Posted by: A Mom w/Fears | March 22, 2007

Enough is Enough – March Against Meth

I have so much to say about the title of this blog, and honestly not enough time, but I expect to continue on with this, often.

In 1998 Milton Creagh came to the Treasure Valley and spoke to the community, with very direct verbiage…YOU HAVE A METH PROBLEM HERE IN IDAHO…no one listened. I actually was 28 when he came here, and I went with my mom to the Idaho Center to listen to what he had to say. Everything that came out of that mans mouth was so right on the mark. I remember listening to him and just shaking my head in agreement…some of the things/drugs that were prevalent were very new to our community…some I had seen 10 years prior, and yes…some I had done. When we drove away I remember that my mom and I didn’t stop talking the whole way…we were both in awe, we were both humbled, we were both pretty shaken. I realized then…10 years after I had graduated that I had an addictive personality. I realized then that only by the GRACE of God had I managed to excel in life without being an alcoholic or drug user. I had lucked out an was only…a smoker.

I shared alot with my mom that night that I might never have shared, and admitted to trying a good chunk of the drugs that Mr. Creagh mentioned while in Jr. High & High School (yes, I said Jr. High). I was a pretty good kid, knew right from wrong, and also really wanted to be accepted. And just like in that 1998 address by Mr. Creagh then, he said it again over the course of several days MULTIPLE times this week (March Against Meth) to many audiences…kids (people) do so many stupid things just to be accepted, and be cool. I am one of those statistics. I also realized that with a 6 year old daughter (at the time) that I needed to really stay educated and keep a watchful eye. I can’t change the world, however I surely can keep a handle on myself and do everything I could to keep the lines of communication open with my daughter so that when she was presented with (notice I didn’t say “IF”) the opportunity to smoke/drink/use drugs/have sex/the list is endless, that she would at least have as much information as she possibly could to handle the situation properly, make the right choice, say no, etc….and if she made/makes the wrong ones…well then I can only hope for a few things:

1) That I (we, my husband included) have given her all the right/informative information and that it was a mistake that SHE made freely knowing it was wrong to begin with, not because she didn’t know better.

2) That she has enough respect for herself and for us that she will come to us and admit that she’s made the wrong choice, and she’s learned from it—before it gets worse.

3) If she is/or knows of someone who is in trouble, that she feels comfortable coming to us (or someone else she trusts) so that hopefully she/they can get help and also so that the burden of hiding/hindering a problem is not on her shoulders. Kids/teens have enough stuff going on in their daily life, they don’t need the extra stress. That’s what parents/adults are for, to support these up and coming future parents/leaders/educators in EVERY POSSIBLE POSITIVE WAY.

So, with all of that in mind…I am thankful that God has really been looking out for me, and that my tough addiction is smoking…not that it is easy to quit, not that it’s a better choice, but only because I know I can beat it. I know, in my very heart that I would not be able to beat any of the other legal/illegal alternatives…and believe me, I’ve had strength through alot of trials that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. I seriously believe everyone has an addiction, some of us are just luckier than others when it comes to the severity…that is why when we (as a PEOPLE) see the path of destruction that gangs/drugs/alcohol are bringing to our families, friends, neighborhoods and communities…we need to get a handle on it WHERE we can. And the first stop is in our living rooms…don’t think you have to be “all that” to your kids, they respect the fact that you aren’t perfect. Share your struggles, share your experiences! And don’t wait until your kids are 12 & 13 to start talking to them…if you have elementary kids…start opening the lines of communication now! They are having issues in grade school too…some issues worse than others, but if you can talk about gossip/backstabbing/bullying when your kids are in the 3rd and 4th grade…then you will be able to talk about smoking/drinking/sex/drugs etc. when they are the most vunerable, and hopefully by then, they will be coming to you!!!!!!!!!!! You won’t have to ask, they’ll tell you what their friends are doing.

I was about 10 when I tried smoking…I got caught, I lied, I continued to do it. I didn’t inhale…but I still did it. I thought I was cool. I thought I was cool until 7th grade (Jr. High School), when some girls walked by me in the hallway and started taunting me that “ewwww someone smells like smoke”…they were the popular girls. So I thought, then I found out that they were the girls that didn’t smoke cigarettes, but they were the girls that smoked pot. Now that’s gotta be cool…if they’re doing it. See the pattern? Fast forward to High School…by now I (or even you who is relating to this story) know who has what drugs, I have a job, I have money and even transportation. Scary isn’t it. Friends/boy or girlfriends that are older, who have friends who have different drugs…you are cool aren’t you? So easy.

Parent’s, friends, family…anyone reading this…YOUR CHILDREN ARE NOT IMMUNE, DRUGS DO NOT DISCRIMINATE. Kids raised in good homes, both parents, brought up loving God, making good choices, good grades, with money, with goals…etc – those kids are no more immune than the kids with one parent, living in a shack, with no God, bad choices, no money, no goals….Drugs have no boundaries.

Kids will undoubtably make mistakes. That is part of growing up, learning, testing the waters…but help them to grow up saying “NO” (remember Just Say No?) and knowing “Not Even Once” is the motto they need to learn and also live by…because it only takes once, to get addicted to smoking, it only takes one drink to get addicted to drinking…it only takes once to get addicted to meth (and die), it only takes once to have sex and get an STD, or pregnant…

Be a good listener, not a preacher. Ask questions, be honest, be blunt! Do this daily, do it early, do it now…and please explain WHY they need to know “NOT EVEN ONCE”…
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