A letter to (the recovering alcoholic) myself,
I write this letter to you because some days are not so easy in this journey of recovery. And sometimes just being able to hear that someone else is going or has gone through that can be enough to get me through the day. So, if this helps, here are just a few thoughts.
Some days will be rough. I won’t lie to you. Often when we talk about recovery, we talk about its grand opportunities for life. That when you stop drinking, your body has the opportunity to balance itself chemically. That sleep can become easier and more restful. That waking up is not the burden that it always was. Don’t get me wrong, those things are wonderful. I would not trade my sobriety for anything in the world.
But it is not always easy, and recovery does not make everything better. Today is a rough day for me, and maybe it is for you too. Not everything has gone right. Stress may be accumulating. It may even be boiling over at this point. One meeting becomes five. One or more projects get left undone. Some things that feel like certainties in life (like family, work, and health) are all of a sudden uncertain.
Sometimes it’s not the huge things that cause us to go into doubt or panic. But sometimes it’s the things that catch us off guard because they are so ordinary or so relative. Maybe a family member is sick. Or maybe you were having a conversation with someone and they reminded you of a passion that you were never able to follow. Or maybe you just can’t seem to get on top of the one project that seems right up your alley but just seems evade your success.
These simple things aren’t earth shattering. And yet, I think they throw me off course faster than the giant life changes.
But I want to remind you of something (if you’re able to hear it at this time). You’ve taken the first step before. You’ve admitted that you do not have control over everything. You’ve recognized that sometimes life gets difficult and it is not always within our grasp to fix it, to control it, or to just get through it by clenching our fists and gritting our teeth. There are days when we must admit that we are powerless. That we need help. That we cannot do this on our own.
You’ve taken that step before, and you can return to it time and time again. And when you take that step, remember that better days lie ahead when you take it one step at a time.
Find your supports. Your partner, your best friend, your family, your church.
Find your meeting and those who will listen to you.
Find your moment of peace that keeps you safe.
Better days will come. Just take it one step at a time. In case no one has said it to you lately: I believe in you, and I’m proud of you.
With love and compassion,