Letters to TS #2: Hope Tied to Health

Hope 12/14/2019

Letters to TS #2: Hope Tied to Health

In our last conversation, you stated that you wanted to look like you did ten years ago. “Hot” was the word I think you used for yourself back then. But after a decade of heavy drinking, the alcohol has left its mark on you.

You’ve gone two months in between drinks, and now you are beating yourself up over your last episode. You embarrassed yourself. The hangover lasted two days, but its memory is still very fresh in your mind. You feel miserable right now, and it is warranted. But there is also a positive here. You went two months. When was the last time you went that long? And if you can do two months, how long can you go until your next drink?

There was one thing that bothered me in our conversation. We know you are running away from alcohol, but are you running toward anything? What do you have driving you forward into the future? Do you have any goals other than to stop drinking? Do you have a purpose?

You have a ten year-old picture reminding you of what you used to look like. You blame the alcohol for the way you look now. You are right. It deserves some of the credit, but it goes far beyond that. As an alcoholic, you tend to justify too many things. And when it comes to being healthy, you can’t justify a poor diet or a lack of physical activity. You can’t be both an alcoholic and healthy. And even though there are some that seem to be both, one behavior will eventually be sacrificed for the other.

My friend, you need to run towards a healthy life. You need to visualize the life you could have if it wasn’t tied to the bottle. Once you have that picture burned into your mind, you need to let it consume your every waking desire. You may never look like you did ten years ago, but you could look good again. You could feel good again. No longer would you be dumbly and drunkenly walking toward your grave. Instead, you would be making the most of this precious time you have left on this earth. Fight for your health and find the hope that comes in the pursuit. It is that hope that will light your path in the future.

Always your friend, TF.

He who has health has hope; and he who has hope, has everything. –Thomas Carlyle

Letters to TS #1: Fear Not

Courage 10/31/2019

Letters to TS #1

Right now you are scared. You’re scared about embarking on a journey that will change your life forever. That is, if you complete it. This is a hero’s story. The hero goes on a quest and along the way is reborn into a new being. The quest is daunting. There will be many traps, many snares, and many battles fought. People will be lost along the way. Close people, friends, and loved ones will be lost, but the hero must continue the journey. The reward at the end is too great a prize to let go. The hero must see it to the end. You, my dear TS, are the hero.

Like all heroes, at least the believable ones, there is fear and uncertainty. So what are you really scared about? That you will lose your social status? You can’t tell me that your friends will leave you if you make the choice not to drink alcohol. If they leave you, what kind of friends were they really? They may have been fun to be around, but they were never true friends.

Are you afraid that you can’t relax at the end of the day without a drink to knock off the edge? It is understandable, but that is only because you have conditioned your mind and body to believe this. You can condition yourself toward another behavior. You can find a healthy substitute.

But what if you can’t sleep without alcohol? Falling into oblivion before bed is not the kind of sleep your body needs. If you want to sleep better at night, find a better alternative. How about getting up early, staying productive during the day, and wearing yourself out physically to cure your insomnia? You won’t know unless you try.

You imagine all these fears if you stop drinking, but none of them are worth fearing. In truth, they may be the best things that ever happened to you. What you should fear is what will happen to you if you keep drinking. You have admitted that you cannot stop after one drink. Going to excess every day is going to kill you. You have already seen the changes in your skin and physical appearance. What you cannot see are the changes internally. Organs are hard to replace. You can’t afford new ones, and there is no guarantee that you will live long enough to receive donated ones. Fear the consequences of going back to your old ways, because it will lead to your destruction.

Resolve in your mind that you can get through this. Realize that you are not alone. The hero has friends, and some of them will be faithful to the end. We can walk with you, but we cannot walk for you. You will have to direct your own steps. When you accept that you are able to accomplish this trial, which will be one of the greatest ones you will ever have to endure (and one of the most rewarding ones), you will realize there is nothing to fear. Be the hero of your own story.


When a man has quietly made up his mind that there is nothing he cannot endure, his fear leaves him. – Grove Patterson

Finding Your (Sober) Purpose

Justice 10/2/2019

When you look at that bottle, what are you hoping it will do for you? Will it numb the pain or help you forget? Will it make you happy or relieve your tension?

We have many reasons for wanting to uncork the bottle. If you can enjoy responsibly, then you don’t have much to worry about. But if you can’t, then you may be looking for a cure in the wrong place.

I’ve noticed something when I drink. I fall off the tracks. Sometimes it is only for a short while. Other times, I fall off a little bit longer. There have been times in my past when I would go off and stay off. Those were the dark times. Those were the times when I was pretty much useless. No drive. No ambition. My only goal was get to the next drink.

The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well. –Ralph Waldo Emerson

There are some people that seem to be functional drunks. But how functional are they really? And they might be able to function, but they are far from optimal.

We all have a purpose in life. It is hard to find your purpose when you are unable to think clearly. It is hard to keep your purpose and continue working towards it if you are in a constant state of inebriation. So if you fall off the tracks, make your goal to get back on as soon as possible.

To my friend who is going on three weeks of sobriety. Hang in there. You will have hard days. Everybody has hard days. It is in the conquering of those days that you become stronger. You just have to fight for what you believe is right. You have to fight for your purpose.