Emotional day

Alcoholics and Addicts in 12 Step Programs sharing their personal recovery stories with hope to help others who alcoholics and addicts who want to recover using the 12 Steps.
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Emotional day

Postby angel143 » Sun Jun 21, 2009 3:39 pm

Hi all! How are you all doing? To the fathers out there....Happy Father's Day!

Well, today has been a roller coaster of emotions. But im very happy that im sober going through them.

I was cleaning most of the morning. While I was doing that I put my ipod stereo on and started listening. Really listening. The music seemed like it was coming from inside me. Seemed like every song that came on brought up different emotions in me about so many things.

One song came on and it made me think about my father. Not my dad, my father. Long story short, he was a drunk. An abusive horrible drunk. My mom finally was able to get away from him when I was 6. Me her and my older brother. She remarried a wonderful and amazing man...my dad. My brother and i asked him to adopt us. He wanted to very much. He went and asked my father. He agreed. I never saw my father after that. I never wanted to. I hated him so much. I found out 2 years ago that he died a year prior. I convinced myself I was happy about that...that he deserved it. That he was horrible and never did anything for us. He couldnt even stop drinking for us. How dare he? How flippin hard could that be?

Yep, you guessed it....he is at the root of a lot of my issues. See, we never talked about it. Nothing, ever was said. I still dont know why. We even had friends and that believing that dad was dad and we had no problems. We even changed birth certificates. Weird. That was a problem too...not talking about it. It was SO taboo.

I finally sat and told my kids on day 1 of sobriety. I told my parents it was crazy to not talk about it.

I love my dad so much and no one could ever take his place. But I realize that my father gave me 2 gifts in life. He gave me life, and by allowing my dad to adopt me...he gave me life again.

I am 33 and only have 4 memories of my father. Only one is good. he never hurt me physically. Only mom. I have come to realize that, even though I hate his actions, its not my battle. Thats my moms issue to deal with. I cant continue to carry it with me.

I need to remember the good he did for me, my brother, and from what I am learning...the country! He was an extremely intelligent man. But he didnt know any better. He was in a place in life that even if he wanted to change...he couldnt have. I know this now.

I forgive him. And I talked to him today. Sorta...I talked to him and God today. I told him happy Father's day. I apologized for all the past fathers days that I hated him. That he was alone.

I felt a sense of peace come over me. I continued talking to God. I told Him all the things I was thinking. As if He didnt know! I told Him about the people in my life that have helped me get to day 18 today. One person in particular...has helped me in so many ways. I told God about this person as well...and told Him all my private thoughts that I had in my head about this person. This person has imparted onto me so much wisdom, peace, a love of life, true joy, support, unconditional care and concern, has been non judgemental, a true friend. Someone I have come to care a great deal about. Someone I want to have the honor of having as a part of the rest of my life, a true friend. As I was talking to God, I was telling Him how I wished there was a way to say thank you to this wonderful soul.

I wont go into details, but something miraculous happened. And it became so obvious what I needed to do.

I thanked this person. And I can only hope that it shows even a portion of my appreciation of them.

I am so blessed. It is only recently that I am truly beginning to see in how many ways I am blessed.

One of my blessings is this site. I thought I found it...but really, I believe I was drawn to it. For many reasons.

I need all of you. I need you reading my words, I need to read yours, I need your hearts, your minds...I need you.

You are all special to me.

Thank you for letting me share.

I love ALL of you

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Postby sunlight » Sun Jun 21, 2009 7:12 pm

I understand!

When I got sober, I was an emotional shipwreck. I would go to meetings & cry through the whole hour. The men would roll their eyes :roll: & basically tell me to shut up.

Then, a kindhearted woman took me under her wing and told me that my emotions were not going to kill me. It just felt like they were. She explained that feelings were neither good or bad. It was what we DID with them that mattered.

Today, I know that my emotions are a kind of barometer. They tell me where I'm at.

If you don't have a sponsor yet, I suggest finding someone in AA that you can talk to. Preferably a woman, as men can really complicate things when we are newly sober. Letting someone know you and confiding in her, face to face, can help you sort out all the emotions and give you the assurance that what you're feeling is normal. I don't think I could have survived my emotions without a few trusted women to help me! Their rational perspective kept me sane!

