The other day I stumbled across the coolest corner of the internet.
A little website called FutureMe.org.
The idea is that you can write yourself a letter, that will be emailed to you on a date of your choice, anytime in the future. And because of human nature, chances are I’ll forget I’ve done this days or months from now.
On February 9, 2019, when the letter I wrote today to my Future Self pops into my inbox, I’m hoping I can read it with sober eyes, not hungover, and not swimming with rogue regrets.
What I wrote was two-fold.
First, I explained how good I’m feeling today. How much happier I am sober. How the quality of my life – in every aspect – is better right now, on only Day 6 of being alcohol-free. I painted a picture of my life with and without alcohol, to remind myself clearly of how good clarity feels.
Then, in the event this plan goes awry and I stumble, reading that letter through wine-coloured-glasses…a gentle nudge to try again. To never stop starting. All of this falls into what I talked about yesterday – anticipating failure and how it ties into a fear of being happy.
Because really, I should just be envisioning myself 1 year from today sober and thriving.
Not sending letters of encouragement to Future Me saying “try, try again”.
It’s not the future I’m afraid of. It’s repeating the past that makes me anxious.
I may do a few more letters to Future Me this morning. Maybe one to arrive a month from now, when I will have 36 Days sober under my belt, then again in 3 months, and 6, and so on.
Like a parole officer, making me accountable for my sobriety.
And the only person I’m accountable to is me. My sobriety hinges entirely on my choices, and my choices alone. So why shouldn’t I be the one making myself check myself?
Probably because I didn’t a very good job of it in the past.
Which is why I’m relying on Future Me, the only witness I have at this moment of how I feel within and without, to be waiting for me down the road like an old friend. And he’ll remind me of that time things were so good, and terrifying, and how we were so proud of ourself and how we never felt better.
It’s an easy feeling to take for granted.
I think any of us with an alcohol use disorder can identify with taking things (so many things) for granted. I’ve reached a point in this journey where I am pulling out any and every stop possible to ensure my success. And if that means writing 500 letters to Future Me, so be it.
My morning routine this past week takes up at least 3 hours every day. From my readings by the remarkable Annie Grace (saving my life!) to her inspirational and insightful videos, to my personal journal then onto these daily blog posts – it’s a fair trade for the 12 hours I used to spend wasted and wasteful every day.
It’s time to invest in myself again, no matter what the cost.
I have a feeling Future Me will thank us.