Oh the evils of addiction. Not only does it control the addict’s life but it ruins the lives of those people who care about that person.
Shattered Mirror is a novel about a woman who is trying to survive her son’s drug addiction. But there are other stories woven into the novel. One in particular, Michael Stevens, is a story about another young man addicted to drugs. In fact, Michael is the one who introduced Kelly’s son, Zach, to prescription drugs.
This is a story that needs to be highlighted as much as Kelly and Zach’s. You see, Michael’s mother knows that her son is a drug addict. But, like so many other parents, she denies it. There are many reasons why parents deny their children’s addiction to _________ (fill in the blank: drugs, alcohol, gaming, sex, etc.). It’s easier to turn a blind eyes to the addiction or even deny the addiction than to try to fix it.
You see, in trying to fix the problem, you have to look at what actually caused it. Addiction doesn’t just happen. A healthy, happy, well-rounded child doesn’t usually decide–on his or her own!–to start taking drugs. No one wakes up and wants to become an addict. But it doesn’t just happen.
In Zach’s case, his addiction came from low self-esteem which led him to not have many friends…the perfect victim for Michael to prey upon. Michael, however, lived in a house where the mother was an alcoholic. Facing the truth about her son would mean having to face the truth about herself. And no addicted parents who isn’t interested in treatment is going to want to deal with that truth. Why would they? In order to get their child clean, they’d have to attend meetings, get rid of booze from the house, and probably fess up that she, too, was an addict.
So what happens? The young son grows up watching his mother drink too much. Perhaps she neglected her son, whether emotionally or maternally. He begins to self-medicate by stealing her drugs from the medicine cabinet–yes, doctor prescribed drugs, not illegal drugs found on the streets. Maybe she notices. Maybe she doesn’t. But he realizes that it’s more fun to take those medications if you mix them with booze–which there is plenty of in his house. It’s also more fun to have someone else to party with. Hello Zach!
There are many reasons why kids start experimenting with drugs and alcohol. Often it is because they are emulating their parents’ behavior. Other times it’s because they are not monitored carefully, parents have too much trust in them, boundaries are not set up properly, or parents are simply too busy with their own lives to parent their child. There are dozens of other reasons, but these are the main reasons that are discussed in the novel.
The best way to deal with drug addiction is to never let your child start using drugs or alcohol. By the time parents realize that their child is doing drugs, it’s often too late to stop the cycle of addiction. But denying the problem will never solve it. Facing it head on is the only way that addiction can be resolved…and often only if the individual is willing to work at it.
For anyone that you know who is going through drug addiction, please get them a copy of this book. Let them know that they are not alone. Having battled for one of my children, I know how lonely it can be. Unlike Kelly, I had my husband to help me through the terrible years. Yes. YEARS. Some days, I don’t know how he managed to maintain his sanity, especially since it was his stepchild, not physical child. I know that, had the shoe been on the other foot, I very well might have walked away–that’s how bad it was.
And, truth be told, some parents DO walk away, leaving their child to suffer on their own. I get it. You see, living with a drug addict is a life of 24/7 emotional turmoil with many, many bad days and very, very few good days. It’s not for the faint of heart, that’s for sure.
Michael Stevens’ mother clearly “walked” even if only metaphorically. But Zach’s mother, Kelly Martin, did not. Hopefully, this book will help those who choose to fight for their children. And maybe it will open up the eyes of the other people in their lives…the people who love them but just don’t know what to do.
Shattered Mirror…because that’s exactly what your life feels like when you are living with an addict.
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