A LETTER TO MY SON My dear son, As you work through the arduous exercise of Step 4, analyzing who and what you are, let me offer a few observations to help you figure out the differences between the “real” you and the images you project. WHO ARE YOU? First, let me say that you are the most important person in the lives of both of your parents. I know you frequently question why that is,
but let it suffice to say that it is just human nature to love and protect one’s children. Some children make this phenomenon of nature easier than other children do. While you have tested this principle to the limit by actions such as lying, cheating, stealing from us, law-breaking, using drugs, and showing disrespect, none of these issues have caused your parents’ love or support to waiver in the slightest. We are committed to helping you and to supporting your endeavors for as long as we live. Second, you are the most important person in
an insight into at least a few techniques that can lead to happiness and self-worth. Has your environment been perfect? Of course not, but the principles espoused by your parents and the way they were practiced in your home have given you a major advantage over other young adults who had no exposure to good role models. Fourth, you are all of these and more: yourself, son, cousin, nephew, grandson, employee, neighbor, friend, counselor, writer, musician, artist, sponsor, member…..and all of these associations connote INclusion, not Exclusion. You are an important person in many roles, not on the outside looking in, but planted firmly insidewith the ability to reach out and make a difference in everything you do. Finally, you are a person in conflict. You are all grown up but still crave the freedom from responsibility that comes with being a child. You want to do the right things but seemingly have no idea how to go about doing them. You love your family but cannot find ways within yourself to express that love. You respect your parents, but your lack of self-discipline and short-fused temper cause you to appear disrespectful. You want to be independent and self-sufficient, but these goals are significantly impeded by major laziness. WHAT ARE YOU? In no particular order, here are my impressions of what you are: Intelligent Lazy Capable Confused Conflicted Healthy Angry Depressed Unmotivated Undisciplined Irresponsible Artistic Unselfish Kind Polite Anti-social Dishonest Failure Emotional Crude Talented Unprincipled As you work through your self-analysis, it might be a good idea to separate your positive qualities from your less positive qualities. Having done that, I think it would be useful to ask yourself the following questions and write out your own answers: How can I capitalize on and expand this good quality so that my life will be more positive?
What can I do to overcome this deficiency in my personality so that my life will be more positive? In order to effectively forge a new life plan with a positive direction, you will need to act on both the positiveand negative aspects of your personality and behavior. I hope this letter helps you get through Step 4. Remember, as I said in the first paragraph, these are my observations and impressions of you based on the images you project. They may be all wrong…..they may be all correct….or they may be somewhere in between. I love you, son. SPRING 2004 “Reflections on My Son’s Addiction” is a collection of essays that John C. wrote to himself that made the journey easier to understand and good decisions easier to make. Read more