Sober Now – Letter To Addiction | Lake Arrowhead Recovery Center

It can be therapeutic to write a letter to your addiction
Writing about your addiction is therapeutic. Writing a letter to your addiction can be a great emotional release

It’s known that writing is therapeutic for many individuals. Writing enables you to get in touch with your feelings, your thoughts, both good and bad. For some, including myself it is much easier to write words down on a piece of paper rather than to voice my feelings and thoughts to another person. Even though I am sober now, I still feel more comfortable writing. A letter is personal. No one else even has to know about it. Writing a letter to addiction can clear your mind of all the horrible things you have done, the people you have hurt, and the pain that you have had to bear. When you get sober or are sober now – it’s a way to get those secrets out. To clear your mind of the guilt and shame you are still carrying around.

Write your own letter to addiction. It can be long or short, doesn’t matter. Once you start to write, the words will simply flow. Writing a letter to addiction will help you better understand your addiction and why you need to choose or why you chose recovery. Writing this down will help you in your sobriety. Trust me, give it a try.

My Letter To Addiction

Addiction,

There used to be a time when you were my best friend, my lover, my partner, my higher power, my universe.

You made me think I was amazing, unstoppable, even invincible. The feeling you gave me, words will never describe.

You, addiction will be a part of me, always and forever. Isn’t that what you wanted? I will never be able to forget you.

You took me places that I never imagined. You continued to take me places that I didn’t want to go. Places where no girl should ever be.

You never took me any place nice.
Prison
Rehabs
Institutions
Hospitals
We lost our home. We had to resort to being homeless and living under a bridge. You were alright with that. Truth be told, it was what I wanted at the time too. There was no rent to pay, no bills, no worry of being evicted. We didn’t have to share our dope.

Of course, we had no food, electricity, showers, or the essentials required for living. I couldn’t take it anymore but, you were satisfied. We had our drugs. That’s all we needed at the time.

Together, you and I. That’s it, no one else. Any other person that made their way into our life was nothing more than a simple pawn. A person to supply us with what we needed.

I lost my friends, my family. I even gave up my children for you. My children? Little babies that needed their mother but, I chose you. Still, for you, that was not enough,

I tried to break up with you, time and time again but, each time I failed miserably. I always came right back and there you were. Waiting with open arms and that devilish grin.

As time went on, it was clear to see what you really were. A narcissist that had complete power and absolute control over me. You were convincing, I give you that. I felt as if I was nothing. You were all I had so, I obeyed your every command. I listened to every thought you put in my head. Even though my insides trembled everytime I fulfilled a request.

You had me lie, steal, manipulate others, sell my body, and do everything and anything to get what it was we wanted. To get the thing I desired most. The thing that kept us alive and kept me glued to you. The drugs.

Thankfully, after what seemed like a lifetime, I finally awoke from my drug induced slumber. Although it seemed impossible to do, I did it. I left. I finally left you behind and moved on.

Now, I have a new life with recovery. I am clean and sober now. I spend all my time with recovery and learning how to cope without using drugs.

Yet, still, you will not leave me alone. How come every time I decide to move on, you can’t stand it? Addiction, you have so many other relationships. You have numerous people that will never leave your side. Why can’t you just leave me be?

Even though I am sober now, you are still lingering in the back of my mind, in my thoughts, in my dreams, and I wake up screaming at night with nightmares of you.

They told me you would never leave easily. Everyone who helps me or has been in a relationship with you has told me how hard it is to permanently walk away. They are right.

I will be fighting for the rest of my life not to take you back. I will be fighting for my new life in recovery because it is that much better being sober now. My relationships are now healthy, my children need me, I am beginning a career, I am healing and I am happy. I’ve been able to truly embrace life without you. Sober is better. Living a life in recovery is remarkable.

You told me I didn’t deserve to live, to be happy. You said I didn’t deserve respect or love. Recovery has opened my eyes. Sober now, I am finding myself, I am able to discover who I truly am. He shows me that I deserve to be happy and to have it all.

I do love you and a part of me always will. That is why I can never say hello or see how you are doing. Right now, I am not strong enough to see you nor do I want to. In fact, I will stay away from you forever.

The relationship we shared was not love. It was not one of mutual respect and understanding. I never want to go back to living like that again.

