Dealing With Dad

Kathleen Winstead
Tell us about your (or your loved one's) recovery journey. What has been the most rewarding part?

My father has been a recovering alcoholic for 23 years. It took multiple residential treatment stays, threats of divorce from my mother, and pleading from my brothers and me; however, ultimately it was him who did the work, made the changes, listened to the wisdom of Bill W. and Dr. Bob and connection to a Higher Power and fellowship, that led him to his sobriety. My recovery as an ACOA (Adult Child of an Alcoholic) has not been a cake walk either. Trying to overcome the terrible image of myself that poured from his lips in drunken rages has been an ongoing war. This war has been fought between how I see myself based on those barrages of incompetence, the reminders that I was overweight, fear of bringing friends over because I didn't know if dad would be "ok," and feelings of worthlessness, versus the comments of praise, acceptance, and love expressed by those who have come to know me. I want to believe those statements. I work daily to try to remember that "I'm ok, competent, giving and look pretty decent for 50 years old; not too fat just about right."
As is most often the case, I became a Substance Abuse Counselor. Some days I feel triggered. On some of those days I call Dad to ask how he is doing. I tell myself that those triggers are not my reality anymore. I remind myself I am not the scared little girl any longer and I will continue to grow and thrive. I would challenge all of us working to recover from something that WE MATTER, WE'RE WORTHY and WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANYONE ELSE'S RECOVERY BUT OUR OWN. I send love and light to all in need of it's touch.

Do you have a message for the Shatterproof community?

Keep celebrating, keep encouraging, and keep on keepin on.