Letters

In the spirit of working on behaviors that I’m not super fond of, I’ve changed the title of this page from”Amends” to “Letters.”  I have a lot of things to say to certain individuals and I recognize not everyone really gives a rat’s ass. I don’t want to lose you guys because you find my posts just too damn long. So this page will be for letters of love, admiration, amends and brutal honesty.

Amends – Step 9: Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. (How it Works, BB pg. 59) 

As mentioned in My Recovery Rewind – Part 5, some of my amends are not going to be direct, ie. face to face.  That being said, certain people know about this blog and others do not. For those who do not, I’m not sure if they’ll find/hear about it OR if I should/will let them know it exists.  So I’ve decided I’m not going to think too much about it and trust God will show me when the time comes.  I have compiled these “letters” with the most recent up top and the ones preceding underneath.

**UPDATE**

It’s been months since I wrote the introduction on this page and since then, I have been convicted to read some of these letters face to face, just as it is suggested in Step 9. Some I’ll have to do via FaceTime and others, in person.  When? I don’t know, but God does and I know He will show me.  

I have also decided that after a letter has been read, I will remove it from the page for good. There is no “clearing the wreckage of my past” if I don’t delete it from my blog.  Whatever is left over…well..I don’t know yet. But, you know what I’m going to say next…

…more will be revealed.


My Goodbye Letter to Alcohol – 4/2/2012

Goodbye Alcohol,

Yes, goodbye. No, this is not a break. You and I both know breaks don’t last long.  You always trick me into thinking things will be different, I believe you and then next thing I know, you have hurt me again.  I have allowed this to go on far too long.  I know in the beginning, we had a lot of fun and we got along really well.  We had our bouts with hangovers and for a while, that was the only way you hurt me.  But over the years, it has continued to only get worse and not only were you hurting me but you helped me hurt others that I love more than anything.  It’s my fault for not seeing you for who really are and that is a toxic, deceitful, manipulative, selfish son of a bitch, sucking me into becoming just like you.

That is not how I was raised nor who my husband married.  You made me do things I never thought I would do.  You cost me a lot of money in car repairs & legal feels.  I have come close to losing some of my closest friends because of your selfish power over me.  You’ve taken away my self-respect and put me in humiliating situations.  Because of you, I have disappointed my husband, family, friends and myself over and over and over again.  I’ve lied and manipulated situations to protect this sick relationship, causing me to lose my loved one’s trust. I’m so lucky to have a husband who adores me and I’m so ashamed that I was choosing you over him at the end.  I was choosing you over having a baby.  You make me sick.  You have made me sick and for all these reasons and more, I’m sick of YOU!

So, I’m done.  I refuse to let you have a hold over me any longer. I should have done this a long time ago as I know things would look much differently for me but I cannot change the past, I can only change the future.

I’m so happy to finally be rid of you.  My future is bright and you are not in it.  Goodbye forever. Please don’t try to convince me thinks will change.  You will never change.  But I can, I have and am committed to stay changed – healthy and happy in recovery.

DUDS – SD2

Dear SD2’s Mom – You may or may not recall my cat that I would bring with me every time I came to visit your son before AND after I had asked him to move back home with you.  He practically went everywhere with me. He was my first cat and he was like a child to me. One weekend I told you it was okay to let him out on the back patio but he had to be supervised.  When it was time to drive over an hour home, he couldn’t be found. We searched high and low but I ran out of time and had to leave or else I was going to be late for work. You and SD2 were big cat lovers, so naturally, I put my trust in you both to do everything you could to find him. But sadly, he was never found and I cast all the blame on you.  I cannot tell you how many times I have recounted that story for others blaming you for being careless because you were a stoner; and for that, I am sorry.

