I wanted to tell you about a nice young man that I know who is so thoughtful, kind and respectful. He has a quiet, gentle nature about him, but when he opens up, you can easily see that he is a sensitive soul with a big heart.
When he speaks of his family, you can see how much he loves them and how proud he is of his family unit. He is a family-loving man.
When he mentions his little (16-year-old) sister, he looks so proud. He is very protective of her. He wants so badly for her to have all the good things in life. He loves her sense of humour and how she makes him laugh.
He has a close relationship with his brother who is his best friend.
When he talks about his niece and nephew, you can tell that they mean the world to him. He has said many times that he “loves being an uncle”.
He loves and respects his dad and is grateful for all the ways he’s been there for him over the years. He enjoys spending time with him and having talks about life.
He is especially close to his mother. I have never heard a young man talk so openly about his mother and what she means to him. It is heartwarming to hear.
This is a young man with a lot of love in his heart, in his home, and in his life.
I am proud to tell you that this character sketch is about MY son. To describe him, I used the nice things that were observed, and told to me, by other people in the past few years, even while he was in the grips of addiction. It felt so good to hear the nice things he said about me. God has a way of bringing you messages just when you need them the most! People are always impressed with my son's love of family and the importance he places on it.
It meant so much to me that people were still seeing my child for who he was, not his addiction. They were seeing his upbringing coming out in him. :)
His disease of addiction, and the actions associated with it, had nothing to do with how he was raised, and that is the case with a lot of other families as well. We raised good kids. They are still in there, but they are just lost to a powerful addiction. This is why we can never give up the fight. We want our loving children back. Our society needs them too.
When families do speak out about their children’s addictions, most people are shocked and say things like, “but he is such a nice young man”, “she was always such a good student”, “I never would have imagined that your family was going through this”, “I can’t believe that good kid is on drugs”, and “he would give you the shirt off his back”, etc.
They say these things because we have stereotypes about addicts and their families. We are surprised when it happens to people who do not fit the stereotype. It is time to change our thinking and to accept that it can happen to any family. Realizing this and then educating yourself are two important steps that you can take in protecting your children.
There are many risk factors involved in addiction and the home is only one of them. In many cases, the person’s home life had nothing to do with their addiction. I’ve also had this confirmed by many people in recovery who do not blame their parents at all.
I can tell you that blaming parents will not help to get this problem under control. In fact, it adds to the problem because it prevents people from reaching out for help.
Besides that, even if a youth became addicted because their parents had issues, do they deserve any less treatment than anyone else?
We need to provide as many treatment options as possible so that people can get well regardless of how or why their addiction developed.
I will end this post with a video about other really good people who were lost to addiction, only they didn’t make it out alive. Breaks my heart!