Peering Your Peers

Peering Your Peers

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My Inexcusable Reasoning

November 15, 2011 , , ,

So I got asked the other day about why I had finally chosen
to stand up to the plate and be a dad to my children and why I had been a
deadbeat dad for so long.  It was not an
easy question to answer.  “I was a
deadbeat dad because I allowed myself to be controlled by substances”, I
said.  I was then asked why I allowed
these substances to control me when I had two children that obviously needed
me.  This I had to think about.  Truth is it was because I had not yet been ready
to admit that the substances controlled me and that I was powerless against
them, in fact I fought admitting that fact to myself for almost my entire life.

Powerless

A word that is used so little in today’s
society.  Nobody wants to admit to a lack
of control.  To admit that there is a
flaw, in what could possibly be, an airtight persona is not necessarily good
for your social health.  You could say
that it is taboo to admit to powerlessness in today’s western society.  Nobody wants to hear it.  Any reason you can think of not to admit that
you are powerless is just a way of hiding from the truth.

I was born powerless, I grew up learning about and
witnessing a form of power and I went through life trying to obtain more of
it.  In a way, by admitting to being
powerless, I admitted that a small part of me never grew up.  It was like telling people, “look, I am
flawed”, this usually resulted in an array of feedback, behavioral changes in
peoples interactions when they were around me and a lot of credulous glances
and people saying “we’ll see”.

Giving up an addiction is not an easy thing to do.  No matter what the addiction may pertain
to.  It is something that, for one reason
or another, we have incorporated into our lives as a coping mechanism and when
that mechanism is removed then we must deal with the impacts of life within the
rules of sobriety.  Rules I had to
quickly learn.

I have come a long way in the last few years and I know I
still have a long way to go but I am not giving up or giving in.  I would be lying if I said that I never have
to worry about the cravings anymore, they are a constant part of my life
still.  The only difference between now
and when I was acting like a deadbeat dad is that now I have allowed my
children’s safety, wellbeing and happiness to become my addiction.  I have replaced the substances with the
duties of being a dad.

Now some people will say that is not a very good idea and
ask what will happen once the children are grown up and gone.  I say that I am striving to stay clean today
so that tomorrow it may be a little bit easier to wake up and say, “today I
will not use”.  I don’t know what the
future holds but I do know that I cannot be an addict and a dad.  If I go back to substance abuse then I will
choose substances over my children and I refuse to go back to being a deadbeat
dad.

Another reason I was MIA from my children’s lives was
because of the fact that I was infected with HCV.  I was unaware of the facts concerning Hepatitis
C and my actions were based on stigma rather than fact.  I was aware that HCV was transmissible and
that it was a hardy virus.  I didn’t know
that my children, and others around me, were safe as long as I took some very
simple precautions.  Once I was educated
on the facts surrounding transmission and risk, (thanks to the Sanguen Health
Centre…. Check out http://sanguen.com ), I had
no reason to fear being around my children and immediately implemented consistent
visitation.  Fueled by the smiles I
witnessed during my visits, I had the drive to continue with my sobriety, working
towards reuniting with my children, and ensuring that my HCV would never
endanger my children.

I took the Hepatitis C treatments at the Sanguen Health
Centre and today can say that I am clean and healthy.  The treatments worked and I am now “cured”,
my viral load is down to an ‘undetectable’ level and hopefully will stay that
way till the day I die.  It is now a
non-issue and I feel secure that I will provide my children a life with
negligible/no risk of catching HCV because of me. (Check out this article regarding
the treatments I took: http://positivelite.com/content/newsstories/health/item/treating-hepatitis-seriously-with-new-models-of-care
)

I would like to note here that I get the privilege of
writing this blog while my kids sleep safe and sound in the next room.  No longer a deadbeat father I hold my head
high as I walk down the street with a shirt freshly stained with chocolate.  I am content in the knowledge that I may never
be perfect but I am (finally) a DAD…….

PS. I have moved from the realm of Fatherhood to Dad hood.  Never differentiating between the two before,
I finally realized that anyone can be a Father, it is not difficult to donate
the sperm, but now I am a DAD which entails so much more.  A please don’t be afraid to leave critical
comments if you so wish, nobody is more critical of me than myself and I
realize that this is a controversial issue.

Please feel free to leave a comment.

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