There’s a saying that goes something like “we hurt the ones we love the most.”
When my daughter was little, I would show up to the house after work and she would come running to me with open arms and that big beautiful smile.
By that point in the afternoon, I had sobered up and got some food in my stomach. My appearance (at least in my mind) and overall look was somewhat normal.
That was the time of day where the day’s work was over and I was supposed to take on my evening responsibilities of being a father.
Instead, I would take a shower, shove some food down my face and get ready to go waste the entire night drinking beer and doing whatever drugs I happened to have at the time. Sometimes I would go with a friend who was in the same situation, but I was usually alone. Just me and my thoughts and plenty of substances to take my mind off the fact that I hated who I was. I hated the direction my life was going. I hated the decisions that I was making and I hated the fact that I couldn’t stop doing these things. I couldn’t stop drinking and I couldn’t say no to any drug that was put in front of me.
My young daughter was the only thing I resisted easily.
She hung beside me the whole time I was home. She sat beside me and told me all about her day while trying to get me to play alongside her.
I didn’t care about any of that. I only wanted to leave so that I could alter my mind and ignore the emotions in my head that I didn’t know how to handle.
She would hang onto my leg before I walked out the door and say “Daddy don’t leave. I want you to stay here with me.”
As cute as I remember her being… moments that are forever etched in my memory… it didn’t matter.
Just like always, I looked her directly in the eyes and lied to that beautiful girl.
With a heart full of guilt, shame and remorse, I said, “Don’t worry I’ll be right back.”
I never came right back.
The horrible feeling that went through me as I walked out the door wasn’t enough of an awareness that I had to find a solution to my problem. My tears matched her cries as the distance between us grew each day.
No little girl deserves to be ditched by her father because he would rather go waste his life away with booze and drugs.
But I didn’t have a choice. Alcoholism and drug addiction had a grip on my life that would not release. The obsession was too strong and the cravings never stopped.
My first drunk was at the age of 17 and my last drunk was at 38. Drugs were introduced at the age of 18 and they fit into my lifestyle like a match made in heaven. Except it wasn’t heaven. It felt like an amazing utopia for a while but then it abruptly ended. There were very few sober periods during those 21 years.
Then a miracle happened.
I was broken.
The love of my life that for some reason married me five years earlier had had enough. She was ready to be done with me and my addictions.
I sought help as the only way to keep her from walking out of my life.
I found the help I needed and you can too.
But you can’t do it for anyone but yourself. I found that out the hard way.
It’s incredibly simple but incredibly difficult at the same time.
If you want sobriety and this story relates to you, then send me a message and let’s talk about it.
Just don’t wait, desperation is a gift and it’s a gift that might expire someday.