Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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Life My son is fighting for his life. It is a battle so difficult that I do not know if he will ever overcome it. Statistics are not in his favor, especially because he is only 23 years old. He is not fighting cancer, aids, or anything of that nature. He is fighting drug addiction from methamphetamines. They say it is a disease and I had trouble with that analogy until I started to watch his battle with new eyes. I am not addicted to drugs or alcohol and so it was difficult for me to understand why he just could not stop. I cried, begged, offered bribes, yelled, and put the guilt on when he kept on using. He tried to hide it, would lie and do anything so I would not find out. I learned all the signs but he could still get me to believe he was sober because I wanted so much for it to be true.

I lived in self denial over and over again and let him continue with his use. Finally I knew that something had to change because it was affecting everyone in the family.

The sad thing is that when he was high on the drugs, he was nice and very often fun to be with. It was a different story when he was coming off the drugs. He was mean, nasty, cruel and abusive in his language.

We would fight at these times and the pain of his words hurt so deeply. The sad thing was after he was down off the drugs he felt so bad for his behavior and vowed to quit. His is a story of pain and anguish.

Only parents, spouses, or children of addicts will understand how difficult it is to live with someone who is actively using drugs or alcohol. I know that I am far from alone in my anger, hurt and deep sorrow from what drugs and alcohol have done to our family. My fear for my sons life is so intense at times that I cannot sleep or concentrate. For now I have some peace because he is once again in a residential treatment center.

This is the second one in 3 years. He was in an outpatient facility when he was 16 so he has really been involved in three different rehabs. This is his story. I hope that it will help anyone who is feeling the frustration, fear, anger, hurt and all the other emotions that so along with this illness.

I knew something was terrible wrong when my son turned 14. Attired from head to toe in black with a hat pulled down over his eyes. I did not know who this person was and was terrified of his behavior.

His old friends were gone, now replaced with young men who were not the sort you wanted your kids to hang out with. They did not look you in the eye, nor could they hold any type of conversation. I looked at these boys and knew they were bad news. The real shock came to me when I realized that my son was probably looked at the same way by other parents. He was labeled one of the bad kids. He was beligerant and hard to handle. If I told him no he did what he wanted regardless of what the consequences might be. The hardest thing I ever had to do was call the police and have my son arrested because he was out of control. I did this several times because his behavior was so abusive and frightening. We were always careful of our language in front of the children and suddenly his was swearing and cursing at me and it broke my heart but it also made me very angry. I felt that respect was needed in a household and he was unwilling to abide by our rules. The feeling of guilt and frustration was so intense at this time. I asked myself over and over what I had done wrong. Of course I had made mistakes in raising him, he was my oldest and I wasn't always sure how to handle situations. He was always somewhat hard to control even as a toddler, but I loved him so much and always made sure he knew this. I played with him, read to him, and tried to reach him in any way possible. He was a beautiful baby and young boy, will of energy and creativity, but he talked late and was slower than some of the other kids in the neighborhood. I kept asking the doctor what was wrong and he said he was just a slow bloomer.