April 2021 – She continued for three pages, detailing the pain she felt after her parents’ divorce — mostly because of her dad’s addiction — and how her father finally sought rehab after he slammed into another car one day while driving drunk. There were injuries, but none serious. It was a wake-up call.

“My dad never would have gotten sober without [the accident],” she wrote. “He had to hit rock bottom before he could get the help he needed.”

Preslee’s teacher gave her an A on the paper, and the teacher mentioned to her father that she’d written something powerful but didn’t reveal the topic. Preslee also told her dad that her teacher was impressed by the essay.

Her father, Casey Scott, 47, a former television news reporter who now has a weekly podcast about addiction, “Project Recovery,” asked Preslee if he could read what she’d written.

“He asked to read it, but I wondered how he’d react,” said Preslee. “So I stalled as long as I could.”

In February, when she finally gave her dad a copy of the essay, he wept as he read it, he said.

“It was so raw and so real — I had to walk away to collect my thoughts,” Scott said. “And then I thought: ‘This is something that everyone needs to hear.’ ”

So on Feb. 19, he read his daughter’s essay on his podcast, and he posted the emotional video on several sites, including Facebook. It resonated widely.


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