Six Years Sober

Reminiscing on a dark time in my greenest years…

After a long summers day of play, my mother, my best friend and I pull up to our house and see my father's truck parked in the driveway. I immediately perk up because I knew this meant my dad got his job back. Oh boy I was happy! It meant that he had cleaned up, gotten sober and finally did what mom so badly needed him to do. We all rushed in with excitement to hear the good news. There he sat on the couch with a tender grin on his face, wearing his red company hat, his feet next to a tall glass of water.  I run up to him and embrace him tightly, holding back tears of joy....that's when I could smell it. I thought it had to have been my imagination, that I had been so used to smelling the sour smell of alcohol on his breath that it was just my mind still adjusting. I believed that, because I had to. The lie I was telling myself was short lived because the next one to embrace my dad was my mother and she was not so easily fooled. Before she could react, my father tells her that he was so glad he got his job back that he thought he'd grab a quick beer on the way home. The tears of joy that had welled up turned into bitter tears of sadness, as my mom grew red and as my best friend began to shake. Then, chaos ripped through our house like a hurricane, the yelling and verbal abuse from both sides tearing through our souls...leaving us all in pieces. After about ten minutes of complete disorder my mother grabs me and my best friend, takes us out by the car - tells us to wait there. She runs over to his truck to check for booze, something I have seen her do many times, but this time I wanted to see for myself. She opens the door to the truck and like a dam had broken loose, beer cans spew out. Dozens of cans, the spillover seemed to never stop. Thoughts in my head like the copious amount of cans, out of control and disorderly. 'How could he drink all that by himself?' 'How could he even sit down in his truck?' 'Is this even real?' I remember hoping the neighbors don't hear the clanging. Wondering if my best friend was judging me. Wondering if my dad loved alcohol, or us more. It felt like my heart stopped beating, and my thoughts took over instead. 

Today is June 17th, 2015 - the mark of my father's 6th year of sobriety. You see, that day was a catalyst to better days, although some bitter. 5 rehabs down the road, my father had finally began the process to heal. Even my mother ended up slipping into addiction herself. Watching my mother fall into the trenches of addiction and seeing my dad climb out, I have lived and I have learned. I have learned who I want to be, how I want to love and most importantly how I want to love those who so desperately need it. Sorting out the sickness of co-dependency from the divinity of unconditional love has been a challenge but I am glad to say it is this journey that has made my spirit strong. I have learned how to have healthy, beautiful relationships with those I love with an open heart and respect.

This adventure I call life has led me to such sobering and bright horizons. So, happy anniversary to one of my closest friends, my father. Happy anniversary to my incredible partner and happy birth to new and beautiful movements in our life.