As a kid I can remember having so many dreams of how my life would eventually turn out. At one time I dreamed of being a professional athlete, another time a cop and yet another time a preacher. But the older I got the more unobtainable those dreams became. I could never figure out why it seemed that everyone around me was achieving their dreams and goals and moving ahead in life but for some reason I was falling behind. It was almost as if the world itself didn’t want to see me succeed. I began drinking to cope with the pain but no matter how drunk I got my reality never got any better. If anything it began to get worse as I destroyed old and new relationships with family and friends due to my addiction. Then one night I hit rock bottom as I was leaving a party intoxicated and totaled my car. My dad had never said anything to me before but that night when I came back home I could tell how worried he was. He didn’t say a word to me that night and then the next day he handed me a letter that he had written. My dad had never wrote me anything before or after that letter. When I opened it up and began reading what he wrote I started to cry. He told me how proud he was of the man that I had become and how he has never stopped believing in me as a person or loving me as a son. All that time before I thought that no one had noticed or really even cared that life had dealt me such a rotten hand. But it occurred to me that day that my dad had been there all the time. I guess I was just too busy feeling sorry for myself to notice. All this got me to thinking that I needed to spend more time with my dad. So I began to make a special effort to set aside time to spend with both my mom and my dad. After graduating high school that year I went on to college in the fall. My parents were so proud especially my dad. Dec.31,2003 my dad goes to the hospital with pneumonia. Less than four days later the doctors discovered cancer in his lungs. It was stage 2. When school started back a few days later I began drinking once again. My dad was going through chemotherapy and radiation treatments and I was a couple of hours down the road trying to drink the pain away. We had become so close in those months following that letter that my dad was no longer just my father but my best friend. But following his diagnosis our relationship began to struggle once again as I found it easier and easier to simply drink my pain away rather than talk it out with my parents, teachers or counselors at school. My grades began to be effected and the teachers were worried that my state of mind might not be where it should to continue school. But just like with everyone else in my life at that time I just shrugged them off and continued coping with my pain the only way I knew how. In 2007, three days before my birthday my father lost his battle to cancer. We buried him the day after my birthday. For quite sometime after his passing I continued to use drinking as a coping mechanism. I finally stopped and have been sober for over four years now. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss my him and wish that he was here but every time I think about drinking to cope with the pain I just pull that letter he wrote me out of my billfold, read it and remember how much he loved me and believed in me. I just wanted to share this story so that it might give another person hope. No matter how bad things seem there is always someone in your “corner” pulling for you. Take time to notice and allow that person to be the difference in your life so that you may be the difference to someone else.
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