Tue's Day

I have been mulling this post over in my mind for hours. I'm still not sure just what I want to say or how I want to say it.

There's a woman in California I've come to know in the last year or two. Her son is an addict. She wrote this post today. It seems a friend of her son Over Dosed. Someone she knows. Someone who has stayed in her home. More than once. "To know Gilbert is to love him". That's what she said. That's what other people said. About him. Her son said, "You have to be prepared for this to happen when you live this lifestyle."

That struck me. That gives me pause - and a question or two.

Do addicts think so little of themselves that they are willing to, expect to, are prepared to, die? Do they think so little of those around them that the pain their survivors experience, and will experience, makes no difference to them? Or is their view of themselves and those around them so distorted that they have no idea just how much pain is associated with them and their bad habits?

Or are they just plain selfish.

Somebody needs to explain this to me. Because I don't understand how loving, caring parents grow drug addicts - and yet other loving, caring parents grow loving, caring offspring who don't - who never - do drugs.

Maybe it's environment. Maybe it's this culture, this grand and glorious place we've created for our kids where everything is easy - handed to them - or too damn hard - crime ridden - poverty stricken. It might be some of that, I suppose.

I know three wonderful young men who grew up with none of the things we get here - we have here - handed to them. Their playground was the rainforest. They had to shoo scorpions and tarantulas from their beds on occasion, so they could lay their un-airconditioned heads down to sleep. More often than not they wore no shoes - because none were required. No sidewalks where they lived. Bright green parrots flew through the trees of their home, their Waterpark was a sloping waterfall in a stream in the forest. They play guitar rather than watch TV. They sing and read and love their Mom and Dad and Life, passionately.

They don't do drugs.

I think maybe we should all go back and live in the jungle. Learn about the Earth. Learn how to live - learn how all things live - learn to respect what we have - what we are given - learn how to treasure the simple things in life - learn how to live without batteries.

These three young men? They know how to live. They know how to treat each day, each creature, each book, each song, with the respect it deserves.

I wish they could teach me what they know. Because I think maybe, if I were to ask them, they could probably tell me the answers to all the questions I have.

I'll bet they could.



Nan Sheppard said...

Knock on wood! There's plenty of time still to mess up :) Thanks for the vote of confidence my dear Lou!

I agree that the culture of entitlement is hard on young people, but there are drug addicts in the ghettos too... AND in the rainforest.

There's alcoholism, videogame addiction, porn addiction. There are SO many ways to hurt yourself and the people who love you. I don't have the answers either!

Shadow said...

oh lou, if only we knew what the cause is.

my personal opinion is that there is something in an addict that chases them. constantly disturbs the peace, so that they are unable to live with themselves, as they are, in a natural state. once they have tasted their drug of choice, and tasted the 'freedom' of release from whatever it may be that's chasing them, it is hardly a choice anymore, but becomes a need that takes over, to continue to live in that state. and where you come from, who your parents are, what privileges you had or didn't have hardly plays a role here.

and then again i sometimes think it may be that 'looking for a shortcut through life'. being unable (and eventually unwilling) to having to face dealing with work, relationships, emotions, life...

but really, who knows. i don't...

Melisa with one S said...

I think it's a combination of many things: i'm not sure there is a magic formula to prevent it, but Shadow's comment makes sense to me. It's a very scary thing!

Holly at Tropic of Mom said...

Interesting thoughts. I don't have any answers. Friends of mine gave their daughter everything, and she ended up addicted. Maybe a little jungle time would have been beneficial.

PattiKen said...

It's so sad. As my kids were growing up, I worried so much about this sort of thing. We lived in a small suburban town away from the mean streets, and still, there were kids who OD'ed. And even more died in alcohol-related auto accidents.

You raise some really good questions, Lou. I have no answers. I have no idea what it is that brings this kind of thing to the doorstep, nor what it is that keeps it away.

I'm just grateful that I got lucky, and my kids got through unscathed.

Unbelievable: my word verification is "deadlychi."