My addiction counselor suggested in one of our early meetings that I write a letter to my addiction. I put if off for a few weeks having a problem knowing where to start and experiencing such conflicting feelings. Then I began to sort through it and wrote 2 letters, 3 days apart. The second is a bit disjointed and contains some run on, but these are the thoughts that came out in writing unedited, except for names:
I love the high you give me, but the complications you have brought to my life and that you could continue to bring to my life are not worth it. You are very powerful and at first it was easy to set aside the dangers of that power. You are actually very helpful with that because you make it easy to turn thoughts off and make the pleasure and euphoria you bring my focus. It is easy to become obsessed with you having you on my mind when I wake up and as I fall asleep. As much as you made a mess of my life I still wish I could find a way to make you part of it. I hate you for that!
3 days later
You have given me a better understanding of addiction. I know now I have felt dependent on pot to cope with stress and to wind down. I sometimes also use alcohol in this way. I have never felt either having control of me or interfering in my life the way you do. You are different for me in so many ways. You leave me seeking your high in a desperation I have never felt before and I find myself obsessing in anticipation of that high. I may have used to cope recently, but before that the feeling you gave me was my only motivation and I loved you for that. Despite the risk to health and finance the high I felt was like a positive focus; you have a way of being that provocative. I don’t like a substance having that kind of control over me. You make it easy to give in to desperate measures to obtain you. Now I see my relationship terrible damaged and at risk. I don’t know where he holds himself responsible or if he even sees the damage that has been done. I see his stress and understand how unhappy he can become due to his job. He deals with alcohol. Alcohol creates his weakness toward you in turn creates my opportunity to use. He gets to a point he has no resistance to you and he compromises too much to chase your high. You have power over me too and I try to set limits; he will agree until you take over. This is when it can become very hard for me to resist you. It is easy to give in to the initial temptation when he suggests it and it is was easy to give in when he insisted on getting more, but with the lines that have been crossed I need to be in more control and have attempted to use more logically. Your power over my husband, however, makes this impossible for him and therefore, for me. I hate the power you have over me, but more than that I hate your ability to turn my husband into another person. You have the ability to make me cross lines I never would in any other circumstance, but the effect you have on my husband is even more dramatic.
I just don’t know how I will accept the lines you have allowed my husband to cross. I don’t know how we will build back trust while we are both fighting addiction. Right now you are the one thing that takes me away from my thoughts and gives the high I crave. I know the consequences and yet I miss you in a way. I feel like I did not get my chance to say goodbye. I knew when I let you into my life; I was having a temporary lapse in reason that would have to end. I thought I would be able to do this logically, have the experience and get you out of my system. I did not foresee the damage that would be out of my control and although I know you have to be out of my life I intended to have an opportunity to say goodbye, so to speak, but my husband has been in control and he has decided it is time to quit. He is right and as powerful as you are, I do not want to lie or make the contacts I would have to, to get you without him. I resent sometimes that he has controlled when we use and even more when we quit. I have had a plan for 2 months, but I have not been able to follow through because of my husband being in control of obtaining you.
This feeling of lack of closure makes the commitment to put you behind me more difficult, but I will focus on the risk you have brought into our lives not being worth the pleasure of the high. I’m afraid of how powerful the craving I have for you is sometimes. I know it will become less frequent and that I can change my mindset to keep you out of my life. I just wanted to feel more ready to make this commitment and stronger against temptation. I had a plan that led to that commitment, but now I am feeling forced to skip some steps. Regardless, I hate being here and I hate the doubt you have given me in myself, my marriage and my strength. I feel much more ready to change my attitude toward you and to build my resistance, but I don’t feel the confidence I wanted to ensure you are behind me and out of my system. So much in me hates you, but there is still a strong pull that wants me to give into the desire I have for your high. I know this is a choice I have to make and I see all the reasons to commit to it, but I still feel my resistance. Please let me go! I want better things for my daughter and for my family’s future. I want to be in love with my husband, working toward positive goals, not in love with a high that you make so easy and attractive. Having anything to do with you allows you to create the illusion I don’t want controlling my life anymore. I can find the strength RIGHT NOW to put you in the past and take what you have taught me about addiction to help myself and eventually help other people do the same.
This letter was written March 7, 2013 after the fourth week in House of Sophrosyne addiction treatment. As I type it I can see the emotion illustrated in my handwriting. I remember sitting down thinking I had no idea what to write, but I had put the letter off and it needed to be done, so I cleared my mind and the words hit the page in a fury…
I HATE YOU! Fuck off and leave me alone forever. I refuse to love you anymore. I won’t miss you or long for you because you don’t deserve an ‘ounce’ of my attention. You took my kids and convinced me to compromise my values and myself. My thoughts are changed and I have to work to exhaustion to drown out your voice. SHUT UP! I HATE YOU! Go far away and never come back. Just try to whisper with your provocative voice. Try to entice me with your glamour. The risk is no longer exciting to me, it is terrifying. Don’t dare take that sentiment and use it against me. Fear is no longer an excuse. Nor is sadness, grief, insecurity, hurt or any of those things you will try to exploit. Watch me celebrate without you the high that is life. The career you convinced me to put on hold is about to flourish. STOP TALKING!! I am not listening and when I choose to ignore you be highly offended because I am doing it intentionally to beat you down like you did me.
My spirit is here to extinguish you. My vital spark will see you burn in hell!
FUCK YOU! I WIN!!!
If you know me, you know I am rarely an angry person. I recall the rage that was building as I wrote this and then immediate relief when I finished. I wrote a quote on the page at the end. ‘Achievement without struggle isn’t rewarding’ Heather Fuher
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