Preslee Scott wrote a brutally honest essay on her dad, Casey Scott, for school. While it contains considerable heartache, the teen also expresses profound wisdom well beyond her years. And as her dad reads the letter aloud years later, the “raw and real” words leave him in tears.
As humans, our free will gives us the power to make our own choices. With that comes the ability to choose right or wrong — things that bring life or things that bring death.
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But in this broken world, our choices impact more than just ourselves. Like a bomb, our bad decisions have a blast radius and can harm those closest to us. Casey Scott of Utah knows this all too well, as he reads his daughter’s essay on her dad from high school.
Essay On Dad Reveals The Reality Of Addiction
Casey Scott began drinking at just 14 years old. And over the years, it turned into a full-blown addiction.
As the oldest of Casey’s three children, Preslee Scott had a front-row seat to the havoc wreaked by her father’s alcoholism. And she opened up about its impact in an essay on her dad which she wrote at the age of 14 during high school titled “Back Then and Now.”
Casey began by explaining, “For as long as I can remember, my dad’s been an alcoholic.”
One of the things that stood out to Preslee as a child was how, when going to a party, her dad always drove there but her mom always drove home. At first, she wanted to believe they were just taking turns. But deep down, she knew the true reason for the swap.
“I knew the way too much alcohol could affect someone,” she wrote. “I knew how my dad would be one person when we showed up to the party and a completely different person when we left.”
Preslee also picked up on the strain the addiction put on her parent’s marriage. She remembers overhearing them fighting when they thought all the kids were asleep.
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“I remembering thinking, ‘Maybe one day it will stop. One day, the fighting will stop and we can be happy all the time.'”
Eventually, Preslee’s mom and dad got divorced and the kids split their time with each of their parents. With her mom gone, Preslee witnessed the full brunt of her father’s alcoholism.
“The drinking got worse when my mom left,” she says. “Maybe it got worse or maybe my mom just wasn’t there to hide it anymore.”
Things Spiral Out Of Control
After her parents’ divorce, Preslee felt she had to step up and protect her younger siblings from her dad’s addiction. And this created a huge strain in her relationship with her father.
“I was a full-time babysitter. This just made me hate being there even more.”
In the essay on her dad, Casey Scott, Preslee recalls the tragic day her father’s addiction came to a head. He was supposed to pick up her and her siblings but never showed.
Later Preslee learned her father had gotten behind the wheel drunk and hit someone.
"By the grace of God, nobody died," Casey said later of the crash. "But my life was forever changed."
It was terrifying. And at first, it probably felt like the worse thing that could happen. But both Preslee and her dad were about to learn how God can do amazing things in the midst of our biggest messes!
“I was so scared. But this is where the story turned around,” Preslee wrote. “That night, my dad decided that he needed to change.”
A Journey Toward Healing Begins
Casey Scott signed himself into rehab. It wasn’t easy — for him or for his kids. During the first part of his recovery, Casey’s children barely got to see him. And once he was out of rehab, he’s lost his job and had to begin the difficult task of rebuilding his life.
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But even in the deepest valley, God was there, working to restore Casey and his family.
On the other side of addiction, Casey Scott developed a deep passion for helping other addicts. He worked for a while with rehab and God used it to give Casey a glimpse into what he’d put his loved ones through.
Eventually, God called Casey to leave the rehab and start his own Podcast, Project Recovery. There, Casey shares about his recovery journey and encourages others through theirs.
After a few years of sobriety, Casey had a revelation about his daughter. One of Preslee’s teachers mentioned a powerful essay she’d written on her dad called “Back Then And Now”. The teacher suggested Casey read it.
And when he finally did, it hit him hard.
"I bawled. It was too raw and too real," he said.
Essay On Alcoholic Dad Shows God’s Power To Restore
Preslee Scott’s essay on her dad isn’t just about her dad’s journey, but her own. And you can see God at work in both cases.
“These years had some of the darkest days in them. But they also had some of the best and brightest days,” she says in her essay.
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Preslee endured what no child should. And yet, God used it to shape her in a beautiful way. She walked away stronger and wiser. At only 16 years old, she’s already showing gratitude in the face of struggle.
“This story has lots of ups and downs,” she writes, “but I’m grateful for it all. I’m so grateful no one was hurt in the crash. But I’m also grateful that the crash happened. My dad would have never gotten sober if it wasn’t for that. He had to hit rock bottom before he could get the help he needed.”
It was a powerful moment when dad, Casey Scott, read his daughter’s essay aloud during his podcast. He’s in tears nearly the entire time as he reads the poignant words.
“I read that in hopes that someone hears this and realizes that addiction is a family disease,” he says. “I’m proud that she did this. But I’m ashamed that I did this.”
The powerful essay is inspiring all who hear it. None of us can change our past, but we can allow Jesus to heal and redeem it!
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“We are pressed on every side, yet not crushed; perplexed, yet not to despair; pursued, yet not forsaken; struck down, yet not destroyed.” 2 Corinthians 4: 8-9
WATCH: Casey Scott Reads Daughter’s Essay On Dad, ‘Back Then And Now’
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Featured Image Credit: Facebook/Project Recovery With Casey Scott