Dear Drugs and Alcohol

I attended an addiction recovery meeting tonight. We hold them every Wednesday evening at a homeless branch in downtown Salt Lake City. Four people showed up with tales of woe and personal victory. It was a powerful meeting.

At the end of the session, one of the missionaries read this letter from a former addict. It moved me.

I don’t know who wrote it. I wish I could give her credit. Whoever you are, thank you. I believe that there’s someone out there who needs to read what you wrote tonight.

August 13, 2014

Dear Drugs and Alcohol,

   I am writing this letter to say goodbye. We have been together for 27 years. I must move on. This is why:

   At the beginning of our relationship you made me feel like I was a part of something special. I felt like I had found my place in life. I thought that, with you, I would have fun doing anything. Nothing felt complete unless you were there.

   As time went on, I allowed you to consume my every thought and action. Instead of feeling free and belonging, I felt alone, trapped, and ashamed. You took all of my attention and time. Together we hurt everyone I love and care about. Any of the dreams I had felt out of reach. You took everything away from me, and I still only wanted more of you. I lost myself and almost lost my life.

   I have experienced and seen you run families, friendships, and love. You have taken so many good people’s lives. My own life became a daily struggle to survive with you in it.

   Saying goodbye is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. But I choose my life and my family’s future. I know you will always be close by, so I want you to know I will always be on high alert for your destructive and manipulative ways. I have found myself by letting you go and I have joined the fight against you.

Forever mine,


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