I started the next-to-last semester of my undergraduate education four weeks ago today. In one of my classes, I had to give a presentation on a drug-related topic. I chose one that I felt the most comfortable (yet uncomfortable) with…How Addiction Affects Families.
I was so scared going into class last Tuesday prepared to give my presentation. I had worked so hard on my PowerPoint and narrowing down the bare essentials of information to share with my 35 classmates. I wondered how I would make it through the presentation without breaking down and prayed from strength before I was called on to begin. The presentation went remarkably well and I only teared-up a few times. I was able to find some inner strength and continue at the times when I felt as though I was going to lose it. I think my classmates received the presentation well for the most part, and many of them sent me emails telling me that they appreciated my story. My professor commented about how “brave” I was for sharing.
Aside from the gigantic sense of relief I felt when I was finally finished (after 45 minutes), I felt really proud of myself. It was the first time I had shared my journey with anyone outside of my best friend or close family and it was liberating. I wasn’t ashamed at who my father has become like I thought I might be. Sharing was incredibly empowering and I am stronger because of this experience.
In other news about my dad…He has begun his almost ritualistic calling of friends and family again. First, he started with my Uncle Clyde, and urged him to tell “his family” what a good man he was before crack. He also called my brother Mike and left him several voicemails, each worse than the one prior as he came to the realization that he wasn’t getting a call back. He made sure to share that he was living in “the gutter” and eating out of trash cans. Those phone calls were followed up by a call from my dad’s enabling sister to my mom in which she whined because none of us kids sent my dad a birthday card this year, nor did we invite him to “holiday functions.” Cry me a freakin’ river. The calls have since stopped though, for which I am grateful, and life goes on…