The only person to blame for his disappearance is me. He was MY cat. I chose to bring him with me, not you.  You asked if it was okay to let him out and I said yes when I easily could have said no. Sure I asked you to supervise and maybe you did and he still managed to get out. How do I really know? Was I watching you watch him? No. Were you stoned at the time? Maybe, but it’s very likely I was too.  Did I call my place of employment to let them know my dilemma and that I wouldn’t be coming in so I could stay and keep looking? Nope, but I should have. That wasn’t your decision though, it was mine. So shame on me. That was wrong and I take full responsibility for MY loss.

Dear Mama & Daddy – both of you did not hold back when expressing your dissatisfaction in my choice in dating SD2 and the bottom line is: I thought I knew everything and you didn’t. Just like my alcoholism, you saw it all and I was determined to prove you and everyone else wrong.  The writing was on the wall very early on but it took me much longer to figure it out on my own. Typical. No one can convince my alcoholic brain anything I don’t want to believe or admit; I have to find out the hard way. And I did. Countless times over.

As a mother of 2 daughters myself now, I can now empathize with how painful it had to have been to watch me waste my time (and money!) on a guy so unworthy of me.  I mean, Mama, I distinctly remember you telling me you saw SD2 out in public with his girlfriend whom he told me he had broken up with and when I asked him about it, I believed his lies over you! I just got mad FOR you typing that.  I literally trusted him more than my own mother! I’m so sorry.

Daddy, after SD2’s arrest for something very disturbing for any father who has a daughter, you said he had zero character and deemed him unfit to even be in the same room as me.  You asked me what it was about him that I really liked and all I remember saying was something about being perfectly content in an empty room with just him. What in the actual fuck?

I’m sorry I didn’t listen to you about him and a lot of other things.  I know I have said that before but I needed to say it just one more time: you were right, I was wrong and I’m soooooo happy that I was.

Dear ROD – You recently reminded me of an unfortunate event that took place back when I lived in that tiny little studio on the peninsula.  Again, considering how many brain cells I have destroyed, I can’t believe I can recall clearly where I was standing in when you called me furious I would allow such a thing to happen. And dude, let me first say, you were 100% justified in your anger towards me.  I don’t even remember the circumstances that would compel me to give SD2 your number but regardless, I put HIM before YOU and I should NEVER have done that.

After reflecting more on that 18 year old resentment, I think I discovered a pattern in my past behaviors that I’d like to discuss you with, if you are open to it.  My intentions are not to rehash the issue to provide a new defense to justify such a betrayal. No, it’s because I value your gift of being able to help others identify the underlying factors that drive them to behave in certain ways that ultimately help chart the courses of their destinies. I think I MAY have tapped into something and I’d like to run it by you when the right time presents itself. Again, if you are open to it. If not, I totally respect that.

We’ve agreed in the past that neither of us had anything to apologize for anymore but, I think you’ll relate, my entire outlook on life is contingent on my spiritual condition; and my spiritual condition suffers when my self-will runs riot. It is essential for me to take an inventory of myself on a daily basis and I’ll be honest, I’m not as consistent as I want to be. I’m a work in progress and sometimes I’m still so far up my own ass to see my part.

As a result of this character defect, it disconnects me from the ones I love (you) and disappoints the only person who I should look to for the guidance I seek (God.) I can’t fully be at peace if there are new wrongs that I need to make right. And you know me dude, sometimes it takes me a minute. So if I need to make amends that I am oblivious I need to make, will you clue a bitch in so I can do what I need to do in order to wipe the slate clean? If not, then boom – let’s hang the fuck out already!

