When I look back I see the journey with our son has been shrouded in substance misuse for a very long time. Publicly I was in denial, although privately I could see the journey he was on from his late secondary school days. Marijuana was initially his drug of choice. Most likely this was partially used to self-medicate the social anxiety he experienced. Despite this drug use, he managed to pass 6 School Certificate subjects.
My dreams were answered when he gained a university degree. Education had been a significant part of my life. I was incredibly proud when he graduated. I was under no illusion that there was drug misuse alongside his achievement, but that did not diminish the joy I felt.
After a contract job in the city, he left for overseas to undertake work in his chosen field. While he managed to maintain the job, weekends were apparently filled with London experiences, and drug misuse was part of the experience. Eventually he decided to come home to New Zealand when a business opportunity presented itself. His father had died suddenly several years earlier and I was able to assist him into the venture. He used his ability and skills to make progress. I was always told not to worry when I talked to him about his drug use. Two beautiful children arrived during this time. He was a caring and loving Dad. His settled life as a child growing up with caring and supportive parents was his foundational experience of parenting.