Thank You and Goodbye Letter

Posted on November 10, 2013, in Grief and Trauma

Write a letter to something painful in your life and acknowledge it as a “teacher.” Thank this teacher, acknowledge what it has taught you and say goodbye to it. This exercise helps us examine our ambivalence toward the issue. Pay close attention to your feelings as you do this exercise. What does it bring up for you?

An example of this letter could be:

Dear Alcohol:

Thanks for being in my life. You and I have had some pretty fun times together and you have given me courage to say things I couldn’t have done on my own. However, now you and I need to part because I get in trouble, whenever I hang out with you too long. I’ve got to stand up for myself and speak up without you. Thanks for the good times. I am leaving the rest behind; Goodbye.

The Army of Emotions

  • Write a list of all the emotions you are experiencing right now. Make another list of all the emotions you wish you could experience.
  • Give these emotions a Military Rank and create an “army of your emotions?
  • Now write down: What leads this army?
  • Are there any emotions that need reassigning of duties? Which emotions need to go on active duty and which ones can be sent to a desk job? Are any emotions asking for retirement? Anyone wounded and has to recover?
  • Which emotion is the new guy?
  • Write a letter of recommendation to the last emotion on your list.

One vet wrote “I needed to retire regret, he is in the past! The wounded emotion I want to recover is sadness to joy; and the “new guy” is hope. I wrote a Recommendation for Hope: “Hope needs to be the head of this project called Marriage Recovery. I believe we can make it if I tell her more about what happened while I was gone. “Hope” also will get me off my ass and listen more to what my wife wants to say, instead of thinking I’m the only one who is hurting.”

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