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Journalist Leans on Her Father for Support

In an essay for The New York Times, a journalist who is a recovering addict paid an early Father’s Day tribute to her father for talking her through the challenges she faces in trying leave an addiction to prescription drugs behind. While facing a very difficult journey through rehab, she found that he father was “A Source of Strength to Help Conquer Addiction.”

A therapist tells the woman that battling addiction is the woman’s fight. It is certain that no one else can do the work of addiction recovery for you, but the woman was lucky that her father was willing to get in the ring with her.

She did not start taking prescription drugs because she wanted to experiment or because her friends were doing it. This woman had undergone very serious surgery but her addiction to prescription medication threatened to undo the healing work of the surgery.

“Seven years after successfully undergoing two liver transplants and bowel surgery for ulcerative colitis, I found myself furtively buying more than 400 pills a month online. Soon, I was pilfering my dog’s pain medicine. None of my friends and family knew of my addiction.”

Her own experiences brought to mind her father’s repeated attempts to complete drug and alcohol rehab. While she loved and admired her father, she did not want to follow in his footsteps and succumb to addiction. However, when that very thing happened, he was there for her and she gained an understanding of just why he had so many repeat trips to rehab.

“Now, as an adult addict, I know how difficult it was for him to right himself even as my sisters and I begged him to stop drinking, yelling our pleas into the back of his ambulance. It was during our phone calls when I was in rehab that my father taught me that recovery “is a process, not an event.” From a sober addict to a fledgling one, he taught me how the prospect of death gave him the tools to face life’s complexities.

Never would I have imagined that my father — who had taught me how to swing a golf club and bought me my first pair of ruby earrings — would once again face his own addiction in order to help his daughter, his firstborn, overcome hers.”

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