Father’s Day can be challenging for people who lost their dad to addiction. Many people in America will have to spend that day without their fathers after losing them to drugs or alcohol.
Madeline Taylor is a digital storyteller who lost her father to an overdose of fentanyl in 2019. Her memories of him come in flashes as she recalls a year later. “The sandals he wore in the summertime. His quiet, sad smile. His big brown eyes stare back at me every time I look in a mirror… A delightful flamboyance that would appear when he was excited.”
Harmony alumna Danielle C. lost her dad to a severe alcohol use disorder after launching her successful recovery in Estes Park in 2012. “I had struggled with severe drug and alcohol addiction for more than eight years and had been to six other treatment centers before landing at Harmony,” she remembers. “When I hit my last bottom, I was skin and bones, staying in a folding camping chair in the garage of my dad’s home, unable to be trusted inside. It was my dad, Richard, who helped secure me a bed at Harmony where I finally began my path to lasting sobriety.”
Her dad, however, was not so lucky. “He struggled with severe alcoholism my entire life and died from the disease in 2016. It was heartbreaking that my dad could not find the freedom he helped me find at Harmony,” Danielle says.
Men often feel they have to be the tough providers for their families who can’t afford to take time out for self-care. Fathers who struggle with substance misuse should seek the help they need—it’s not a sign of weakness but of determination to help the family.
“If you’re the family member or friend of an addict or alcoholic, I want to tell you that you are not alone,” Danielle wrote on the Guardian Recovery Network. “There are many of us who have been right where you are and will embrace you wholeheartedly. I want to encourage you to reach out for help. I want to encourage you to think about the possibility of an intervention.”
In honor of Richard’s memory and gratitude for her own life in sobriety, Danielle established a scholarship fund at Harmony for fathers seeking recovery. “While working the 9th Step of Alcoholics Anonymous, I realized there were large financial amends I had never made to my dad for money I squandered during my drug addiction. I could not think of a more profound way to make amends to my father than to help someone else’s dad find the recovery he never did. In celebration of Father’s Day, I hope you will consider contributing to this fund so other dads battling addiction can become the loving parents they’ve always wanted but were too sick to be.”
If you would like to donate to Harmony, it’s easy. The Helping Fathers for Father’s Day campaign directly helps to impact the lives of those who need it. Every donation, no matter how big or small, makes a difference.
If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction or have questions about our programs, call us today at (970) 432-8075 to get the help needed as soon as possible.