Dear PEA – There may have been more but I can only recall one time things got dicey with you and SD2 and man oh man was that awkward.  It was June and we came down to your “hood” for the beach and homemade fish tacos in the home you shared with your future husband. I don’t know how long we stayed down on the sand but it wasn’t very long.  Somehow the conversation got tense over the topic of June gloom and he ended up removing himself from the rest of our time together while we ate tacos and he sat in the car. The entire situation was uncomfortable and I was mortified. What I can’t remember is if that drove a wedge between us at the time. Did it? Hmmm, you know what, he already had.  Our friendship was somewhat stagnant for a stretch. Not over any particular thing, we just were in different places in our lives. That happens with friends…the best ones anyway. Like me and ROD, you and I always seemed to “find our way back” to each other after those “dry spells” happened in our friendships. I don’t THINK we have any unfinished business but if we do, will you please lay it on me so I can do what I need to do in order to mend the errors of my ways? If not, then boom – let’s see that fucking movie already! Unless you have already, in which case, how dare you! Kidding, how was it!?!?

And to PEA, ROD, my parents (and sister too!) – I’m sorry for RARELY making the effort to see you all when I would come down to our hometown whenever I could. Like SD2’s mom, I was a complete doormat and it didn’t matter how many fights & break ups took place, he always knew how to reel me back in, forcing myself more and more into isolation aside from work, school and the important family gatherings. Thank you for loving me despite my shortcomings when it came to him AND the wreckage I caused while I was in my disease of alcoholism.

Dear Self – (second person to first person) When it comes to SD2, yes, he was a very poor choice in a boyfriend.  You had other suitors who blew him out of the water in every which way; there was even a “one that got away” that came back around at one point but it was too late. For you. That was also a hard pill to swallow.

*hold up. Am I going to talk about him in this blog? No. No I am not. Well, maybe… briefly…but not now.*

Listen, let’s look at some facts and find some gratitude so you can stop beating yourself up for missing out on so much of the first “prime” of your life. Tell me what has bothered you the most about dating SD2:

  1. My “first time” was not on my wedding night nor was it special AT ALL. My dad warned me about boys and what they think about the most in a single day.  But for some reason, it didn’t resonate with me. I was extremely boy crazy! I ALWAY had been since as far back as I can remember, which I find strange…but I digress. SD2 groomed me in the hopes that he could be my “first” but then he wasn’t. He made me feel really bad about it so I made sure to see him the very next day to “make it up to him.”  Not your proudest moment, such a promiscuous act at a ripe, fertile age but hey, bright side, neither he OR SD1 got what they wanted because they weren’t your first. More importantly, you didn’t get pregnant by them either so….get over it.
  2. I never started and worked in a “career.” My infatuation with SD2 in the first 2 years of our “courtship” stood in the way of getting good grades and exploring what it was I wanted to do with my life.  R1 and I went to an out of state university. My dear parents paid their hard earned money for out of state tuition and I was getting poor grades and dropping classes because I was either obsessing over SD2, partying or hungover. I had officially checked out first semester of sophomore year and moved home. What a waste. Almost 2 decades later, I’m kicking myself because I am doing exactly what I said I didn’t want to do: sitting in an office at a job that I do not look forward to going to.  Lest you forget you never quit school all-together while working  to support yourself AND eventually SD2 for the time he lived with you? Your parents said that if he moved in with you, they would no longer contribute to your living expenses. And in true RED fashion, you agreed out of pure rebellion. Or how about SD2’s never ending supply of pot that kept your alcoholism at bay just long enough for you to graduate in 4.5 years when it should have taken longer…and with honors! Now, that’s impressive! Sure, you still had no direction and you wish you’d been wiser and dropped him way sooner so you could really explore what it was that you wanted to do with your life. But hey, bright side, it’s never too late to uncover new passions and follow your dreams. It appears that you have finally found your calling and you’re not even 40 yet so…get over it.
  3. I never traveled before settling down and now I feel like it’s too late. My codependent need to be near SD2 as often as I could prevented me from having the desire to see the world and study abroad for a semester.  SD2 was a jealous boyfriend and that makes sense because he was a cheater when I met him at the place we both worked at. I thought if I went away for an extended period of time, surely he would accuse me of talking with other guys during my travels and use that as an excuse to get some strange because he’d get restless. This is one of those CSW situations and I’m just not going to go there and here’s why: you’re not dead yet so you still have time. End of discussion. Get over it.

