Writing a Letter to My Alcoholic Daughter

Writing a Letter to My Alcoholic Daughter

Getting the Words Out to Let Her Know I Could Not Watch Her Die

Being the parent of an addicted child is a heartbreaking reality for many parents. Alcohol addiction has run in our family for generations, and I suffered from it as well. My alcohol abuse was so severe that I almost died multiple times of alcohol poisoning.

I finally sought treatment at South Shores Detox and Recovery, and it saved my life. Attending support groups has helped me find peace and a wonderful new life. That doesn’t mean I haven’t faced challenges, the most difficult of all being my child’s addiction. Maybe it doesn’t make sense, but writing a letter to my alcoholic daughter was a big part of helping both of us come to terms with her drinking and what it was doing to her (and to our family.)

As hard as it was to write, I hope you keep reading about how we came to the point of giving a letter to my alcoholic daughter about getting her help for sobriety and saving her life. If this is something you are going through as well, as hard as it seems, it is possible to help your ‘little’ girl find a new way in life.

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When Your Children Dabble With Drugs And Alcohol

I started to notice signs of substance abuse in my daughter when she entered her teenage years. I caught her smoking marijuana and found empty beer cans under her bed. My wife and I tried to discipline her, but there’s only so much that can be done. We set boundaries and did everything that we could within our power

By the time she graduated high school, she had a very serious problem with alcohol. It was bad enough that she dropped out of college in her freshman year. Her life was unraveling, and all we could do was sit back and watch. When your child becomes an adult, there are few options.

How To Encourage An Addicted Child To Seek Help

Being the father of an addicted child has created interesting challenges. Being in recovery, I have a unique perspective that could help her. But would she listen? Ultimately, there is only so much that you can do to help someone. We live different lives than our children and we have different experiences. Her addiction has caused a lot of hurt in our family, but my own addiction did the same thing.

I often feel like I am at fault for passing on my disease, but my recovery journey has taught me not to beat myself up. If you are the parent of an addicted child, keep reading to see what options you have to help them seek treatment.

Dealing With Someone Else’s Alcohol Addiction

Writing A Letter Of Support To Child

Being a recovering alcoholic myself, it took me getting sober to finally realize the hurt I had done to my family and friends. My parents were alcoholics, and I ended up drinking from a young age. Alcoholism was normalized in my family. My mom and dad would drink every day, and even though I saw the damage it did to them, it didn’t stop me from picking up my first beer.

By the time I had kids, I tried to quit drinking. It took multiple attempts, but I finally got sober when my children were very young. I didn’t want to subject them to what my parents subjected me to. My wife threatened to leave me, and it was the first time I ever was faced with the consequences of my actions.

The Pain Caused By Substance Abuse

I didn’t understand the level of hurt I caused my family until my wife wrote an open letter to me. She wrote it with the help of several other family members. I still keep this letter to this day, because it put everything into perspective. Despite the damage I had caused, she expressed hope that I could get better. She was afraid I would not only lose my life but also afraid I would miss out on my kids’ childhood.

This letter tugged at my emotions and finally made me realize the pain I had caused. The thing that really got me was the tone of the letter. It wasn’t accusatory or angry. It was compassionate and understanding. She told the truth. There was no exaggeration. Looking back, I am beyond grateful that she wrote it. Because it helped me so much, we decided something similar may help our daughter.

Writing A Letter to My Alcoholic Daughter Did Not Happen Overnight

Writing a letter to a child with an addiction is difficult. You have to be careful with the words you write. Every word has to have a purpose and come from the soul. It can help to draw from a journal of reflections on the topic, and use them as a foundation for the letter.

There has to be a level of respect throughout the letter that shows support rather than blame. Everyone’s letter may look a little different depending on your family’s situation. The one common theme needs to be love and understanding.

Addiction is a tough situation to deal with no matter who it is affecting. A lot of people have children who dabble with drugs and alcohol. I have yet to meet any parent who isn’t concerned about their child engaging in drug or alcohol abuse. I’ve met plenty of parents in support groups who have addicted children.

Encouraging Treatment And Recovery

Encouraging Treatment And Recovery

No matter what angle you come from, recovery is up to the individual. There is no forcing someone to get clean. All the times I went to treatment and it didn’t work was because I was trying to get clean for someone else. When I finally sought treatment for myself, it actually worked. Life started to get easier once I accepted responsibility and was actually interested in getting better.

Because of my experience at South Shores Recovery, I am full of hope. I know not everybody who uses drugs or alcohol gets clean, but I believe anybody can achieve sobriety. In the letter my wife and I wrote to my daughter, I made the promise to help her every step of the way, but ultimately the decision was up to her.

Delivering Our “Dear Daughter” Letter

When we gave our daughter the letter we prepared for her, we were scared of how she would react. There’s no way you can write a letter like that to a child and not be somewhat nervous of the reaction. We sat down with our daughter on the night that we gave her the letter, and frankly asked her what she thought.

I started the conversation by telling her we weren’t trying to blindside her or break her down. It was all coming from a place of love. At first, our daughter’s reaction was a bit hostile. We could tell that she wasn’t expecting it, but we worked through the initial annoyance that she displayed.

Talking About Addiction With Your Child

Throughout the entire conversation, we made it a point to tell her we would support her no matter what decision she made. However, she would not be allowed to live with us as long as she was drinking and not contributing to the household. Addicts are good at hiding their substance use, but if you live with a former addict like myself, it isn’t so easy.

We told her that we were not trying to control her or force her to do anything. Our letter was simply to inform her that we knew what was going on, and that we weren’t going to sit by and accept it. We were there to offer a helping hand and try to prevent her death, plain and simple.

Helping Your Child Deal With Their Addiction

Helping Child Deal With Their Addiction

Thankfully, our daughter accepted our offer to help. Since I had such a great experience with South Shores Detox and Recovery, we got her in as soon as we could. We didn’t advertise to the rest of the family what was going on. We were careful to keep it confidential. If she wanted to tell people what she was going through, that was up to her. It wasn’t our place to air out her issues to everybody else.

Walking her into treatment was an emotional experience. I knew what they had done for me, and I was hopeful they would do the same for her. She did very well after treatment, and we did everything in our power to support her once she came home.

Support Groups Go A Long Way

I have been clean for years, but I still attend support groups regularly. This helps me hold myself accountable, and keep me on the right track. I see many people who struggle, even if they’ve been sober longer than me. I struggle sometimes myself. The trick with sobriety is to gather enough tools and resources so that you don’t slip up in those weak moments.

My daughter now attends support groups, which have helped her tremendously. We talk openly about our recovery in our house. It’s a subject that we don’t try to shy away from. Just because we have both achieved sobriety doesn’t mean our battles are over. Life will challenge you no matter what your situation is. It’s vital to have a good head on your shoulders for when the going gets tough.

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Healing Across Generations with the Help of South Shores

Because of the wonderful people at South Shores, we have our daughter back and a future to look forward to. We are not naive either. We know that relapse is a possibility. I’ve been in recovery long enough to know that people make mistakes. Despite this reality, I try to do everything in my power to keep my family together and maintain my own sobriety. It’s my priority every single day.

If you and your family are going through what we went through, I know it can make you feel sick with worry, and like there is not much hope left. But getting a way forward is possible, and we are living proof. I hope you reach out to the folks at South Shores, and ask their advice. That’s how we started out, and it’s made a world of difference to our family.