Alcohol Use Disorder affects 16.3 million adults in America. Yet only 1.5 million adults received treatment in a recovery center in 2014. Many people try to quit drinking on their own instead of seeking professional help. One method that has gained popularity is writing a goodbye letter to alcohol.
What is a Goodbye Letter to Alcohol?
A goodbye letter to alcohol is a therapeutic tool. It is a way of expressing thoughts and feelings related to alcohol abuse. A written letter is a part of writing therapy called expressive writing. When using this tool, one writes without regard to normal conventions of grammar and spelling. Instead, one writes to express their emotions and feelings around an event, or set of events, that has deeply affected their lives.
What to Include in Your Goodbye Letter to Alcohol?
This letter is very close to Step 4 of AA’s 12-Step Program. Part of Step 4 involves making a list of persons one has harmed by their drinking. In the letter, one may write about people harmed and how ashamed one feels for causing pain and suffering to others.
The letter may relay humor and the lighter side of drinking before alcoholism took ahold. Many people enjoyed drinking in the beginning. So, it helps to talk about the fun before the addiction took hold of life.
It is important to write about the self-harm caused by drinking too. Binge drinking, blackouts, or out-of-control behavior written means no longer denying that drinking is hurting yourself and those you love.
Then, when all the tales of fun and harm are related, the writer turns on alcohol. The writer describes how he or she no longer wants to live on the roller coaster of alcoholism. That alcohol is no longer welcome and cannot be a part of life anymore.
Sharing Your Goodbye Letter to Alcohol
Writing a goodbye letter to alcohol is like writing in a journal, no one needs to see it unless you want to share. It is a private letter meant to encourage and strengthen your resolve to stay sober.
But, if you are in therapy for alcoholism, it’s a useful tool to share with your counselor or group. This letter gives an honest look at your struggle with alcohol from your point of view.
When you are strong in recovery, it may be helpful to share your letter with family and friends. Your insights into those behaviors may help heal broken relationships cause by alcoholism.
For some, publishing the goodbye letter to alcohol will serve as a public reminder to stay sober. Veronica Vali, author of ‘Why you drink and How to stop: Journey to freedom’ published her letter on her website and in her book.
Another recovering alcoholic published a goodbye letter to alcohol in the Fix, a recovery magazine. Both letters are a great example of how to write your goodbye letter to alcohol.
Need Help Writing a Goodbye Letter to Alcohol?
Writing a goodbye letter to alcohol is therapeutic. We, at Northlake Recovery, recommend using this tool, and other journalism techniques, while in alcohol rehab. We offer inpatient and outpatient services in Southern Florida. For more information, call (561)-770-6616.