Saturday, May 20, 2006

Analyzing Evan

I had a brief converstation with Evan's social worker about Evan's unwillingness to accept help with recovery. It may turn out to be a huge problem, but his attitude makes perfect sense.

Evan has been his own parent for most of his life. He took care of himself. He thinks he did a pretty good job. I can imagine him pointing out that he did not make himself go to school EVERY day, but he never dropped out. He may not have done his homework, but he usually passed his classes. He did not eat the most well-balanced diet in the whole world, but he mostly ate real food. And he never took the bad, dangerous, street drugs...just a little codeine that came from nice, clean labortories and only enough to help him cope with life.

He is right when he says that it could be so much worse. Most kids who have to raise themselves would not have done half so well.

He even asked for help when it was clear that the codeine use was getting out of control. He asked for help before he was failing classes, destroying all his relationships, hurting people he loved, and even before he ran out of money.

Again, he is right to think that this is not typical addict behavior.

So it is not the least bit surprising that he is resistant to 12-Step programs. The first step is admitting that you are powerless over the drug. Clearly he is not. Codeine was his friend for a while and when his friend turned on him, he severed the relationship. The second step is coming to believe that there is a higher power that can restore him to sanity. First, he is not insane. Second, he doesn't need no higher power.

I mean really, he is 18! He has raised himself successfully and a bunch of people who don't really understand all he has had to do are telling him that he cannot do it himself. Piddle.

Because of all the therapy and Al-anon/Naranon stuff I am feeling very calm about this. I really get that nothing will change his mind about all. He has to try it. If he fails, then MAYBE he will be ready to accept help.

The counselor agrees. She still thinks it is helpful to coerce him into attending 12-Step meetings because he will HEAR the message. For the rest of his life, no matter how many times or how badly he relapses, he will never be an addict who does not know where the road to recovery is.

So I am sitting back, no longer obsessing, but still sometimes wondering, how long will he make it? Right now he is going to work and counseling and some meetings. Soon we add the relapse prevention program (Thursday!). A couple of weeks later we will add summer school. Will he be able to cope with all of this? Will he turn back to his friend at any point?

I would like for him to make it through high school. That would be cool. Maybe, just maybe, he will make it longer. It's possible.

Thank goodness for all my therapy and Al-Anon work. I may still spend more time than I should pondering all these things, but I am not obsessing. I am calm. What will be will be. I no only know that I cannot change his attitude, I am not even wanting to try.

1 comment:

  1. It's much harder (or at least I think so) for those who haven't yet experienced the worst.

    Perhaps he never will and you're right; there's nothing to be done that you aren't doing.


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