We need to end the stigma of addiction. Instead of judgement, we need to be supportive. No one knows what addiction is like until it hits your loved ones. No one will come out and ask for the support and help they need if they feel like they will be judged or turned away. End the silence.
May 2012. Just a week shy of me graduating high school, I was sitting in the living room with my parents when my dad suddenly started having a seizure. It was the scariest moment of my life. It was even harder to find out that it was caused by my dad's alcoholism. My dad went into rehab for the first time right out of the hospital. He missed my graduation party, and we had to sign him out of rehab just for a couple hours so he could see me walk across the stage and receive my diploma. My dad returned from rehab a changed man. He was a better dad and a better husband, but he only stayed sober for about a month. Ever since, it was a constant struggle in my life watching my dad fight his demons to stop drinking. Another hospital visit turned into another rehab stay. There was no doubt my dad tried to quit. I could see him fighting it every time we were together. He loved his family so much and I know he didn't want to lose us, but he didn't know how to live without alcohol. He finally lost his battle June 21st, 2015. He was an amazing man; an amazing father, husband, and son. From 2012 to 2015, our family struggled quite a bit. We felt like we had to hide it. Explaining to people that my dad was just sick, or that everything was just fine. But it wasn't. It wasn't until right before my dad passed that I was able to forgive him and understand that it was a disease and it wasn't his fault. I also understood that it is not something that we have to hide or be embarrassed by anymore. People are fighting this disease everyday. They need to know that we are here to help them and that they don't have to hide anymore. End the silence.