David Camp­bell

is try­ing to come to terms with the fact he could have lost his dad.

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - Stellar - - Contents - Ife’s too short for burn­ing bridges…

LIt’s not an easy email to read, when a par­ent re­veals a sui­cide at­tempt to you. As has re­cently been well doc­u­mented, ted, the above is the sub­ject of the open­ing chap­ter of my dad’s lat­est est book [Jimmy Barnes’s Work­ing ng Class Man] and it makes for har­row­ing ar­row­ing read­ing.

When I first t read the chap­ter on email, mail, I have to ad­mit it took my breath away. I can com­pletely mpletely un­der­stand his is child­hood and the dam­age ge that has done to him.

For decades s now, we as a fam­ily y have had to pri­vately ely watch him strug­gle with an ad­dic­tion that t could have made him im an­other rock’n’roll statis­tic. atis­tic.

Read­ing his is book, I am even more acutely cutely aware of his in­ter­nal pain and the fact that his ad­dic­tion ction was in fact a long slow ow at­tempt on his own life. Right in front of our eyes. In slow low mo­tion. All we could do was bear wit­ness.

The re­count­ing unt­ing of that night in New w Zealand is hard for me to read. Mainly be­cause that t thing in­side of him, which had been driv­ing him to in­flict such dam­age on him­self for so long, took over. It was fi­nally let loose and thank­fully, for what­ever rea­son, was un­suc­cess­ful. My mind races to my chil chil­dren. How would they have coped with the news that he was gone gone? And how do I ex­plain to them t that when this hap­pened in 2012, I had no idea the stru strug­gle for him was all too real? He masks it sow so well. You see, aside from mu­sic, the project he ha has most suc­cess­fully ded ded­i­cated him­self to work­ing work on, is that of bei be­ing a high-func­tion high-func­tion­ing ad­dict. Some­tim Some­times he seems worse for w wear, yet most of the tim time he is his usual charm­ing self. Were there signs I should have seen? Was I too busy with my own ca­reer ca­reer? My own chil­dren? Had my he healthy dis­tance – which I ha had used at times to pro­tect m my­self when nec­es­sary – be been too dis­tant? Could I hav have called him more? Should I have be­lieved his “I am great, g bet­ter than I have e ever been” mantra less?

I am not stupid. I have read about ad­dic­tion. About be­ing the child of an ad­dict. I have seen him at his worst. Shouldn’t I have guessed that this was there?

Yet you can never re­ally know. Whether it’s a par­ent, a lover or a child. All you can do is try your best.

You can’t en­able them but you can sup­port them. You can tell them you love them. How im­por­tant they are, not just to you, but to your kids too.

So we are lucky.

My old man con­tin­ues to move for­ward and force him­self to con­front his de­mons. To change and grow. He does this pub­licly and pri­vately. Even in his dark­est hour he in­spires.

Like the song says… Take it one day at a time. David co-hosts Today Ex­tra, 9am week­days, on the Nine Net­work. Life­line: 13 11 14

“I have read about ad­dic­tion. About be­ing the child of an ad­dict… Shouldn't I have guessed that this was there?”

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