Day 91 – Goodbye Letter to Crystal Meth

I was going through my notebook from treatment and came across a good-bye letter I wrote to my drug of choice, crystal meth. It was an exercise during inpatient they had us do as we left inpatient to whatever next phase of treatment we were heading. It was a way to bring closure to the ending relationship with our “best friend.” We read these out loud to our group.  Since I came across it, I thought I’d share it here.

Dear Crystal

I never felt like I fit in – I was always sitting on the outside of life looking in.  I’ve moved every 3 years for the past 18 years and until recently (2009) I’ve never lived anywhere longer than 4 years since I was 10 years old. So, I hardly had close friends, let alone a best friend.

Then, I was introduced to you nine years ago.  You’ve taken many shapes and sizes through the years depending on what was available — ecstasy, GHB, pot, “special K,” cocaine and finally crystal meth. Through all the moves, ups and downs and relationships, you stuck with me. Of all my friends, you’re the one who always reached out to me – called me – called me back – never let me go too long before you checked in on me. I needed and craved the attention.  Thank you.

You helped me to fit in. I got to hang with fun people and dance and party to make up for my lost days at college. I had sex with guys would have never given me the time of day were it not for the crystal or coke I brought to the table. You even helped me stay in a loving relationship for seven years. In the end, faced with a choice between my best friend of nine years and the man who shared my life for seven years through all sorts of crap, I chose my DOC – crystal meth. Although it ultimately was the best choice for us both, it’s been a painful loss. But as painful as our breakup was, I saw it as an opportunity to get more deeply involved with you, crystal meth. A couple times a week turned into several times a day. I turned down family vacations to be with you. I have yet to meet my new niece born in July 2009 because I didn’t want to leave you. I missed my grandmother’s 96th and 97th birthdays because I wasn’t sure I could find you out East. With all of the phone calls I didn’t take or voicemails I erased without listening, I could have lost my grandmother…and missed her funeral…because of you. In my final moments of despair, I would have even taken the life of my dogs as well as my own because of you.

That is my friend.
That is my best friend.

That’s bullshit.

What do they say — with friends like you, who needs enemies.

Crystal Meth, I’m ending this friendship.  Instead, I choose my two nieces and two nephews.

Crystal Meth, to you I say good-bye and reacquaint myself with my family, including my 97 year old grandmother who is still alive and well.

Crystal Meth, I’m tired of wasting time with you, and instead will return to my hobbies of model trains, gardening, cooking and photography.

Crystal Meth, I’m no longer confining myself to Greenfield, isolated and alone with you, a butane torch and a pipe. Instead I’m going to once again pursue my love of travel and visit other parts of the US and the world.

Crystal Meth, I’m replacing you with my new thirteen best friends…the twelve steps of my program and my Higher Power. I’m reconnecting with my other friends who have stood by me and always been there even when I abandoned them.

Goodbye crystal meth.
Goodbye addiction.
Hello Recovery.


January 4, 2010

As an engineer, along with my letter, I came up with my personal formula for Recovery (of course).  I shared it with the group that last day of inpatient:

CT / [f(a) -1] x fb + [t + 15] x r = CT’     where a={c,cm,x,k,420,g}

CT (me) was divided by the function of addiction f(a)^ less One, his Higher Powermultiply that by Fairbanks and add/allow for [time to heal + 15 friends*] multiplied by Recovery and the outcome is equal to a renewed CT in his prime

^where a is a function {cocaine, crystal meth, ecstasy, special K, pot and GHB}

*15 new friends as my Higher Power is the Christian Trinity –> Father, Son and Holy Spirit…so the twelve steps of my program plus 3 😉

Day 85 – Naming, blessing and embracing my talents

I was meeting with a friend yesterday and he introduced me to a small group of men doing some amazing work with youth and community ( In introducing me, he named what he saw as my gifts. He mentioned that I was creative and a connector. For many years, I’ve balked at being called creative. I don’t see myself as such. But, now, in a more humble manner of listening and removing my own ego…I’m able to hear more what others see in me. And, I’m more open to embracing those talents, those gifts — naming and blessing and celebrating them.

Along those lines, I was recently reconnected with a man who had a great influence on my life as an elementary school teacher. As a young boy of 10 years old moving from Louisiana to Canada, I remember facing the teasing from my peers, having a funny accent. 😉 I was also young and short for my age. Skipped a grade while in Canada made that “difference” even more pronounced. There were two men – Mr. Rogers and Mr. Heady – who went out of their way to make me feel welcome. They “took me under their wings” and broke down the barriers my accent created, and helped me connect with the students. I have ALWAYS shared fondly of my time in Sarnia and spoken of these two men. Well, recently, a friend from Sarnia connected with me on Facebook and told me that Mr. Rogers was looking to reconnect with students. What a great blessing! And as we started to reconnected, Mr. Rogers wrote back, “Remember you as one of those students who brought the fire for learning to class every day.”

So completing that spirit of naming by gifts — some of them I see more fully today are…curious; connector; creative; fire for learning.