Getting Sober While Grieving My Father's Death
I lost my father when I was at my rock bottom with my addiction, I was only able to carry on by the strength he left me with when he passed.
I was 21 when I first tried to get help for my drug problem. Only two years prior I had tried my first opiate out of curiosity, I could not fathom where taking that first pill brought me. I had gotten caught stealing from my family, and was told I must go to treatment. Without any other option, that’s what I did. I surely did not want to hurt my family anymore but I also did not think I had a big problem and treated those couple years as a bad phase. I did what I have seen a lot of people do, I went to treatment because I was in trouble, not because I was ready to change my life forever.
Truly entering recovery requires, I could even say demands, a certain amount of humility, honesty and being open minded. I lacked all three of these my first few years of entering treatment, yes I went to several. Going in each time I did want to change, I didn’t want to hurt anyone anymore, but once I started feeling better over my stay, I began to think I knew what was best for me. I also was terribly lazy. Early recovery requires a lot of action and doing things you never have done before. I didn’t want to sign up for that and I suffered.
I carried on until I was absolutely beaten down to the ground by life in mid 2015. Us hard headed addicts need it to happen that way in order for us to genuinely be open to change. I was renting a room in South Florida, staying up for days, isolating from 100 percent of the people I knew and just waiting for the other shoe to drop. The shoe finally dropped when in March 2015 my mom called me and told me my dad had died. What crushed me ever more was that I had just been fired from his company months before which is why I fled to South Florida. I was broken.
I spent the next two months up in New Jersey, crying myself to sleep every night. I didn’t know what to do anymore, I couldn’t stop getting high and I couldn’t stop thinking about my dad being gone. I did not think I was capable or worth saving. It was a nightmare that lasted every day and night, when I look back at it I can still remember the pain I felt during that time. I was offered inpatient treatment in May for yet another time, I said yes but was so convinced it would be a waste of time. I felt that I didn’t have it in me especially after what I experienced the past few months.
The strange thing about my hopelessness around this time was that it actually made me very teachable. I was so tired of thinking I knew what was best for me and the right thing to do that I finally conceded that I had none of the answers anymore. I sat down, I shut up, I listened and most importantly I took action. I became inspired when I realized that the only way I would survive in life was if my did what would make my dad proud and what he always wanted me to do. Clearly that meant getting sober and living a fulfilling life. I had that gift of desperation, thank you god.
Once I got out of treatment, I just did what my gut told me was the next right thing to do. Whether it was working with a sponsor, finding a job right away, calling up somebody or being there for someone else. I just did every single thing I had always been told to do in my past treatment experiences and it made my life better than it had ever been. My life continues to be great, even though I miss my father more every day, I know that he is proud. Wherever he may be. No matter how low you are brought down to, how hopeless you are, we can rebound from those periods of time no matter what as long as we are ready to take action. Ask somebody for help, once you do, anything is possible.