To younger self




Dear child,

I know you are in pain. I can hear your silent crys, the unanswered desperate wishes.
If they could stop would it all be different.
Would they be happy if someone took away the alcohol.
The demons could then not be drowned away only to return again, they could be fought.
I know you believe you are responsible for everything.
That this is your problem to solve, that you have to help your mum/dad..
This isn’t a responsibility that should have ever been put on your shoulders.
You are not to blame.
You aren’t the cause.
And to be honest you can’t be the change.
With the demon that is addiction, love and family sometimes isn’t enough.
This isn’t a reflection on you, it doesn’t mean you have failed or weren’t good enough.
You were the child.
I am sorry you felt unloved.

  • listener

    Hello tm19x

    What you have written has been lovely to read. I am sorry to hear the pain that you had to go through as a child. I was wondering how you felt as you were writing these words to your younger self?

    I am happy to hear that you know that you are not to blame, and are not the cause, and that you can tell your younger self that. Sometimes addiction can take over a person's life, and that definitely is not a reflection on you. These words can help other individuals who are going through something similar so I am so grateful that you shared this.

    Kind regards,


    • tm19x

      Thanks you :)
      I've been thinking about it alot recently and talked about it in counselling sessions.
      I think it's important to look back and acknowledge that experience and how I coped with it as a child.
      It can help in learning how to understand yourself as an adult. It may not define you but it does have an impact. I never understood why I was hypervigilant or anxious around people but I know it can all come from these experiences and that I need to reflect on it sometimes.
      I think children of alcoholics go through so much alot of the time by themselves and they shouldn't have to be so alone.
      That's what I would say to my younger self I'm sorry that you had to be alone with the pain.

  • listener

    Hi there,

    I totally agree with you - it's so important to understand why you feel and behave the way you do. Understanding the ways your childhood affected you comes after a lot of reflection and can be the starting point towards feeling better.

    It's very common for children of alcoholics to feel they have to hide what they're going through and that means a lot are very isolated. Your message to your younger self is one that will translate to others, who might feel less alone reading it.

    Thank you again and I hope you're able to continue posting if / when you'd like to externalise some more of your thoughts.

    Take good care,

  • sk

    I just wanted to say thank you for sharing these words and your letter. It is really powerful, and I found it very moving.
    I find it hard to give myself this compassion, forgiveness, and understanding. It gets easier the more I do it, but sometimes it is hard. Your letter is lovely and despite having some hard truths is very comforting for me to read.
    I'm so pleased to hear you're finding counselling helpful. I also find talking therapies very helpful in giving me space to talk to my younger self, to give them something now which they couldn't receive back then. And this lesson of learning what I need, both now and as my younger self, is very empowering to help me build a more fulfilled life now.
    Thanks again for sharing,

  • pixel28

    Thank you for sharing these words and your story; and sometimes it can be easy to forget that we were children going through hardships, with so much on our shoulders, so much responsibility. Words like these can be powerful reminders of what we often go through as COAs

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