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My dad offered me money to get sober. I took him up on it, and I've now been sober for 3 years.

My dad offered me money to get sober. I took him up on it, and I've now been sober for 3 years.
  • After my dad sold my grandparents' house, he offered me $5,000 — with a few caveats.

  • He wanted me to stop doing drugs and getting tattoos. I agreed to get sober.

  • I've been sober for three years now, and while I've gotten more tattoos, we're closer than ever.

By the time I was 26, in 2020, I still hadn't outgrown the drinking phase I had started when I turned 18. Sadly, by this point, it had become less of a fun weekend activity and was beginning to teeter on the edge of a potentially fatal problem.

The year before, I had lost my managerial job — along with its healthy salary — and had spent the past 10 months dealing with the loss with bar crawls and rambunctious all-nighters. After a particularly heavy night, I was rushed to the emergency room and spent the night in the hospital due to a drug overdose. It wasn't the first time I had overdosed, but it was the time that I left with a desperate desire to kick my habit of ingesting harmful substances.

My dad knew I wanted to give up drugs and drinking

I was close with my dad and was honest about my problem with booze during regular phone conversations with him, even though he admitted to me that every time I phoned him, he worried about what I would tell him. He joked sometimes that when he saw my name flash up on his screen, it would give him a mild panic attack. In fact, my whole family worried, but they also told me they knew there was no reasoning with me — I was so stubborn with everything else, they felt there was no point in trying to get me to stop drinking or taking drugs.

Two days after I was discharged from the emergency ward, it was my Nan's funeral. She had died earlier in the year after a COVID outbreak at the care home she lived in. Her favorite saying, "Life's a bitch, and then you die," stuck with me that whole year as I tore through my own struggle with life.

My dad was now without both of his parents and was dealing with his unwavering grief, an intoxicated daughter, and the task of selling my grandparents' home all at once. He was always a firm but fair man, so I listened intently when he phoned me months later with a proposition.

He offered me money to help me get sober

He explained that he wanted to give me and my sisters some of the money from the sale of our grandparents' house, but for me, he had conditions. He told me that he would give me the cash — $5,000 in total — as long as I promised not to spend it on drugs (which meant cutting out drinking, too, as the two went hand in hand for me) or tattoos. My dad had never been a fan of my tattoos; I remember when I came home with my first bit of ink, and he told me he didn't like tattoos on women. I told him that was a sexist remark. His response was, "Is it?"

It was a brave choice, offering someone with a history of drug overdoses and generally chaotic behavior a large sum of money to stop the cycle. However, I'd made a few leaps in my recovery journey, like enrolling in therapy and getting a gym membership, so it touched me that he had hope for me; I was struggling to muster enough alone. It was my last push to get sober once and for all.

I initially laughed at his proposal, but I was intrigued. I told him that I wouldn't buy drugs and would finally quit drinking, but I couldn't promise that I wouldn't get a tattoo; he had to allow me at least a little bit of fun. My dad always seemed to appreciate my blunt honesty, and despite everything, there was an unspoken trust between us, so he agreed, and we made a deal.

The first thing I bought myself was a new laptop, followed by some homeware for my apartment. I had also accumulated over $1,000 of debt over the past few years, but by using some of the money to offer to pay it down all in one lump sum, I was able to erase the debt entirely by paying only half the amount. I updated my dad after every new bit of spending, proud that I hadn't sniffed it away.

He was impressed by my progress and supported me throughout, even when I told him I would be investing in a life coach. He was skeptical of the industry and aired his concerns to me, but I wanted extra help to stay accountable, and so stayed firm with my decision.

It's been three years, and in that time, I'venot touched alcohol or drugs. However, I do have several more tattoos, as well as a new job that affords me the freedom to set my own hours and work remotely from my laptop. I've been working with the same life coach on and off since then, and most importantly, I have a dad who not only supported me through the most difficult time of my life but now looks forward to our phone calls with much more ease.

Read the original article on Business Insider