I have experienced enough loved ones being taken under addiction to know how hard of a toll it takes on them and everyone around them. But I also know that it’s fightable.
My father was the worst of them all. He loved drinking. Even so, I didn’t notice. I didn’t notice that every day he would drink a 12 pack; I figured it was just some here and there. I didn’t notice that he was passed out by 8 o’clock every night due to this; I figured it was because he got up early and worked hard. I didn’t see anything wrong. Maybe it was because I was younger and naïve, but he was my father and I loved him, so I thought maybe this is how life was.
I didn’t really understand much of any of his problem; my father was a great father. He gave my family everything we needed, he cooked us dinner, took care of us. I didn’t know he was battling addiction on the side. It was all hidden from me, until my father got a DUI, when everything began downhill. He started AA, but it didn’t work. My mother threatened to put him in him in outpatient program, but he refused. It seemed like nothing would work – until my mother kicked him out of our house one fall.
A few months later, he realized what he had done. He had lost his family, and he had lost all that he had, all because of one substance. So he finally decided to get help, and he worked through it. It was a long and tiring process on him, but he did anything needed to prevent going back. And he regained his life and family.
Alcoholism is very fightable, but so is drug addiction. One of my best friends turned into a huge drug addict and got arrested with enough marijuana to be considered a felony. But he didn’t realize how life threatening this was on his own, or in time. He got in trouble, again. Two felonies – with one more, he would be put in jail for life.
The fear of being put in jail for life was now a huge aspect of his life. And this is what it took for him to realize how fast he was spinning out of control. It wasn’t easy – he had to lose all of his friends, move back home after living on his own for a while, and regain the trust of everyone he knew. But he did it, and put his life back in place.
It’s not always easy for everyone, and not everyone believes it is possible, but I strongly believe that it is. Seeing these two people I love conquer such an overwhelming thing has let me know that even getting back your life even after throwing it away is, indeed, possible.
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