The steps will be a great help with this. I think we can all agree. :wink:

You got me to thinking about my father, too. So many of us have father issues! When Tim posted his awesome poem about his dad, I was tempted to post one I wrote years ago, but wasn't sure if it was recovery related. But it's Father's Day, so you gave me the nerve!

You're a beautiful lady, Heather. Thank you for sharing from your heart. You shine! :D

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Postby Dallas » Sun Jun 21, 2009 7:51 pm


Thank you so much for sharing your heart with me and with all of us. You are a very special woman -- and sobriety and AA, and many other women, really will benefit from what you're able to give and pass on -- if you just hang in there and continue to share yourself.

I understand about the father stuff. My dad, father, died years before I got sober. During my amends stage of my sobriety -- he had already passed on, so it took some actions similar to the one's that you've taken with your father. I talked to him. I wrote letters to him and read them to him. And, I forgave him, and asked that he forgive me, also.

As I stayed sober I began to discover many facts about my father that I had never known. When I discovered what he experienced in his childhood and later-life -- it felt like it broke my heart that I didn't know these things while he was still alive. It helped me to understand better, the problems that I had experienced with my dad. I became more sensitive to him, and also to others -- who share the problems that my father had.

I still think of him. Sometimes, I still dream of him. I remember when he was alive -- and mowing the lawn -- red-breasted robins and blue jays would come and it seemed like they were communicating with him.

Often, now -- when I'm mowing my own lawns -- and especially after I've gone inside -- either a red-brested robin, or a blue jay will land in the yard and look through my window looking at me as I look at them.

Sometimes, I talk to them. And, sometimes I wonder -- if my dad is visiting me in those birds -- or, if he is simply communicating with me through them.

Sharing your experience above really moved me. Once again, you reached inside me and touched my heart and my soul -- I guess, doing the things what Angels do!

Thank you also, Sunlight, for your sharing! You, too are a true asset to AA, the Fellowship, other women, and to me, and to the site here! Thank you for all that you do!

So, on Father's Day... my wish is for Happy Mothers ... and Happy Daughters, and Happy grandaughters... Happy Sisters... and Happy Women & Girl's Day!!! Because without you... there would be no Fathers and there would be no Dads!!! :wink:

And... none of us guys... Father's or not... would be here to read this, or the one's like me... would definitely not be very happy without you!!! :lol:

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Postby angel143 » Mon Jun 22, 2009 1:22 pm


Thank you. You are right. Feelings are neither good nor bad, it IS what we do with them that matters. How we handle/conduct ourselves our emotions that matters.

Thank for sharing with me Sunlight, you are special.


Thank you for your story as well. No need to thank me for sharing myself. It just comes natural with all of you.

I find it amazing how the longer im sober, even just days makes a difference...the more clarity I am having. But its all things I knew. I just didnt want to ever admit. So a couple years ago when I was faced with really having to deal with my past...I didnt have the tools or the strength (so i thought) to deal with it. And when you have friends that own a bar....its so much easier to go and drink for free than to deal with your issues!

But now, I can be here and deal with things, and have new joys brought to my life...that i can treasure on a whole new level.

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Postby Anja » Tue Jun 23, 2009 8:00 am

Bless your heart, Angel.

Sounds like you have begun the healing process with your father through sobriety. Pretty good feeling, isn't it?

You may discover that this will continue as you work the steps and that, onion-like, layer upon layer of recognition of grief and gifts will unfold as you become ever more aware.

Once you connect with why we stay at work on the steps throughout life you sure can see why we keep doing it.

Now there's a miracle! A piece of life that lay ruined and rejected becomes a source of solace and strength. Who'da thunk it?

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Postby tim-one » Tue Jun 23, 2009 8:58 am

GEEZ! WHAT is the deal with the crying this morning? ... LORD?!?!

Heather, Sunny ... YOU GOT USED! :!:

You girls are KILLIN' ME this morning! "Killing me softly with His words". Thanks for payin' attention to HP for me.

