I apparently wrote this while my oldest difficult child was in jail (before he was sent to prison). At that time I was very involved with AA and Al Anon. I need to get "back there" again for my young difficult child now. As young difficult child sits in jail I want to be able to express the reality of the situation for him too. I need to say it once and for all. I am reminded as I read this letter that this IS a disease...like a cancer that seeks to destroy our difficult child's and all who love them...US. "My dear (difficult child), I can't even begin to describe the horror and pain I felt inside as I left visitation with you this morning. I collapsed on the hallway floor having a panic attack as I made my way back to the lobby. Others around me cared for me til I got myself together enough to leave the building and drive home. Right now I am depressed and in great need of both an AA meeting and an Al Anon meeting. I just keep flashing back on your life and crying...wondering...what will it take for you to love you and value your existence? What will it take to make you care about your own life and even have a life worth sharing and caring for others. When I look into the future, based on your thoughts/feelings this morning...all I see is you being completely hopeless even ungrateful. I highly suggest you find the simplest of things to be grateful for and write them down daily. Do you want to be a father someday? Do you want to be an Uncle someday? Do you want to care about others...to work with those that are afflicted , like yourself, with the disease of addiction? Those are all questions that I think you need to answer for yourself. Take a stand (difficult child) Face yourself and determine who and what you're about. Please don't let drugs decide your path in life. Drugs want to take everything away from you. You're going to have to make a conscious decision to fight for your life on a daily basis. Just as I do for mine. I am getting stronger (difficult child). I have a life worth living and even more...it is about me, not your or my mother or even you kids. I don't have the same beliefs as others about a great many things. I am not nor are you, just an extension of your dad. I am my own person and there are people accept what I am in and of myself. Please don't live your life for the approval of others...Your dad, me, et. And please please oh please don't give up on your life for anyone else either. For once (difficult child) use your defiance and determination to raise a holy war against your "diseased will" and the stronghold of addiction. Don't become just another statistic. I know you (difficult child) and you are not evil or bad. You are self-destructive. You are an addict. You need daily help to live a healthy life. Look at our family (difficult child) My dad- Alcoholic Dad's mom- Alcoholic Her dad- Alcoholic Uncle K- Drug Addict Aunt S- Drug Addict Dad- Alcoholic Me- Alcoholic You- Drug Addict Brother-Drug Addict Cousin D- Likely addict Do you see what we all have in commen? This is not something to ever take lightly. You will have to put into practice a program of daily recovery in order to win the fight against the disease of addiction and all it seeks to destroy in you and your life. Make the decision (difficult child) or it will be decided for you. No amount of my love can change this condition. It's up to you (difficult child). I love you with all my heart and soul. Mom"