Thursday, February 13, 2014

Tales from the Dark 1

Drug addiction is in the news in the wake of the death of actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman. There have been some great articles and I love the compassion that many authors bring to the table: former addicts often live in fear of relapse; other authors talk about how addiction is a valid disease despite that initial choice to use; another delves into all of our addictions, not just the ones that kill us so dramatically; Russell Brand writes about the ongoing battle and how no disease renders its victims as unlovable as addiction.
I noticed, though, as my friends would post these links, people often recoiled from the idea that drug addiction is a disease like diabetes. I think I get that. It's hard to be compassionate when many times addicts are in and out of jail, selling things off that their families need, destroying everything one high at a time: see above Russell Brand quote.

I made several comments that I don't believe anyone wants to absolve addicts of their sins. I try so, so hard to think of my dad in a compassionate light. I don't know what abuses he endured as a child. I don't know how his mom's extreme indulgence affected him as an adult. I do know he struggled with depression and was likely bipolar so it's possible that he was self medicating. But I don't know. I can only guess and I worry about writing about this time in my life because I don't want to tell someone else's story. People try to tell my story from time to time and it's rarely quite right or with the point I want my life to make (hope, in case anyone was wondering).

All this is to introduce some old blog posts I resurrected from the time when my dad relapsed after many years of sobriety. I thought about writing about that time, thinking of Hoffman's children and what they must be going through, and then I remembered that I have a ton of archived blog posts. So, off and on for the next few days, I'll share some of the posts from the months between my dad's relapse and death. It's the time when we staged an intervention and a time of emotional turmoil for me (and my family but I'm going to try to speak for myself alone). I won't edit a lot but I'll probably do a little to make it more readable. Here goes:

1/9/06 :: Title: The Short Version
Apparently my father just got home from a 36 hour cocaine binge with my cousin (who is his age). His first in several years. My mom has gone to my grandmother's because this was his last chance. Our prayer is that he'll go to treatment, that he isn't suicidal, and for wisdom about what to do next. My mom and I had a surreal conversation about flashbacks. I think I'm reasonably okay now but this is a blow. Because of the suicidal issue, we 3 kids called him, told him we loved him and to hang in there. :/ Meaningless but at least he's spoken to all of us without drama.

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