I am sober now, living my life, and working a program of recovery. It is where I should be. The only regret I have is that it took me so long to get here.

This is goodbye and I pray that you stop and quit moving on to the next individual. Don’t make anyone else suffer as you did to me.

Addiction you are a disease. All that’s left to say is never again, never again will I go back to you.

Signed,
Moved On

This is the first letter to addiction I wrote. I wrote it as a breakup letter. Think about it. Your drug addiction is your other half. It never leaves your side. When I decided to get clean and work the program, I broke up with my addiction and chose to live sober in recovery. That is only one way to view it. You can write your letter any way you choose. Have you started writing your letter to addiction? I promise it will not only ease your mind of the lingering thoughts you have but, writing this letter is also a major step in working on your own recovery. You are headed in the right direction. Keep up the good work and don’t give up now. The miracle is happening.

The Drug Addicted Mother I Never Understood | Lake Arrowhead Recovery Center

drug addicted mother devastated by loss
I bought into the stigma of the drug-addicted mother, until I became one.

I never understood how drug addicted mothers were able to walk away from their family, especially from their children.  As a mother, we are meant to protect our children, not harm them.  Doesn’t she understand that her children need her?

I never understood those women who were in jail for not paying child support.  Even in a co-parenting relationship, aren’t the mothers typically the parent who has primary custody of their children?

I never understood how a woman could continue to use while being pregnant.  Was she intentionally trying to harm her unborn baby?

I never understood how a mother could give CPS (Child Protective Services) a reason to get involved in her family’s life.  Did she not want her children?  Did she not love them as a mother should?

Both of my kids are fast to sleep in my bed.  They look adorable and I know just how lucky I am.  My sobriety is indeed a blessing.  Yet, it’s these quiet moments that I dread.  My mind begins racing. The thought of drug addicted mothers and the effect it has on her children ravage my thoughts. I think about how my kids mean the world to me.  I would do anything and everything for them.  They will grow up in a loving home without lies, deception, criminal activities, and drugs.  As their mother, I vow to protect them for the rest of my life.  I mean, that is what a mother is supposed to do.  Right?

Recovery strengthens the protective bond of motherhood
All a mother wants to do is protect her children. Even a mother in her addiction and especially in her recovery.

The Stigma For Drug Addicted Mothers

Our society will never understand the effects that drug addicted mothers and fathers have on their children. They will never understand babies born addicted to drugs because the mother felt she could not stop using while pregnant.  Some people do not understand why a drug addict can’t simply stop.  They will never understand. Nor will they try to understand.   That is the stigma of addiction.

The stigma of addiction is bad enough.  Now add in the fact that the drug addict is a mother or pregnant with her first child. Too scared to ask for help due to the stigma of it all.  Even other drug addicts stigmatize drug addicted mothers.

Now, before I come off as a saint preaching to the choir, hold on just a moment.  I was one of those addicts who stigmatized drug addict mothers.  I didn’t understand.  That is until it was my turn.  Until that was me.  Until I did everything that I despised and criticized.

The Irony

I became that mother.  A drug addicted mother.  A pregnant woman who used every day of her pregnancy.  Despite what my doctors told me, I didn’t change.  The day I went into labor, I was trembling, in fear of what I knew was going to happen.  When I left the hospital after giving birth, my baby was not with me.  In fact, he would never be with me. Instead of getting help and following CPS’s stipulations to get my child back, I did nothing.  All I did was slip further into my addiction.  I became worse than I ever thought possible.

That is the scenario for many drug addicted mothers.  You, me, her, all of us that go through it.  We hide deep within our addiction to try and cover up the pain. We imagine that it is some sort of sick nightmare that we will wake up from.  Unfortunately, it’s not a bad dream that will end.

Hope for mothers addicted to drugs
Don’t give up because you are an addict and a mother. There is help and hope.

Don’t Give Up

As addicts with a baby on the way or children already, there are many reasons we choose not to get help.  As irrational as it may seem.  Here’s why.

  • Scared of CPS involvement
  • People’s criticism and negativity
  • Fear of losing custody of child(ren)
  • Admitting the severity of the situation
  • Being a failure in the eyes of our children

Take it from me, do not give up on being the mom your child needs. Sobriety is the key to success for drug addicted mothers.  You will not have to do it alone.  There is help.  I regret that I didn’t take the help that was offered.  If you get help now, you can stop this situation from getting even worse.  No mother wants to neglect, harm, or lose custody of their child.  

