Two years ago you hit a wall. A cold, dead, jail wall.
People thought it would be the destruction of your existence. Your children had been taken away from you, it seemed like your family had given up on you, and after ten years of all different kinds of drugs, you finally had to feel a sober moment.
So many people thought you weren't going to be able to do it. So many people were hoping you weren't going to be able to do it.
For ten years I watched you tear your life apart.
I watched you go through withdrawals time after time. I watched you become a father. I stood there as my brother called me every name in the book while four minutes later acting like it didn't happen. I stood there as your words and actions pierced in some of the worst wounds I thought I would ever experience.
I watched my brother turn into a stranger.
The same man that used to let me play Barbies and Army men turned into the man I would dread seeing at family functions. That was even if he showed up. I watched the same man that stood out in the yard with me from sun up to sun down making sure I got the perfect spiral of a football down, turn into the man that I didn't even recognize in photos.
I no longer had a big brother.
I thought I would never meet that same kid again. I thought I would never see life in his eyes again. I never thought I would actually be able to claim him as my brother again.
I thought that I would be attending my big brothers funeral before I even had the chance to graduate high school.
But then two years ago, I got the same call I had got time and time again, "An inmate, Preston, from Aiken County detention center is trying to reach you. Press 1 if you accept the charges." I sat there and just thought, "wow, he's actually alive, how about that?!" Of course, I accepted the charges, and you just sat there silent on the other side. I asked what happened and if you were OK. You said like you always said, "I'll be fine, I just need to get out of here Constance."
After everything, I still told you I would do what I could to see if I could get you out. But I knew at that moment, that wasn't going to be much. Hell, I was only 18 with a part-time job, what the hell was I going to do? But I knew what I wasn't going to do.
I wasn't going to allow you to just jump right out of jail and go right back to everything you were in. But I also knew I wasn't going to allow you to rot in there and just leave you to fend for yourself. If there was anything I was going to do, it was learn from yours and everyone else's mistakes.
I lost count of which time this was in jail but I felt determined to make it your last.
After everything you, our family, and even your own family had been through, there needed to be a change. And I knew I wasn't going to be able to do anything unless you made the commitment yourself to change. But I also knew if you were in jail, at least I would know if you were alive or dead. After I finally heard the breaking in your voice and saw the weight gain and improvement, I knew you weren't going to be the same person you had been for the past ten years.
I had to take the leap of faith that you had changed. You needed to know that someone was still rooting for you to win. You needed to know that even though your kids were being taken of at that moment, they still needed their daddy and you owed it to them to be their father.
After four months, and countless hours on the phone with our lawyer, I finally got to see the same sober man that I knew ten years ago.
Your daughters finally got the chance to see their father as their actual father. Our mother had her son again. I had a brother again.
You knew it wasn't going to be easy, but you knew it had to be done. You knew that no matter what, you were going to do it.
With the constant (and maybe a little helicopter) support from your family, you've made it two years and counting going strong. With the facing the constant battle with the demons inside of you, you've made it two years strong.
You have officially made it 730 days drug-free. And I know you are going to make it a lifetime.
It won't be easy, it's not easy, but you can do it. I can't pretend I know the pain and war you are feeling, because I don't. But I do know that you are the strongest one to handle it and you have come so far and you are going to make it so much further. You have the support system of your entire family, counseling, fiancé, job, and so many more that are here for you. That know you are struggling but also know that has made you the strongest you have ever been, but it is not the strongest you will ever be.
You can do this. And we are here for you. Keep going.