It has been almost five years since my father has been in prison and sometime in August he will be released.
It is something that is a bit bittersweet. Of course I have not been able to see my dad often in the past five years, I cannot call him whenever I want, and I just really miss him being around. While in prison, I know that my father has medical attention, he has a place to sleep, and he is eating (and I know he has been eating because he has gained so much weight). Most importantly I know that he is not getting high.
I am going to support him 100% and I will cheer him on everyday. I have faith in my father but I do understand that it will be a struggle for him everyday. My dad has forgot what freedom feels like and my dad has only heard about, but has not seen, the painstaking increase in heroin addicts. It is going to be something he will have to confront and an urge he is going to have to fight everyday and I understand that.
I will support my dad and I will think of him every moment I am not with him. Unlike how I dealt with his addiction when I was thirteen, I now know that I have nothing to do with the choices he makes. I know that it is not a measurement of how much he loves me. It is a power he needs to reach inside himself and grab. There are going to be a million and one reasons he will be discouraged upon his release and I know I am not one of them and that is the most I can do.
If my dad were to relapse I would not hate him. I would not resent him. I would be disappointed. A little heartbroken. I would not be an enabler. I would be honest wit him and tell him I cannot allow his lifestyle to interject with mine. But I would let him know that he is always going to be my father and I will always love him. And we as a father-daughter relationship stand for a rare family love that people rarely find in life or at least until later.
My dad and I are meant to set an example to the youth and young parents who are addicts, that the choice of painkillers and drugs are not meant to destroy a relationship like a father-daughter have (or any other relationship). Time will tell whether the next chapter ends well or bad. The chapters only end when I give up and that won’t happen.