An Honest Letter

Pops,

I refer to the day you died, December 4th, 1994, as the day when my drinking and using finally become completely unmanageable. This time marked a change in how I dealt with life. I had always drank and used to change the way that I felt, but when you died I decided I didn’t want to feel at all. 
I know now that I didn’t become an alcoholic or an addict because I drank and used. Conversely, I drank and used because I am an alcoholic and an addict. One event didn’t determine my path and I used your passing as an excuse to check out. I let my anger and my grief dictate my actions. I hid from my fear and I sought comfort and relief in an attempt to escape my feelings. 
I have been self-centered, dishonest, resentful and in fear. I was unable to seek help and heal from my pain. My only solution was to get loaded. I didn’t know any other way to live. I was to blame for the things I have done and how I used to live. 
I used your death as justification for my own shortcomings. I made you my excuse. In reality, you were just as sick as me and you did the best that you could with the tools you had. 
Today I live my life on a different basis. I chose to be seen for my actions rather than my intentions. I no longer use drugs or alcohol to escape myself. I have learned how to heal. 
I am the father I always wanted to have. I am the son I should have been. I am the friend that I was never able to be. I am a human being that you can be proud of. 
I carry your memory with me.
I miss you,
Sean

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