September 24, 2018

It took me a while to figure out what to post first after I came home from rehab. I finally decided on a letter I had to write as part of therapy and groups. A big focus of the rehab center I was open mic days where everyone was given an assignment and had to present it to the community. This was difficult for me at first, but progressively got easier as I went through them. But, my first one was a doozy of an assignment.


Our assignments were decided upon by us, with the guidance of the therapists and the community. We are asked what we are currently working on ourselves and then the therapists and community give their thoughts and ideas for each person. It’s no secret that my self-worth was dependent on everyone else and never came from within. I just didn’t realize it was so obvious to everyone else around me.


So what was decided upon was a love letter to myself. Nothing else was said or given about the topic I was to write about. I had to go about it how I felt fit. This was a difficult one to write since I didn’t value myself on my own merit. I had to dig really deep to get to this point, but am grateful that I was given the opportunity to really get down there and figure it out. Here is the letter.

Dear Ronnie,


This is going to be hard to believe and hard to hear, so you should probably sit down and grab some tissues.


I know it’s easy to get lost in your own head because of your mental condition, but you’re not alone. Not even close to unique in this. I know that sounds harsh, but it’s true. That’s not even the worst of it, but we’ll get to that in time.


So many people put their self-worth in others and in other circumstances. You think we would have a better system in place for people like us, but here we are. All broken, all wandering, all seeking validation.


In the 33 years I’ve known you I’ve seen you devalue yourself time and time again. If this were converted to money I’m sure you would be further in the negative than the national debt at this point.


You’ve hurt yourself so many times because of how insecure you are. You’ve done coke to feel happy, you’ve drank to feel confident, you’ve smoked weed to forget, you’ve done meth to fit in, but worst of all you lost yourself somewhere along the way.


You don’t see yourself anymore. When you look in the mirror there is a stranger staring back now. Same features, different soul.


I’ve seen you tear yourself to shreds over guys, friends, family, strangers, and even fellow addicts in rehab this week. You have given all of your power and self-worth to those around you.


So let me break this down for you; yes you have a big nose an ears, you’re skinny and not toned, you’ve got a really messed up mind, you’re an alcoholic and an addict, you’re gay, and not everyone likes you or will be accepting of you or kind to you. GET OVER IT!


You are beautifully broken The best ones are. You’ve been giving yourself away for 33 years and every piece you I’ve away breaks my heart a little more.




You matter and need to see that. Other people have their own ideas of how others should be and it is usually borne out of some insecurity of theirs. They are beautifully broken too.


But it’s time you start seeing yourself again. Seeing yourself as the guy who has helped countless people with their dogs, mentored many youth to help prevent them from entering a life of addiction, made your mom proud by following your passion instead of predetermined paths that may have led to a life more unhappy than this one recently, and so much more.


It’s time to start seeing the light you bring to the world and realize everyone else has bad days and puts expectations on things. But that’s not a reflection on you. Drop that thought of what you think others see in you and look at YOU in that mirror again.


You matter to me and I love you! Our life depends on it. WE ARE WORTHY OF OUR OWN LOVE! WE ARE WORTHY OF APPRECIATING OURSELF!



This project allowed me to figure out who I was and how I viewed myself. It was real and raw. As I presented it I broke down at several points in front of the community. At first I was embarrassed that I was up there on stage crying, but the feedback from the community was nothing short of amazing. People related to me, but more than that they saw how I viewed myself and vowed to support me in any way I needed.


The subsequent days and weeks after I wrote this letter I had to put my words to action. Today I have a better understanding of who I am and work daily to make sure I come first and it’s my opinion of myself that matters most, not what others may or may not think of me. Most of all though, I see myself in that mirror again. The real, authentic, valuable me.