Dear Future Tricia,
I know you’re smiling as you’re reading this, knowing just how far you’ve come. I am reveling in so much gratitude as I type this to you. Unlike before, you are learning how to love your younger self and embracing every struggle as it cultivates the woman you are today. Your present existence is a compilation of every hardship, triumph, heartache, moments of bliss, and every last moment you’ve spent trying to sort through it all. You are strong, bold, resilient, compassionate, brilliant, creative, loving… you are a survivor.
By the time you’re reading this, you will have 3 years sober. You are a miracle. Thinking back on the last few years, what a story of redemption. Almost 4 years ago, you were a slave to opiates, unhealed trauma, and self-propelled misery. Remember that feeling of desperation? Hopelessness? Utter defeat? Don’t forget that feeling. In fact, as you trudge forward, hold onto those moments and embrace the humility of grace. Do not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. You are exactly where you’re supposed to be.
I can only imagine how much further you’ve grown, walking into year 30. (RIP 20’s) You have begun to master the art of vulnerability. Keep being transparent. Your heart is so full and it’s never been a weakness. Through your experiences with rejection, abandonment, abuse, and addiction… you have learned how to love others “exactly where they are.” That’s a superpower you know? Continue allowing intimacy to flow through your relationships.
Losing mom was the toughest situation we’ve encountered thus far. I hope the next year is filled with less heartache and more grace. Don’t forget that all of the pain has propelled your compassion. “Without suffering there can be no compassion.” Embrace loss, be grateful for the time you did have and spend more time with the people you love the most.
The kids are growing too fast. I can only imagine how much more has changed since I wrote you this letter. Liam is just like you – emotional, compassionate, smart, funny – be patient with him. Don’t allow the mirroring characteristics, in him, cultivate fear. Aryanna is going to give you a run for your money. I thought year 1 has been tough, I can only imagine what new adventures await you for “terrible twos”. Continue reminding the kids how proud of them you are. Tell them you love them often, you can never say it too much. PUT YOUR PHONE DOWN! After all, they are only this little once. By the time you read this, another year will have passed and time is precious. Be the parent you always needed.
Your past does not define you. In fact, I know you are still allowing your past mistakes to be a platform for glory. Stop apologizing for things that are out of your control. Your past mistakes have been atoned for, always choose grace. I am – currently – falling in love with myself every single day. I am falling in love with the thought of who you will be (while reading this) even more.
Stop whatever you’re doing right now, walk outside and remember just how blessed you are. Call your Dad. (I know he can be a pill, but he’s the last parent you’ve got left.) He loves when you call. Also remember, you are not responsible for him. You are the child, he is the parent. Get rid of your expectations of him. “Expectations are premeditated resentments.” As you know, life is too short. Your relationship with Paul has grown so much. He’s your baby brother, but you two have evolved into best friends. Don’t give up on him, and remember how fragile he is. Continue loving him right where he is.
You’ve spent your entire life trying to be the adult. In fact, you were often told to rise to the occasion. Now that your 30’s are approaching…you crave mindless fun, free-spirited joy, and junk food more than ever. Keep embracing and comforting your inner child. She has been terrified for so long. Remind her how precious she is and never let her forget “There’s a seat for you at the table.”
Life is not a short sprint, but rather a marathon. Take your time, enjoy the scenery. Most importantly, stop being so hard on yourself. See your feet? You are exactly where you’re supposed to be, exactly who you are supposed to be. Embrace adversity and revel in your growth. Never stop seeking evolution. If you’re not growing, you’re dying.
Find gratitude in the countless blood, sweat, and tears. Don’t stop sharing your story. Keep writing, and then write some more. You are gifted and the broken need to hear your redemption story. Don’t sweat the small stuff. “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Find solace in the fact that you’ve overcome all odds. Ashes for beauty, by the grace of God you were revived from the dead. You’ve spent most of your life swimming upstream and it hasn’t gone unnoticed.
Most importantly, fall in love with yourself… over and over again. You are a warrior, breaking generational chains. Have the courage to face correction with dignity and grace. Never stop walking through the things you fear the most and love unapologetically.
You’ve got this.
-Your biggest fan.
Tricia Moceo advocates long-term sobriety by writing for websites like detoxlocal.com, providing resources to recovering addicts and shedding light on the disease of addiction. Tricia is a mother of two, actively involved in her local recovery community, and is passionate about helping other women find hope in seemingly hopeless situations.