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A Drink is a Drug is a Man is a Cookie

Abby Foster
| June 28, 2017

Codependency is a disease of the “lost self”, the drive to turn toward something outside of ourselves to fix or change the way we feel within. Throughout my life, I have turned to many outside sources to seek comfort in an effort to escape, distract, or alter my mood. In addition to my substance use disorder, I must also monitor my urge to use an outside source to accomplish an inside job.

The following is a letter to any and all of those outside sources.  

I go through my day feeling happy, sure of myself, and steady in my recovery when suddenly the unexpected happens…I see something, hear a song, or catch a scent that triggers my mind and I choke on the memory of you.

The fleeting memories of the good times invade my head and I allow myself to fully breathe you in before forcefully breathing you out again.

You see, reminiscing about you is dangerous. If I linger too long in the fantasy of the past, I risk believing the lies that I’ve worked so hard to recognize. We cannot go back to the way it once was. We will not live happily ever after. Furthermore, you are not good for me.

I wish there was a way to completely block you from my mind, to remove that part of my brain where you hide. But I cannot; I live in a world where I am constantly reminded of you. My thoughts can become full of stories and fantasies about how you will make me happy.

Instead of trying to run and hide, I allow myself to feel, to remember, and to mourn what has been lost. These days, I can share my pain with another who understands and helps me to see the truth and play the tape all the way through.

Yes, I miss you. But, I don’t want you back. I do not miss the pain, the secrets, or the damage our relationship caused. I do not miss the person I was: the liar, the cheater, the thief. I’ve worked too hard to earn my spot in the sunlight of the Spirit to return to a life hiding in the shadows. I’ve let go of the guilt and shame I struggled to unearth from the depths within. Today I feel and experience all emotions, the good and the bad, without turning to you to change the way I feel inside.

The truth is, ending our relationship saved my life. Leaving you has allowed me to love myself more. It has allowed me to become teachable. It helped teach me how to care for myself and it has given me the privilege to show others the path. The truth is, I may always miss you, but I never want you back.

  • Hi, I just read this blog of yours. I have a question and then a little about me. Was your other half an addict as well? I ask because my boyfriend just recently went to rehab. (I myself am not an addict.) And we have made a family together. I have two kids that he has brought up as his own for the past four years. (I use that loosely because he wasn’t always there (drugs)). However, they think of him as their father and love him just as much. If he was sober, I’d be willing to marry him! He recently left (packed all his belongings) and went to rehab. I’m very proud of him!!! However, I have no clue where he is or if he’s coming back. Your blog confuses me, because I don’t understand if your partner was an addict too or if you mean this in all relationships dealt with during addiction? I truly believe that he can come back to us healthy and stronger than ever! We’re even willing to move to the ends of the earth to make that a possibility for him! Whatever it takes!!! But I don’t believe (I can’t believe), that I am a horrible decision for his sobriety?! Do you honestly believe it?

    • Abby Foster

      Hi Suzanne,
      Thank you for reaching out! This blog is not actually written specifically about an ex. It was a letter to all of the unhealthy people, things that I used outside of me to change the way I felt on the inside. That could be a partner, food, sex, shopping, gambling etc. My intention was that the reader’s mind may associate with whatever that “thing” may be in their life.
      Recovery is very real! You are correct, your partner may come back stronger and healthier than ever and I pray that will be the case. My letter was speaking to my addiction with substances, and past relationships that were very unhealthy. I hope this helps.

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