Last week a former client sent us a powerful piece of writing they’ve called ‘I have not forgotten’ – a reminder of the destruction that alcohol addiction had on him and his family. In this he reflects on the utter pain and darkness his alcoholism brought to their lives and expresses determination not to let addiction devastate them again.
This personal and relatable piece can be read below and we are extremely grateful that he has given his consent for us to share it.
I Have Not Forgotten
I will never forget the past nor wish to shut the door on it. A day does not go past when I don’t remember the love I have for my children but also the pain I have caused my family. The love I have for them and what I have put myself through and them will haunt me.
There is goodness, light and love. However there is also pain, destruction and coldness.
It is up to us which seeds we want to water. But I will never forget that dark place that human souls go to from alcoholism, as it keeps me away from that steady fall into destruction, madness and pain.
I have not forgotten or will ever forget what I have put people I love the most through. How every moral compass was eventually thrown away and how my soul left me inch by inch, addiction robbing me of goodness, of life, of love.
I will not forget driving my daughters drunk in the car, I will not forget Ellie saying she cries for me every night, knowing I have abandoned her. I will not forget the constant promises made to my ex-wife only to build her up and then pull everything down. I will not forget the lies, the broken dreams and hurt. I will not forget the power of addiction and its ability to obliterate everything in its path.
I will not back down, I will not run. I will stand and face the person in the mirror. I will change, to stand still is to die. I will change for my children, I will change to put right the damage to my ex-wife. I will humble myself and take responsibility for my actions. I will not fall into self-pity. I will not fall into martyrdom or egotistical thinking.
Please let me never forget, as that is what keeps me awake.
I can turn my suffering into an opportunity to become a better person and the present and loving father I know I can be.
Like a stabbing pain in my chest, I shall live with regret my whole life.
You can be as mad as a mad dog for the way life has treated you. But in the end you have to let go.
It is up to us how we would like to live our lives and undo all the patterns and badness of our parents.
It is up to us to end the cycle of addiction from our ancestors and to provide new roads for our children.
Who do I want to be. A maker of peace and harmony or hate and confusion.
The choice is mine and yours.
When the time draws near and you take your final breath, do you want to be at peace and surrounded by your family knowing you have done everything in your power to love them, to support them, to lead them on a path. Or do you want to leave this world knowing you let them down and yourself, knowing that you caused pain. Knowing that the nurses face will be the last one you see and not your loved ones.
You get one shot, one shot to make things right.
Take it and never look back.
I will never forget.