Maybe it's just me but I am a believer that in every experience in life there is a good. At times addiction tested that belief. How do you find good inside what I have described and many others have agreed is hell on Earth?
Parenting a child addicted to drugs is hellish. Sleepless nights, fear of the next minute, hopelessness deep in your heart, that is what we all live as our child is suffering. How can there be good in such a world?
I am not trying to anger some when you think, "sure it's easy when your son is clear and sober now?"
My personal belief is good can be found in anything if we look hard enough and seek the answers we need to help ourselves and our children.
Looking back and answering a simple question has helped me. That simple question is, "What have I learned?"
I learned to be a better father. I no longer took my kids for granted. Perfection is not fair to put on your kids or to put on yourself either.
I learned that people suffering from addiction and alcoholism are not people that can be considered "less than" simply they are afflicted with a disease that I don't understand.
I learned that my bride is more than I ever believed she was or could be. I learned that I am a damn lucky guy she stuck with me.
I learned that when you extend your hand for help to strangers you all reach out, take my hand and help to lead me out of the darkness.
I learned sometimes there are no right answers, sometimes you just have to do what you think is best and accept that may be all you are capable of doing at the time.
These are just a few of my most important lessons that have shaped me into what I am today. I am not the same person I was before addiction. Today I am a better person. Many things must be forged by fire to become better than what it was, glass, steel, gold and diamonds do not become beautiful and precious without tempering through pressure and heat.
The loved one of an addict, despite the turmoil, is as clear as glass, has the strength of steel, as valuable and precious as gold and sparkles like a diamond in the sun.
What have you learned? What has addiction done for you?