The following is an excerpt from the book “Behind the Dumpster – A story of a son’s addiction, a father’s love and a bike ride.” This book chronicles my experiences with my youngest son’s heroin addiction and its impact on me and my life.
“Whatever our quest in life is, we cannot simply define our outcomes because we decide we will. There are too many moving parts, too many other distractions and influences, and too many external factors. Whatever your quest, others will eventually be involved. Their participation, their passion, their commitment, and their sheer existence will make them part of our picture. When they do get involved—and they will—the rules, the game, and the outcomes will all be impacted.
When it came to my son’s addiction and his choices, I did not have enough passion, energy, love, commitment, or determination for the two of us to change the path he was on. Even though I believed I could change his course—because I had succeeded every other time I tackled something like this—I came to a very harsh reality: his life, his outcomes were not mine to alter; he was on his own journey. It took me a very long time to realize that fact; it nearly destroyed me before I discovered it. I almost lost everything because I didn’t believe it was possible. I learned a very hard, painful lesson. It was a life lesson. It was a life-changing lesson. And it was a very important, significant lesson.
Coming to this realization after going through all the destructive experiences associated with it was unbelievably difficult. I wouldn’t wish my journey on anyone. It is a journey I do not desire to relive or retake. It is something I would like to put as far in my rearview mirror as possible. It was also a necessary and powerful trip in my development.
Despite all the pain, hurt, agony, and chaos, this was the greatest gift for me, my life, and my journey. Once I separated myself from addiction-driven destruction, I discovered a new reality for my life. I realized that I cannot simply take control in an attempt to define results. Instead, I can empower and inspire others to influence significant outcomes. I realized that strength is not discovered in the protective vacuum of my ego but in the authenticity of honesty, vulnerability, and humility. Peace and happiness exist when I live my passion, not when I live to achieve and become. And there is so much more.”