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  • sherrisacconaghi

Look Whose Talking

“Sherri, you are overreacting,” my husband Marc said to me one day as I was Googling signs of drug use on my laptop. Our son, D, had started sleeping a lot and I was concerned.

“My mom gut is talking to me,” I said distractedly,” he looks pale, and he is sleeping so much.”

“Listen,” Marc replied, “you are jumping to a conclusion, he’s a teenager, and teenagers sleep. He hasn’t given us any reason to suspect him of drug use, for goodness sake.”

Sleepy, moody, and distant can describe almost any teen at some point, and for months I convinced myself that D was going through the typical phases of adolescence. I wanted to believe everything was fine. There were signs, but Marc and I did not see eye to eye when it came to substance-related things. Whereas I, having been raised in an alcoholic home, was very sensitive to suspected substance use, Marc, not so much. The subject had been the instigator of significant bumps in our marriage over the years. However, I was hopeful the concerns of substance use would never rear its head regarding our kids.

When they were younger it was my job to protect them from experiencing the dangers in the world. And now, as they grow older, it is my job to stand beside them as they do. Hardest lesson I’m still learning. (2017).

Overall, D didn’t display the warning signs found in my online searches. His grades were near perfect, he held a starting position on the varsity lacrosse team, and after a rough freshman year struggling to find a peer group, he had found a small, tight group of friends. Maybe I was overreacting.

Or perhaps not.

Like smoke from under a bedroom door, one of my greatest fears was wafting slowly into my consciousness, making me feel edgy, restless, and uncomfortable. My mind told me to ignore my concerns about D, to numb my fear with a long workout, and find control in self restriction. But my body was telling me in no uncertain terms, that something was wrong, and it wasn’t going to let up until I paid attention.


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