Another reader question was submitted as a comment to my last post. As I said, I'll answer anything and do it truthfully.
Hi Ron, A question for you.
As a parent of an addict did you learn things about yourself that led to questions and change within yourself.
I believe no one can go through something like the addiction of your child and not change.
I am also one that believes inside any action good can be found if you look hard enough. Not to say I would want to go through this again or for anyone to go through it but life is about experiences and how we deal with them, good or bad.
My son's addiction rocked me to the core. I was and still am a person that lives by goals. Before this experience most of my goals were focused inwardly and I had everything laid out; short, intermediate and long term goals drove my behavior and actions.
Today I am more accepting of living life as it is presented. That's a big thing for a goal setting control freak.
I learned that the constants I counted on in life can be changed regardless of my influence. I learned there are limits to my control and influence. It's impossible to effect a change simply my coercion or making a deal. You cannot bargain or threaten away addiction.
I grew up in a family that was not touchy feely. I knew my parents loved me, it was not something needed to be said. In all my life I can remember telling my dad that I loved him once, on his deathbed the day he died. On that day was the only day I can remember hearing those words from his mouth. I didn't see that as a bad thing, that was just how it was. We were not touchy either, hugs were not something shared.
This is how I grew up and the way I lived as a father. My love was not voiced it was to be understood.
Today saying "I love you" is something I do. I hug people, not just family. Through all of this I have learned that demonstrating and voicing my love can be important to others. Assuming something is understood is wrong. After all, we all know how to break down the word "ASS U ME".
Another thing that I felt was a change to me and I hope was beneficial to others was my efforts to write this blog and share my feelings and be open as a father to sharing. Taking that one step further I feel my public speaking about my experience to students, parents and professional groups was a good coming from this experience.
So many things about me changed through this experience. It is impossible to list them all but these are the ones important to me.