Breaking Up with Addiction: Writing a Goodbye Letter to Addiction - Banyan Treatment Center

Breaking Up with Addiction: Writing a Goodbye Letter to Addiction


If you are struggling to articulate your feelings about the emotional roller coaster that is early recovery, a letter may be able to help.

Journaling about stressful events such as addiction has been found to have many psychological benefits such as reducing stress, managing anxiety, and decreasing depression.1 A goodbye letter to addiction is similar to journaling because you are still writing down your emotions and you will likely feel some of the same effects. Writing, in general, can be therapeutic because it not only allows you to get your emotions out but also by putting your feelings down on paper, you are able to move past them and focus on the future.

A goodbye letter to alcohol or drugs can also help you in the future. If during your recovery, you start to feel weak or as if you may relapse, this letter may act as a reminder about why you decided to get sober in the first place and help reinforce your sobriety.

How to Write a Goodbye Letter to Alcohol & Drugs

Writing a letter to your addiction may seem daunting at first. What do you even write about? Do not worry; as a drug rehab in Illinois, we are sharing a few tips on writing a goodbye letter to addiction that could not only help you in the present, but also be beneficial in the future.

Focus on the Why

Addiction recovery is a big step; when you stumble, it is tempting to just give up. When you focus on writing about why you decided to get sober, it will reinforce these reasons. You can write about how you knew you hit rock bottom and needed help. You can also write about the secondary problems that came about because of your substance abuse issues and why you want to change them.

Talk About the Benefits of Sobriety

It is easy to dwell on all of the negatives, but this shouldn’t be your only focus. Several benefits come with being sober and if you are in early recovery, you may already be experiencing some of them. In your addiction break up letter you can discuss these as well as your goals for the future now that you are sober. This can keep you motivated in your recovery as well as help you feel power over your addiction as you recognize that you have a brighter future ahead of you.


You may be talking to your future self with this letter, so providing words of encouragement can be helpful. Remind yourself that you can do this, and that drugs and alcohol do not need to control your life. These same words may stop you from relapsing later on.

Let it Out

This isn’t a letter that you are submitting for a grade in school. It is a personal goodbye letter to drugs and alcohol. Do not get too caught up on perfect grammar, structure, or organization. It is more important to make sure that you get out everything that you want to say.

Writing a breakup letter to your addiction may be an important step in the recovery process, but at Banyan Treatment Centers Heartland, we know that one letter alone won’t do it. This is why we offer several addiction therapies in Illinois that allow our patients to come to terms with their substance abuse problems in different ways and heal from these problems.





  1. University of Rochester Medical Center - Journaling for Mental Health
Alyssa who is the National Director of Digital Marketing, joined the Banyan team in 2016, bringing her five-plus years of experience. She has produced a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. Through strategic marketing campaign concepts, Alyssa has established Banyan as an industry leader and a national household name.

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