Monday, August 20, 2012

Terminally Unique

I had a father write me and it stirred another lesson that I learned long ago and hadn't really thought about for a very long time. I hope I can do this very important subject justice.

My son is unique. He was a math wizard in school. He competed in state competitions in Forensics in high school. He was an "A" student. He breezed through pre-calc and trig as a sophomore in high school. He was hyper-competitive.

My son once told in tears, "Dad I thought I was smart enough to control this." This was while he wanted to quit and couldn't.

I did something terrible. I told my son he was smart enough to beat this thing he just had  to put his mind to it. That was one of the most terrible things I ever thought or said. That nearly killed my son. I actually believed what I said.

A drug counselor at a rehab told me that there was something very special and unique about my son but she told me that special and unique people die from this disease every day. She used a phrase that I had to re-think EVERYTHING about my son and myself. That phrase was "terminal uniqueness". I have since learned that it is also called "personal exceptionalism".

My son may be smart and unique but this disease does not care. Not until Alex learned understood that this disease cannot be controlled and that he had to submit to his illness in order to get better.

I had to learn that Alex would die if I continued to re-enforce his disease. Just as enabling, I might as well be putting the needle in his arm myself.

Until parents remove their rose colored glasses concerning this disease there can be no helping of anyone. This is a life or death mission for all involved.

This is not about surrender, I have written about my issues with that in the past. If I viewed it as surrender I would still be fighting today. For me it was about coming to an understanding that it is impossible to control something uncontrollable. A realization that there are limits within each of us.

Living in the world of "What Is" vs. "What Ought To Be".


Anonymous said...

Thank you for the reminder about "terminal uniqueness". I suffer from the same attitude and have had a past similar to your son's

School for me was always easy. Not that I did not work hard. I busted my butt. However, I enjoyed it, so the A's and the accolades seem to be expected.

Then came meth and recovery. This is not easy for me. It makes it very easy for me to give up because I cannot do it perfectly and there are no A's to be had.

I struggle. I fail. I keep trying. What else can I do, right?

Annette said...

Excellent post Ron. Semantics...surrender, powerlessness, we can't control something that is uncontrollable. I think those are all the same. ;o)

Erin said...

This was right on point Ron. I saw my ex-husband the day before my son overdosed (see my post at Barbara's blog too much to retype) and said to him there is no stopping this train wreck, I had known that pretty much for over a year, but his weekend binge was wild and out of control. It is a life or death mission and yes as parents we need to see the grim reality of this disease or as you said there is no helping of anyone involved.

Syd said...

Once we stop thinking that we are unique regarding the problems we have from the disease and quit seeing those who are alcoholics or addicts as unique, we start to strip away the denial and the "yes, but" thoughts.

smackhead said...

you know every parent think that their child is unique yet the couple of details you added makes it sound like he is or could be an indigo/crystal or maybe even a starchild and i used to(and sometimes still do)think that i can out-think this thing but this isnt a matter to analyze, addiction is a problem with your soul and not just A problem but THE problem; the last problem/fault you have to fix with your soul in order to go to your state of spiritual development known as 'nirvana', the problem with star-children are that we can feel and know that there is something(actually ALOT)wrong in this world/dimension and due to traditioning and conditioning we 1stly misinterperet the problem(so do the ones closest to us) and 2ndly try to fix the reaction(addiction with meds and maintanance),not the action(the problem leading to addiction with a path of self discovery, learning and building). Its actually so easy(thats actually rich coming from someone who has been addicted for 18years)if you just tackle it from the right angle and it took me about 10years of searching to find the angle. Since i found the truth its easier to come clean-its just the staying clean thats a problem(although i do it without clinics or anything, i just pick a date and fight with myself for a while but cause im not in a safe enviroment i usually fuck up after a couple of days) BUT im getting there. Its a path he has to walk and he'll know when hes coming to the end of it. Best of luck

Avi Satz said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dad and Mom said...

The previous commenter wrote a comment that I have deleted simply to advertise his commercial site and place links on my blog that I know nothing about and will not endorse this way. The commenter is free to post a comment but you cannot use my blog to advertise your rehab business.