Commentary: A Father's Addiction
Andie Meise's father has been addicted to crack cocaine since Andie was a baby. Andie's mother, Kathy Pickett, says it took her a while to realize he had a problem. When he came home and admitted it to her one night, she felt like she had been "hit by a bus."
Andie's mother and father separated when she was one year old. She didn't see her father again until she was fifteen. As a child, Andie thought that once he was better, he would come home.
Andie's father would write her letters. In one, he mixed up the ages of Andie and her older sister. Andie says she realized then that he wasn't getting better. She gave up on him.
Andie believes that when people first start using drugs, they don't try to get addicted. Even after her father started using drugs, her mom thought they were living a normal life.
I don’t really remember exactly when he started using, because he was still working, doing really well at one of the big Nashville law firms. He was still at home, spending time with me and the kids.
Andie warns that people who are good and smart can still get addicted.
My dad was valedictorian of his high school, graduated from Vanderbilt, and went to law school. He was also a strong Christian. And he still got addicted to crack.
In Andie's experience, recovering from an addiction is not easy and not likely. Her father recently wrote her a letter, apologizing for everything that had happened. She even got to meet him this summer. She says they met at a Mexican restaurant with family and friends, thinking the more people there were, the less awkward it would be. Andie admits, "It was still pretty awkward."
Andie says she and her father were supposed to meet again over Christmas break, but he relapsed.