High Hopes for Our 15 Year Old

On her youngest son’s 15th birthday, Midwestern Mama has high hopes that he’ll make positive choices when it comes to drugs and alcohol.

This morning on the radio, my youngest son (15 years old today!) and I heard radio DJs talking about Pot, The Movie. It’s the plight of a Minnesota family who gave their son medical marijuana, and the filmmaker’s support of medicinal and recreational use.

Without hesitation, my son initiated commentary on this highly charged story. He has a soft heart and is understanding of parents who want the best for a sick child who is suffering. He has a hardened soul, however, when it comes to marijuana – its recreational use and likely potential as a gateway drug.

He bases this on what he has learned and witnessed with his older brother who began smoking marijuana during high school at just about the age that he is now. Until nine months ago, my youngest son knew his brother as someone suffering from substance use disorder that included marijuana and a full gamut of street drugs including addiction to heroin.

His brother’s drug use was a rapid foray into full-on destruction, and for a little brother it was a reality show, a nightmare, and a life lesson with lasting impact. He’s confident he will choose a different path, and we have high hopes for that as well. Without a doubt, he knows the series of events that can happen when drugs are part of one’s life and he knows the consequences that occur. These have firmly established his own perceptions and opinions.

Today as we celebrate his 15th birthday, he is applauding his brother’s nine months of sobriety and commitment to recovery. It is the best present of all!

Midwestern Mama

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3 thoughts on “High Hopes for Our 15 Year Old

  1. Happy Birthday to your son! I too have strong feelings about marijuana use as my situation was similar to yours except I was the older sister and my younger sister was the addict. She started out with marijuana and progressed very rapidly (within 3-4 months) to crack cocaine and stayed on that for years!

    Those times were hell for our entire family, her children, and our once very close relationship became non-existent. She has been clean for over 10 years now, and while we have reconciled and are better now, our relationship will never be the same as it was because the addiction robbed us of that extremely close bond. All the same, I am so very proud of her and know how very hard she worked and works to stay clean, Congrats on your other son’s sobriety; may he have continued success and may your entire family be well.

  2. Right back at you, @Virtual_Nadine! The family aspect of addiction and recovery impacts all of us. I’m so glad your sister is in recovery and that you have reconciled, albeit it’s never the same, with her.

    Over the past nine months, I have watched my son in recovery reconnect with his older sister and younger brother. It is different and they are at times quite skeptical, but all the same, they are rebuilding their ties.

    In particular, as our 15 year old experiences high school, his older brother is able to offer some hard-earned lessons in priorities and choices. I am grateful for his current, positive influence and I believe this new role is strengthening his sobriety too.

    Glad to connect with you!

    Midwestern Mama

    1. Glad to connect with you as well MM, and I think the family aspect of addiction is one that does not get the attention that it deserves, except of course to play the blame game. I believe that if the addict does not have a strong support system around him, and that starts with their family, then it will be very difficult to maintain their sobriety and the sanity and well being of the entire family!

      I watched our family slowly get torn apart by not just my sister’s drug use, but my older brother’s alcoholism as well and as I was extremely close with both of them, it affected me greatly. I HAD to cut the ties with my sister to protect my own sanity because I would not eat or sleep properly trying to follow her around when she got high to make sure she was okay. I would get so stressed worrying about what/when she would come to the house and try to steal while she was there, that I had to put a padlock on my bedroom door. I even risked my life by stepping into a domestic violence situation with her involving a gun…it was just crazy.

      I totally understand the skepticism because I’ve been there. My sister had been in every rehab known to man and got so good at “playing the game of sobriety” that she knew just what to say & do to get through the program and back out to her next high. I was angry at my parents for always sticking by her, but the love of a parent and the love of a sibling are two very different things and I only understood that as I got older and she got clean.

      Your older son can provide an excellent example for his siblings as he has “been there, done that” so to speak and hopefully they will continue to pay attention to his life lessons so they don’t have to go through the same.

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