Balancing Life as a Dad in Recovery

I feel like dads do not talk about balance enough. More often I see mother’s in recovery discussing this hot topic.

I write this in hopes to change that conversation!

To be clear, I am fortunate enough my daughter has two parents to help raise her. Without my wife I honestly don’t know how I would make this work with what I need to do to stay sober. For any single parents out there in recovery, I commend you! You are rock stars!

I have had a routine for the past 14 years in recovery that has been a rock for me in remaining in contented sobriety for a length of time I did not think was imaginable.  Of course, over that period of time, I have had life changes, employment changes, deaths, and other life situations that most people endure. With that being said, the blessing of having a child is a game changer. 

My daughter’s birth was the most amazing gift I ever witnessed other than the day I got sober.

Earthlings may say to themselves wow “other than the day you got sober?” Well, yes to me it is that simple.

Let me explain…Without my sobriety there is no Skylar. There is no marriage, or home or job. I could keep going, but I think you get my point. My whole life is based on my sobriety. Therefore, it is so vital for me to find balance, which includes keeping my recovery priority number 1.

Some ask, ok well how do you do it? Well, I think the answer to that is it changes daily. Or even, it depends on what is going on in my life at that time. All I know is that it wasn’t easy before I became a dad so now for sure it has become more challenging. I see challenging as a good thing though. People like me from my experience wouldn’t do it if it was easy.

So, with being a new dad your schedule changes immediately. I am responsible for someone’s life and at one point in my life I couldn’t even take care of myself. That alone can be frightening. I know I will be ok because I believe in God’s grace. He hasn’t taken me this far to give up.

The longer you stay sober the more lessons you learn. The biggest one for me is to ask for help. That starts to answer the question above of how do you do it. Since my routine has changed a bit I just have reflected on my other times in sobriety where I faced adversity or challenging moments. Talking to other dads in recovery that have been doing it a lot longer than me has been a big help. Communication with my wife is also crucial. She knows I need to still stay connected in my recovery network so if I need a night or two out getting my medicine, I know she will be ok. There may be times that it is not that simple just to be able to get out for a night though. Your daughter or son may be sick, or your wife may be sick. Situations may not always go that way when you are a dad in recovery, so we need other outlets. Whether that be talking on the phone or having some other people in recovery over to your home, there is always a way to stay connected. It is about balance.

I am also fortunate to have family in my life that are willing to help. Trust me when I say, my parents want me sober. So, if I need to ask them for a night to go to a meeting or just a night for my wife and I to go out because we need a break, I don’t hesitate to ask. When mommy and daddy are on point that means Skylar feels good too. As you can see there will be no perfect process. I know I will fall short daily and maybe even hourly, but balance is possible. I see thousands of dads doing this everywhere in recovery. I must be willing. I must be motivated.  

I feel like it is as simple as this…If I stopped using one of the most powerful drugs in the world, I can surely find balance to be a dad in recovery.

Comments (2)

Once again Pat amazing! Skylar is one lucky little girl !!!

Thank you so much for you support Teresa!

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