Death…is it a choice when the result of an overdose of drugs or alcohol? Is it a choice when one takes their own life as a result of clinical depression? Is it a choice when one has a heart attack as a result of an unhealthy diet and lack of exercise? Is death EVER a choice?
I do not think so!
I am not an expert in addiction, alcoholism or the treatment of them. I am not a psychiatrist or have a PhD in psychology. I am not an MD. I only have my life and experiences to speak about, my personal feelings, my thoughts.
My son would tell me “Mom, I do not want to use drugs but I CAN’T stop!” “When I am using my head is telling me ‘Don’t do it!’ and ‘You are going to fucking die!’ but I still stick that needle in my arm Mom. It is like I have no control over what my body does!” Tears, HUGE tears run down my sons sunken cheeks. I break down and cannot stop sobbing for him. I do not know how to help him other than telling him I will bring him to treatment. He will not go, he is high now and not feeling the pain of withdrawal.
“I am going to fucking kill myself Mom!” was first vocalized by him at the age of 10. Doctors, psychiatrist, therapy…again, insurance was a major issue trying to get him suitable help, and when I did, trying to get him to participate was a struggle.
So, did I fail as a parent? I did not think I was at the time and now I second guess EVERYthing I have ever done as a parent!
So, why do “we” kill ourselves….drugs, suicide….does society and stigma’s attached to these prevent some of us to get treatment? Are we making conscious decisions to NOT get help? Are we to proud? Arrogant? Scared? or is it the diseases…the mental health illness to blame?
My heart hurts today…a beautiful and dear women I had the privilege of knowing has taken her own life. Beautiful inside, beautiful outside. I was not close with her, only close enough to see her unconditional love shine through with everyone she came into contact with.
I am confused…I do not understand…how can I have hope that my friends, family, loved ones will be “OK” when all of the questions in this blog entry seem to be unanswerable to me. What do I hope for? A non-judgmental society? Would that be the answer for everyone that wants to seek help but doesn’t? Hope is the belief that something is real….Ummmmmm, a non-judgmental society…Nope, I have no hope for that!
So, I can hope that any person that I come into contact with will come to me for help…no matter what the problem, time of day, or location! I can commit to being available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year…holidays, special days, vacations, or work days! I can help those whom I meet; or at least be available to try to help. I can help family members, friends, even co-workers to try to understand, and to help them to help. What else can I hope for? World Peace…
Do I hope for our government to do something? Are the insurance companies to blame? Obama-Care….is that a scam? Should the education of such things as drug addiction, alcoholism, sex, love, suicide & mental illness begin in the first grade? Have an age appropriate curriculum 1st -12th grade. Well, YES I do think that! Children are using substances, having sex, suicidal ideations at an alarming preteen age. I am confused as to why we would not educate well before the earliest known cases of Substance Use or suicide!
So, lets talk about drugs and alcohol. According to www.drugfreeworld.org
- over 50% of teens say it is easy to get pot if they want it.
- 7 of 10 teens have been offered illegal drugs.
- Nearly 50% of public school children try drugs or alcohol BEFORE 13 years old.
- 33% of teens have been to house parties where pot, cocaine, extacy, prescription drugs or alcohol were present.
- Teems are 42% less likely to use drugs when parents talk to them.
Seems to me early EDUCTION could help those statistics be reduced significantly. And, I do not mean scare tactics. Real education….scientific based facts, real statistics, real-life education from 1st grade through 12th grade. AND, what about college…a class…a “pre-req” to being accepted!
How about this one. I think it should be MANDATORY for all parents to attend drug education every year their child is in school. Education about drug and alcohol abuse, prevention education, and how they can recognize it, and to let them know that EVERY child is susceptible to drug and alcohol use! In addition to the education ABOUT the use of drugs and alcohol should be a MANDATORY class on speaking to their children. Motivational Interviewing, positive reflection. It’s just my thoughts….I do not see how it could cause any damage or make the drug and alcohol epidemics in our children any worse!
How about, in addition to the mandatory drug and alcohol class & the class on speaking to children….how about education about suicide prevention, the dangers of bulling. Education about social media and how to monitor. I hear parents say they “do not want to invade their children’s privacy”….well, it is our job as parents to know what our children are doing. Again, just my opinion, but it seems to me that “invading” your child’s privacy on social media just may prevent predators from successfully luring our children into their “van”! Or from suicide because of cyber bulling. Or from succumbing to peer-pressure in any form or action that may harmful, dangerous, or deadly!
If only my parents had that education! If only I had that education! Would my life and my son’s life been different? I think so, I really believe my life would have been different…and in turn, my son’s life would have been different!
So, the confusion has cleared a bit…or at least the focus is re-directed. I have HOPE that education will be the best defense against the drug and alcohol use epidemic and the best way to address suicide prevention. For the good of our children, for the good of all man-kind!!!