Figure It Out

I received a frantic message from a mom last night around midnight. The poor woman was worried sick about her daughter who is using heroin. To make matters worse the mother’s health is not good. I actually have known this woman for a few years now. She’s a great mother. The type of mother to die for her kids. She would go to any lengths to see her daughter succeed and get recovery. Despite all of this mother’s willingness and effort over the years nothing has changed. Her daughter is back at square one yet again. Now this mom is sick. Physically sick, not mentally. I advised her that despite what her daughter does, she must try and take care of herself too. She can’t be worrying or working harder than her daughter.

There was a time when my family suffered the same way. In active addiction I used to run up credit cards and never pay the bill. I would overdraft every checking account the banks would let me open. I would rob, steal, and borrow from anyone I could. My mother used to run behind me with a dustpan and a checkbook to clear up my wreckage. Eventually it got to the point where she couldn’t sweep fast enough. Chasing after an addict is like trying to stop the tide from rising. It’s inevitable, that water is going to rise no matter what. Was I worried about my credit score? No, but my mom was. Was I worried about my future, or staying clean? No, but my mom was. Then suddenly one day all of that stopped. My mother cut it off. Now the responsibilities that I loved to neglect could no longer be ignored. Addicts are far from stupid. We will take what we can get until we can’t get it anymore.

My recovery and life began to change for the better when I began to worry about the things my mother used to take care of for me. “Where was I going to live? How was I going to eat? What would I do for work? How would I pay my bills?” So the million dollar question is, “Kevin how do I get them to worry about real life things the way I worry for them?” It’s simple actually. When you stop doing it for us, we’ll finally learn to do it for ourselves. I am a master of figuring things out. I survived the street for ten years. Trust me when I tell you, WE WILL FIGURE IT OUT. If your kid says they don’t know how to do something try telling them to “figure it out.” There was a time when they didn’t know how to do drugs but they figured that out didn’t they?