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January 13 • What Do I Say?

Day 188

I openly worry about my so-called legacy and the damage I have done to it — perhaps generationally. Yet, in my heart of hearts, I know I would have disclosed more about my behaviors or stayed silent about my addiction or even gone away if I could have the assurance that my children would be better people as a result. Is it not a desire common to parents that their children avoid the mistakes and pains that they've previously inflicted on themselves?

But how do we get from that desire with an issue like this to offering guidance or even accountability? How can we know when silence is the better path to not burden one's family with information they do not need? How can I know which word, spoken or unspoken, will make a difference in my son's life struggles? How can I know which gesture will tell my daughter that she is safe, but be careful about the unsafe parts? I cannot know.

I must lean on two truths as a man, as a husband, and as a father: 1) There is a Higher Power that is ready to help navigate these unknowables, and 2) Rigorous honesty must always be the touchstone of my decisions in those moments. These truths do not require me to vomit out my perceptions, or even my history, in the name of honesty and trust. These truths do require me to trust the consequences of my healthy actions to the faith my Higher Power has earned, and the honest evaluation of my motives in all the decisions I must make to stay sober today. When I lose sight of either of those proven truths, I almost always make poor choices.




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