Is that all? You done now?  Because I can think of some fucked up shit you did to other guys too, or have you forgotten?  I hope you plan on taking responsibility for how YOU treated some of the dudes that you spent your time with over the years because you were no saint.

Yes, yes I do.

DUDS – SD1

To the Woman Who Married SD1, I’m sorry my husband (who was my fiance at the time) carelessly shared that your husband (who was your boyfriend at the time) took my virginity 10 years prior. It WAS within the context of our conversation but NOT appropriate. That moment was an “insert foot in mouth” moment for me and I wasn’t the one who said it! I never would have! I wish I had realized the truth before and I would have corrected him. Because for the record, if I haven’t been clear already, technically, he did NOT take my virginity and I am denouncing the idea that he did once and for all.

I feel as though had H never blurted that out, you and I would have had a different friendship. Maybe? Maybe not. But we tried though, we did. Both of us. But I think you and I can agree that after not seeing each other in 2 years, it’s best that we’re not.  I think it took me longer to come to that conclusion because I was focusing so much on WHY you stopped wanting to hang out and what it was that Iiiiiiiii did.  Of course, making it about me. Ugh. Anyway, I get it now. I do. And I don’t blame you. If there IS more I need to apologize for, I trust God will show me so I can make it right at the right time.

Skeletons 2.2 – My Reckoning(s)

God knew what he was doing connecting you to my parents way back when.  I’m honored to still have your friendship after my shortcomings over the years.  I won’t make amends here because I know I will see you in a couple weeks anyway, but I just want you to know that I’m so grateful for you.  You are a breath of fresh air everywhere you go. We’ve partied together, ran races together, walked and hiked with lots of chats, gone to each other’s baby showers, etc. I think the world of you and the beautiful family you have created. I look forward to sharing more of life’s joyful moments with you in the future.

My Rebellion and Recovery Rekindled:

R3, my BBC, best man in my wedding and former drinking buddy, we had some good times when were roomies, didn’t we?  I’m not going to make amends here because I know I will see you again and when I do, I’ll do it then.  But I just want you to know how much you mean to my little family unit and everyone else who has been blessed to have you in their lives. You are loyal to your core and are always willing to sacrifice your time to be of service when needed.  You remember everyone’s birthdays and even send texts out to remind us to extend our well wishes in case we forget.  Thank you for never taking advantage of me and honoring my relationship with your bestie in your tight knit bro-group, INC.  Mark my mother effing words, I swear, someday I’m going to find out what those letters stand for.  Haha.  But in all seriousness, I think the world of you. I am so proud of how far you have come since “the good ol’days.” I had a feeling the big move you made a few years back would be good for you and I was right.  But as we have discussed in the past, you and I both know your life would be even MORE amazing if you stopped drinking.  That being said, you have to be ready to make that decision on your own. I just want you to remember that you can always count on me and the hubs to support you in any way we can, should you decide to go that route someday. And if not, that’s cool too.  No judgement here, bro! Friends and family for life! Oh and, another reminder: any woman who is lucky enough to be loved by you will need to get clearance from myself and our other BBC’s wife. She knows WTF she is.

My Recovery Rewind – Part 6

Mama: Remember when I was a child of elementary age, I said I wanted to go to the same exact college as you so I could find someone just like Daddy and get married at the same exact age as you did?  You were 20 when you two got hitched. 20!!! Imagine if I had married the guy I was with when I was 20. I cringe at the thought.* Thank the good Lord above that didn’t happen because WTF knows what my life would look like today, in fact, I’d say it’s possible I could be dead. Ew, how morbid, sorry Mama. Anyway, like most daughters, I basically wanted to BE you.  You have consistently been my peace within my storms. Loving and helping me regardless of how much pain it caused you. Annnnd here come the waterworks. I can count on one hand how many times I’ve seen you lose your shit in anger but I have seen you cry more times than I wish you had.  We are so much alike on the crying front but you are way better than me at controlling your temper.  Mama, I still want to be just like you.  I want my daughters to love and cherish me as much as I love and cherish you and on my worst days as a mother, I get consumed with fear that they won’t.  You’ve helped carry me through some really dark times and it has only been recently that I have figured something out: you’re a human being too who has had your own dark times.  As a child, you don’t see that.  As a mother, you want to protect your children from those things. I totally get it.  I do wish I knew more though and maybe someday you’ll share with me.  All in God’s time though. I love you with every fiber of my being and I’m proud to call you my Mommy – forever and always.

