Let's talk about sobriety, being creative, and how the arms of the octopus that is life challenge us daily to become better people.


Father's Day

Father's Day is very difficult for me. My dad and I haven't spoken in almost 4 years. I have carried anger, resentment, confusion, and deep sadness with me since then.

My father is an alcoholic. He was never violent. He never yelled or harshly punished. He never stumbled around obviously drunk. He held great jobs, was popular in the community, had lots of friends, and raised money for charities. But, he withheld love and affection, guilted, shamed, humiliated, and manipulated me. I was in high school when I put the pieces together and confronted him about his alcoholism. I gave him an ultimatum: Get help or I'm gone.  When he wouldn't get help or acknowledge the pain I was in I stayed true to my threat. I had the school ban him from my graduation, from my last Choir Concert preformance, from my last Show Choir performace, and from our last competition. When he would call I would ignore it. When he wrote letters I threw them away, unopened.

When putting my own pieces together and realizing and admitting that I am an alcoholic I thought it was impossible! How could I be? That would make me just like the man I have refused to have any contact with for so long! But there was no denying it in the long run. I am absolutely alcoholic. What a blessing this has turned out to be.

Through my own alcoholism I have realized that my dad wasn't choosing booze over me. He doesn't love it more than he loves me. He is an alcoholic. He has a progressive disease that tricks him, lies to him, coaxes him deeper and deeper into the darkness. I made choices myself that made no sense all because my disease told me to. Because of this, I have forgiven him. I understand that he was only being the best father he was capable of being. He was doing the best he knew how.

Because of my alcoholism I am able to be freed from the despair I mentioned earlier. I understand. I have forgiven.

Someday I may call him and share all of this. For now I am going to give thanks for the newfound freedom I have been blessed with.  I now fully understand the saying, "GRATEFUL recovering alcoholic".