Confronting “The Voice of Addiction” Inside Your Head

A letter to the destructive voice of addiction. 

Posted Feb 19, 2021

Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash
Source: Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash

An essential part of recovery is recognizing and labeling the "voice of the addiction" inside your head. Though addiction can take many forms, the voice of addiction is startlingly the same. 

The following letter comprises many letters that people in recovery wrote to the addict's voice inside them. While working in group therapy, in conjunction with their 12-step work, people found that writing a letter to that voice helped them separate from it and reclaim their power.

I share this letter to encourage anyone who is trying to win the war against addiction. May this exercise help you to heal and rediscover your authentic voice again.                                                                              *

Dear Voice of Addiction Inside Me,

I’m not letting you run my life anymore. I'm fed up with your toxic delusions, the falsehoods you whisper in my ear. When you told me not to trust anyone, I believed you. When you told me to lie about my addiction, I did. Every step of the way, you fueled the destructive hunger that caused me to feel empty inside.

You convinced me I was worthless. Without my addiction, I couldn’t survive. You made me believe I was indifferent and numb, that no one could love or understand me. Without you, I was a nobody.

Today I take my power back. Today I stop listening to you, believing you, and stop doing what you say. Today, I finally recognize you as the demon that you are.

You nearly destroyed my life. You convinced me to turn away from my family, abandon good friends, and replaced them with bad ones that ushered me down the path of self-destruction. 

You stole memories, deleted years of my life, and filled them with darkness and shame. You poison everything in me that you touched. You drain the warmth from happy memories and replaced them with emptiness and a yearning for more substances that could never be quenched. 

I let you control me, and I take responsibility for that. I let you transform me into a selfish monster, a monster who hurt without feeling, lied without remorse, and turned my back on those who dared to help me.

Today, I say this to you, addict voice inside me: You won’t trick me anymore. Today I recognize that I am just a pawn in your plan to destroy another human being. I may not be able to silence you completely, but I will banish you to the sub-basement of my life where your lies and distortions are undecidable murmurs.

No matter how many times you whisper your lies in my ear, I will reject you. No matter how many times you attempt to distort my thinking, I will shut you down. No matter how many times you try to lead me back to the false identity of addiction, I will stand in your way again. 

Today, your spell is broken. Today, I reclaim my authentic voice. Today I replace your darkness with hope and surround myself with others also determined to defeat you. I embraced a new truth: I am valuable, I am good, and though I am wounded, I am not broken. 

So pack your bags, addict voice; you’re not welcome here anymore. I will fill those empty spaces you left inside me with creativity and fellowship. I will seek art, music, poetry, dance, and photography, all the creative forces that turn pain into purpose and anger into energy. 

I know it’s going to take time; it’s going to take practice. There will be dark days of struggle and despair when I feel like I’m losing. But I will rise again and point my anger, not at my loved ones, not at my family or friends, but where it belongs: I will point my anger at you and the injustices of the world. 

This is my prayer, this is my determination, and this is the destiny I chose. Goodbye, addict voice, I don't have time for you anymore.


Former Addict

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