This is quite a challenge to express in words what it's like to be a father in recovery. To me the biggest thing that stands out is commitment, commitment to self. This is the selfish part of recovery. If I do not honor myself first everything that I've worked so hard for will eventually disappear. So how does a person do this you may ask? I wake up at 5:30am make coffee and read my daily meditation, reflect on that, say a prayer, and call another person in recovery to discuss it with them removing me from self. I wake up my 6 year old daughter, and prepare breakfast usually while I watch youtube videos of how to braid hair, I try and fail miserably and go with a pony tail. Then it's off to school or the sitters and eventually to work myself. I still go to 2-4 meetings a week my daughter with me on most. She enjoys her kids youtube with head phones while dad gets what he needs from the meeting and I connect us with others, often times going out to eat with a group after. Those are times I pick up ideas on how to be a dad, and sometimes a mom, from other parents in recovery. Days we don't attend a meeting we're at soccer practice or at the park playing with other kids. Then we wind down over a bath, bedtime snack and our normal bedtime routine ending with a prayer and a kiss goodnight and lots of I love you's. After she drifts off its time for me to do some step work. Recovery has taught me routine and structure which I apply into her life. I come from a long line of addicts and alcoholics. Recovery has taught me how to break those chains and give her an option I didn't have growing up. "I would do anything for my child" - I've heard it again and again from many people but for me that starts off with commitment to self.
Recovery is a journey as is parenthood with lots of good and bad days mixed together all of which are learning experiences. To recover from a crippling addiction was the second hardest thing I've done behind being a single full-time father of a daughter. Each are both challenging and rewarding but that makes me appreciate every wonderful moment I get to experience. That's what works for us. This has been my plan of attack the past 4 years ever evolving as everything else in life does. I hope this was helpful to at least one dad out there learning the balance of recovery and parenthood!!! Happy Fathers Day to all. If I can do it so can you!!! God Bless!!!