When I started this blog with my first post back in December of 2008, I didn't even know if there would be a second post.
Almost six years and 385 posts later, I'm still here and more people than ever are reading my words.
One of the greatest things about this blog is that it offers me the opportunity to reach people who are struggling with addiction--either their child's or their own--and let them know that they are not alone. My hope is that by reading about my experiences--both good and bad--others might be able to find some solace.
A good example of this happened yesterday.
Late yesterday morning I received an email through this blog from a mother whose son is suffering from addiction. She told me she had been reading my blog, explained her family's situation, and said that her husband needed to hear from "a father who has been there." She gave me her phone number and asked if I could call them.
I called the number she gave me and it went to voicemail. I left a message and told the woman she could call me back. A little while later, she did.
What ensued was a 71-minute conversation with the woman and her husband.
When we finally wrapped up the call, I was grateful to have had the chance to talk to this couple. I think they felt better than they did prior to our talk. Maybe, just maybe, I was able to offer them some comfort and hope.
Talking to other parents who are struggling with their child's addiction is sometimes difficult. It requires me to revisit the past and look back on how things were for my son and my family. Sometimes I even guilty because of how well my son and my family are doing now.
Regardless, I will never stop helping those whose lives have been changed by addiction. I know what it's like to feel lost and hopeless. To feel shame and guilt. To be addicted to my child's addiction. To wonder, "What the hell do I do now?" And to question every little decision I make as a parent. It's not a good place to be. In fact, for a parent it's probably one of the darkest places you could ever be.
I'm not a doctor or professional counselor. I'm just a dad who went through some incredibly difficult and trying times. Somehow I managed to navigate my way through them and came out on the other side reasonably okay.
Here's hoping I'm able to shine at least a little bit of light on others' darkness.