Untraditional Influence

My father wouldn’t be considered your traditional good influence. As an able-bodied unemployed middle-aged man with substance abuse issues, he would not be regarded as inspiring by most people. We may not have the best relationship, but I can honestly say that he has had a positive impact on my life and has indirectly taught me many applicable life lessons.

One of the most important things to me is having a successful career. Living with my father I see first hand the depressing results of what can happen to someone when they throw their life away. My determination showed at a very young age — I realized I wanted to make something of myself and take advantage of the many opportunities that I have been given.

Like me, my father has also had many opportunities in his life – the chances to break away from his addiction are endless. He deserves credit for his multiple attempts at twelve step recovery plans, and rehabs. Sadly, because of his unwillingness to apply himself to these programs, they have ended unsuccessfully. From his experiences I have observed that to achieve my goals, I have to take initiative, exert myself, and not expect handouts or answers to my problems.

It would be an understatement to say we don’t have the “perfect family”…but who does anyway? Life with my father can be quite difficult at times, but learning to cope in tough situations is a very valuable skill to have. Living with my father has taught me to be grateful for the simple pleasures in life, which helps in developing a positive, appreciative attitude.

Lastly though my father and other influences, I have realized the importance of service and helping others. My father is an intelligent, talented man who could have had a better life for himself, and still has the chance to do so. However as a drug addict he suffers from a disease, and cannot recover alone. Many people are in similar situations, and those who suffer from disease or live in poverty need the aid of others to move on. Thus I know he contributes to my desire to help other people.

At the end of the day I can truthfully say, Thanks Dad. Without you I wouldn’t be the person I am today.

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