Daddy: I’ll never forget a text conversation we had back when you were about to go to Europe and I had shared that I wish I had made it out there before I quit drinking so I could have tried all the fine wines, as if I had missed out on something.  You said something to the effect of “you aren’t missing anything” & something else about my former wine consumption, in jest, per usual (hehe.)  I remember that being of comfort to me.  We had had many talks over the years about my drinking and other people’s drinking.  As previously mentioned, our family is no stranger to the disease of alcoholism.  In one of those conversations you said “It is very obvious when you have even had one drink, you are not the same person.” No truer words, Daddy. I can say today that you saw the writing on the walls way sooner than I wish I had.  However, we shared many glasses of wine together, you and I. Even though my drinking caused a lot of problems for me, I still have memories of nostalgia and those times are some of them.  I don’t want this to be all about the drinking though. So I’m going to stop there and just say this: YOU are a miracle. You have faced many forms of adversity, starting in your youth, and have never let them stop you from being the best at everything you set out to do.  You have never succumbed to living an average life despite those adversities and rose above them all and then some.  You worked your fucking ASS off to make sure your 3 girls didn’t want for nothing and you have had countless men and women, both in and out of the workplace, look up to you as a mentor and lean on you for support in their darkest times, myself included.  Can I tell you something?  I cannot tell you how many people have sung praises to me about you (you too, Mama!) My pride has both helped and hurt me in life but my pride in you has never wavered.  God broke the mold when he made you. It is now my quest to follow in your foot steps and that alone is motivation enough to keep on going fearlessly. I love you man (you know how you say it, haha.)

Sissy: What a fucking ride we’ve been on together, huh? Man, I have so many things I could say and I’m all of a sudden at a stand still.  Could this be my first bout of “writer’s block?” We’re almost 4 years apart, which made it a challenge for us to be super duper close growing up.  Yes, the love was there but in terms of being best friends, that didn’t come to be until adulthood. Even though I’m older, you have had to be the big sister when the “going got tough.” I remember one time we were on the phone, I was drunk, and I straight up told you “I’m an alcoholic and I don’t care.” How I remember that, considering my state of mind, is beyond me but nevertheless, I said it.  Crazy how I could say that one day and then totally reject the idea the next.  Alcoholism – cunning, baffling and powerful. I digress once again. We’ve shared so many secrets – kept some and shared others from a place of love and concern.  I have caused you great pain and you, I.  But I guess that’s what sisters do, right?  Good, bad and everything in between, we have loved each other fiercely and would do anything for each other.  Both married, mothers and in our 30’s, we are now in a place of self discovery and improvement.  Similar paths, different pavements.  You, my sister and best friend, are one of the very few I call my ride or die. Through thick or thin, nothing will ever break our bond. Thank you for sitting in the stench with me when life hits the shitter. I love you more than you’ll ever know. Seriously. Never. Ever. Forget it.

