Written by Chrystin and read at the fall 2022 LIFE Recovery phase promotion at UGM's Center for Women and Children.
You and I have been down this road more times than I can count. In fact, this is one of many goodbye to alcohol letters I have written. Saying goodbye to you has always felt like one of the hardest things, but today my experience is different. Today it's good riddance.
“You've caused me some of the deepest pain I have ever thought I could feel.”
You've caused me some of the deepest pain I have ever thought I could feel. It's been a very long, cold, dark, and scary 16 or so years with you. You've taken me down many roads I could never turn off of. You've left me defeated time and time again. In October of 2020, the unthinkable happened, and you almost cost me my life. With the influence you had me under and the terrible decision I made, you left me in a coma. Somehow, by the grace of God, I didn't lose my life to you. I still don't understand it nor will I probably ever be able to explain it. Thank you, Lord Almighty.
You stopped being enjoyable a very, very long time ago. However, early on, you filled a void for me. You masked everything I hated about myself. You got me through some devastating times in my life. I very quickly began forgetting my trauma, which was what I wanted at the time. What I didn't want was for you to completely break my spirit. The blackouts you left me with were always scary but became the norm. You numbed me out of existence. I allowed you to take so much from me. You took the little bit of hope I still hung onto, and turned it into complete hopelessness. I fought so hard to kick you time and time again, but you had a death grip on me. Some days I still feel like you still do. I think that is just a part of the disease, especially in early recovery.
There's not much I miss about you. I don't miss not remembering anything. I don't miss late night phone calls or texts to friends and family where I would lash out or completely fall apart, showing parts of me I never wanted anyone to see. I don't miss not being able to stand in the shower because my legs were too weak and shaky. You were destroying my body. I don't miss the hundreds of ER visits and medical detoxes I had to go through to try and get well. I don't miss the pancreatitis flare ups, although unfortunately the pancreatitis will stick with me for life. I don't miss waking up at all hours of the night, reaching for you at my bedside and having to drink some of you in order to control my convulsing body. I don't miss not being able to put my mascara on because my hands were too shaky. I don't miss drinking you at 8 a.m. in order to somewhat function first thing in the morning. I don't miss going to the liquor store and shaking so bad during checkout I could barely put my credit card in the card machine to pay. I don't miss all of the men you allowed me to sleep with in my drunken stupors. I don't miss the two DUIs I got. I don't miss hitting that lady on my second DUI. I don't miss the last 6 treatment programs I went to, one leaving me with extreme PTSD. I don't miss GI bleeding. I don't miss sepsis. I don't miss falling down the stairs and almost breaking my neck. I don't miss getting onto the highway going the wrong way at 3 a.m. I don't miss being absent from holidays with my family because I was too sick to go. I don't miss waking up on my kitchen floor from a blackout and wondering how I got there. I don't miss going out to my car in the morning and checking to see if maybe I had been in an accident or worse, the idea that I may have hurt someone.
“I don't miss waking up on my kitchen floor from a blackout and wondering how I got there.”
I don't miss the heartache I have caused so many people who love me so much. I don't miss waking up feeling like my heart was going to burst out of my chest. I don't miss being sick every day. I don't miss my alcohol withdrawals shifting into delirium tremens, one of the scariest things that I've ever gone through. I don't miss the permanent tremors you've left me with. I don't miss feeling ashamed and worthless. I don't miss being in a never-ending battle with you. You always won. I don't miss you trying to kill me on a daily basis.
You have been nothing but a monster in my life. You were out to kill me. You were relentless. My life has become so much better without you. The Lord is restoring my spirit. I am healing. Without you, I seek my authentic self and try to live her each and every day. Today, I choose my life. You wished death upon me, now I wish the same for you. Today, I choose to stop feeding you, Monster.
Pictured: Chrystin (left) with her counselor at the fall 2022 phase promotion.
“Today, I choose to stop feeding you, Monster.”