BY: Marc McMahon
Not being able to sleep sucks as far as I am concerned! It is 12:57 a.m. and I slept from 6-8 p.m. & 8:15-10:25 p.m. been up ever since and I am not quite sure what to do with myself so I thought I would bug you all. Yes, you're stuck with me, at least for the next few minutes anyways. That's not necessarily a bad thing though.
My stepfather (the one I call Dad) and I have been talking again on a regular basis since I got sober after my last relapse. When two weeks ago he informed me he had a falling out with his roommate of the past four years and he needed to move on the first of July. The news didn't shock me any, I mean when he moved in four years ago it was just supposed to be a temporary thing anyway.
So we discussed him moving out of state to where I am and starting over, which I think would be a really healthy thing for my dad. Especially considering he has had two strokes and a heart attack in the past 15 years. Does nothing physically at all where he is currently living except drink coffee and smoke cigarettes. I mean, at least I write too :).
The thing about it is, my dad lives on a very small Social Security check and him finding a place right away is not going to be an easy task. Actually, he is going to be almost 70 and looking to rent a room somewhere, a room which I inevitably will have to find for him. But I know my dad and he's thinking he can move down here and I'll just let him stay with me until he finds a place. as I have always done in the past when faced with this situation before with him.
Considering this will be the third time I have been faced with this situation with my dad and the first two times didn't end that well let's just say. I had to set a firm boundary here with him. Two days ago when I agreed to help him find a place or get him settled in the mission temporarily until he does find a spot. I told him he could stay with me three days as that was all my lease allowed for then we would go from there. He agreed.
Yesterday when he called, the next very next conversation mind you. He started the conversation off by "well why don't you ask your landlord if I can go ahead and just stay for about two weeks until I find a place because 3 days just is not enough time." I was just like, here we go again. So I told him NO!!! Then I explained how it was going to go again so that it was crystal clear and he agreed.
This is far from the end of it, we will have this discussion several more times before that three days is up I will guarantee you that. It is not that I have an issue with helping the man I call Dad, the one I hated half my life, but now love dearly. It's just that the timing always sucks. Each time I have been in recovery, each time just coming back after a relapse and each time having been in a new place less than a year.
I really don't need the stress, and oh boy my Mother is going to be livid when she catches wind of this one! I am already expecting the very brief call from her where all she say's is "Marc, what's your Fathers number!" I tell her than the phone immediately goes silent on the other end, boy is he going to get an earful.
That is ok though because life does not always let us pick and choose when events like this are about to happen. Actually almost never are we allowed to schedule the shitty events that life has in its bag of tricks for us. Wouldn't it be cool though if we could? Just make Thursdays shitty stuff happening day then always have a good weekend. That be awesome, but, back to reality.
Where was I? Oh ya, my point is that although I would like to just let my dad live with me until he finds a place, I can't. Not because of my landlord, that's never stopped me before. But because it is not healthy for me and my recovery. I have to put me first today, at all costs with only one exception, God!
Sounds selfish I guess but without me being clean I am not going to have any family anyways so I need to keep that as my main priority always. Without it, I have nothing. Don't get me wrong here, it is ok to help people, to give back what has been freely given that is for sure. It can even be therapeutic. Let me share an important lesson my big ass heart has learned this past year;
"We can only help others to the extent, that we can keep ourselves healthy."
Love you all....
About the Author: Marc is a 48 yr. old Author, speaker, and soldier against the disease of addiction. He resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Marc’s hobbies include writing, Mt. biking, hiking, and drinking copious amounts of coffee. Marc is also the proud father, of one very outstanding young man. As Marc always likes to say “Be blessed, my friends.”