Goodbye to Drugs ritual – Breaking up with an addiction


By David Joel Miller.

Is it hard to let go of your addiction?

When the courtship began it was all good. That drug, the alcohol, the gambling they were fun. Your drug of choice stays with you no matter what.

People come and go in our lives but that addiction we develop it stays with us. Women come and go, Sherry is always waiting, along with Bud and Jose and their friends. Crystal will take you in when no one else wants to see you. It can be hard to say goodbye.

We have ceremonies for starting things, marriages, births of children, graduations. There are ceremonies for ending things also, divorce decrees and funerals and the retirement dinner. How do you say good-bye to that drug?

Do you remember the first time you tried the drug, that first drink and the feelings that your drug of choice gave you? In the beginning was it good? Did it make you feel excited, happy and successful?

Then did bad things start happening? Did the drug take you places you didn’t want to go? Did it send you to jails, institutions, homeless shelters or to lonely places?

It is easy sometimes when all looks bleak to remember the good times if only you could reach that same high again. But you know that it takes ever more and more drug to reach the same high and then one day even the drug can’t get you high. Then it takes more of your drug just to get well, just to feel normal.

It is hard breaking up with someone you have been with for a long time, even when the relationship has gone bad. You remember those good times, long ago when the relationship was new and you wonder how you could live without that drug.

Ending a romantic relationship is often done with a good-bye letter, the “Dear John” or “Dear Jane’ letter. If you want to be free of your drug you may need to write it that same letter.

Dear Methie, Dear Alcehol, we had some good times way back when, but you done me wrong. You said you could make me rich and famous, but you took my money and put my picture on the wanted list. You said you would be my friend, but then you left me alone in jails, prisons, and hospitals. Now you have taken my life and left me looking for ways to end it. It’s time for me to say good-bye ole drug of mine.

Once that letter is written read it over. Have you said it all? Is it clear that you and the drug are through? Or did you leave the door open, breaking up and still wanting it to call again? Rewrite the letter if you need to. Make this one final. The relationship is over. Then send the letter the way your drug of choice will understand.

Some people find it helps to tear the letter up and flush it down the toilet, the way the drug tried to put your life in the toilet. Are your dreams up in smoke? You may need to take that letter to a safe place and burn it. Some people feel that everything about their life has gone downstream; they may wish to tear the goodbye letter up and toss it in the river.

Creating a ceremony marking the end of your relationship with that drug that used and abused you is a good way to start the next chapter of your life.

Some people prefer to do this sort of ritual alone. For others, it is helpful to have a trusted friend, counselor or sponsor to help with the goodbye process.

However you chose to do this goodbye ceremony, do it and toss that drug of choice out of your life. Stop choosing drugs and start choosing yourself.

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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books

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