Honorable Mention: My honorable mention goes to my first actual friend in the rooms of AA. You know WTF you are.  I must admit, and I may have already told you this, I wasn’t a big fan of yours for some reason. I really don’t even know why but I do remember when that changed.  You were sitting behind me and someone was sharing something and you said under your breath “no fucking shit” or some snarky comment in reference to what she was saying. It wasn’t nice and I loved it.  It was right then that I thought to myself that maybe we needed to be friends.  Next thing I know, you shared that your car was out of commission and you needed rides to the meeting. Low and behold, we lived minutes away from each other.  The rest is history.  You got sober super duper young and had lots and lots of years and you still do. When you came upon some pretty dark times, I was amazed that you didn’t drink over it because I at that stage in my recovery, I was like “if that was me, I’d be drinking.”  You moved away and we haven’t stayed in touch as much we should and that’s my fault.  The last time we chatted on the phone, I shared with you my BBS and while you weren’t judgey about it, I could tell you did not approve. You love me anyway though and for that I am grateful.

Love, Admiration & Amends: My Recovery Rewind – Part 5 (Continued)

C1: where do I begin?  You being the second-born among us six, I was closest to you.  Damnit! I’m already getting emotional AGAIN! We could play for hours on end whether it be in play rooms, in the pool or at our regular family gathering restaurants.  Growing up, circumstances were such that you weren’t at all of our family gatherings. I remember always asking if you were going to be there and when I was told no, I would be so bummed.  We were inseparable when together though; from re-enacting movie scenes from “Overboard” to putting on “shows” which including many jumps off the diving board, my memories of our youth fill me with nostalgia.  Between us two, you were the smartest in school and something inside me knew that you’d go further in life in terms of our careers – and I was right. You rose to the top and I never have had a “career.”  I blame that on my poor lifestyle choices but it is what it is. I digress. At one point as young adults, we worked at the same restaurant next to where your dad had his business.  We have shared some emotional talks over the years surrounding some pretty painful shit and there is so much more that I want to say to you…so so so much more. But this is already long enough and I can barely see my computer screen through my tears.  One of these days I’d like to spend some uninterrupted time with you and share my thoughts, if you are willing.  I love you SO much, C1.

C2: MY C2. The 4th born among us cousins (my sis was the 3rd) and out of the 6 of us, I’d say the most “innocent” and I mean that in the most loving way possible.  It’s one of the things I love the most about you and I hope you never change.  One thing I have noticed that you and I have in common is that we both suffer from FOMO, haha.  As we have gotten older and become part of our new families, I don’t feel it AS strongly as I once did but sharing that with you warms my heart.  You’re going to become a wife soon and we have a lot of celebrating to do in the next few weeks.  One thing I DO feel compelled to tell you: if you choose to continue to read my blog (you may not have even known about it up until now) I need you to know that what I’m about to reveal about my recovery might upset you and I get it.  It is my hope that you’ll still see me as the cousin you have always known because I am. In fact, I’m the best version of myself today partially because of it but mostly because I made the decision to hand my will over to God once and for all. So please keep that in mind as you process this new knowledge. I love you my sweet.

C3: I remember the exact place I was when I found out your mom was pregnant with you and I remember being so excited.  I don’t know why that particular memory sticks out in my mind but it does.  Out of the 4 of you cousins, I’d say you and I are the most alike and I think our whole family would agree. You were right when you said “we ride the same wave-length.”  Free-ish spirits, you and I, we’ve rebelled in various ways and each lost our way in our youths.  We both dated guys that our families LOATHED and stayed with them anyway.  I remember telling your parents “don’t worry, she’ll figure it out. I eventually did.” And sure enough, so it came to be and now you are preparing to marry the man who God had intended for you all along.  Seeing you grow up from that “wild child” has been so lovely and inspiring.  Although you are younger than me by a number of years, you have taught me quite a bit about life, especially most recently.  I love you, my spirit cousin.

