“A father is someone you look up to no matter how tall you grow.” – Unknown.
June 19, 1910, is quite a remarkable day in history because it was the very first Father’s Day making this Sunday, June 19th the 112th Father’s Day. While this memorable holiday honors all men who are important in their families’ lives, it was originally created to raise awareness about how valuable fathers can be outside of being the breadwinner. To be more precise, Father’s Day was created by Sonora Smart Dodd, the daughter of a widower. Sonora wanted an “official” equivalent to Mother’s Day for male parents. In essence, she wanted to honor her father who took on the role of both parents while raising Sonora and her five siblings as a single dad. Despite the efforts to have Father’s Day nationally recognized, it did spark controversy in a time when men were meant to be strong, when showing emotions was unacceptable, and when being showered with attention and gifts was considered something just for women. Due to the backlash, Father’s Day did not become an official holiday until 1972 when President, Richard Nixon proclaimed it an official national holiday. It only took 58 years after President Woodrow Wilson declared Mother’s Day an official holiday. Now as a nation, we celebrate all fathers on the third Sunday in June.
The Importance of a Father
Fathers are an important part of our society and play many roles in the lives of their children. They can be a hero, provider, protector, role model, and more. Whether it’s your own father, stepfather, father-in-law, or father figure, we celebrate all the men who have helped to shape us into the people we are today. We celebrate the dads who learn a TikTok dance so they can make a dance video with their children or the dad that helps coach their child’s soccer team or the dad that stays up late helping with homework. These fathers have given us strength when we’ve needed it and a shoulder to cry on when we’ve needed that too. We celebrate the fathers who have been there for us through thick and thin; the dads that have been our biggest cheerleaders and our toughest critics.
While we know Father’s Day is a day to celebrate fatherhood and all that it entails for some fathers and their children, Father’s Day is a difficult day. It can be a day that brings up challenging emotions and memories. This is especially true for fathers who are separated from their children due to divorce, bad relationships, work requirements, deployment, etc., and for those suffering from drugs, alcohol, or mental health disorders. These fathers often feel like they are not good enough to be celebrated. They often feel like they failed their children in some way, that their children are being let down by not being the dad they believe they should be. And even though these struggling fathers try to be the best they can be, it’s hard for them not to feel like they are falling short.
Fathers in recovery have a lot of hurdles to overcome. In addition to battling their addiction, they often must deal with the aftermath. This can include strained relationships with their children, their significant other or former partner, family, friends, difficulty finding employment, and legal issues. Despite all these challenges, it is possible for fathers to build a better life for themselves and their families. With treatment and support, fathers in recovery can learn to manage their disorder and live a sober life.
If you are a father struggling with addiction, know that you are not alone. There are many other fathers out there who are fighting the same battle. And while it may seem impossible at times, recovery is possible. With hard work and determination, you can overcome your addiction and build a better life for yourself and your family. So don’t give up. Your children are counting on you.
At AKUA, we want to take this opportunity to remind these fathers how much they are loved and appreciated. Recovery is hard work, but it is worth it! If you find yourself or a loved one struggling, please reach out. We are here 24/7 and we can help.
About AKUA Mind and Body
AKUA Mind and Body is a full-service treatment center that provides residential treatment, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient treatment, outpatient treatment, and virtual treatment to both men and women struggling with mental health disorders, including depression and substance use disorders, or both (co-occurring conditions). AKUA Mind and Body provides compassionate, evidence-based treatment to all individuals and families. We combine evidence-based medications and psychotherapy approaches with holistic therapies such as meditation, yoga, and equine therapy, as we believe in treating the mind, body, and spirit.