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Old 06-15-2014, 03:53 PM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 115
Default continued

This poem was written shortly before
my last drink around 2007.
Like some of the other periods of the past, what exactly
happened during the latter part of that year is still some-
what of a blur. It is such a distinctly important part though,
because of the stuff that I was doing to my father. Over the
years, I had a deeply-seeded resentment toward him. Suffice to
say that through A.A., and of course time, the wounds do heal.

We do the very same occupation, so there's been this
comparison between the two of us, and more intense it
seems, this competetive one upsmanship, which was
revealed in everything from the quality and quantity of
the work we did, to the outspoken opinions that both of
us seem to possess.

I never believed that I could ever measure up to his
standards. Never thought that anything I ever did was
quite 'good enough' for him. Just when I thought I had
certainly done something that would meet his approval,
he would dismiss it casually, wouldn't notice it at all, or
recommend a different way of doing what I had done.

And so often times, I would find myself constantly seeking
these pats on the backs, and 'atta boys' that just wouldn't
show up. He'd note the flaws, and the negative, or what
I felt at the time was the negative aspects, but would refuse
to acknowledge the attributes, or what I considered at the
time to be the more positive features. Little did I realize
that in my father's unique, and rather simplified way, he
was showing me how to be a man in the only way he knew
how; by his example.

Of course I stayed so messed up most of the time, I couldn't
comprehend what it was actually like to love and respect my
old man. Like a lot of life in general, I avoided him at all cost.
I couldn't stand to be around him. I tolerated him, and it didn't
take even a sober mind to recognize how this was not only
hurting him, but confusing him. Its as if I were throwing
everything the man had ever done for me back in his face.
How insulting it must have been for me to completely ignore
him, or refuse to make conversation with him, or give him
one of those 'go to hell' looks.

Well, like I previously stated, I can't really put the time
frame together right now, but I do know that around that
period, my dad was diagnosed with cancer. It was a high
level of melanoma, and the guy is truly a living miracle.
A lot of people, including me, had all but written him off,
but he's been resilient, and has also found through putting
the bottle down finally, and finding a God of his own understanding
that life can be a lot more rewarding without the help of booze.

It is disturbing, but really relative to the whole process
to reveal to you how I seized his temporary demise as a
way of stepping in and by rather selfish motives, did anything
I could to make myself look like I actually cared when I
really couldn't have cared less. I felt like such a hypocrite
too, passing myself off as this son who sacraficed and quit
his job so I could come in and take care of the family
when essentially all I wanted, was to work less
and get paid a lot more for it.

I didn't go the extra mile for him when he needed me,
I just saw it as another opportunity to escape occupational
authority. While he took six months off in order to go
through surgery, and physically recover, I was relishing
in the noble cause I'd suddenly found without a care,
drinking and driving in his company trucks, and running
around town half the night scoring drugs. In a time
when my father really, truly and genuinely, reached out
to me for help, all I could do honestly was to look at the
situation he was in, and see how I could somehow benefit.

It will be, for the rest of my life and his too, a labor of love
to set things right between the two of us. I can try too hard
and too fast to repair it, and become frustrated, and I can
sit back and not do anything, and become equally frustrated,
but I cannot try often enough. I have to consciously back off
from trying to fix it at times, because I will inevitably try to do
little things and say little things that I hope will all of sudden
revolutionize this often 'Norman Rockwell' idealistic view of
how my family needs to interact, and its not very real at all.

After all, there are several alcoholics involved, and all I want
to do is the very best I can do with today. And since I am
an alcoholic, a lot of times that isn't good enough. You know
my old man may not call himself an alcoholic, but he's so
much like me in the sense that quite often, he just wants
somebody to talk to, just someone to sit or most of the time
stand with him, while he tells his stories.

With both of us, it is a work in progress. One thing I'll never
forget though, was the expression on my father's face when
I told him at the time that I'd been two weeks without a drink,
and had decided to seek help for drugs and alcohol.
He had little to say, but he's so transparent, his demeanor
said it all.

I'm so grateful having experienced that, and being able to
share things like this with those like you.
I wish you well in your sobriety, and appreciate you listening.

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