By: Lauren McElroy, Social Detox Alumna
In honor of Father’s Day, we wanted to share a special letter to Tommy McElroy, a dad, friend, and supporter of The Magdalen House. One rainy evening, he dropped his daughter, Lauren, off at Maggie’s.
Clip is from The Other Side, the 2018 agency video for The Magdalen House.
A Father’s Day Note
When I couldn’t stop drinking for you, mom and the rest of the family, I knew I had a problem. How could I cause such turmoil, confusion and despair to the ones I loved most in life? The highlight of each and every day was, and still is, my family! The baseball games, beach vacations, country music concerts, Turkey Trots, ping pong tournaments, Sunday night football, the list goes on. I had destroyed it all. Until, I found Maggie’s.
Thank you for bringing me to Maggie’s and for leaving me there even though you were scared and didn’t want to. Thank you for visiting me all 14 days of my stay. Thank you for “fighting ’til the end and hangin’ in there” with me. Thank you for loving me when I didn’t love myself. Thank you for not being scared to talk to others about alcoholism and for sharing the good news of recovery wherever you go. Thank you for helping other families still struggling and giving them hope. And, for educating them that this is a disease just like any other.
I love it how you remind me at Sunday night family dinners (yes, I am invited to family dinner again – what a miracle!) that today’s problems are nothing in comparison to what I have walked through before. That perspective is always what I need when beginning a new week. I love it how we get to bond over The Magdalen House and how we are going to change the world – one alcoholic at a time.
Today, I get to be a daughter, sister and friend again. I get to be present and helpful. I am able to experience life with a different set of lenses. I have gained a new set of tools to handle life’s upsets and its’ triumphs. And, that is all because, you dropped me off at Maggie’s.
Every year when I pick up my sobriety anniversary chip at Maggie’s in May, I read a blurb from page 124 of the Big Book and so, it is fitting that I end this letter with it:
“Henry Ford once made a wise remark to the effect that experience is the thing of supreme value in life. That is true only if one is willing to turn the past to good account. We grow by our willingness to face and rectify errors and convert them into assets. The alcoholic’s past thus becomes the principle asset of the family and frequently it is almost the only one! Showing others who suffer how we were given help is the very thing which makes life seem so worth while to us now. Cling to the thought that, in God’s hands, the dark past is the great possession you have-the key to life and happiness for others.”
Happy Father’s Day!
I love you,
Alcoholism is a Family Disease
Did you know that there are an estimated 251,367 alcohol-dependent women in the Dallas Fort Worth area alone? Alcoholism, which is a mental illness, does not just affect the alcoholic. Likewise, recovery does not just change the life of the alcoholic. Alcoholism is a family disease. As reported by SAMHSA, “Dependence on alcohol and drugs is our most serious national public health problem. It is prevalent among rich and poor, in all regions of the country, and all ethnic and social groups.”
However, when one woman gains access to the tools she needs to enjoy a life of freedom from alcoholism, there is an almost immediate ripple effect on her family and the community at-large. Whether you’re a family member looking for support, or an alcoholic woman questioning what to do next, we’re here to help.