Thanks For Never Giving Up On My Struggle With Addiction, Dad.

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Dear Dad,

Ever since I can remember, you’ve been my hero. From carrying me to the hospital after I fell and cracked my head in New York City while eating ice cream, to lending me your shoulder to cry on when I broke up with my college sweetheart, you’ve been by my side through it all.

Most of all, you never gave up on me during my battle with drug addiction. I know this was no small feat for you, but you persevered where others would have easily given up. Despite all the times I said I hated you and all the doors I slammed in your face when I was at my worst, never once did you turn your back on me and leave. In fact, you always went the extra mile to ensure that I was safe, even if at the time I didn’t realize it was for my best.

From taking me to countless doctors’ appointments, refusing to let me go out with friends, grounding me for stealing alcohol from our house, to even calling the police to get me out of a dangerous situation with bad people. You have bent over backwards throughout my struggle with addiction and have always refused to let me fall deeper into the grips of my addiction. I know without a doubt, without you in my life I would have surely reached the point of no return with my disease.

My path of destruction with addiction came to a halt and I was able to receive the professional care all because of you. You never gave up on me and that gave me the ability to enter long-term treatment. Despite my kicking, crying and screaming, you always remained patient and empathetic to what I was going through. Today, I am clean and sober mainly because you stayed determined to get me help.

Recovery is no easy path and I have character flaws that I’m still working on. We both know that it hasn’t always been smooth sailing since I have ended my addiction and there are days where I admittedly lose sight of your compassion and generosity. So this Father’s Day, I want to recognize you and the amazing fact that you do so much for me because you love me. I know that all you have ever wanted was for me to be happy and healthy.

I may not say it enough, but I am truly grateful for all that you have done and continue to do for me, day in and day out. I would not be alive and well today if it weren’t for you. It is an honor to be able to call you my dad.

My advice for other fathers out there (and to parents in general) is to never, ever give up on your child with a drug or alcohol problem. You may likely come to a point where you have lost hope and feel as though there is nothing more you can possibly do for your child’s addiction. But I assure you, just as my father did, there is always something more that can be done to help your child.

One great place to start is the Partnership for Drug Free Kids’ helpline at 1-855-DRUGFREE (1-855-378-4373). Their trained specialists will listen to you and inform you of different resources available to help.

Thank you Dad, for everything. I hope that showing the strength and courage you displayed in the face of my addiction will serve to inspire other parents in similar situations.

Recovery 101

Recovery occurs over time — it is not a single moment in time. It is a constantly evolving period that requires work to maintain.

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    June 17, 2015 at 10:46 PM

    The best thing to do to stop an addiction is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Instead of teaching children that “Drugs and alcohol will make you do things you’ll regret” you should teach your child: “You are responsible for your behavior whether sober, drunk or high.” It takes a long time and a lot of effort to develop a drug addiction, often including consistent patterns of lying and stealing and if the child knows that these things are wrong then they won’t do them in the first place. And this will prevent the child from getting caught in the ‘grips of addiction’ which as we all know is a disease that causes more lying and stealing and slamming doors in faces. Of course, if the child knows that lying and stealing is wrong but does them any way then this is what’s known in the business as the ‘devil made me do it’ excuse. Which you can accept if you want, it’s the prerogative of the parent.

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    June 17, 2015 at 5:38 PM

    I needed to read this Sofia, at this moment! You helped remind me to stay strong, have faith, and never give up on my precious daughter! Thank you so much!

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    Pat – Psychotherapist & Partnership Parent Coach

    June 17, 2015 at 3:31 PM

    What a beautiful tribute to your dad, Sofia. He’s as lucky to have you in his life as you are to have him!

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    June 17, 2015 at 1:51 PM

    Thank you so much for your kind words, Pat! It really means a lot. And congrats to your son on his recovery!

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    June 17, 2015 at 1:02 PM

    What a beautiful homage to your father Sofia. I agree with never giving up, as I did with my own son… I always had hope and faith to carry me through HIS addiction, and perseverance paid off as my son is in his 6th year of recovery.
    I wish you much success in your future Sofia…you are a special young woman!

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