Wednesday, March 9, 2011

"I can't want it more than you."

I went to a high school basketball game tonight with a friend of mine, and when I came home I was frustrated that the recycling bin and garbage cans still hadn't been put away. (This is my son's job.)

So I grabbed the recycling bin from the curb and started wheeling it into the garage. My son, who had been in the garage, met me halfway and said, "I'll get that." I was kind of pissed off, so I just kept on wheeling the thing into the garage.

Imagine my surprise when I got in the garage and smelled the unmistakable aroma of pot. "What were you smoking in here?" I yelled to my son. "Just a cigarette," he answered. Not wanting to get into a confrontation, I simply responded with, "Are you sure? Because it sure smells like something else." Then I went into the house.

When I got inside, I told my wife I thought our son had been smoking pot in the garage. I asked her to go outside and see if she could smell what I smelled. She was outside for quite awhile, talking to our son. From the amount of time she spent outside, I could pretty much tell that my suspicion was true.

After my wife came back in, I asked her if I was right. She said I was, and that our son said it was just something he had "come across."

Just something he came across? That's total bullshit. The rules we laid down were simple: If you want to live in our house, you can't use drugs or alcohol. Period. And this is a blatant violation of that rule. I don't care how much or how little pot was smoked in the garage. Our kid once again has laughed in the face of our rules. And I'm totally fed up with it.

I'm not sure what the next move is. As much as I hate to do it, I think telling our son he has to find somewhere else to live is the only solution. A big, fat, giant message needs to be sent. And I don't know how else to do it.

That this happened tonight is kind of ironic. At the basketball game I was at tonight, a friend of mine asked how my son was doing. "So-so," I said. "His depression is still kicking him in the ass, but at least he's clean." Or so I had thought. Silly me.

I've also spent the last couple of days thinking about a line I heard in the episode of A&E's "Intervention" I watched the other night. At the intervention, the father was talking to his addict daughter about her getting clean. He looked at her and said: "I can't want it more than you." Man, I can't tell you how much that line resonated with me. So often I feel like I want my son to get clean more than he wants to get clean. And it's so incredibly frustrating.

I just made this post on my son's Facebook wall:

I can't want it more than you. It has to be the other way around.


  1. I can't imagine how hard it must be for you to make such a decision, but I'm sure you've probably heard that a lot. I completely agree with you and this post made me see something my mother has been telling me for ages, and all this time I've thought about how much it irked me that she said this or that but I never thought about how she must feel when she says that. Fighting's not easy, not at all, but it's much easier when there's someone behind you, supporting you, fighting with you. I guess I just wanted you to know that in your struggle and your frustration you've helped someone, even if its not the person you wanted to help and that I sincerely hope that your son sees how much you love him and how much pain he´s causing so that he may start wanting it more that you do.

  2. OH, how I wish I could wave a wand for you and make it all better! I remember how I didn't want to give my problem up either - no drive to get better - in fact, I was completely and willingly yielding to the bad thoughts in my head. But now, I couldn't imagine life still with the disorder. I'm sure that eventually, with loving parents like you and your wife, that SOMETHING will go right. It has to. Praying for you.

  3. i think the best solution is to keep him close, don't kick him that would be the worst idea, in my opinion. I've friends who've been shooed away from their homes and the outcome is never good, often it gets worse. my best advice would be to stick by him no matter what, do what you can and fight the battles that are necessary. and well it is slightly normal for a teenager(im assuming teen) to experiment with the hardships of pot, with time a son should grow into a man.

  4. I know you are going to find this hard to understand. I am a junior in high school and I am surrounded by temptation and peer pressure constantly. If you knew the half of what is offered or forced upon us constantly you would jump for joy knowing that your son is only smoking pot. That is, if he is only smoking pot.

    I find myself to be a strong person and make my own decisions. If I lose a few friends along the way that is OK with me. It is something that has to happen. But the temptation is there and I hope I continue to be strong enough to not give in.

  5. Hey I really want to help. My name is Devin and I am an addict, I'm 16 years old, and everyday is a struggle. If your son is really an addict then quitting is almost impossible. Trust me. I still have cravings everyday. There is never one sure way to solve the problem. I really decided to get sober and stay sober when i realized how much my life sucked. Now I was doing a lot of different heavy drugs. Kicking your son out may help him hit bottom faster but then again kicking him out also gives him the freedom to do all the drugs in the world. Bring him to some AA meetings. Those help sometimes, but if they don't here in MA parents can file a section 35 on their child which will force them by law to go to a detox for a minimum of 30 days. It was in those places that I learned why I needed to stay sober. Feel free to follow my blog too. I write about my struggles and you may notice some in your son. Remember addiction is a disease.

  6. Hey there,

    My name is Esther 21 and have an interesting perspective on this post. I haven't read any of your others yet and so my background knowledge is lacking, but to THIS post specifically I say:

    How old is your son? Will telling him to find somewhere else to live put him in a situation where there are worse influences? The real question isn't exactly if he's smoking pot, pot is bad, and annoying, but what really bothers us, I think, is the stigma attatched to it. When it comes to drugs and something disrupting life, cocaine, meth, ecstacy, pills, etc, are all scary things.If he has depression, like you said, if he feels lost and out of control, pot may just be an outlet.

    I've experienced many things in my young life. I've done drugs, smoked pot, drank alcohol, lived everywhere, dealt with addicts for parents; I find that there needs to be a certain amount of respect for self before any real change will happen. Work on the depression, be there for him. But keep an eye out for the important things, the ones that will ruin his life.

  7. I saw your blog posting and want you to know that I also smoked pot as a 'child' and 'adult.' For Thirty-two years! My mother threw me out of the house when I was 20 - I struggled financially, quit college, lived with men, did what I had to do to not be homeless. I'm not saying to be a 'soft place to land,' because that doesn't work, either. Somewhere in the middle where you can bend but not break. I am totally estranged from my mother because she let me down when I needed her the most. Depression is a terrible thing to live with. I also learned that if you have to sneak, you are doing the wrong thing.