Tuesday, November 25, 2008

What are the answers?

What are the answers?

Last night, I realized that I allowed myself to feel “beaten up” by a comment that was left for me. Then I realized—these are my insecurities resurfacing…my knee-jerk reaction to defend myself when I feel as though I’m attacked.

Today, I realized that the person who left a comment to me is a stranger—someone who doesn’t know me. I was taken aback at the comment that I need to accept my son for who he is—now. I don’t know why I felt offended, or misunderstood. I’m okay, now, but it certainly made me doubt myself and how I am handling my son’s situation.

Finally, I have to remember that there are no fool-proof and clear-cut solutions or answers for parents who have teenagers/young adults with addictions. The best that I can do is to be receptive to opinions and advice that people have to offer. I have to be open-minded, and to try and digest their wisdom. I need to consider the source. Is the advice coming from an addict in recovery? Or, is it coming from a parent who believes that their child has never, and doesn’t presently, use drugs.

I have heard countless stereo-type answers to why kids use drugs (remember, I work at a high school in the counseling office). I’ve heard “It’s the parent’s fault”; “It’s your Exes Fault”. I have been told that my son was spoiled, enabled, coddled and many other things. Yes, it has hurt my feelings.

I say to those people—each child is a unique gift from God. As a mother, I admit that I could have done things differently with my son. I wish that my marriage didn’t fall apart. Undoubtedly, the divorce has left a huge impact on my son. I could dig deeper, and say that I wish I had heeded the parenting advice for parents of teenagers—pick your battles carefully? Sometimes, I think that I went into battle with full armor, determined to win. That backfired, many times. But what I do know is that I have tried to raise my son with good values. I have tried to live my life to reflect my faith in God—in essence, I have tried to “walk the talk”. Am I perfect? Nope. But, I’m forgiven, and that’s all that matters.

When I say that I want my son back—what I am really longing for is to have my son see that his addiction is a very deceitful disease. I say that, because my personal experience with alcoholics and addicts has involved a lot of lying—to get the money that they need to get what they must have. He has lied to me a multitude of times, so my trust in him is pretty non-existent.

I’ve heard it said that addiction is a choice. I disagree. I do not, and I never will, believe that my son CHOSE to become addicted to drugs. The circumstances that led my son to smoke weed, and then progress into using cocaine and then on to prescription pills is a story I have not shared in this blog. It is his story to tell.

My blog is my story to tell. It still remains my hope that I will hear from other parents, or addicts, who can share what they know…what they long for… to help me to understand, better, how to help my son.

Ultimately, I know that it is only my son who can learn to control his addiction. I am also, painfully, aware that if my son does not get a handle on his addiction that he could die. It’s like that.

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