Recently, a supporter shared with us a letter she had written to her father on the fifth anniversary of his sobriety. The gratitude and encouragement she expresses for his determination to overcome his alcoholism spoke to us about what it means to truly support someone who may struggle with addiction. As you read it, we hope you’ll be reminded that it’s OK to be honest, about the good and the bad, and it’s important to applaud the progress of those around us—no matter who they are and no matter what their struggles may be.
I am so proud of you, I can barely express how much in this letter. I am so thankful to have you as my father. You’ve taught me so much in the last 18 years, and I know you will be here to continue to teach me. Having you as my Dad has made me realize how lucky I am. You overcame something that was easy to give in to and could have easily taken you away. Thank you for being strong.
When I get older and my kids ask me about my childhood, I will be able to tell them so many stories. Our family camping trips, apple picking and pumpkin picking, fishing, amusement parks, just sitting around singing and eating—this was my childhood, and I couldn’t have asked for a better one. I am so fortunate to have done all of those things and to be able to do them some day with my kids.
I’ve learned much from you, and there is not enough time to thank you for all of it. I am smart because you pushed me in school and knew I could always do better. I was able to succeed in soccer because you would take the time to help me improve. Music is my therapy, and you have a huge impact on that. When I need help, I can simply turn to a song and find the answers I’m looking for; you taught me this. I know that anything is possible as long as I work for it. Your proverbs on working hard and making sure you do your best will help me go so far in life. And then there are our other proverbs that don’t make much sense, but somehow they always find a way to come into play in my life. I know so many random, funny facts because your brain is just filled with them, and I love that. Everything you’ve ever said to me has sunk in and helped me become the person I am today.
I know your mistakes have caused a lot of pain for everyone—but during that pain, you continued to teach me to be careful with my choices. Despite how things were in the past, they are different now, and all of it has made me “me.”
I can’t believe it’s been five years. You did it. You’ve accomplished this on your own, and you deserve much celebration for it. Having the strength not to succumb to this disease makes you one of my heroes. Every day is just as special as the first day you decided not to take that drink, whether it is today—your five-year anniversary—or 10, 20, 30, 40 years from now. Because of that decision, you impacted my life even more than before. I hope you realize how much your choice has meant to me, Katie, and Kevin. Thank you. I love you. I am so proud of you.
Thanks for walking a little straighter, Daddy. 🙂
Your baby girl,