C4: The youngest of us 6 and “our miracle baby.” I remember the day you were born and it wasn’t exactly how anyone had planned.  No one is prepared to be told that their newborn has a X% chance of surviving.  It was a scary time.  I wrote a poem for you and I’ll never forget your dad crying when he read it. By the grace of God and the skills of medical professionals, you DID survive.  Circumstances were such that I didn’t form as much of a bond with you as I did with C’s 1-3.  But can I tell you something that I think is really really cool?  You and me?  We’re breaking the cycle!  By your choosing to never take a sip of alcohol a day in your life and my putting down the drink for good, we are changing the course of this disease that has claimed a number of men in our family.  So despite not being AS close as I wish we were, 2 things ring true: 1 – this decision to abstain that bonds us, I hope, will serve as an example to others throughout our lives and 2 – it’s never too late to have a closer relationship. And as the oldest, I’ll take responsibility for making that happen. I love you C4.

My Recovery Rewind – Part 5

S1: You know WTF you are.  I was just a couple weeks into my outpatient program when I asked you to be my sponsor but I have a confession: I lied.  When you asked me if I was willing to do whatever it takes to get sober and live a life without alcohol, I said yes but that wasn’t true.  Instead, I was motivated by wanting to be the first person in my group to GET a sponsor.  See, I was a teacher’s pet and I HATE to admit it but I was (and I always had been.)  I wanted my counselor to see me as the best one of the group because every time she asked us if we had gotten gotten a sponsor, we all said no. Iiiiii wanted to be FIRST!  I didn’t take my time and seek you out. I picked you at random. I had no intentions of staying sober and just wanted everyone off my back.  So, for all of that, I’m truly sorry. I’m sorry I lied about my first relapse and how much I drank and I’m sorry for not telling you about the other two times after.  I’m sorry I was in la la land, distracted by the intense desire to NOT be an alcoholic, and barely did the steps.  I mean, what a joke.  Now I can say that I was truly not ready but that doesn’t justify wasting your time.  So for all of that, my deepest apologies.  I did enjoy our talks and admired your calm and peaceful demeanor.  I can’t recall the circumstances but we just stopped working together.  I reached out to you later to make amends for claiming the wrong sobriety date and you made amends for falling off the face of the planet.  I hope all is well with you and I wish you all the best.

S2: You know WTF you are. Where do I begin?  I’m already getting teary and I have barely gotten started. Like S1, I asked you to be my sponsor for selfish reasons.  While I did feel drawn to you, I must admit that the only reason I asked you to be my sponsor was so you could give me my 2 year token.  I wanted that token!! Ugh, I should feel better telling you this but I don’t.  I think I feel so bad because…fuck, now I’m crying…I was still being a fake and kept that bullshit up the entire time we worked together.   Not only was I carrying around my “big dark secret” but I was also holding onto the idea of someday drinking like a normie. You opened up your home to me, you told me stories of your past. You sacrificed your time with your husband and newborn baby for me and I just took it like the selfish asshole that I was. You loved me without judgement and genuinely wanted to help me when I genuinely didn’t really think I needed it. You even made it to see me take my “dirty” 5 year token when surely you had more important things to do. What a piece of shit. Now I am legit crying. S2, I am so beyond sorry for all of that.  I do need to say though, there is one thing that I did not lie about and that is that I love you.  When I said that, I meant it and I still do.  Even with all the remorse and shame I felt during our time together, I need you to know that it wasn’t all for nothing.  You taught me how to love when I didn’t feel like loving and forgive when I didn’t want to forgive.  When I finally did share my “big bad skeleton” with you, you still loved and accepted me when I didn’t think I deserved it.  We haven’t been in touch lately.  I think our last text conversation didn’t sit well with you. I understand and accept that. I hope we’ll get to talk more about it one of these days. Thank you for everything. You are fucking amazing and I want to be you when I grow up. I love you.

