Halloween is a big deal in my neighborhood. Streets are closed off and everyone comes out for the neighborhood party. This year, my husband and I were invited to tag along with a group of friends following after their 6 middle school sons. It was so fun – pizza & haunted houses, UFOs and plenty of candy. These goofy boys had made ridiculous and inventive costumes.  It was also bittersweet. As we spent the evening watching the kids goof off and just enjoy the event, it was always in my mind that my son missed out on this part of childhood. My husband would squeeze my hand and I knew he was feeling the same loss.

Our son was in middle school when he began to try different substances. We had no idea. His struggle took over very quickly and by the beginning of high school it ruled his life. He gave up everything he once cared about.

Whenever I see boys around his age, I am reminded of how many good and positive experiences he missed during these years. Soccer games, school dances, driver’s training, college visits, graduation; these were all traded away for the next high.

I don’t know if my son has any understanding of what he’s lost. I suspect not. That would require a painful acknowledgment that he had allowed the drugs to steal so much from him. He’s not there yet but my ever present hope and prayer is that he will see clearly and seek the help to take back his life.