I always saw myself as a typical dad, husband, and successful professional. In 2009, I celebrated 29 years of marriage, the father of three adult children, and a successful business consultant. Life was going according to “plan” as was building a successful speaking and coaching business, including a few international presentations, and was enjoying the transition from my hometown of Detroit, Michigan to the sun and warmth of Scottsdale, Arizona. Life was pretty good.
In the September 2009, I received phone call that changed my life – my youngest son was in jail. My son, twenty at the time, was addicted to heroin, homeless and in legal trouble relating to this situation.
In my typical take charge manner, I immediately shifted all my priorities and set out on a quest to rescue my son from his addiction, including maneuvering through the court system and to have him relocated to Arizona where a change of venue and a parents love would certainly solve the problem.
What I didn’t know about the power of addiction provided me with quite an education and interrupted my perfect little strategy. Over the next fifteen months, my wife and I went through a litany of addiction driven experiences many other families dealing with the addiction of a loved one go through – more legal troubles, deception, heartache, and scary overdose incidents.
After fifteen months, I finally realized this addiction wasn’t only affecting my son; but, it had slowly begun to destroy me. My business suffered, I distanced myself from friends, and my health had deteriorated.
That is when I made a commitment that completely changed my life.
One night, when I finally discovered how broken I was, I challenged myself to do something to regain control and clarity in my life. The challenge was “how can I be strong for my son when he is present and receptive and even stronger for me when he is not?” It was then that I came up with an incredible, life changing challenge.
I made a commitment to ride my bike for at least one hour a day for 100 consecutive days.
On January 1, 2011, I went on my first one hour bike ride. On April 10, 2011, I completed my 100th consecutive ride. Over the course of these one hundred days, I rode 2,360 miles and 141 hours.
It was not the exercise in this activity which changed my life, it was the meditative experiences in every ride. With every bike ride, my mind became clearer. In this clarity I discovered the peace and guidance that provided direction through the chaotic journey of a child’s addiction.
Today, I celebrate the lessons learned from that transformation experience and share these insights with other parents struggling to navigate their life around the chaos of a child’s addiction. The most important lesson in this incredible journey, is the continuous learning curve. There are layers and layers of information, insights, experiences, and reflections; all of which continue to enhance my overall knowledge of parenting, relationship, community and healing. I celebrate this journey, which started out as a very dark series of experiences, and have become one of the greatest gifts in my life.
If you have a son or daughter struggling with an addiction, I know what you are going through. If you are struggling with pain and confusion associated with your experiences, we need to talk. There is a way through the chaos and the final outcome likely is not what you would expect or predict. I would love to have the opportunity to help you navigate your way through it and find the path that enables you to appreciate the gifts embedded in your journey. Pleas, email me: dave@100Pedals.com