Heather ... so this makes 20 days (if my half-dead math brain cell decided to get up this morning). Do that again today, huh?! :wink:


I was tempted to post one I wrote years ago, but wasn't sure if it was recovery related. But it's Father's Day, so you gave me the nerve!

"A brain. A heart. A home. Da noive." :)


I really like that peops are able to reply to poems now. Thanks, bud.


My daddy talked to me 3 times in my life that I can remember:

1. When it was way past due :lol: he sat me down for my sex talk. Apparently, my mom is a virgin ... 5 times. :roll:

2. When I started drinking (legally) and had my first (legal) hangover(18 back then), he told me how to drink more without getting "too" drunk and getting hangovers. Well, ok, he didn't know anything about sex, but he's an Irish alcoholic .. SURELY he knows how to drink MORE! :roll: WRONG!

3. When I tried to enlist in the Navy, they told me I had siphilis. Swell. Went to a clinic on the way home for another test. Friday afternoon. Won't have the results till Monday. Sweller.

ALL FRIGN WEEKEND ... "So tell me about it, "Buddy". C'mon, You can tell me, "Pal"." :roll: :roll: :roll:

Test came back negative. I told the Navy to tear up my papers for mixing up the blood tests. (Some poor schmuck was walking around with his nose falling off). And dad had to believe me that I hadn't had sex in two years and only once before that. (had a 2 y.o. son at 18 ... once is all THAT takes AP-PARENT-LY) :roll:

I just love you guys/gals! That's all.


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Postby garden variety » Wed Jun 24, 2009 1:42 pm

Hiya Peeps.

I've seen the harm an unavailable dad can cause in a woman's life. I watched my girlfriend call her dad this weekend and wish him a happy fathers day. Did he deservie it? Better not ask me! But he got a well-wish from a very beautiful and kind-hearted woman. For some reason that inspired me. Monkey see - Monkey do?

Now I mentioned that I don't have a relationship with my dad. He left when I was a year old - he lived his life with another family, I lived mine with a single mom. I was bitter about it for a long time. I would sometimes go to bars looking for him. I found him once and wanted to start a fight with him, but somehow the surprise on his face extinguished my anger and agression. We just talked. He faded from in touch to out-of-touch.

Then I got in touch with him and he stood me up on an important event, and I wrote him a blistering letter. He called back and bi-atched me out. I went visiting him later on, when he paid me to do a job I never did. I drank the money away and broke contact. Got him back, I did!

I finally made amends - sent him back the money and told him the door was open if he ever wanted to have a relationship with me - and I meant it. Three years later he called. Totally surprised me. He said he wanted me to visit him because he didn't know how much longer he'd be around. I asked him was he planning to go somewhere? We laughed, and I left it at that. That was about two years ago.

As I watched my girl this weekend, and I recalled all the horrible things she endured at her dad's hands, I was amazed. She just called him in spite of her hurt just to tell him that she loves him. Then the thought came to me to call my dad. I just figured, you know, I'm pretty much over the bitterness, and I don't really care that we don't have a relationship.

The magic of the moment was what I saw in my girlfriend that I never thought of before. Her call to her dad was not going to benefit her in any way. But she called him, for his sake. Totally for his sake, so that he would be reminded that he still has a loving daughter that thinks of him on fathers day. That day, it took her a lot of energy, and a lot of tears to do that.

That inspired me. I said what the hell? If she can do that, and be nice to her dad for his sake, why don't I just go on and do the same thing?

So I just non-chalantly phoned the old man while she was organizing and unpacking. She stopped when she overheard me on the phone.

"Happy fathers day."

"Who is this?"

"Your son."

"Oh hi, Roger." I got a big grin on my face, and started shaking my head. Dad saying this would have made me hit the ceiling years ago. Roger is his "stepson" turned "son", who always had the relationship with dad that I never had, but I longed for. But it made me laugh affectionately, and no, my feelings were not in the least bit hurt. I totally understood why dad thought it was Roger.

"No dad, it's not Roger."

"Who is it then?"

