Letter to my drinking self

3 Apr

I’m doing a little reflecting on sobriety this week, more than usual. I don’t know if it’s the slow dawn of Spring or the fact I’m a little more emotionally exposed than usual, but looking back and seeing progress is helping me huge amounts.

I also feel a huge connection to the people I know and communicate with who are struggling on a daily basis to get sober time under their belt. Seeing their struggles I remember my own quite viscerally.

I don’t know whether the below will be of help to those still struggling, but I wondered whether writing a letter to your future sober selves might be a nice exercise: what do you want from sobriety. What will it taste and feel like? What will you have then that you do not now, physically and emotionally?

Here’s my letter to myself when I was around 90 days sober, looking back to a time when I just couldn’t get it.

Happy Sunday x
Original post: Letter to My Drinking Self

I’ve been having a bit of a down week. Nothing in particular has triggered it, and I’ve really been enjoying my work, so I’m not sure what’s up. I’m feeling fat, unattractive and a little bit lonely. I’ve thrown myself into AA and that’s great, but it means I’ve withdrawn from my normal social circles a bit. I’m also feeling the pain of being single- sometimes all you need at the end of a long day is someone to cuddle with.
I’ve just generally been a bit down on my sobriety- I love being sober, but I keep thinking to myself that I’ve been dramatic about the whole thing. You know, the wolfie voice…’ I wasn’t that bad, why am I making such a big deal out of it, sobriety is selfish…’ Blah blah.
So as a bit of an arse kicking exercise ahead of Sunday’s marathon, I thought I’d do myself a little kind thing for myself. You know those ‘Letters to my teenage self’ that you see occasionally online? Well I’m writing one to myself today, from myself 6 months ago. Does that make sense? Writing it I had to jump between me now and former me, so I hope it’d not too confusing to read!
Dear FFF (2014 edition),
Look at you, guuuuurrrl! You’re 80 days sober today. That’s 11 weeks. That is AWESOME. You’ve never strung together more than 42 days, and getting there was hell. You’re doing this sober thing right now- you’re right in the middle of it. You haven’t been this sober since you were 13! Think on that a moment.
Sitting where I am, I want what you have. I’m a failure. I can’t stay sober, it’s too hard. I can’t stop drinking. I want to numb more than I do to be sober. What the fuck is wrong with me? You can do it, I’m watching you. Why can’t I do it NOW?
You’ve learnt from all my mistakes. Every mistake I’m making I can see is helping you equip your sober toolbox, one tool at a time. This makes me feel better about all the stupid stumbles I’m making. Maybe one day all my pain really will be worth it.
You feel fat. I feel fat too. But look at you! Your skin is glowing, your nails are so shiny, your eye bags are gone and your drinkers puffy face has disappeared. Trust me when I say you look the best you have in years. Stop thinking back fondly to The Skinny Days. You were ill, remember? You never ate any food that wasn’t salad. You hated yourself then, and guess what? You felt fat then too.
You’re doing so well. Don’t let a silly idea of what your weight should be drag you down- you’re worth more than that.
And your job! You were so frustrated, knew something had to change. Right now, I’m stuck in a cycle of exhaustion, drinking to get over it and moving nowhere fast. I’ve had so many sick days when hungover. I feel like the biggest fraud in the world- work think I’m fabulous but I know I’m just treading water. I wonder what I could achieve if I just removed alcohol from my life? You’ve shown me what can be done. You got sober and found the job of your dreams. You know there’s a challenging road ahead, and that the job will be physically and emotionally draining. BUT you have always been driven by scary challenges, ever since you were little. Drinking just dulled that inherent drive in you for a few years. And I can feel that first hand…All I’m driven by at the moment is the will to get through the day.
I can’t believe you had the courage to go to AA. It was so brave to walk into that room of scary looking men and sit and weep. To go back into that room again after drinking just a few days after your first meeting, feeling a fraud and a failure. To walk through scary, unknown doors all around the city day after day, humbling yourself and saying the words ‘I’m FFF and I’m an alcoholic.’
Nobody wants to grow up to be an alcoholic, and if they do they certainly don’t want to accept it. You have. You’ve put the work in and it’s paying off. From where I’m standing, where you are looks pretty damn amazing.
You’ve come so far. Don’t let a little low mood and some negative self talk get you down. Run round that marathon on Sunday head held high, feeling proud. You’ve earnt everything you have. And if sobriety gets easier with time, your exciting journey is only just beginning.
Yours with love,
FFF (September 2013 Edition)

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6 Responses to “Letter to my drinking self”

  1. Annie April 4, 2016 at 11:33 am #

    This is helpful. On Day 3, and I simply can’t imagine getting beyond that, even though I once did 61 days (a couple of years ago). Annie x

    • FitFatFood April 4, 2016 at 11:38 am #

      Glad it’s helped Annie. Maybe give it a try x

  2. ainsobriety April 5, 2016 at 2:09 am #

    This helped me too.
    I saw some pictures of myself this weekend and suddenly I feel fat. I am not fat. I am not skinny. I am normal (lol, whatever that means)
    Honestly, they brought back all those thoughts of being skinny me again. Just like you.

    No. I was also unhappy and I’m not going back.

    Life is too precious.

    Thanks!
    Anne

  3. Marian Hogg April 6, 2016 at 8:18 am #

    Dear FFF, what a brilliant idea. I have been struggling since I promised to champion my Chinese “Tiger” at Chinese New Year. I started writing things down but it felt so negative, emotional and just added to my self-loathing and set me back. A letter to a more positive, healing, healthier future me may help me through the darkness and fear to enjoy the light of life, our planet and universe that I love so much but currently waste my place within it.

    Thank you for sharing your helpful, caring words and thoughts.

    Marian

    • FitFatFood April 6, 2016 at 8:28 am #

      I’m glad it might be of some help Marian- that’s made my day x

  4. CWD April 15, 2016 at 3:39 pm #

    Well done to you 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

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