Today, I wrestled with the idea of writing another post about my dad because truthfully there are only so many posts that you want to write about something deep and personal to you before people start to think that you’re doing it for attention or that you need a therapist… lol. But then again, I realized that there are so many people out there who are struggling with this. And quite frankly, nobody talks about it. So here I am yet again posting something about my father. Not to vent, but just to be open about something that has caused a lot of pain in my life and something that I know causes a lot of pain in other people’s lives as well. And truthfully, I believe that we all go through things for specific purposes, one of which is so that we can help those who are going through the same things that we went through. So, to be honest, I highly doubt this will be the last time I talk about this because I highly doubt that people will stop struggling with this.
Anyways, three years ago, today, I came home from one of my basketball games to find out that my father had passed away. Throughout my life, my father struggled with addiction and there were many different feelings that I had towards him and his struggles. I didn’t understand what my dad was going through while he was dealing with his addiction, and I still don’t to an extent, but for a big chunk of my life, I was quite mad with him. If anyone knows the song by NF called “How Could You Leave Us” those lyrics pretty much sum up how I felt. Obviously, I loved my dad, I just didn’t understand. So, flash forward to when I heard the news about my father’s passing, many emotions rushed through me all at once. I was angry, I was upset, and I was hurt. Three years later, there is still an array of emotions that surround the death of my dad, but many of which are new. Maybe this has to do with the different stages of grieving that people go through, or maybe it has to do with time and age, or maybe a little bit of both. I don’t really know. But today, more than ever, I want to celebrate my dad for who he was as a person outside of his addiction. Because yes, those who struggle with addiction are not just addicts, they are people (not going to lie, I have struggled with this concept). So today I am celebrating my dad’s life by doing some things that he enjoyed. I’m golfing, I’m listening to country music, I’m eating some Mexican food, and I’m going to laugh and love more. Yes, today is still sad and it probably always will be, but I do think it is important to celebrate our loved ones who have passed.
I also went to church this morning and prayed. It’s so clear that our world is broken and that our society needs to change, especially regarding how we handle addiction. So today, as I sat in church, I prayed for those who are battling addiction, those who are affected by addiction, and those who have lost loved ones to addiction.
To end this post, I am going to be adding some ideas from a book I read last summer called “The Road to Daybreak”, by Henri Nouwen. Earlier I mentioned that I feel as though we all go through things in order to help those who are experiencing the same pains. Well in “The Road to Daybreak,” Nouwen states, “I became overwhelmed by the sense of isolation we human beings can feel. While our sufferings are so similar and our struggles so much a part of our shared humanity, we often live as if we are the only ones who experience the pain that paralyzes us…. Why do we keep hiding our deepest feelings from each other? We suffer much, but we also have great gifts of healing for each other. The mystery is that by hiding our pain we also hide our ability to heal” (214). These words and sentences that Nouwen wrote really resonated with me and maybe it does for you too. We all go through pains and struggles so why not help each other? I hope this post helped you in some way or another :)
Also, please don’t be afraid to reach out to me if you ever need anything.