Navigating life as a woman & mom in recovery, one day at a time.

Dear Self: Read This When You Want a Drink

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This is a letter to myself that I wrote in March 2016 (around 10 months sober), to keep and read when I needed it. I’ve read it more than a few times since then.


Dear Self,

If you’re reading this, I assume you are struggling to quiet the voice in your head that says you can, or should, drink. That you’re not really an alcoholic, or even if you are, it’s not that bad. That it’s just for tonight, you’re a grown adult and can make your own decisions, and are perfectly capable of enjoying a drink or two, or five or seven, and be perfectly fine overall.

Or, maybe you’re upset. Maybe something bad has happened, or you are afraid might happen soon. Maybe something stressful is going on. Maybe you’re overwhelmed and anxious, and the voice is telling you that you are being ridiculous to “deny yourself” any longer.



Maybe you’re happy and relaxed, and something in your brain is piping up louder and louder. If you’re this happy and relaxed now, a couple of drinks would make that feeling even better. Right? Isn’t that how it works?

Whatever the situation going on, there is always an excuse that we can come up with to drink, if we try hard enough to create it.

Just do this for me (for you), just this once, please.

Just wait until tomorrow.

Just do this for me (for you), just this once, please, when you want to drink

It’s just for today.

You chose to quit drinking, and you have the complete freedom to choose to drink again at any point.

The reason that you haven’t is because you accepted the truth that once you take that first drink, all bets are off. You came to the conclusion that for you, it is no longer worth the risk.

You may not feel that way now, or today. I get that. I’m not asking you to do this forever, but please just hang on for another day. That’s all I ask.

Love,
You.


Additional reading and resources:

*Journaling has been a key part of my sobriety toolbox. Check out The Sober Journal for a great starting point if you’d like to try it out.
*AA.org
*How I Stayed Sober for The First 30 Days

 

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12 Comments

  1. Shirley on July 15, 2018 at 8:17 am

    Hi caroline its tough and u can do it good days bad days but then u start getting more good days be kind to yourself give yourself a pat on the back when u ave got thru a difficult moment its 10 years since I’ve drank and I was bad u will realise what a very strong person u can be u will be faced with a lot of challenges but u ave the courage and willpower to get thru this keep in touch

  2. Shirley on July 15, 2018 at 8:15 am

    Hi caroline its tough and u can do it good days bad days but then u start getting more good days be kind to yourself give yourself a pat on the back when u ave got thru a difficult moment its 10 years since I’ve drank and I was bad u will realise what a very strong person u can be u will be faced with a lot of challenges but u ave the courage and willpower to get thru this keep in touch

  3. Anonymous on June 11, 2018 at 4:24 pm

    Time too start

  4. Lori on June 3, 2018 at 9:44 pm

    Oh and KEEP IT SIMPLE!!

  5. Carolina on June 1, 2018 at 9:30 pm

    Today is day 30 for me. I wish I could say I didn’t want a drink, but that would be a lie. I actually thought I may go and have one or two, but in my head I know that would not be possible as I would not be able to stop. I am missing this pacifier. I stumbled across your page and I am grateful that God lead me here to get me through my day 30. I have often heard it takes 90 days to form new habits and I so desperately want to set my goal to make it through 30 more and then maybe another 30. I recently went through the loss of both parents. They always watched after me and I know I was blessed with two awesome parents. My precious mother died three days after we buried my father and they were young at the ages of 72 and 73. I spent over a year solo trying to take care of both, hold down my job and get my daughter off to college. I was running on adrenaline 24/7. I feel I failed them although I know I did more than most would have done. It plagues me daily. Vodka straight out of the bottle was my comfort as I had no one to console me. I was alone. In my 30 days I have been able to start the grieving process, but it isn’t anough. I stopped on my own and detoxed my self alone. I am scared to go to AA as I’ am scared and ashamed. I’m trying……I truly am. Pleas pray for me. I need it terribly. Feeling alone in this world is not the greatest feeling, but it is just that. I can’t say I will be able to make it through day 31, but I will try and pray that God will not leave me too.

    • Lori on June 3, 2018 at 9:42 pm

      Hi I am what is called an “old timer” in the halls of AA and NA. Just happened across this page. I believe that everything happens for a reason ! And I mean EVERYTHING. I just had my 26th year anniversary Blessed Be. I am just trying to let Ya’ll know that you don’t ever have to look at recovery as forever. Only look at it as A DAY AT A TIME!. Trust and believe it is not always easy but always worth it. I have 5 Granbabies now that had I not been sober I never would have been allowed to be around. Chances are I probably would have list my own 2 children back in the day. Vodka straight out of a half gallon jug was my best friend at the time I got REAL. I am sending healing love and light along with strength to help you through. Believe that I believe!. Some days I have to take one minute at a time and say the serenity prayer over and over and what happens is I can make it through that whole day and wake up sober. I will pray for you.

      BLESSED BE

      • Anonymous on June 3, 2018 at 9:43 pm

        Oh and KEEP IT SIMPLE!!

    • Ashley Ann on July 3, 2018 at 11:55 am

      Hi Carolina – I just now saw your comment and I hope you are doing well. I know this is hard. Whether you go to AA or not, I pray that you find peace and a support network. That can save your life. Saying “no” to alcohol, one day at a time, takes effort but it gets easier over time when other tools are used. Like Lori says in the comment below, and like I say in this post – one day at a time. That is a saying that people might roll their eyes at, but it has carried me through so, so many tough days. Just for today. Don’t stress about forever. Just today. I hope you’re doing well, whether you made it to day 31, or 60, or not. It’s never too late to improve and take care of yourself. Feel free to email me if you want to talk privately (and this time I should see it a lot sooner than a month later, yikes) – ashley@bloominash.com <3

    • Anonymous on September 19, 2018 at 1:06 pm

      Check out the book “this naked mind. “ and the Facebook group

  6. Anonymous on May 31, 2018 at 9:55 am

    THis is amazing and it’s stopped me tonight

  7. D on May 29, 2018 at 8:42 pm

    Im going to do this too. This is so so helpfull. Thankyou

  8. Manon on May 16, 2018 at 11:10 am

    I needed this badly today. With endless gratitude.

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Hi! I'm Ashley, and my sobriety date is May 6, 2015. I write to share my experience, strength, and hope in recovery. On any given day, you can find me developing websites, writing, or chauffeuring kids around.  Read my story...

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