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The Reward of Tough Love

how do i get a pardon
by JStove

Article by Robert Pardon

I received a phone call the other day from a friend I didn’t expect to hear from. This friend and I had a falling out a few months ago over his addiction condition. Let me start by saying how much I love and care for this person and over the years of our relationship I have tried to be a friend, counselor and confidant. But, I finally had to tell him the truth regarding the condition I believed he was in. Unless he did something now he would lose it all and I would no longer be there to tell him it was okay.

Nothing I said would he do and of course his ways caused him to slip deeper and deeper into his addiction. I watched him go through jobs, his marriage, and loss of family including his daughter and yet he would not see that the damage was a direct result of his drinking and using. I had finally come to my end of the road. I knew what was needed.

I knew what was needed because I knew what finally worked on me 22 years ago. Tough love was what I needed back then and it was what he needed now. Tough love on the surface seems harsh and uncaring, but it has been my experience that it is the highest level of caring a person can exhibit.

What most co-dependents don’t realize is that while we coddle, care and accommodate the practicing addict out of love, we are actually doing it out of fear. True love is not enabling someone to continue in their behavior. Rather, it is allowing that person to “hit bottom” sooner with the hope that it will help them see their condition as hopeless and seek help.

I am excited to tell you he called me the other day and he is on the start of his journey to recovery. He has gone to some AA meetings and began seeking professional help. He is beginning to communicate with his father and mother again and most importantly he now fully sees that it was his drinking and using causing all the problem, not those around him. Now that alcohol and drugs are out of the way he can get down to some of the core reasons of why he found it necessary to go through life sideways. Fortunately my friend knew that my tough love was driven by my true love for him as my friend. Remember, people don’t care what you know, until they know that you care.

I remember how hard it was for my father the day he said goodbye. I was staying with them and one more time I showed up at 3am and drunk out of my mind. He told me my mom he couldn’t take it anymore and if I was going to die I couldn’t do it at their house. One week later I walked back into the rooms of AA. The date was April 25, 1986 and I have never drunk again. A year later my dad showed up at my morning AA meeting and gave me my 1-year chip.

About the Author

Robert Pardon is the founder of, a website that offers recovery information and solutions for those who suffer from alcohol and drug addiction.

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