My name is Kate and I’m a 30 year old recovering alcoholic and addict. I had my first drink when I was 14 and drank alcoholically even that first time. Throughout the next 16 years, until 54 days ago, I drank. I drank to have fun. I drank to forget my problems. I drank to celebrate. I drank to turn off that constant tape playing in my head that told me I wasn’t good enough. I drank for every reason imaginable. Luckily, I never got arrested, fired, or divorced. But on the same token, I never got my master’s degree I dreamed of getting. I never got to be the blushing bride. And, I never got to be a young mother and have a baby.
I chose to put alcohol and other drugs in front of everything and everyone. I knew the only way I was going to get sober and stay sober was to do the same with my recovery. I had to put my recovery in front of everything and everyone. I had to chase my sobriety like I chased my high. I knew if I didn’t give recovery my all, I wouldn’t make it.
Throughout my recovery, I began to discover the root of my addiction. I had a core belief that I wasn’t good enough by drinking and using. I couldn’t tell you where it started of why, but I can tell you I grew up with an alcoholic father who, by the grace of God, has 17 years of sobriety. I can tell you my brother has 6 years of sobriety and my grandmother, rest her soul, had 20 years sobriety when she died. These are the examples that prove to me recovery is possible and that things can and do get better. My brother recently told me that it won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. I really needed to hear that because, believe it or not, I thought I was the only one who wasn’t enjoying every single minute of sobriety. Everyone told me how much better my life was going to be sober – and it is for the most part. But, I still have to deal with life and all those feelings I had once numbed away for years with drugs and alcohol.
Some of the advise they give you might be tough to hear: “Don’t start a new relationship until you have a year of sobriety.” or “You can’t hang out with your old friends who drink and use.” But I know that all of this advice comes from years of experience and has proven to work to keep people sober. Sobriety doesn’t happen by accident. It takes time and effort. So below is my “Good-Bye” letter that I wrote to alcohol and other drugs after 45 days of sobriety. Please feel free to give me feedback and I appreciate all your love and support.
Good Bye Letter
Wow, I can’t believe it has come to this. When we first met, it was all rainbows and butterflies. Fireworks lit up in every corner of my brain. It was love and I couldn’t get enough. Everywhere I went you were with me. We were joined at the hip. I thought we would be inseparable forever and ever.
Yet, you put me in harms way and such unsafe situations. But, the more pain you caused the tighter I clung. I wanted the pain to stop. I wanted it all to stop. I saw no hope. I didn’t know any better. I thought this was how my life would be and I hated it. I hated you.
I don’t remember when I started to see the red flags. Failed romantic relationships, disappearing friendships, I knew my family would be next. The possibilities of me having my own family someday made nearly impossible. With you, I was so difficult to handle and so tough to love. I tried so hard to ignore these danger signs, but my life was rapidly apart. I thought you and I were going to make it because we were different. But we weren’t.
Relationships are supposed to be give and take, but all you did was take, take, take. We had to be done for so many reasons, but most of all because you ruined my relationship with myself. I had no respect for myself. I was ashamed of my actions and I hated myself. I looked for you to save me, but all you did was continue the cycle of self-loathing, until I wasn’t me anymore.
So I am breaking up with you. I’ve found someone better, who treats me with the love and respect that I deserve. And that someone is me. I value myself and my life and my future enough to permanently say good-bye. Now I am always me. No regret, no remorse, no more asking, “Why did I do that?” or “What was I thinking??” Please, lose my number and forget we ever met. I won’t forget you, because I know you are always looming like the psychopath that you are. God, I wish I could get a restraining order on you!
I hope to inspire others and create a community that takes addiction out of the shadows and explain to people the real depths of this disease.