My mom and real dad, Benji, divorced when I was a tiny little baby. I have zero memories of them ever being together. My mom remarried when I was about 3 years old to my wonderful step dad, Paul, who raised us as his own children. Benji struggled with life, with us kids, with addiction.
This particular struggle I am speaking of is a life long struggle with drugs. Having a father do the types of things that I heard and knew Benji was doing was one of the hardest things I have ever had to deal with. I had so many emotions towards him growing up. I felt hopelessness, fear, unconditional love, betrayal, hatred, deceit and so many many more. I'm almost positive those feelings are nothing compared to the feelings he felt towards himself.
For as long as I can remember my dad had been a user. He never used openly in front of us kids but he also didn't always put us first. From the age of about 5 to 22 I dealt with the emotional roller coaster my dad took me on through out his addiction. The strangest thing is that no matter how bad it got or how long we went with out talking to each other I always had this little light of hope inside me that one day he would become clean and I would get to see this wonderful man everyone would tell be about. This sliver of hope literally reminded me of the tiny sliver of a moon we get every once in awhile. Throughout all the darkness in the sky this little sliver seems to find enough light to shine over the whole city.
It was around this time last year I decided to call the TV show Intervention and see if they could get my dad on there to help him. The producers called me and were on board to get things rolling. However, little did I know, my dad was already starting to build up his courage to be done with his addiction. I think, for him, things had gotten so out of hand he knew he either needed to clean himself up or he was going to be spending his time in prison. He got the opportunity to enroll and be apart of an outpatient rehabilitation program in Utah called DORA. He has gotten clean, has a steady job and from what I have heard he has been making great progress!
As his daughter one of my biggest fears was that he wouldn't be in my life to see me walk down the isle, or dance with me on my wedding day. Well, that day has come and gone and not only was he there physically but the fun, loving, outgoing guy that everyone talked about was there. My dad was there. Physically, emotionally, and mentally. It was the absolute best wedding gift I could have ever received. His eyes were this crystal blue color I have never seen before. I can actually look into his eyes and see how much more alive his soul is. It is literally a dream come true.
If you are reading this dad, I love you to the moon and back. I also admire what you have overcome.
|Our Father Daughter dance to "My Girl"|
|I love him|