Magazine

Published December 2014.

A Letter Every Week

A writing assignment from her sponsor healed years and years of anger

My dad and I have always had a fairly emotionless relationship. Before I got sober, I couldn’t really express anything other than silent anger toward him for not being the dad that I wanted him to be. In return, he was void of emotion because of his own relationship with alcohol. When I got sober, he of course wound up on my Eighth Step list, but it wasn’t until I was nearly six years sober that I actually did something about the amends.

When my sponsor, Kathy, and I were going through my list, we came to my dad. I can count on one hand the number of times that my father has picked up the phone and called me during my nearly 30 years of existence—and that’s only part of what makes me mad. So she gave me this instruction: “I want you to write your dad a letter every week and let him know how you’re doing.” I immediately thought that was the dumbest thing I’d ever heard, but I didn’t tell her that. “Does it have to be long?” I asked. “No,” she said. “Just write to him about what’s going on in your life.”

-- Robyn W.

Cincinnati, Ohio

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