5 Things Growing Up With an Addict Taught Me

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By Jen Porcelli

Original Source: popsugar.com

When I was 12 years old, my father, David, died unexpectedly from a massive heart attack two days before his 38th birthday. An alcoholic and heroin addict for most of his adult life, he battled the constant conflict between sobriety and substance dependency. Addiction, while ever-present, never defined who he was as a person or as a father. Seemingly intimidating with his broad shoulders and impenetrable chestnut brown eyes, he looked like something out of a Martin Scorsese movie. But when you dug deep enough and hit the core of him, to the heart of who he was, you were immediately transfixed. His enormous presence, earnest smile, and effortless magnetism almost made you forget the reality of his addiction.

When he was sober, he was my father.

He was the dad who played catch with me in the backyard until it was dark and my mother yelled at us to come inside. He was the man who, albeit admittedly tone deaf, still belted out Shania Twain when one of her songs came on the radio. He wiped away tears, kissed scraped knees, and chased away nightmares. He was my biggest champion. It was hard for me to accept that my father “the protector” and my father “the addict” were the same person. It didn’t make sense. I learned..click here to continue reading

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