Name: Sarah Parker
From: Ball Ground, Georgia
Growing up, I felt my life was fairly typical. I had two parents, a younger brother, and everything was normal. At age seven, that all shifted. I did not know when I was younger, but my father struggled with alcohol and drug abuse. Whenever I asked where he was, my mom would always say he was at work and could not come home for a few days. The truth was he was in jail for either drinking or possession. One of the only memories I still retain from them being married was from when I was four. They were arguing and I ran into the room begging them to stop. My mom assured me they were only joking, but children are more perceptive than some give them credit for. Later that night, the cops were called on my parents. The neighbors had called in a noise complaint, so the officers took my father away to cool off. After that, my parents got a divorce and my father’s appearances grew fewer till it became normal not to see from nor hear from for years. My mom got married to an amazing man who has since become my dad, but this year has not been that simple. This year my father, Adam was released from jail in Texas. I do not know the chargers and have no desire to learn of them; however, he has reached out to me and my brother. This is revolutionary because he has not made an effort to reconcile with us in years with alcohol and drugs being his mistress. While I am still uneasy around him, we have both taken steps to mend the bridge I once thought was unsalvageable. He is not the only person in my family addition has sunk its claws into however. Both my grandfather and my uncle on his side of the family have struggled with alcohol. My uncle was on a very similar path Adam was on, but he has gone through rehab and has exited a new man. He believes in God and love. He just had a celebration for being one year sober from both alcohol and drugs. On my moms side, my grandfather also struggles with alcohol and smoking. It got to the point where cancer began to take over his esophagus and we were extremely concerned he would not make it. Again, my family was blessed with him staying strong and making it through surgery and chemo. Addiction has had a huge impact on my life, but it has shown me how strong family and love can be and how their is always room for more and hope for all.