Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Light in a Dark Place

I’m not much of a storyteller myself, but my dad has always been. I will do the best to encompass his ability to tell stories, and by doing so I will tell a piece of his story.



One of my dad’s favorite tales to tell is the first time I rode a rollercoaster. This love affair began when I was little and my family took a trip to Virginia. All day I had been asking to go on a rollercoaster. It intrigued me the way that they twirled in the air and screams of laughter rang from within. This was something I needed to try for myself, but I was just too short. Finally, we came across “The Big Bad Wolf”. The name sounds far more intimidating than it was, and after further inspection, this was the one. I was just barely tall enough if I stood on my tippy-toes. We made our ascent to the top, whooshing through the ride, spilling out with laughter and screaming. Then, the ride began to go up another hill that was twice as big as before. My eyes began to grow to the size of a silver dollar and I instantly doubted my love affair with rollercoasters. When we reached the summit I remember looking at my dad and saying “Holy $#*%!!!”. We raced down the remaining portion of the track and plummeted to the bottom. When the ride ended, my dad feared what I would say next, but all I said was, “let’s do that again!” And so began my love affair with rollercoasters.



These were the happy days spent with my dad. Days full of abundant smiles, joy, and overwhelming peace. Recently, those bright days began to turn dark and my dad developed a new love affair with alcohol. He quickly became an alcoholic and couldn’t function without first wrapping his arms around a bottle of whiskey. My beautiful, happy family began to come apart at the seams due to my dad’s disease, and there was no way of mending the damage. We continued on without admitting to our fault by putting on a happy face. One day, it became too much. Words were said that should have never been spoken to someone you love and I begged my dad to come back into my life. He had become such an absent figure that I felt as if I had been abandoned and was an orphan. I had lost all hope and doubted I would ever have him back in my life.



December 6th, 2014 my dad went to a rehab facility and it forever changed our lives. He went through a 30-day treatment and began to discover his alcoholism with a clear mind. He remembered the person he used to be back in the bright days and rediscovered his carefree charisma. Day-by-day the man that I used to admire and love returned. Slowly, he became my best friend again and the light began to shine through.



My dad will forever be an alcoholic, but he is consistently fighting and overcoming the disease. He is such an example of redemption, transformation, and never giving up hope. My encouragement to you is that if you or someone you know are fighting this disease or something similar, please seek help. Discover light and the overwhelming peace that can be restored. Never give up on endlessly praying and fighting for something that you believe in, even if it seems overwhelming. I would love to hear your stories and for you to know that you are not alone.



Shout out to Jordan and Alexa Kaczor. ​

Amanda Keating
amanda.keating325[AT]gmail.com
Fort Collins, Colorado, USA

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