The Breakup Letter I wrote to the Disease of Addiction

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Pick up the pen and start writing

Some people might think it’s weird to break up with a disease that you will have for the rest of your life. Contrary to this being true, I found that it was very therapeutic.

Sure, we will always have this disease but we can choose to starve it by not allowing it to control our actions or shall I say our reactions to life. I also believe that you don’t even have to be an addict to write a letter to the inner critic that will not stop talking. That chatty Kathy in our mental space needs to be told to shut up from time to time, but what about completely ending the relationship?

Taking your life back and saying “I refuse to take orders from you any more.” You could write a letter to fear, anger, or whatever you think may be holding you back. So, with this idea in mind, I decided to take a suggestion and write a letter to my disease. It went a little something like this…

“Dear Disease,

I can not control that you reside between my ears and affect me physically, mentally, and spiritually. I can not change all of the things that I have done while under your control back when I was using or even after I got clean. I am powerless over all of that now.

I have carried you with me and used you for courage. I have used you for protection and I have taken all of your guidance through all of my pain. You were always that voice in the back of my head that told me that It would all be alright but you lied. It wasn’t alright.

That pain that you helped me to numb only grew the day I got clean from the drugs that you told me I needed. The drugs almost took my life. The drugs that have taken the lives of so many of your hosts. Addicts. Were good people. But, you make us do the most horrifying things. You cause mothers and fathers to OD in front of their kids. You cause degradation, dereliction and you bring death.

You don’t bring happiness or freedom as you claim. You bring emptiness and sorrow. You carry instructions on “how to die” and feed it to your hosts of addicts like a salesman working for the reaper. You are evil and yes you are powerful too. You’re also easy to please. As long as we feed you misery and discontentment then you’re alive and well aren’t you?

It seems as though the harder I work to be better or get better the harder you work to bring me down but I see you. I see you trying to raise my kids. I see you trying to creep in when I lose my patience with them. I see how insidious, cunning and baffling you are. How progressively fast you can move.

Sometimes you’re so fast you give me a spiritual whip-lash. I can’t always keep up. I have experienced the true pain of an addict that does nothing about your presence and believes all of your tricks without even having to use drugs. I have neglected my children, gone over the edge, and left the rooms of those I love feeling shame and despair. Hoping for the courage to walk out of the door to find my lips behind the stem to forget. I have found myself forgetting just how clever you can be.

You talk to me in my own voice and you tell me things that aren’t true. You tell me that I am shit and that I don’t deserve any of what I have today. You tell me that I need to keep going, that there’s so much that I need to do. You shut out all that’s good in me and leave me for dead when I need help and yet, you’re not there.

You were never my companion. You were always the destroyer of good things. You cause me to believe that I hate myself and that I probably should just end it all. You tell me that my children would be better off without me but that’s just not true. You tell me that I am all of the things that I have done in the past and well, that’s not true either. I am none of those things. Those things though, they’re all of what you are. They are all of what you do. I on the other hand have been your prisoner. I have allowed you to hold my mind hostage into believing that I am somehow unworthy based on my past. That, I am incapable of change and that I will never amount to anything because, well, it’s just too late for me. Again, all of that isn’t true.

You’re like a savage wild animal with rabies that goes around biting good people that love me. You’re like a fucking infection that just won’t heal. In the past, I have thought about pulling the trigger on life and fading away where you can not go because anything that evil can’t travel to a peaceful place. I have thought about cutting your voice away and giving in to the incessant babbles about how it would “make it better”. And, I am so glad I haven’t given in. It’s been quite a long time for me since I have felt the sharp edge of a razor and I don’t ever want to look down at myself and feel that low of myself ever again. And I won’t give you that satisfaction.

I used to underestimate you old friend, but I don’t anymore. I can see the way you bring me stress and anxiety. Convincing me that it is all everyone else. Placing blame on others is a sign of you being near and I see you. I see the way you try to make my friends my enemies and turn my enemies into my friends, you being one of them. But, you see, you are not my friend. You are the means to my demise. You are the reason why my aunt committed suicide. You are the reason why I sold myself to get more and more. You are the reason why I had an abortion. You are the reason why I abused my kids. Hurting them in ways that I feel that nothing I do now will ever make up for.

You are the reason for me getting sent to those programs. You are the one that allowed me to be taken advantage of and placed in life or death situations that I almost didn’t get out of. You hurt my dad and told him that you hoped he’d get cancer again. You treated him like shit and left me to pick up all the pieces. You convinced me that he didn’t care for me and that my mom was a shitty mom because she didn’t want me when really she’s just another one of your hosts. And, now, I finally see that she also has you. It was never me that wasn’t good enough. It was that you convinced her that she too, needed more. More drugs to snort, shoot or pop the pain away. You have destroyed the lives of almost every person in my family, so you see you’re no stranger here. I just never thought as a kid that I’d ever be one of those people that would get to know you so well.

As a kid, when I blew out my candles I never dreamed of one day growing up to be a prostitute addicted to almost whatever drug you could (insert here) I never wanted to use drugs as a kid. I saw what you did to my mom, I just didn’t understand the depth of it. I didn’t realize how fucking serious it was to live with something so powerful. But, now I get it.