"It's Paul."

"Paul who?"

"Dad! It's Paul. Remember, your only son?"

I could tell his memory wasn't what it used to be, but he did finally remember me. We talked. And we laughed together. My girlfriend was totally amazed, because she knew about how my relationship with dad was stormy and strained. She was all smiles and ended up talking with my dad. What a sweetheart.

I just did what she did - monkey see - monkey do. But the magic was that all the baggage that used to consume me had dissapated. I wanted to call my dad because I wanted him to, hopefully, feel joy. I wanted the moment to be his, not mine. And it was. My girlfriend said it couldn't have went better.

What a darn simple thing for me to do - it didn't cost me a penny. My words made an old man in Florida very happy. It took my lady completely off-guard, and gave her a sense of admiration for me that I don't think she had until then.

It was such a little thing. I just applied one of the spiritual principles. It was my girl that inspired me to do this - it wasn't even my own idea! But I got that peculiar AA math - a huge positive return on something I thought was just a drop in the bucket. It didn't even conjer up any kind of negative feelings within me. Just a little-bitty thing.

I made an elderly dad a happy man this Sunday. My girlfriend talked so much about me with him, that it made dad real proud. He told her "Then I did something good, didn't I?"

Going back to what Heather said - by golly Heather, you are right. I'm thankful that the old coot gave me life. If it weren't for him, none of this good life I have, including the 10+ years of sobriety I love, would have been possible. If it weren't for that old coot, none of the words that I spill out all over this forum would be here. None of the alcoholics that I've helped, would have been helped in the same way.

If I never hear from dad again, I'll know he died feeling good that his son, that he obviously felt gulity about abandoning, still cares about him. Funny thing is that I do care about him - maybe not all sentimental and mushy like I have a real dad/son realationship. But I care for the man because he is pretty much like you or me. He's lived life and done things he regrets, but I suppose he tried pretty hard to make a positive contribution to life on his end, even if it didn't include me. For sure, the world is no worse.

Then there's Roger. A career Navy submariner who retired from serving this country with distinction. Who knows how many good young men Roger made a positive impact on in his career. Roger got the benefit of growing up with a father who took care of his mom and brother. Roger got to enjoy the love of a father. So my dad's love wasn't lost or wasted.

I guess that's what matters most. Dad's life wasn't in vain. He made a big difference - probably to a lot of people - even to me! :wink:

I can look back at what I thought was once the worst expereince any boy could have, and today I can smile and know in my heart it was all for the good. No hard feelings whatever! That is profound, my friends.

See what you've done for me? A "Big Book", 12-Steps, and a fellowship -my life has become a mighty nice place to hang around in.

Thank you, all of you for your time and care in helping me to stay sober and to achieve sobriety. And I don't think I'd be out-of-order in saying that my dad also thanks you.

God bless,

PS-Since it was late that night, and he thought I was Roger, I wonder if Roger called his father? Maybe reality is stranger than fiction?

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Postby Dallas » Wed Jun 24, 2009 2:42 pm

Wow. Great sharing Paul. I could get too windy about all that went on for me as I read of your experience on the Journey... Thank you. Dallas

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Postby Dallas » Thu Jun 25, 2009 9:54 am

Oh BTW!!! The point was....

We can always look at something from a different direction... or a different angle. I've found that sometimes it's very helpful to me -- to explore the other angles." Sometimes, they've set me free. :wink:


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Postby angel143 » Thu Jun 25, 2009 11:39 am

Dallas wrote:To get where I am today -- I became aware that I had to come from where I came... and if I had come from somewhere else... I wouldn't be where I am today. :lol:

Well...I am you came from where you came from so that you can be where you are today! I am glad that we ALL came from where we came from so that we can all be here.

Timmy and Dallas...

You 2 blow my mind. You make me think...so much it hurts my little head! :lol: But I enjoy your insight. It makes me think and consider things that I may not have ever thought of.

Thanks to you both!

(And no Timmy, Heathery just doesnt sound the same...but my daddy use to call me heathy....same sound as heather, only no er just the y...not sounding like the boys name heath!)

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