Beneath the Ashes: A Son's Journey Through Addiction's Embrace and the Path to Healing

Beneath the Ashes: A Son's Journey Through Addiction's Embrace and the Path to Healing
Understanding Addiction

Addiction is like a big problem that causes a lot of trouble in people’s lives. My own experience started when my dad became addicted to cigarettes and alcohol. Our happy home turned into a place where there were always arguments and tension. His cravings for cigarettes and alcohol became so strong that he didn’t have much love and care left for us.

I remember one night when my dad took me out, but his friends joined us, and it made me feel uncomfortable and scared. I felt like my dad couldn’t protect me because he was always drunk. It was sad to realize that his addiction took away his ability to be a loving and protective father.

We tried everything to help him, like sending him to a place for treatment, hoping it would make him stop. But addiction was stronger than our hopes, and he kept going back to his old habits. It felt like a never-ending cycle of hoping and being disappointed.

As my dad’s addiction got worse, his health got worse too. The cigarettes and alcohol that he thought made him feel better were actually making him sick. I watched him get weaker every day, and it was hard to see because I knew that his own actions caused his suffering.

Addiction didn’t just affect my dad’s life; it also broke our family apart. My parents’ relationship became worse because of addiction. My mom tried her best to keep our family together, but it was hard. My grandparents also felt the pain, but they didn’t do anything to help. It felt like we were drowning in addiction, holding on to fragments of love and hope.


The Journey of Grief

Losing someone we love is one of the hardest things we can go through. When my dad died, it felt like my whole world fell apart. I had so many different feelings inside me.

I felt relieved in a way because my dad was no longer suffering. But at the same time, I felt very sad, like a part of me was gone. I didn’t know what to do with all these feelings. In my religion, we have rituals for when someone dies, but they felt strange and heavy.

I also felt angry. I was angry at myself because I thought I should have done more for my dad. I was angry at my family for not being there when I needed them. And deep down, I was angry at my dad for leaving me behind and not being the dad I needed.

I felt guilty too. I blamed myself for what happened, even though I couldn’t have changed anything.

Going through grief was like being on a rollercoaster. At first, I didn’t believe that my dad was really gone. I would go to his room and wait for messages from him. Then, when I finally realized he was gone, I felt numb and couldn’t understand my feelings.

But as time went on, I started to understand that grief would always be a part of me. I would always miss my dad, and that’s okay. I learned to think about the good memories and share them with others.


Finding Healing and Support

Discovering Ways to Cope: During my healing journey, I didn’t have access to professional help like therapy or counseling due to cultural reasons. This meant I had to find my own ways to deal with the complex emotions of addiction-related loss. It hasn’t been easy, and there are still many emotions left unprocessed, which sometimes lead to overwhelming breakdowns. However, I remain determined to find coping mechanisms and ways to heal.

Considering Possible Support: Vanderburgh House: Although I didn’t personally benefit from Vanderburgh House, I can imagine how their services and support might have helped my father in his recovery. Vanderburgh House offers a structured and caring living environment for individuals fighting addiction. If my father had been part of such an environment, it could have provided him with a safe space away from the familiar triggers and temptations. This separation might have played a crucial role in his recovery, reducing the chances of relapse and potentially preventing the development of cancer caused by his return to alcohol and cigarettes after leaving rehab.

Embracing Support from Loved Ones: In my healing process, I didn’t come across specific resources or support systems beyond therapy and counseling. However, I have found solace in the presence of my loved ones. Their support has been essential in helping me cope with the pain of losing my father. They offer understanding, compassion, and a listening ear when the weight of grief becomes too heavy. Sharing memories, stories, and experiences of my father has been a source of comfort, keeping his spirit alive within me.

While my personal journey may not have involved extensive external resources, I wholeheartedly recommend therapy to anyone dealing with addiction-related loss. It can provide a safe space for processing emotions, gaining insights, and developing coping mechanisms. Although I haven’t personally experienced therapy, I recognize its potential benefits in offering professional guidance and support.