I Wish I Hadn’t Done Drugs

by Byron on November 11, 2017

Guys-

I wish I hadn’t done drugs when I was younger.  I have been sober for a little more than a dozen years.  For me, substances, of which drinking is one of the major ones, became a big problem.  I think even if it would not have become a big problem, I still wish I never would have done them.

I do not have as many memories of my childhood, my teen years, or even my twenties as I wish I would.  I think the drinking and drugs impacted my brain in many ways.  A huge piece of it was memory.  I also believe it made me less intelligent.  I’m blessed to be incredibly smart still, but I don’t believe I’m near where I was before my years of substance use and abuse.

There’s numerous reasons I wish I hadn’t become involved with substances – general health at those ages, general health now, the pain and loneliness of the abuse years, the struggle to get sober, the heartache I inflicted on those around me, etc.  But the long-term impact on my brain is one I really struggle with.

The frontal lobe of the brain is truly in initial formulation and growth mode until the mid 20’s.  I spent from 15-27 drinking, smoking cigarettes and doing drugs.  I genuinely believe I robbed my brain of growth that would have been remarkable.

I’m sure this is a topic we will discuss many times between now and your twenties.  I hope you guys don’t have the same regrets in this sense that I do.  I do not mean to suggest that you will never have a drink or smoke a joint – maybe you will and maybe you won’t.  And at the right age and the right situation, there’s nothing wrong with either.  But to have gone to where I went to with it will produce pain and regret that I hope you don’t experience.  Like every negative, I turned what I could into a positive.  And regrets become lessons.  But still…

I once heard that a smart man learns from his mistakes.  A wise man learns from the mistakes of others.  Makes sense to me.  I’m thrilled I now get to learn from other people’s mistakes.  I hope you learn from some of my mistakes, even though I am “Dad.”

Love you guys,

Dad

Ps. Gibson, there’s a song called Uptown Funk that you love (I do too).  The lyrics say over and over, “Don’t believe me, just watch.”  For weeks you were saying, “Dumpaline DOPE WATCH!”  For awhile, Mom and I couldn’t figure it out, then we realized you were singing Uptown Funk!

Pps. Decker, you and Gibson have taken Tae Kwon Do the past two Saturdays.  Gibson is a little bit lukewarm on it.  You love it so far!

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Disciplining Children

by Byron on November 5, 2017

Guys-

I used to think that disciplining kids was about making them – making you guys – understand.  Understand the world, understand why you shouldn’t be selfish, understand why you have to do things you don’t want to do.  But I have recently come across a discipline program that is, in many ways, focused around the concept that children – especially young children – are not little adults.  You guys are kids; and that’s okay.  I shouldn’t force you into adult thinking as children.

I was brought up with adult thinking.  Or, I should say, with Grandma and Grandpa, especially Grandpa, thinking that I was a little adult.  This likely did a few good things for me, and a bunch of things that weren’t great for my development.

It’s not that you guys are bad.  You guys are kids.  You think like kids and you act like kids – which is perfect.  It’s just that, over time, I have to help you become adults.  Well adjusted, kind, independent, caring, self-sufficient adults.

I’m coming to understand that this may not have anything to do with you.  It may have to do with me and my ability to control my own emotions.  I should discipline, not react, scream, be upset, etc.

I yelled at you guys like fucking crazy a few nights ago.  I called Mommy.  Mommy called Mimi and PopPop to come over to help me.  I was a lunatic.  I was raging.  You guys were not being any more or less kids than usual.  You guys were being you guys.  I was just hyper-stressed out from work.  That’s not fair to project onto you guys.  Not fair at all.

I’m working on it.

I love you guys,

Dad

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