July 12, 2017

I have been there often, too often

One of my biggest struggles in sharing the story of my journey is allowing others to experience those authentic moments when I feel the pain of a derailed life. It is difficult to share those moments because I don’t spend a lot of time there and I don’t like being there. Admitting to you there are times where I just ache for an opportunity to have the story of addiction in my family completely non-existent or all cleared up, is virtually impossible. When I am in one of those moments, I feel as though I am going backward and I don’t want anyone to know.

I have worked so hard to get to a different point in my life, I don’t like going backward. I don’t want to spend a lot of time in that space, much less talk about it. A lot of times, rather than share where I am, I talk about where I am going to be and leave out the part of my journey that says, “today stinks and I am feeling like crap.”

This is not authentic, honest, or fair to you. You deserve and need to know my entire story. While I know what it takes to manage the chaos of life’s experiences, it doesn’t mean I always have it figured out. I am not always perfect at staying in this emotionally healthy space. I have issues I deal with every single day and some of them have nothing to do with addiction; but, they may have a lot to do with my experiences associated with addiction. Life throws us emotional curves. Where we are when one is thrown at us, defines how readily we maneuver through them. Some days, the emotional curve ball almost knocks me over.

I get depressed about my life. I have days where getting on my bike just doesn’t happen. There are no good reasons for it other than I just don’t feel like it. There are periods in my life where I am disappointed with where I am, who I am, and where my life is headed. There are stretches where I feel like a failure, as a professional, a dad, a husband. Participating thoughts are usually stuff like, I could have done so much more with my life – past or present. I have cycles, some of them extended ones, where I train poorly, eat badly, speak harshly, and live grumpy. I can feel lost, frustrated, and angry. It happens. It happens more than you know and more than I would like to admit.

Sometimes I see a person on the street who reminds me of my son. It breaks my heart to know they’re hurting and their parents and family are hurting, as well. It completely wrecks my mood, my day, and steals my joy. I hate acknowledging that pain. I hate having that pain.

When I find myself in those moments, I am grateful my experiences have taught me what it takes to move out of that space. Sometimes the shift to the cure isn’t easy; but, I am conscious to the keys to getting out of my adverse little funks, for the most part. And, I get to work at moving forward from the dark side.

It is the good news of shifting out of the funk which I love sharing with you most. Because I know how painful and difficult a parents’ journey can be, I am passionate about inspiring and encouraging you to discover and embrace the joy on the other side of the struggle. It is a place where you are able to operate in a place of peace, clarity, and hope for your life. I love living in that space. I relish it and work hard on returning when I slip out of it.

I am committed you can discover it, if you allow yourself to believe you can. I apologize for not always being authentic about the struggle as much as I have been open about my transformational celebrations. Here’s hoping we can start walking this out together a little better and you will be willing to trust me more with your journey. There is a life to be celebrated beyond the chaos of addiction. I know, I have been on both sides quite often and I love the upside when I embrace it.

How can I support you on your journey?


Want more insights from this blog? Join me on the podcast “100Pedals Talk: Inside the Blog” as I delve deeper into this post and share personal stories or reflections behind the article. (Note: The podcast relating to any particular blog is released on Thursday of the same week this blog is posted.)

I would love to hear from you. What issues are confronting you today? Where are you currently experiencing fear and shame relating to the struggles in your life? I have some pretty cool tools to guide you and would love to help.  Please let me know: dave@100Pedals.com.

Dave Cooke is going on the Road! Learn more about this year’s cross county cycling trip, Cycling for Recovery 2017.




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About Dave Cooke

Dave Cooke is a dad on a mission. His mission is to help parents get control of their lives over the powerful, destructive influences of a child's addiction. As the father of a son in a ten year heroin battle, Dave knows all to well the challenges parents and families face. He also knows there is a way to find peace in the chaos. It is his mission to help parents discover their path to a healthier, balanced life even if a child's active addiction is still part of their daily journey.

  1. Wow, David, thank you so much for this raw look inside your truth. I am able to be this honest with myself, but never “out loud”. It’s exhausting, life is exhausting. I imagine you felt a weight lifted when you were able to put this down on paper. Thanks for showing me what that might look like in my own life!

    • Shelley, it is not always easy to live out loud. Its not a requirement. It is something I have been comfortable, some of it at least, for awhile.

  2. I really got a lot out of this article!
    Yes, we always know there is hope.
    But we do hurt, I hurt for my son, his kids, our family!
    And anyone who deals with addiction.
    The mind is the battlefield!
    Thought, choice and destination.
    Our feelings will lie to us.
    But our heart aches are real.

    • Teresa, thanks for sharing your thoughts on this article. Being real keeps us connected to our inner self. Otherwise, the mask becomes comfortable and more painful once it gets ripped off of us.

  3. Dave,
    I guess I try to be thankful I don’t have some motor dysfunction disease, or am missing one or more arms or legs (being a veteran)
    As you say is easier said than done. I know my mother doesn’t want to talk about my departed brother anymore really. At least not
    the bad stuff. Can’t blame her. I should move on too. I saw what it did to my mom and dad so there must be some bad days for you.
    I might put his name on the van, I think he would like that. ~Dave L

    • David, thank you for your comments. I have no idea what it would be like to lose a sibling or a child to their addiction. The journey I have traveled had its difficult moments, but there is a finality to death which I wouldn’t be able to even surmise what that is like. I would be humbly honored to have your brother’s name on the van. Every connection established through 100Pedals is part of someone’s story. Taking that story with me on my cycling campaigns is a powerful weapon for those who need to learn more about this epidemic. Let me know. Enjoy hearing from you.

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