On Retrospect


There is a thing that I am noticing, now that I am not drunk all the time, and that thing is the sudden awareness a certain consciousness, situated deep in some integral part of my soul, whose job it is to basically keep the health and wellbeing of my children at the absolute forefront of my consciousness at all times. The realization of this thing is absolutely terrifying to me, which I am sure seems weird to you, gentle reader. Let me explain.

Dear, sweet God. How do I even explain this.

The fact that I now feel the weight of this responsibility terrifies me because my awareness of it is accompanied by another awareness, a retrospective sort of awareness of the fact that, for as long as I have had children, I have always had this sense of responsibility going on somewhere on the inside, but it has been deadened and held down, up until this point, by one thing or another, and I am only just beginning to really, truly learn what the things are that have been doing the deadening and the holding down and the suppressing. Even worse is knowing that this sense of responsibility is a feature of the natural order of the universe, and that it exists in direct relation to a need — the very real need of my children to have their health and wellbeing looked after by their father — a knowledge which, by extension, indicates that this need had been going unmet that whole time.

For nearly fifteen years I have been biologically responsible for two of the most amazing, beautiful creatures ever to grace this planet…but I am only now learning what it means to be a father.

I work as an IT tech at a drug and alcohol treatment center, and this job comes with the amazing benefit of being able to spend just about every day in the strongest community of loving, supportive people I have ever known. This really, really comes in handy at times like this when I am needing to process extremely difficult…stuff…like this. Basically, also, I can’t talk or write. I am surrounded by people on a daily basis, though, who are equipped and able to assist others in moving through extremely challenging parts of life. Trained professionals. This is good, because anyone who knows me well is fully aware of my need for professional help. I am not ashamed of this. Well, maybe I am a little bit. I am glad to have the help, though.

Also, this much I know:

I may have failed miserably heretofore, but from this point forward I am giving it everything I’ve got, and the mysteriously sentient All-Power, in whom we live and move and have our being, has expressed faith in the ultimate success of these efforts.

And that’s awesome.



By Ben Wolf

It's a secret!

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