Certified National Drug & Alcohol Interventionists

A Letter to Our Addictions | Therapeutic Journaling

Many treatment facilities have clients write a “Dear John” letter to their DOC (drug of choice). A counselor will use this tactic of theraputic journaling in order for the addict to direct their anger at the real culprit, the drugs. Like relationships, many addicts have a love-hate relationship with their drugs. Moments of clarity will come about & the mind races on with the shame & control their addiction holds over them, They realize it is a miserable existence but the pull is so strong that they retreat to using to cover up those feelings & thoughts. Most addicts stay high 24/7 in order to keep the thoughts of remorse & guilt at bay. When they aren’t using they occupy their minds by thinking of ways & means to get more. These are the times that can be the most dangerous for an addict. Depending on what phase of addiction they are in they will do almost anything to get the drugs that literally controls their minds. That’s why an exercise such as this can be a freeing experience for an addict. And sometimes they realize some resentments & guilt they were harboring should’ve been aimed at the addiction itself.

I’m including an excerpt from an addict’s “Dear John” letter.  I’m fortunate  to share this with you…….because the letter is mine.

Dear Junk,

We’ve been together a long, long time. It started out casual & fun. Nothing serious. I thought I’d move on after high school or college….that maybe we’d even stay casual friends. BUT you led me on…showing me the fun, spontaneous side….showing the euphoria you could bring….Like many relationships everything changed, you even let my boyfriend throw me out in the rain (he was with you too & you wouldn’t let go) I was denying all you were doing: the weight loss, missing school, my disappearances, & lying. I was compromising all my standards. The euphoria you gave, it never would last & you never said what I’d do for it to last….I lost my child & my friends. My mom was the only 1 who fought, but you said she’d never understand so I couldn’t get caught…I was different before you came. I laughed & loved & cared about others. But I had to isolate so know one would see us & I now I had to have you just to feel right. I was sick of your control but too tired to fight. You had me roaming the streets, hardly having a thing to eat…..sometimes scared to sleep. You reminded daily of the shame I carried, so many times I thought it would be best if I was buried. I lost respect for myself & couldn’t look in the mirror. The devastation you’ve created can NEVER be forgiven…

I cringe to think of you now…waiting on your next victim. What ruse will you use to reel in this one?

BUT you didn’t kill me, as hard as you tried. God intervened, I faced my family & I survived. I’ve been given the strength & willingness I needed to tell you all I’ve been thinking…First get out of my life, STAY OUT OF MY MIND! You’re not welcome anymore…I’m learning about your kind! God saw it fit for me survive this addiction and NOW I KNOW I HAVE PURPOSE & MEANING!

Goodbye Forever,


Those were the main parts, I edited very little. This was written about 7 years ago & I still get a freeing feeling just from typing it out again & I actually wasn’t intending on it rhyming like that…but I remember it poured out. There’s no format for something like this. It may be theraputic for many of you to write letters to a loved ones addiction or anything you’re struggling with. If anyone feels like sharing their own letter or  sending us a letter for feedback please submit a reply. Let me know if you want it published on our blog or want it kept private.

If you have any other comments, questions, or concerns submit them here or call us…night or day! And always remember to take care of you!


Kelli Athas

8 Responses to “A Letter to Our Addictions | Therapeutic Journaling”

  1. Michelle (Martin) Wright Says:

    Wow, that was so inspiring. So many can learn so much from you Kelli. Keep up the great work. God bless you.

  2. Cindy the GODpillow Lady Says:

    Thank you for asking my input on your “Dear Junk” letter…how honest, direct and sober of you. How can anyone judge such “heart”. Can we ever be “too honest” with ourselves? I certainly haven’t found that to be true…for self betrayal is the war within all of us. But to stand up & honor ourselves is the gift recovery gives us. And in turn we give it away…just by sharing. So I thank you, and am glad we are new friends.

    Great page…now I have to start on mine

  3. Monika Says:

    Thanks for sharing that Kelli. It is so true that writing things down can do so much to help in the healing and separation process from drug addiction. I’ve recently begun to write down several things from my past. I started doing this after attending a creative arts teaching series at my church and realizing that writing was one of my creative gifts. God was leading me toward getting it all out of my system, and in the meantime it helps others to see the evil lurking out there to draw in anyone who will partake. “Just taste the apple Eve, certainly you won’t really die…” Satan’s message and tactics never change much I’m afraid, just different flavors for different folks.

    Thanks again,


  4. Admin Says:

    Thank you all so much for sharing your comments & showing your support. Keeping a journal helps us really see our thoughts. And this particular form of writing helps direct our frustration & anger instead of displacing that toward someone else.

    Sincerest Regards,
    Kelli Athas

  5. Heather B. Says:

    Dear Kelli,

    I loved your “Dear Junk” letter. Our families have known each other for many years, and you have helped so many of them with cheer as well as other things. I can honestly say, that you have helped me figure out the real me, see my faults, open my heart, and to be honest with the people that I love with all of my heart and soul. I’d like to send you my “Dear John” letter and let you decide if you want to make it public or not :-)

    Where do I send it? Talk to you soon.



  6. Admin Says:


    I’m so touched & I’d love to publish your letter. You can submit it here & then I’ll also put in on our Facebook pg. along with other support pgs such as The Addicts Mom…if that’s ok with you. You can also email me at kr_peek@yahoo.com

    Thank you for your support & honesty!

    Sincerest Regards,
    Kelli Athas

  7. Richard Says:

    Kelli, what a marvelous idea. The definite action of telling your devil where to go is so positive.This is the first time that I have heard of this idea and will pass it onto my friends.

  8. Shri Says:

    Very direct and piercing.This is the way it should be tackled by one’s innerself.

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