How Can We Protect Our Children?

From a drug addicted mother to a mother in recovery, I will tell you, it gets better.  I live every day thinking about how I can change my past but the truth is I can’t.  The world keeps spinning, life continues on. My life didn’t stop and neither did my little boys’.  I love my children, all of them.  We will never be able to correct the mistakes of our addiction. The questions will remain.

Why could I get clean for my other children but not my first?

Is he really happy?

Could I have given him a better life?

Would I have raised him better?

Would he rather be living with me?

Does he cry over me it as I cry over losing him?

Does he wonder why I was a drug addict?

Over the years, these questions will haunt you.  They still haunt me. Even as drug addicted mothers, we never mean to intentionally harm our kids.  So, why do we do it?  Truth be told, there is no simple answer. I am just glad that I got sober so I can be a part of his life.  My only wish is that I would have gone into treatment and began sobriety much sooner.  I still have to live with the choices that I made back then.  That’s why you need to make the right choice from the start.

Second Chance

My first born is now ten years old. I missed out on so much.  It was not ever meant to happen this way.  Never did I think that I would lose my child.  Most mothers in similar situations, don’t comprehend what will actually happen.

Thankfully, I now have a relationship with him.  He doesn’t love me unconditionally like my little ones do but, he knows that I’m his mom. He knows that I was a mess and doesn’t hate me for it.  I am grateful that he has given me a chance to love him.  A chance to be in his life.   

Sober Solution For Drug Addicted Mothers

Let me tell you from experience.  Those questions I think about.  They will never go away.  I could ask him for answers but, am I really ready to hear what he has to say?  Will he even tell me?  For now, I am grateful for a second chance with him.

If you are a drug addicted mom, please get help before it’s too late. Before you lose the chance to have and hold your baby.  Mothers are supposed to love their children, protect them, raise them, care for them, and nurture them.  Don’t let drugs destroy that.  Don’t let the stigma of being a drug-addicted mother stand in the way of the mother you can be.   Sobriety is the only solution.  It may be hard but it will be worth it. It’s time for you to be the mother that your child has always needed you to be.

10 Tips For Staying Sober At Parties This Summer

10 Tips for Staying Sober At Parties In Summer
Here are some of the best tips for staying sober at parties this summer.

Summer is now here.  The sun shines all day and the nights are filled with excitement, making it the perfect time of year to socialize, entertain, and to finally let loose.  From graduation parties to backyard barbecues and neighborhood cookouts to late night bonfires, it’s time to have some fun.  Living in sobriety does not mean your social life has to end.  All it means is that your lifestyle does not involve drugs or alcohol anymore. So, we are here to help you have the best summer ever. Here are some of the best tips for staying sober at parties this summer.  No need to worry, we’ve got you covered.

Sober parties in recovery
Going to parties with your sober friends, sponsor, or other people in recovery can make a huge difference.

Whether you are going to a family reunion or on vacation to kick back and relax, you are bound to witness drinking and drugging at parties and events this summer.   That does not mean you have to participate in those activities.  Who made the rule that you have to be high in order to have fun?  You can still be the life of the party without being stoned or tipsy. In fact, you will actually remember everything that happens.  Being sober is the perfect time to make those memories that you will never forget.  Here is what you have been waiting for: the 10 best tips for staying sober at parties all summer long.    

10 Tips For Staying Sober At Parties

  1. Use The Buddy System.To make you feel more comfortable, take a friend with you.  It’s known as the buddy system.  Having a sober friend by your side can be an enormous help if you happen to get yourself in an unpleasant situation.  Not only can you hold each other accountable but, you got each other’s back just in case one of you may be tempted to do something you would later regret.
  2. People, Places, and Things.There is a valid reason for everything that you learn in addiction recovery treatment.  Especially, when they tell you to change people, places, and things.  Although, for some people changing all of those things is not even possible. Not everyone can just pick up and relocate. You may have a family of your own, kids have school, job security, and so much more.  That being said,  if you are still living in the same place, be responsible and use common sense.

