What a Fantastic Time To Be a Sober Dad
I'm feeling happy, happy, joy, joy right now. Quite a turnaround from my darkness post!
So, what's it all about? I'm glad you asked.
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Let's rewind a bit and look at the alcoholism angle.
Last week, I was reminded of my early drinking days as I watched the excellent Netflix show, Maid (Wikipedia). The main character is a woman called Alex. She's the partner of an alcoholic and, together, they have a pre-school-aged daughter. Alex leaves her partner and takes her daughter with her. My wife did the same with our daughter. This matches my experience perfectly and so, naturally, it brought up some memories.
That was the wake-up call that made me pick up the local paper and call the AA helpline. It wasn't my first AA meeting, but it was the beginning of my recovery. The first attempt failed because I was going for my wife, who thought I should go. The second time I was going for me because I had to, or I would lose what was most dear to me. I just couldn’t let that happen.
I did have a slip after that, but then I got it and have managed to keep it going for a string of days-at-a-time, right up till today. And I don't plan on drinking today!
Our daughter is now 17 and she's in her final year of high school. Today she got an unconditional offer to her first choice of music school to study French horn. It's such an exciting time for the family and I'm so grateful that I get to be here for it, to share it with my wife and start planning our daughter's future together. It could so easily have gone differently, but I got sober and I got to keep what I had. I don't take that lightly.
One of the highlights of my year this year was a road trip with our daughter, just the two of us. We were driving down to Manchester after she finished school in Glasgow one Friday. She had an audition for the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. During the drive, she had a Zoom call scheduled with the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, so we put it through the car stereo and I got to share that experience with her. It was a very special moment, and that's the college she chose afterward as her first choice.
This feels like a great example of the promises of AA coming true for me. One of them reads: We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. That sums it up nicely.
Our daughter has applied to six conservatoires and, so far, she's had two unconditional offers and an invitation to a third college for a second audition. She's visited two and plans on visiting the others too, possibly booking some consultation lessons to get a feel for the colleges before deciding where she'll be spending the next four years of her life.
What a fantastic time to be a sober dad. Honestly. It's the best feeling in the world!