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Father's Day Reflection

As a person in recovery since 2016, I was not in recovery when my son was born February 9, 2014. He was the most beautiful child I had ever seen and holding him for the first time changed my life forever. Unfortunately, the love for my child was not stronger than the hold my addiction had over me, and I would continue using for almost two more years. Active addiction took away my ability to be the father and parent I so desired to be. My son was placed in foster care and my and his mother’s rights were terminated. He was adopted by the foster family and the courts closed the adoption. After beginning my journey in recovery, the guilt and shame surrounding this felt insurmountable at times. Most times in the beginning I didn’t want to talk about my situation not only because it physically made me nauseous to discuss what happened, but also out of fear of judgement from others. Ultimately, my awareness that those fears were self-centered grew, and with the help and nudge of a counselor, I was able to not only talk about how it felt but I was able to help others going through similar situations where they were estranged from their children either temporarily or permanently. After a great deal of personal work and growth, I have come to a point where acceptance of my situation provides not only peace but renewed purpose. As with many facets of recovery, the ability to use my past challenges to help others has been of immeasurable benefit. Father’s Day is, therefore, a bittersweet day for me. I am reminded of a renewed relationship that my father and I have cultivated through discipline and patient steps to build a relationship that was never truly there before. But it is difficult not to long to see or talk to my son. What does help cultivate a positive outlook and bring understanding to the overall situation is the belief that some day he will come look for me. Knowing this fact, it is my responsibility to work daily to be the best version of myself in recovery that I can be. Faith in a Higher Power and the belief that things will ultimately work out for the best, coupled with the belief that my son has his own Higher Power, provide peace and the ability to serve others with my story. So now, Father’s Day can be celebrated for what it is, the rejoicing in the relationship between a father and his child, no matter the circumstances. Recovery and a God of my understanding have brought me to this point, and I have no doubt the best is yet to come!

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