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.