i win the best Valentine’s Day present

Used 2014-02-16 VD (AlKHall sobriety recovery)

All about the VD

Those who read me regularly know i’m regularly down on myself. Part of it is my self deprecating nature, the rest of it is the rigorous honesty required by Alcoholics Anonymous: what i do not broach, i cannot get past. i cannot overcome what i do not confront. Airing my dirty under-past here is also a way for me to embrace humility and fix my “egomaniac with an inferiority complex” fixation.

But today i’m not here to belittle myself. i’m here as the alcoholic father of two teenage children. i got sober three years ago, when my son was 16 and my daughter was 13. Naturally, i often wonder how much my disease affected them, and if i hurt them with my drinking and if those wounds left scars. Honestly, i worry that seeing their father try to kill himself fucked them up permanently.

Yesterday was Valentine’s Day. Today, i realized my son spent more than a week preparing a Valentine’s Day for his friend. He set up his room with candles and roses so it would be ready when they came home from the restaurant he went to beforehand to ask them to set up the table with the supplies he’d brought. My daughter saved money for three months (and she can usually hold onto it no longer than a week) so that she could take her friend to Disneyland, paying for the tickets, the train to get there, the meals while they were there and the souvenirs to keep. She texted me a pic of their trip and their obvious happiness was the best Valentine’s Day present i’ve received in recent memory.

My children are not perfect. Like all children, they have many defaults and defects and my drinking maybe caused some and exacerbated others.

But my children know how to love with a selfless love, a deep love, a giggle out loud love and they are not afraid to show it. i’m relieved they’re more resilient than i’d given them credit for, and that they are brimming over with the kind of love that can conquer the world.

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About Al K Hall

Like a battered drinker or a punch drunk boxer, i am here for another round. For those of you who don’t know me, i’m a semi-professional writer on the rocks and a non-practicing alcoholic (if after 30 years of practicing, you still can't do something well, it's best to just give it up). For those of you who do know me, thanks for stopping by anyway and where’s the ten bucks you owe me? Welcome to my Bar None. A hole in the wall where we can hang out and trade the kind of stories you swap only when you’ve had one too many and either can’t find your way home or are afraid to. Hell, it’s cheaper than therapy and plus the pictures are prettier. Here we’ll crack open bottles and jokes and ‘last call’ are the only dirty words you’ll never hear. Pull up a stool and make yourselves at home. http://about.me/AlKHall

Posted on February 16, 2014, in Alcoholism, Lessons in Recovery, Recovery and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. Love it Al – sounds like they’re good kids. Great dad…everyone is pulling together doing the best that they can. That’s all we can expect, yes? They love deeply because regardless of the past, they can see it in you and you are passing that on.

    Wonderful stuff, Al.

    And a kick-ass pic too. Bravo :)

    Paul

    • Hi there, brother!

      i think what it all comes down to is i’m slowly learning how to forgive myself for my past, which i’m making a lot harder than it need be.

      Keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

  2. very sweet. happy sober valentine’s day
    peggy

  3. Sounds like you did something right. As the child of an alcoholic dad I can tell you that I never stopped loving him and I loved him even more when he finally quit drinking. He was my hero and I miss him every day.

    Bravo my friend.

    Sherry

    • Sherry!

      What a beautiful beautiful comment. It choked me up when i read it the first time and here i am getting all choked up again as i respond to it. Thank you not just for your words of encouragement and support, but for reminding me that every day is a chance for me to show my children that, while i may not be hero material, that i love them completely and just as they are.

      You really made my day!

      Keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

  4. Oooohh how wonderful. Wonderful. Your children will probably be better children for having witnessed their dad turn himself around. They are fortunate to have you. I really believe that. Struggle is a part of life, they know that now.. but they are witness to a triumph not a disaster. So be proud my friend.. and stop regretting. Belated Valentines Day hugs to you from afar xxxx

    • Hi Mrs D!

      Thank you for such a sweet comment! It’s true that i am living proof that a person can change fundamentally, which is one of the hardest things anyone can do. i’m getting better at about forgetting to regret, and i’m enjoying your hugs from afar! :-)

      Keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

  5. sorry two more things..

    OHMIGOD that photo!!!!!!!

    And wow isn’t what Sherry shared wonderful…

    xxxx

  6. Great post Al and good job with the kids. I think we will all always worry about what impact our drinking had on our children but we can only move forward and set new better examples. Oh and Sherry, she’s like the Obi-Wan of the Sober Force when it comes to sober wisdom.
    Sharon

    • Thank you for the visit and the comment, Sharon! You’re right, of course, that the only way we can go is forward, and i’m getting better about not looking back. You’re also right about Sherry and the Sober Force! May it be with you, too!

      Keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

  7. Very nice, Al :o)
    Looking forward to reading more from you (There don’t seem to be many of we male grogbloggers out here!)
    Take care :o)
    Gray

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