Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The World of CAN and CAN’T

Last Friday I was discussing with my son our plans for the weekend. We were going to the lake for some rest, relaxation and boating. My son was envious. He grew up going to the lake. We have a Mastercraft Boat and he took to wakeboarding very naturally. He was good at wake-to-wake tricks and tried some inverts. However, the last time he went to the lake with us was a couple years ago. At that time we could tell the drugs had taken their toll on him and his athletic ability on the water. He didn’t have the physical strength to accomplish some of his tricks and he was completely unable to sync his coordination and timing. It was sad from my perspective to watch him but he had fun.

This discussion opened an opportunity to talk about what his life was like in comparison to a life of being clean and not in trouble with the law.

Can and Can’t sums up pretty well the differences in our life. We spoke of all the things he is not able to do now it his life. He can’t be free to go places he wants to go, even if they are good places because he is incarcerated. He can’t eat the food he wants to eat. He can’t visit or have the friends and feel free to socialize. He can’t get the medical and dental care he wants because of no money, no insurance and no freedom. He can’t watch the TV shows he wants to watch. He can’t play the games he wants to play. He can’t get the job he wants to work. He can’t go back to his schooling at this time to improve his life. He can’t go places even after he is out freely because he has to report to a PO.

Even when he was out of jail and free to do as he wished the world of can’t was unpleasant. So many of those things we took for granted he couldn’t do because he can’t get too far from his drug supply, He can’t get a decent job because of addiction and drugs tests. He can’t get his drugs so he has to commit crimes to get money to buy drugs. He can’t drive because he lost his license and we would not let him drive our vehicles.

He agreed the world of can’t is a real bitch and the root cause of all that was his addiction to the drugs.

We contrasted his world to his mothers and mine. We can work good jobs where we are respected and appreciated. We can make enough money to live in a nice home and drive nice cars and have motorcycles and boats to play. We can go visit anyone we chose when we chose. We can travel locally, nationally and internationally on vacations. We can eat what we want, when we want. We can play, watch TV, read, and call our leisure time our own. I told him all of this would disappear quickly for us if we made the decisions to use drugs and live the life he choose to live.

I believe it was sobering to him for this realization. He sat there quietly for some time. There was probably none of this he hadn’t considered individually before, but we grabbed all the pieces at once and it hit hard. A world of his choosing but also a world he can change.

8 comments:

big Jenn said...

It's so hard to convince someone so young that the consequences of his choices DO matter. Feel good NOW is about the only thing that seems to register. I'm glad you were able to have such an important discussion with him. jeNN

Anonymous said...

I lived in that world of can't, but I no longer do. My world if full of endless possibility... but it took more than just my "free will" to realize it. Recovery is an interesting paradox - I couldn't do it by myself, but no one could do it for me. Although I had to make the commitment to do what is necessary, that commitment means nothing unless I can follow it up with action. That is where the 12 steps, a "Higher Power" and the fellowship of NA came in. It gave me the strength to not only know what I had to do, but also the power to carry it out. Your son can get there, but it takes time. I don't know about him, but I had to learn how to be patient, to finally realize that instant gratification only lasts for an instant.

Keep the faith...

Mike

PS: My son now has six days clean - it is a start.

Madison said...

You are obviously so deeply moved and impacted by your son's behavior. I'm sure he's a good person with a brain disease. The sad thing about the disease is that I think addicts pretty much know that they've screwed up everything, they just don't know the way out. It seems that pain gets their attention. It's not over yet. Plenty of games won in the 9th inning with two out. Hang in there.

Gin said...

He is so lucky to have the two of you as parents. Your deep profound love for him shines through in all of your post. Your honesty and these conversations are the best things that you could be giving him right now.

Barbara(aka Layla) said...

I agree with what Gin said and I might "steal" your conversation the next time I see an opportunity to talk to my son. We also had a good talk today about his use, he said he really has no desire to go back and is not struggling to stay clean. But I know better than feel confident in those words.

ChaiLatte said...

Very true. I've been praying for this very thing for my son- that God will show him how good life can be sober- that he experience some of these "Cans," that you mentioned, so that he will value being sober.

Syd said...

I don't like the negativism that comes with addiction. I see it a lot with those I love. I am a can do person while often what I hear from them is I don't want to or I won't.

Annette said...

The wonderful thing about this is that its never too late to move into the world of "can."