Yesterday I posted this status update on my Facebook page:
"My blog went over 49,000 views today. And @bettyfordcenter is now following me on Twitter. Crazy."
Several friends commented on my post. Some offered their congratulations. A couple even suggested that I should write a book.
Ha! Although I was very flattered, I doubt I will ever write a book about my experiences as the father of an addict. But I will admit that the thought has crossed my mind on more than one occasion.
You see, in addition to this blog I have a personal journal that preceded my electronic postings. That journal is more than 200 pages long, and it goes back to what I refer to as "the darkest days." The days when my family's life was a real living hell. When there was no hope in sight and I wondered if we would ever be able to survive what we were going through. It was awful period for everyone involved.
Today I found that journal on my computer and read it. Needless to say, it was an incredibly tough read. There were things in it that I didn't even remember. (Or maybe I just wanted to forget them.) Things so horrible I have no idea how my wife and I ever navigated our way through them. But we did. Together we figured it out as we went along and found a way to do it. It was damn hard and physically and emotionally draining. But we did it.
Reading that journal made me realize how far I have come. Just a few years ago, I could barely function. For example, in an entry from March 2, 2008, I wrote about having gone into a conference room at work so I could cry:
"The pain I feel right now is indescribable. Even crying doesn't help."
I also quoted a passage from David Sheff's Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction--the book I was reading at the time--because I could totally relate to it:
"When I am alone, however, I weep in a way that I have not wept since I was a young boy...Tears come at unexpected moments for no obvious reason, and they pour forth with ferocity. They scare the hell out of me. It scares the hell out of me to be so lost and helpless and out of control and afraid."
Today, almost four years later, I still feel afraid from time to time. But I no longer feel lost, helpless, or out of control. I've even kind-of-sort-of figured some things out.
One thing's for sure: I've worked extremely hard on my recovery and have made progress. Looking back on the not-so-distant past today just confirmed that for me.
By the way, don't hold your breath waiting for that book. :)