Wednesday, September 18, 2013

It's A Man Thing

Parents of an addict??? Parents is plural. It assumes two people, a man and woman, two men or two women. Sometimes in reality it means more, step parents become included and then there are grandparents functioning as parents. This disease touches so many very close loved ones that feel so much responsibility.

This post is about a dad. A dad that thought the plan was laid and implementation steps were in place. Milestones marked our progress. The track was straight and we were riding together. Then came drugs.

There came a time when living a life of honor was only a dream, watching a son barely survive and nearly die made me appreciate the simple fact he was alive.

My emotional state was slipping away nearly as fast as I saw my sons life slipping away. Of course as a man I was to handle things and fix not only him but in my spare time fix myself too. That's a man thing. Of course there was no way I could recognize my own limits, I could do anything I set my mind to do, not just for myself but for others too.

It's a man thing, asking for help and looking for help is not in my nature. Finally there comes a time when you are beaten into submission. If I don't take care of myself I can't be that man for anyone, not my son, not my wife, not my other kids, not anyone.

My way was to write this blog. I had gone to meetings and talked to counselors but that didn't work for me at that time. This was my therapy.

I read blogs, read comments, read emails and by a large margin most are written by mothers. Of course there are significant exceptions, Syd, Dean, Mike, and some others but mostly it is mothers.

It's a man thing. We don't talk about our fears and feelings. But I will tell every mother and wife out there that we are just as scared as you.

It can be a man thing to talk or write to others about how you feel and what is working and what isn't. There are other men that can relate to your experiences that are just as manly and just as controlling as you. From experience, it helps.

Dad, you are not alone and it does work when you let others help with the load. All of us are stronger than any one of us.


Ming said...

Funny, the other day I was sitting in a board meeting and to kick off the meeting a quote was put up for all to read. As you read the quote, it spoke about 'men' things and the final sentence simply stated, how long did it take you to say... I must be a man!

Your post today, as I read through it, had the same affect on me. It's a man thing... for the second time this week, I thought I must be a man!

Thanks for your thoughtful post.

phyllis said...

I appreciate reading your feelings. I often wonder what's going on in my husband's head regarding his daughter (my step daughter) because he never seems to want to talk about it. I worry about him and his's a huge burden to carry alone. Thank you for clarifying a bit! Prayers for you and your family!

Syd said...

I'm glad that I decided to be honest and share my feelings. I was so done with the masks and hiding the truth. I guess it took that surrender to realize that both men and women hurt and both can get honest and share. It's a people thing to be mistrustful and proud. It's a divine thing to let go of ego and outcomes.

Cathy Taughinbaugh said...

Hi Ron,

Thanks for being one of those strong male voices that continues to bring the addiction of our children to the light. Sometimes dads do stay in the background and try to just handle their feelings themselves. Support in whatever form can help dads as well and is so needed!

Tori said...

My Husband is one of those who wants to take care of it himself. If he can't "fix" something he ignores it unless he has no choice like now. He is great at everything else except with B or when someone is very sick in our family...He has a hard time with it so he ignores it.

Writing is my therapy....It helps me so much. I am incredibly grateful that you write even as Alex is doing so well it give us hope but still reminds us you and Alex were just where a lot of us are. Hope is what many of us need and you and Alex bring that.

Not My Son said...

Thank you for this. I am going to copy it and send it to my ex. He is not dealing with the fact that our son is a heroin addict, won't talk to anyone but me about it, and I see him aging before my eyes. He, like most men, wants to fix this, and he can't.

Anonymous said...

For years, I didn't understand my son - even long before he started using drugs. I was frustrated by typical, non-drug related family stuff. I didn't realize that the family disease of alcoholism was already at work in our home. When he began using at the age of 16, I was angry. At 18 I tried to kick him out of the house, but my wife had other plans. For years, we struggled, as a family, with the alcohol, drugs, police, pawn shops and on and on. It's been over a decade now, but it's all different. I learned that both he and I are powerless over this disease. My entire attitude changed over the last couple of years. I love him dearly and would easily and willingly give my life to save his. It helps, of course, that he's recently found sobriety but we all know, too well, that the disease is just in remission. Today, I look forward to his visits as he does with us. None of us will forget the past, but we have been able to forgive and let go of it. As a dad, I've been emotionally crushed, but not today. My hope is that other dads can find their way out of the pit as well.