as parents not alon

Hey xxx

Susan and I really enjoyed the road trip with xx! Cold as it was, terrific fun to see Joanie and John, Steve, Jodi and meet some of the Raider faithful. Good to get hugs from Jake and Grant. And always great to watch some live lacrosse. Then good to great as Susan got off scott-free with a friendly warning for her lead foot! xxxx and I remained silent as mice as Susan weaseled her way out of it (the spotless driving record may have had something to do with it).

xxxx shared xxxx’s adventures with drinking and subsequent close encounter with LEO and the southern Ohio judicial system. Susan and I have been passing in the night but she mentioned she had reached out to our legal eagles in Cincy. Sounds like our friend found you the “guy”. Admired your decision to have Will make the call himself!

My trigger in writing this isn’t because I have any insight and opinion one way or the other about the situation Will finds himself in (not my place to take another person’s inventory as we say in AA). This is just one dad sharing with another dad my experiences with cooper and michael (and to a lesser degree, max).

As this video link highlights, xxxx on his gap year discovered he had clinical depression and was an alcoholic drinker on the way to being a classic alcoholic. (could take 20 more years like me) He goes to AA now. Through his behavior while impaired in blackouts, he subsequently got to seei his shadow with us, his brothers, friends, girlfriend, her parents and a family counselor, Mic realized he had a problem – and that that problem was a genetic/chemistry issue, not a character defect. A key discovery as the self-loathing was growing inside him as he was repeating his mistakes even when he tried to limit himself to “just one drink”.

In keeping how genetics can sometimes play a role in addiction, xxxx is battling an addiction to weed. He has a desire to stop but can’t. Fear of getting found out by political adversaries on campus as the president of the student body and co-founder of mental health initiative has prevented him from seeking help and attending his first AA meeting. He has plans post graduation to get help. He will look back and discover this was a silly conclusion as AA has a fairly big foundation construct in anonymity.

xxxx has started experimenting with weed and to a lesser extent alcohol (outside lax season). We know this because he told us. He is cognizant of the genetic component that runs deep in our family. A challenging role for Susan and I to play as we encourage self-reporting but do not ever want to even hint that without consequences from his parents that we somehow condone what he and his buddies are doing. We don’t. xxxx joins his parents in sharing with xxx the perspective you run the risk of harming yourselves at this age as their brains and bodies are still baking….as well as the potential consequences with LEO and HHS.

Most parents keep this stuff well hid and so Susan and I were honored you guys reached out and shared what was going on and sought some experience sharing. And by way of this email, you may take some comfort in knowing the three of you are not the lone wolves as you navigate a winding road.

Best – DC

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