What is history but a story of experiences? Each day we all add to our personal record. Good, bad, interesting, sad, whatever, it all counts as we continually go through life.

Some events make us feel proud, others maybe not. For sure, we all have regrets. As an addict, if you were to write your autobiography, regrets would be center stage for much of it, unless you decide to exercise a choice in how the story would continue.

Think about that for a minute. How would you like your story to continue?

I ask my clients to think about this and to envision how the rest of the story might play out if they were in recovery or not in recovery. I ask you now to pause here for a moment and give this some thought. Use your imagination and see the future as you would wish it to be written if you choose recovery. Please do as I ask. I will wait right here. Please do not continue to read until you have done this.

Those of you that have envisioned your story continuing as a person in recovery will have given yourselves a glimpse into what can be yours. You may have seen a better life, a prouder life, a life with purpose and meaning. Maybe you envisioned better or even great mending of relationships that had been torn asunder due to drugs. Maybe you saw yourself back in school or in a good job. Maybe you saw who you were earlier in your history. Maybe the visions were bittersweet, but a sweetness nonetheless. One thing you did not see was the continuing spiraling down of your life. The road to hell was not part of the story to be written.

While it is true we cannot foretell the future, we absolutely can tell how we will approach that future. It is a difficult and scary decision to face the demon and fight to win. Imagine how David must have felt looking at Goliath, and then imagine how he felt when Goliath fell. Sure, there is fear, but that will not stop you.

Now let’s have you imagine how the story will continue to be written if you continue on the path of using. Again, stop here for a moment and picture it. Really picture this history as it would unfold.

If you have envisioned the story continuing to be written with you as a junkie or a drunkard, you should be shuddering at the horror of it, for it will indeed be a horror. There is nothing in this vision that could make you proud or happy. Perhaps you realized that the harm already done is nothing compared to the harm that will continue if you continue.

Everything will suffer. Your health, your opinion of yourself, your future, all colored by a drug-fueled existence. This is not a pretty picture. If your story continues along the lines of a user, you will have soured your life. You will regret it, if you don’t already. Take a deep breath right now. Envision the life you want. That life is not a life of drugs. No way. A life in recovery is your history waiting to be written.
As you look back from a time in the future, your decision will give you whatever you have decided. You have a say about how you will approach the future. Tread carefully, for as you live, so it will be written.