Shortly after I was celebrating and embracing the powerful transitions occurring in my life, I was having lunch with a couple of close, trusted friends. Both were passionately encouraging me to be more proactive in sharing the energy and inspiration of my life changing 100Pedals experience. I was quite reluctant. Finally, one of them looked me very intensely and said “Dave, you have created more buzz and awareness through your love and commitment to your son than anything you have done relating to your sales training and coaching.” My reaction was what I did was nothing special, that any dad would have done the same thing. Their collective response was, “no they wouldn’t!” That was one.
Last summer I gave a presentation at a church group. I thought nothing of the fact that 90% of the attendees were Moms. After my talk, I received wonderful coaching from a friend of a friend, who instructed me that my target audience was Dads. The people who most needed to hear my story and the group I needed to focus the gifts of my lessons, experiences, and insights were Dads. Her reasoning was that Dads have no outlet or course of action for managing something they cannot get control over. Their ego, their emotional make-up, and their unwillingness to be vulnerable — puts them in a position where they need a role model to help them discover how live, not survive, when something goes uncontrollably wrong. That was two.
Finally, I participated in a presentation at a men’s breakfast one Saturday morning. This audience was one of the few times where there were more men than women — all Dads and one Mom (the woman who arranged for my participation at the event received a special exemption to attend.) At the end of the session, there was one Dad who was particularly touched by the story I shared. My story of pain and confusion with addiction resonated with him and the inspirations I shared of finding hope and peace in the chaos intrigued him. We had two subsequent conversations — right after the talk and several days later on the phone. He had lost a son to a addiction related suicide and was concerned his other son was spiraling out control as a result of his brother’s actions. Though we had a couple of great conversations, I couldn’t help but be bothered by this nagging feeling that, although I was pretty successful at sharing my story and providing guidance and support, I was not really as prepared or as committed I needed to be to assist him. That feeling has been in my heart for several months now. That was three.
When I read 3D’s blog, I was reminded why I am here today and what have committed to. There are not enough Dads out there who now how to channel their pain, share their feelings, ask for help, and discover the potential for emotional peace. A big part of this is that it is easier to retreat to the security of our egos and our work than openly share our emotional pain over something we cannot control, fix, or understand. Retreat and reflection is the safest harbor.
That is why I joining 3D and calling out to all Dads dealing with addiction in your world. If you are hurting, in pain, asking questions, looking for help, struggling to find your footing in the face of the destructive forces of addiction in your family — ask for help! There may not be a lot of us out there who have gone public. But, there are enough resources available that, if you are willing, you can find what you are looking for.