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I took drugs in the past…

… and I got away with it! How can I make sure that justice is served?

We all make mistakes, says our elder. Let the past go, and forgive yourself.

Dear EWC

When I was in high school and a couple of times since I graduated (eight years ago now), I took drugs on a few occasions. Once it was a very small amount of speedball, which is a misfire of cocaine and heroin, for those who don’t know. It is this one incident that bothers me a lot. I’m now 26, and I’m not married or in any relationship, but it’s something that really concerns me because I know I will likely have to share this information with my significant other once we are more serious, should I get into a relationship one day. I do want to get married, and my hope is to find a man who detests using drugs or substances in order to be happy or for any other reason. I have totally changed my attitude since I was young, and now fully believe in major consequences resulting from actions we take, and the things we allow to take hold of our minds. I pray sincerely I never touch drugs again, but because I was never caught, I’m afraid It would seem like justice was never served. Like I never really lost something because of my choices, which would be just. I’m considering telling the police about the incident just so I did my part as much as I could in making right the wrong. I know legal advice cannot be offered here, but if someone has some feedback about the choices, I’d appreciate it. Thank you.

Treefrog replies

It seems to me that you are living in the past and also letting the past live in you. It’s a combination that can really interfere with your self esteem and happiness in the present and in the future.

I tend to believe that most all of us have done things in the past that, in retrospect, we know was wrong and we regret. Perhaps it involved drugs, drunkenness or some moral transgression. Perhaps it involved lying, cheating, or treating another person unkindly. We look back at what we did and are ashamed, maybe even feel guilty. Growing up and maturing often sharpens our moral compass in that respect. We also come to realize that, indeed, no one is perfect!

My first suggestion is to forgive yourself. The second suggestion is to learn from the experience. We call this website Elder Wisdom Circle and, truth be known, much of the so called “wisdom” comes from experiencing mistakes, mis-adventures made in the past. How does one learn, advance and become better if there were never any mistakes made?
Yes indeed, there are always consequences resulting from our actions and behavior. But, fortunately, we all have the ability and intellect to make choices that can control what these consequences are and how they affect us and those around us. I personally don’t see any purpose in you sharing your past mistakes with anyone. You’ve confessed your mistakes to yourself and now all that’s needed is to forgive yourself, learn from the experience and make a firm commitment to avoid repeating the past.

You mention “justice being served”. Justice is served if you recognize the mistake, no one was hurt (other than your conscience) and you’ve learned from the experience. You don’t need the forgiveness of others — you need to forgive yourself!

I hope what I’ve said makes some sense. I wish you great success in getting on with building your life in the present and future and please feel free to write back anytime!

Letter #: 424885
Category: Self-Improvement

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