I Am Resilient: Blair Kaplan Venables

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This is Blair Kaplan Venables and she is RESILIENT.

Describe the situation where you had to be resilient:

I learned that my father, who I recently forgave and allowed to be fully in my life, was given only a few years left to live due to his Chronic Pulmonary Obstructive Disorder (COPD).

Blair’s story:

Not only am I a child of divorce but I’m also the daughter of a man who lives with addiction. We were really close when I was young but his addiction led to him divorcing my mom and not being the father that I needed. This caused a lot of emotional trauma that I carried with me as I grew older. There were many times that he was supposed to spend time with me and he never showed up, which broke my heart. I didn’t understand why my dad didn’t love me anymore. I didn’t understand why my dad didn’t want to spend time with me. What did I do wrong? This sadness is something that I carried with me.

I was tired of being unhappy and angry all the time and in 2008, when I was in my mid-twenties, I was given the tools that I needed to forgive him. Because of this one beautiful conversation he began his journey to sobriety, developed a new relationship with me and reconnected with the rest of the family. Sadly, his health has been declining over the last few years and in December of 2018, we learned that his COPD was in the end stage and that he had only a few years left to live. I finally have my father back in my life, which I thought would never happen, and now he’s being taken away from me. Why? This isn’t fair?

My dad lives in Manitoba and I live in B.C., which makes spending time with him more of a challenge. We are doing the best that we can to talk every day and I try to go back to Winnipeg whenever I can, to spend time with him and make happy memories.

We decided to share our story of addiction, forgiveness, and resilience to help us heal and to help others heal, forgive and be resilient. When I was young, I didn’t understand that he was sick and was living with addiction, which is something that I wish I knew. I think that if I knew that, my life would have been different. The silver living of our story is that we can inspire others by sharing what we have overcome.

How did you practice resilience when faced with this challenge?

I find resilience and strength in sharing my story. Being able to talk to friends, family, therapists and the world has helped me cope with my dad’s illness.

Please share one piece of advice for people who are going through a similar challenge.

The ability to forgive is a gift and you never know how it will positively impact your life if you find the strength to do so.

Are you ready to share your story of RESILIENCE? You can do that HERE and thank you for being brave and sharing your journey

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