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 despite 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 the 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 substance use. I know without a doubt that, 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 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 not using substances and am in recovery 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 recovered from 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 with addiction. But, I assure you, just as my father did, there is always something more that can be done to help your child.
Thank you, Dad, for everything. I hope that showing the strength and courage you displayed in the face of addiction will serve to inspire other parents in similar situations.