My Recovery Rewind – Part 1

To my Birds of a Feather:

B1 (5 years 🙂 I met you 2 years into my recovery and I was instantly drawn to you but our friendship didn’t take off for a while. To be honest with you…I can’t recall when it did. It’s as if we’ve been in each other’s lives forever. We didn’t do much together outside of the rooms, in the beginning of our friendship anyway. You are the “head of the social committee” and I want to thank you for always inviting me to things even after I had declined so many times. Most friends would stop asking but not you. You eventually cracked the shell of the cocoon I had built for myself and released the inner social butterfly who had been hiding inside. We have far too much in common to jot down here. I could say more because I love you so much but since I can already tell this is going to be longer than I thought and I still have 3 more birdies (actually 4,) I’ll end with this: we are two peas in a mother f’ing pod.

B2 (3 years:) I was 2.5 years in recovery when you came into my life. I was 7 weeks pregnant with A2 and you shared in a meeting that you were also newly pregnant and in immense fear of your impending time in “the big house.” Everything inside me said “go reach out your hand to that chick” and I had never done that before. I wrote my number on a piece of paper, approached you, whispered that I too was pregnant and to call me.  We met up one time at the park, discovered we both loved running and said we’d make plans for a run before your “departure” but it never happened. You went away and I didn’t know if I’d ever see you again. Fast forward to the month our babies were due and it was put on my heart to text you and the rest is history. You became my running partner and one of my besties in the program.  When I found out you were 10 years younger than me, I was floored. Not because of you how old you looked (I did think we were closer in age but I always think people are the same age as me) but because the stuff that came out of your mouth was just so grown up. You blow me away in so many ways. Now you live clear across the country. Thanks, United States Marines, for taking her away from me…but no seriously, thank you to your husband for his service. I love and miss you my friend…thank goodness for polo.*

B3 (almost 1 year:) B1 introduced me to you, again, when I was 2 years in recovery. You were a “newcomer.” Our friendship was slow going, in fact, I can’t remember when it really took off either. That said, it didn’t take long for me to see that we were “meant to be.” We share similar struggles in motherhood and I have really appreciated our transparent discussions surrounding it. We have a lot of other things in common and they can go without mentioning. You know WTF I am talking about.  I just recently professed my love & admiration and how proud I am of you over a polo so I don’t know what else to say besides this: you are a fucking miracle and I am so grateful that I have had a front row seat in watching you kick this disease in its ass! Your story is going to help so many people…actually, it already has. Stand proud my dear. I can’t wait to see you take that 1 year.

B4 (4 months:) I’ve known you longer than B’s 1,2&3 but you! YOU, the “youngest” in recovery, are the biggest reason I’ve been back in the rooms of AA this past year. We met through our husbands. I’d see you here and there at various events but it wasn’t until I was 3 years in recovery that I realized that we NEEDED to be friends. And not because you were also in recovery, because you weren’t. You didn’t know I was at the time either. No, we had discovered that we had a couple of big things in common.  I was quite pregnant with A2 and it was a good long while before we hung out without our husbands. Shortly after we started hanging out, I was comfortable enough to share that I was in recovery and after talking more at length about it, I got the notion that you SHOULD be too. And sure enough, time had passed and you reached out to me for support. The rest is history, my love. We are most definitely 2 peas in a pod and I thank God we embarked on our friendship when we did. God’s timing is everything because otherwise I’d bet money I would have drank due to this last year being quite the doozy.

I do have one other birdie outside of AA who deserves an honorable mention. B5, she will have 10…T-E-N…years sober in April and she knows WTF she is.

To this bird of mine, I’ve known you the longest of all of the above but without our common histories with alcohol, I’m not sure we’d be the friends we are today.  You have been a blessing in my life and definitely one of my favorite “bitch buddies.” You are an amazing human being and I don’t think you give yourself enough credit. I say that because I have noticed that you say “sorry” way more than you need to. Stop apologizing for nothing, dear one. You have nothing to say sorry for, not to me anyway.  You just keep being you and know that next time you say sorry for nothing, I’m gonna punch you in the face. (Kidding, I won’t, but I will tell you to knock it the fuck off.) No but seriously girl, thank you for being such a kind and gracious friend. I know I have fallen short on my end of our friendship this past year so thank you for hanging in there with me.