So, I say all of this while knowing that I can not get rid of you entirely and I accept that. I am utterly fucking powerless over you being here. And, I can not fight you anymore. I have tried to deny your existence and I have tried going to war with you many days. But, you know what… I don’t want to fight you anymore. I surrender!

You have kicked my ass every single day and showed me just how much stronger than me you are so, go kick someone else’s ass. Cause I no longer want to be with you, by your side, listening to your every command. I refuse to be a product of another one of your victims. Believing in all that you are. You’re insidious, cunning, and baffling. You’re incurable, progressive, and fatal. Nothing next to your name says anything good. So, why have I allowed you to play me like a puppet? Why have I approved your messages and signed up to be your fool? My only guess is that I believed I deserved it. But, you know what? I believe different things now.

I am done with looking in the mirror and believing that my body has anything to do with my beauty. I am a beautiful spirit that lies within my body. This body is temporary. What is on the outside is constantly changing. I am getting older and I am okay with that. I have wrinkles that have appeared on the side of my eyes from smiling and laughing and I am okay with that too. My hair is short from me asking my husband to shave my head because you have had me so stressed out that my hair is falling out. I refuse to allow that to define the way I see my beauty as well. I refuse to give you any more of my love so that you can exchange it for self-hatred.

I will not listen to you put me down anymore. The thoughts you plant inside of my mind while I am showering, unable to avoid eye contact with the scars on my legs because of the pain I allowed myself to go through. These scars are simply reminders of the harm that I have caused myself because of you. The times that you whispered that I wasn’t good enough, that I am ugly and pathetic. The whispers of untrue statements lingered in the back of my mind. Those beliefs I adopted because I couldn’t tell the difference between you or me. I couldn’t differentiate between the voice that was telling me to stop and the one that said to keep going. Today I understand that voice to be you.

I have lived life against my will, doing, saying, and thinking things that I have not wanted to do, say or think. I understand that to be your doing. But you know what? I am no longer going to be your prisoner. I am no longer going to hide in these defects of your character that come along in your suitcase. These are your creation. I understand that this part is inescapable. However, today I have something far greater than I ever had before. I have a loving and caring God. I have a sponsor that knows you well. And, I have hope that even though you will always be here with me, that I can arrest your sorry ass and lock you in an unbreakable cage and that cage has a name. It’s called The Narcotics Anonymous Program and it has one fire-ass solution to help me live this life that you deem impossible to live without you. And, that my old friend is called The Twelve Steps.

So, while it was fun sitting down here in the hole with you, I must go now. It’s time for me to take the first step and walk this journey without you. I no longer need your help with surviving. I don’t live that kind of life anymore. I don’t need your help with raising my children or being a wife. I don’t need your protection or the kind of false courage that you give. I no longer need you as my higher power. I no longer need your solutions.

There’s been a hand reaching down into this hole you’ve had me in and I am finally going to reach out and grab it.

So I am giving you this break-up letter to say… so long and farewell old friend, it wasn’t fun while it lasted and you don’t control me anymore!”

As you can see here, I had a lot to say. I’m pretty sure I could have continued to go on but I decided that for now, that was more than enough to let go of in one night. I really got upset thinking about all of the things I experienced as a child to an addict and then growing up to find out I am one myself. Not only that but doing the things that I never thought I’d ever do.

Those painful feelings come up, but it’s okay. Sometimes writing through the pain is absolutely necessary in order to heal oneself.

If you can think of all the things that you’ve done during active addiction and you feel resentment, shame, guilt, and remorse. I want you to ask yourself, would I do those things now?

If your answer is no, then I want you to take a moment to absorb that real quick. Acknowledging the fact that you aren’t that same person. When I think about the person that I used to be and the person I am today, I know with my entire being that I would never do those things that I did in the grip of my addiction. That is proof to me, that at that time, I was not me at all.

Instead of turning those negative feelings inward and harboring them, I want you to get mad at the disease. Then, I want you to write a letter to it. Get it all out, leaving nothing behind. Take a nice deep breath and let it all go. When you’re done, exhale and wrap your arms around yourself and squeeze that young child within you. She or he is in there hoping that you will forgive her/him, for you; not anyone else. So break up with your disease, not that young child. Show yourself love and treat yourself with lots of care. It will take time to heal but one good question we must ask ourselves is when do we start? On day one? Or one day? I hope today is day one of your healing. And believe me, this process was very healing. Also, maybe you will need to write more of these breakup letters. When you find yourself getting stagnant and losing sight of what’s important. Or, when you continue to act out and fall short. Maybe it’ll help to write a letter telling it to fuck off.

And like I said before, it doesn’t just have to be to the disease. It can be to any specific defect. All of them are characteristics of the disease. So, take your time, maybe break up with them one by one. Happy Healing!

Until next time…

–Addict Named Mom

The post The Breakup Letter I wrote to the Disease of Addiction first appeared on Addict Named Mom.