Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Thank You Letter To Myself

My name is Russ and I am a compulsive gambler. My last bet was April 2nd 2019. I am continuing on with the next question from “The 365 Addiction Recovery Journal: Daily Journaling With Guided Questions, To Become A New You” by 21 Exercises and I’m not going to lie, it felt weird doing it. Although I do think it was a positive exercise.

“No man burdens his mind with small matters unless he has some very good reason for doing so.” 

Arthur Conan Doyle

Write down a thank you letter to yourself, for all the effort you’ve put in this year.

Dear Self,

I think we can agree that this has been the best and most fulfilling year of your life and there are a lot of things I am thankful for and want to list them. Before I do, I would question why you had to be such a selfish asshole for 32 years and why you had such a love for gambling over everything else, especially your kids. You have covered plenty of that this year in your blogs I suppose so there’s no point “shooting the wounded” as an Italian friend of yours would say. So onto the positives and what I am thankful to you for.

I am thankful you eventually found the balls to reach out and ask for help with your addiction because it was killing you slowly. I know you always thought you could dig your way out of this hole on your own, gamble your way out, but as you know now at some point you have to put the fucking shovel down and ask for help out of the hole.  I get it, honestly, you were too proud to ask for help, too ashamed with who you had become but more importantly scared what people would think, because that’s really all you ever cared about wasn’t it? What people thought of you. Your ego was fucking huge and even in recovery it took time to deflate. I mean, you wrote the longest blog by far on your own ego, the irony isn’t fucking lost on anyone. I am just thankful you finally did it, you finally made that decision to ask for help because at some stage you would have been cawt (#InJoke) and who knows how things would have turned out.

I am thankful for the effort you have put into your recovery because I don’t think you have ever put as much into anything bar gambling and as you were told at your first G.A. meeting, “if you put half as much effort into your recovery as you did into your gambling things would work out,” and he was right. Not only G.A. but your Problem Gambling Support Group Meetings (literally saved your life) , working the Steps, having a sponsor (literally drove you mad), sponsoring two AMAZING people, passing on the message, learning about addiction, reaching out to people, writing your blog, podcasts and the list goes on. You reap what you sow and I just want you to know that the hard work and effort is appreciated by me.

I am thankful you have started writing because I had no idea you were actually good at it and I know you struggle with that idea sometimes but yes, you are fucking good at writing and people enjoy reading it...so fucking deal with it. It also gives you the ability to construct your thoughts properly and dig far deeper than you can when you are talking. Plus, people can actually understand what you are saying, which is a benefit to everyone.

I am thankful you have figured out how to open up and talk to people when you have a problem or an issue because you never did that. You are starting to deal with emotions you haven’t dealt with for years and you know that keeping them bottled up is asking for trouble. That is amazing growth for someone who was as stubborn and full of themselves as you were when you came into recovery.

I am thankful for the friends you have made in recovery and that’s exactly what they are, friends. You have a deeper connection with a lot of these friends than anyone you know in real life and they see the real you, the you that you actually are and that you want to be. They are there to celebrate the good times and support you through the bad times.

I am thankful you have realised it is ok to be vulnerable in front of people and you have learnt that it’s not important to say the right or wrong things, what is important is the intention behind those words. When you have been living a lie as long as you have it’s hard to know if you have good or bad intentions but I can see that nearly everything you do has good intentions behind it and you should know that.

I am thankful you have become the Dad to those two kids of yours that they deserve. You have become present in their lives in a way you never were before. They love you, you are their hero and if that isn’t enough to continue on this journey then I don’t know what is. You should also be proud of how good a Dad you are. Well done.

I am thankful that you can look in the mirror and not be ashamed of who you see looking back at you. That you finally give a shit about other people and realise the whole world doesn’t revolve around you. That you want to help other people because you can and because you care and it isn’t about what they can give you in return. You have grown so much in the past year and you deserve this because you have put the work in.

I'm fucking proud of you.


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