my life and always has been. Why change now?”
At Gary’s phase of life, FOMO, or fear of missing out, is less of a variable. After years of partying, he’s not too concerned about skipping the party scene. He’s been there, done that and then some.
Like Gary, when we pick sobriety later in life, we don’t feel like we’re missing out on something great. We can walk away from that life already knowing precisely what it has to offer.
Regardless of age, or gender, or drug of choice, Northlake Recovery is here to help guide you in the right direction. We have a unique plan for each individual based on their specific needs. If you or a loved one needs help dealing with drug or alcohol dependency, call our addiction hotline at (561)-770-6616 toll free, 24/7. Trained professionals are standing by.