Dear Beautiful Girl-
This week we lost another young person to what looks like drug abuse. Well, technically, I bet we lost quite a few young people to drug abuse, but this one was famous and good looking and a lot of people knew his name, so a lot of people are thinking more about drugs today than they usually do. Which started me thinking about beautiful you and your beautiful future and all the decisions you will have to make therein.
I wish I could tell you, simply: “Drugs are jerks that will kill you dead – don’t do them,” and have that be the end of the conversation. I wish there was a surefire way, now, while your little brain is connecting mile after mile of coil and lobe and truth and meaning, to plant deep into developing folds all the knowledge of every addict who has wished they never tried “just this once.” I wish a chip could be nestled there that would call me the moment your hands reach for danger, that would summon me to that high school party or college dorm or innocent tree house where you will be cornered and offered and tested. I wish that I could appear there to whisk you away, to look in your eyes, to hold you accountable. I wish I could stop the world from mass producing dangers to market as candy offered up in young and fleetingly innocent palms.
But part of my job, lovely precious you, is to ready you for those moments. It isn’t fun to cart your mother around with you into adulthood, and you are already brilliant and mighty and able to hold your own. I will learn to trust you in those compromising, dangerous spaces, because I will have to, because I will know you, and because, God willing, you will know what you are worth.
That’s what it comes down to: worth. When you are in that moment you will have to decide: Is it worth it to try this? You might be curious (I would be) or embarrassed (people are watching) or bored or sad or a thousand other things, and maybe you will think “Yes, yes, it is worth it – I want to know how this feels and be like them and escape and know – I want to know.” Hear me.
You are worth more.
Curiosity will serve you well, and adventure will find you, and people will love you – but when it comes to drugs, my beautiful girl, you are worth more than curiosity and adventure and approval and the highest of highs. You are privy to the collective stories of a thousand who have walked this path before you, who have seen the other side, who know, and who will tell you – you are worth more. You are gifted the wisdom of those who are in recovery. I pray you hear their stories and carry them and feel them whispering in your bones in that moment – pulsing you full of the biggest and truest thing: you are worth more.
You have within you a mind that is capable of all kinds of outrageous imagining – a mind that is strong and God-gifted and endless and only yours. You, unaltered, are free to laughter and celebration and uninhibited joy. If ever, ever you struggle to find those parts of you, I will be right there to help you. We will carve paths back to your wholest self that allow you to be just as you were meant to be, but we will do so in ways that are healthy and filled with truth. However lost or bored or just plain young you are feeling, you are enough just as you are. All of the wonders of the world are available to you, beautiful love – no pill or puff or powder or puncture is needed to lead you to them.
This will be your choice to make, my girl, and we will love you wildly along the smoothest path or fiercely into the darkest of depths. God’s wisdom, my wisdom, all of our good intentions – none of it guarantees that you will avoid this rabid and ugly mess. But please, by grace, may you know somehow always: you are worth more. May your hands be safe guided and your will be strong and you choices be good ones. May love and luck and the goodness of your Creator keep you from this particular trial.
Answers are worth something. Experimentation has worth of its own. Curiosity is valuable. Adventure is treasure.
You are worth more.