    For example, don’t go to a party if a known dealer will be present.  If you are a recovering alcoholic, you should stay away from bars.  Don’t go to any place where you are certain people are going to be publicly using drugs.  This stands true for addicts in every phase of recovery. Do not put yourself in a bad situation from the beginning.  It’s a relapse waiting to happen.

  3. Designated DriverUse your sobriety responsibly.  If you are at a party and you have friends that are under the influence.  Don’t let them drive.  Name yourself the designated driver.  Not only can this save their life but, it could also save an innocent passerby from a horrific situation.  By now, everyone should know the importance of not driving while drunk or under the influence of drugs.

    If you have a friend that thinks they are above everyone else and can drive impaired.  Do your best to stop them from leaving but, don’t put yourself in jeopardy.  The people that do let you drive them home will hail you as their hero.  That is a great feeling.

  4.  Ask QuestionsI want you to think back to your childhood days for a moment. Remember, back in the day when you had to ask your parents for permission to go to a friend’s house or to a classmate’s party?  Well, I want you to approach this the exact same way.  Ask the host of the party all the questions you can think of.

    Who’s going to be there?
    Where is the event taking place?
    Will there be drinking?
    Will there be drugs?

     

  5. Sober Drink

    This is a simple trick to use if you are at a party that involves alcohol. People will continuously offer you a drink.  So, instead of repeating yourself all night long, try this simple trick.  Make yourself a non-alcoholic drink at the start of the party.  So, when people offer you a drink, you say “No thanks, I got one”.
    As a bonus tip, don’t let anyone get you a non-alcoholic drink, you could be in for a not so nice surprise.
  6.  Exit StrategyThis is one of the most important tips for staying sober at parties and it is essential to your recovery.  Always have an exit strategy mapped out and be ready to use it.  If you feel super uncomfortable or begin to feel triggered to use then, there is only one thing you can do.  Leave. Simply, just leave.
  7.  Be PreparedNot only do you have to have a quick exit plan ready but you need to prepare yourself.  This is another one of the most essential tips for staying sober at parties.  If you are not fully prepared for what is about to come then, you could easily relapse.  People are going to offer you drinks and possibly other substances.  If you refuse, they are going to ask why.  It is your choice if you want to explain your recovery or not. Some people will be happy for you while other’s may feel offended.  If that happens, it is best to use your exit strategy and remove yourself from the party.  If you choose to stay, people will continuously bother you with offers and questions throughout the night.
  8. New To RecoveryWithout a doubt, the first year in recovery is the hardest. Don’t set yourself up for failure or a potential relapse.  Stay focused on your main goal, your top priority, which is staying clean.  If you are at a party and you see drugs and alcohol then it’s best to immediately leave to ensure the safety of your sobriety.
  9. SupportHave your sponsor’s or a sober friend’s number on speed dial.  Call or text them if you have any urges, triggers, or feelings to discuss. Sometimes it’s nice just to hear that familiar voice of someone you know that is doing amazing things in recovery to put you back in the right state of mind.

    If the party is simply too much, then use your exit strategy and go home.  Pick up the phone and go to a meeting.  There are even meetings you can attend online.

  10. You Are Not AlonePlease remember, you are not alone.  I guarantee there will be at least one other person at the party who is not using drugs or drinking alcohol.  There are many more people in recovery than you probably realize.  Trust me, you are not the only one.

     

    Sober Activities for Summer
    Coming up with activities and getting creative with your sobriety can be fun and the memories will actually last forever.

    Party Sober!

It would make perfect sense to avoid these types of events altogether. Unfortunately for people in recovery, drugs and alcohol are everywhere.  People drink a glass of wine or have a beer to unwind in the evening.  Teens and young adults smoke marijuana regularly.  You could walk into a public restroom and see people using illegal substances.  You can’t spend your life hiding. Especially since you are now truly living. Implement these tips for staying sober at parties and you will stay true to your recovery.

Don’t think your life is over since you are now in recovery.  In fact, take advantage of all that sobriety has to offer.  Get a sponsor and home group.  NA and AA host tons of events and parties throughout the year. So, don’t hold back.  Most importantly, be safe and have fun. I hope these 10 tips for staying sober at parties will make this summer the best yet.  Always be prepared and you will be ready if the situation arises.