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I’m the dad. I’m the dad of an addict. I am married to the mom of an addict. When we got together, we had no idea the path that we would travel... no one does. You find someone, you get married, buy a house, have kids, kids are successful, they have kids, you have grand kids, you retire with full pensions, live to be 96 or so...having lived a full life. It happens for some...not so much for others.

I am writing to give a spouse’s take, version, perspective, whatever you want to call it, on what losing a child to addiction does to you and your wife...the mom. I will be trying to impart my emotions and views, watching and living with my wife who tried ferociously, to help our son.
When you get married, you accept each others’ past. The idiosyncrasies, the habits, you get the picture. You help each other through any and all the ups and downs. It doesn’t matter the size of the issue, you are there and supportive of each other. Whether it’s a child that got something in his eye or got caught running in school with scissors. Or getting the call from the principal’s office telling you one of the kids is drunk at 7 in the morning... Or learning what “pantsing” is from the school, again a call to let us know. These are the “OMG” moments that as a parent and at that moment, is the most important thing to you. As they get older, you discover they have tried cigarettes, or worse... done a ton of stupid things that, yes, we all did as young adults and we wonder how we survived it! Guess what... not 
everybody survives it. We had a son that put us through the paces, but as he got older, the paces seem to dwindle. I say seem to because they did not dwindle, they were actually ramping up. He just wasn't around as much for us to see what the “paces” looked like. Then we got the call that changes lives 
forever. A call that our son was in the

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hospital, unresponsive and it did not look good. We lost our boy. To say that I felt helpless would be a gross understatement. There is no tangible way to take someone’s grief and panic away... a hug, while  thoughtful and supportive didn’t seem to me to be enough. I told her that I could not hug her and hold her enough. I told her that I loved her over and over... still didn’t seem to help. She assured me that what I was doing was fine. I still felt powerless to take the pain away. I have learned that just being there and doing what I did and helping where I could was what she needed. 

Nothing previously can prepare you for this. Nothing. I’m the dad of a former addict  San Francisco, 2007.

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