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Step Nine

Making Amends

By Luke FosterPublished 2 years ago 3 min read
Step Nine
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

My grandfather lied to my grandmother, I guess it runs in the family. I'm sure that Dad lied to Mum. Maybe I've been lying to everyone. That's the point of this letter, to stop lying to myself. After all, if you can't be honest with yourself, how can you expect to do it with anyone else?

So I'm opening up to you, me.

Me? Self? Alex?

I'm going to go with Alex. Although this letter is just for me, I'm trying to write it as if I'm writing to a friend. And we were friends, weren't we? Once upon a time?

We probably aren't anymore, and that's my fault. So I'll start with my apology. I'm really sorry, Alex. I'm sorry that this self destructive path I've taken has led to the point where I hate myself.

Wow, it feels good to finally say that out loud, even if only to myself. And written down. Phew!

What? You want more?

Some insight into a damaged psyche, and some whining about a sad story that's actually no worse than anyone elses?

Yeah, you're right.

Sorry, I'm still new at this.

OK. Here goes nothing.

My grandparents separated in the sixties, at a time when divorce was practically unheard of. Nowadays, their relationship would likely be described as toxic, but that wasn't really a thing back then. Whatever, it was a mess, but it made my dad. I never saw much of my grandad, I got the feeling that Dad didn't like him much.

It's weird how my dad can be raised by a complete tool and turn out as a decent member of society. I was raised in a loving home by two wonderful caring parents, and I'm about as big a screw up as you can find.

I don't know why I'm telling you this, you know everything I know. But I've got to admit all this messed up stuff to myself apparently, or that's what I've been told. But man, it suucckks.

I don't remember the first time I drank, I guess it was pretty unremarkable, I certainly never would have guessed that it would be the first stop on the life wrecking train that I've been on for the last 30 years or so. I can't even remember when it was that drinking stopped being about fun, and it certainly isn't fun anymore.

I guess you never really think of addiction as something that would ever happen to you, it sneaks up on you until one day it catches you unaware and smacks you in the face. I don't know if our life could have turned out differently if I had better self control, but it's no good wishing to change the past.

Could have done with not getting arrested so much. Ha, do you remember the booking sergeant from the Leeds city station? Always up for a chat, in the morning, after we'd sobered up. And to be honest, the cells were usually more comfortable than wherever we'd fallen that night.

This just wasn't working. I was hurting our family, our friends. Mum and Dad had tried to get us help on a dozen occasions, but they didn't really understand. It wasn't something that made sense to them. But I just couldn't do it anymore. I'm 40 years old, I'm a complete physical wreck, and I've haven't had a job for more than a couple of months at any point in my life.

So I found a.. a program, I guess. About a month ago, I went to a community group and met some people, they took me in and I'm trying to get help. It's been so damn hard. But I'm getting better every day. They are helping me find somewhere stable to live, and even helping me find work.

This program comes in steps. I'm missing several steps out here but step nine is making amends to the people that you have hurt. I've got a list as long as my arm but I've got to start with me. I'm sorry, Alex. I've poured our life down the toilet, but I'm trying like crazy to get it back.

And I will.

Love ya pal.

Short Story

About the Creator

Luke Foster

Father. New husband. Wannabe writer.

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  3. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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Comments (7)

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  • Dawn Salois2 years ago

    Great story! Very well-written and engaging.

  • Cathy holmes2 years ago

    Chills. Incredible well written, and this Alex guy should be proud of himself.

  • KJ Aartila2 years ago

    I love this message about being candidly honest with one's self before you can actually heal. 💕

  • Great story and thank you for sharing it with us

  • John Eva2 years ago

    I can get behind storytelling like this!

  • Lightning Bolt2 years ago


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