I’ve spent much time pondering why two of my three sons became dependent on drugs to get through their day, as they embarked upon their post high school years.
They were raised in a loving home, spent all of their younger years together at family functions and their sporting events, went on great vacations, and were taught the importance of learning at school.
Just over 2 years ago, my middle son came to me, at 20 years old, and asked for help. Although I had not pinpointed the specific drug, I was certain he had been using something life-altering for 2+ years. He had always been quiet and had a small circle of friends, mostly through sports and not school. He spent most of those last 2 years with his older brother as his role model which didn’t turn out well, but he was able to hold a job.
My oldest son, who held several jobs post High School, had proven to earn a living and support himself outside the home. He easily made “friends”, developed a love for the water and surfing, and independently went after and earned a state life guard certification. I thought he was on a good path.
Fortunately, before the brothers nearly moved in together, their Dad and I learned of the addiction they shared and we were able to get our middle son into recovery at New Life House.
Our older son was determined to continue his addictive life and spent the next year in and out of jobs, homes, detox centers and on the street, spending every dime he had to his name. Though it took him the extra year, he did eventually decide that he wanted something different and also chose recovery with New Life House.
I spent hours, days, weeks and months trying to figure out where I went wrong and “drove” my kids to addiction. I can certainly identify experiences in their lives that were stressful or uncomfortable for them, so were these the reasons that they turned to drugs? Though I don’t have the answer to my question, I don’t ponder this as much anymore as I have connected with other parents of addicts, educated myself, and talked through my experiences, learning that I didn’t cause the addiction and to move forward.
One of the great things I have learned in the last 2 years is to let recovery happen, to support and love my children as they are, answer their questions but don’t provide solutions and cross my fingers.
Recovery with New Life House includes development of coping skills which weren’t explicitly taught during my kid’s youth.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could get schools to teach courses on this? Our teens and young adults need to have skills to deal with life situations that are uncomfortable.
They need to be comfortable with their emotions and have outlets to talk about and manage stress.
New Life House does a fabulous job of getting our boys to learn about themselves, feel confident about who they are and help them think about life differently.
For this, I am grateful.