Thursday, April 17, 2008

Q & A: "I was diagnosed with depression"

Name: Kelly
Question: We inherited a nice riding lawn mower. My husband's nephew keeps wanting to borrow it. They act like it is community property since we got it from their great aunt. They don't ask, they just tell us they're coming to get it. They don't take care of things. How do you keep the peace? We KNOW they won't pay for anything if it breaks. (This kind of thing has happened before) My husband is going to tell his mother that if it is community property (which it is not) then they can come get the D thing and keep it! This would be fine with them because they would take it gladly. It's not fair, then our son would have to go back to pushing. It was given to US. Help!

Hi Kelly,

Thanks for writing...I'm going to go off the assumption that your inheriting this lawnmower was an actual written wish of your Great Aunt's...Now I'm not known as a "Mr. Manners," but I will give it my best shot...I guess there's
two ways you can go about this:

1) Peacekeeping - First off, always make sure that you do your lawn before the nephew leaves with it. If he comes before your son had a chance to do it, kindly have the nephew wait and have a glass of lemonade or something.
If any questions are raised, mention that since he'll be taking it for a while, you want to make sure you use it first since it's yours. Make sure to reference the fact directly and often that you have no problem letting them borrow Your lawnmower from time-to-time, and that you are really appreciative that your Great Aunt wanted you to have it. Make sure to refer to it as "My"
or "Our" (referring to your nucleus family) lawnmower. Make mention of the fact that although you don't mind them using it so much, they really should think about putting some money towards gas and maintenance, as
it's only fair since they are constantly using Your lawnmower. *Caution: Don't Overdo the My, Mine, Our bit too much or they'll know something's up. Just be confident but nice...Pleasant, but to the point. Don't let them
leave without knowing that you are doing them a favor and that they should be appreciative.

2) Subversive - Next time the nephew comes over to borrow it, it's suddenly unavailable becuase you lent it to someone on Your side of the family (if none are close by, then you lent it to a neighbor or family friend)...If they question why, well, it's yours to do with as you please. Another time if they come over have it in the shop. Tell them that since they've been using
it so much, you want them to share on all the costs for repairing it and for operational costs. Nothing stops mooching like the specter of having to pay for something they were getting for free. Or take a part of it apart and make like you are fixing it yourself, and mention that you're working on it and they won't be able to use it for a while. Again, if they really start to put up a fuss, break out the will and show them where it was bequeathed to you. Also point out the fact that you are not continuously asking to borrow, or assume as community property, any of the things left to others.

I try to never promote dishonesty, but these people are blind to the fact that they're walking all over you and they are indignant to boot. if they are not going to understand the situation for what it really is, then I guess changing the situation around to fend them off is not the worst policy in the world...Hope this helps, and good luck!

Name: Audrey
City: Raleigh
Question: Hey, I was reading through your advice posts and I think your advice is great! I know the answers to my problem already but I thought I might give some outside advice a shot. My Mom is the type of person that would rather send me to a doctor when I have a problem than take the time to solve it herself. I was diagnosed with depression my sophomore year and was immediately put on Prozac. I smoked marijuana occasionally but by the time my junior year came around I was high nonstop. I know it got out of hand, but I definitely don't think rehab was appropriate for my dependency. After I was out of rehab for a month, I began smoking occasionally again. I am not an "addict" like my Mom has labeled me and I do not have a problem. I can smoke every once and a while and it will not ever be like it was. I have done much research on marijuana and its effects and I really feel as though it is not as terrible as society makes it out to be. Many successful people use it, and I was not any less of a person while I was going through my "pothead" phase. My question for you is, how can I get my Mom off my back about my using occasionally? I don't want you to say just wait it out for the rest of my senior year, but that's the only answer I've come up with. If it's possible for me to still smoke, please let me know how I can! I decided for my self to discontinue the Prozac because I was not depressed. This has been fine for me and I haven't had any problems with my Mom about that decision. I lied to her about my year-long-buzz and I understand how she has problems trusting me today but, I want her to back off!!

Hi Audrey,

Thanks so much for writing! I appreciate the feedback...Now, as for your question, I'm not exactly certain that you'll like my answer. Your Mom might be coming down on you really hard for two reasons:
1) There's an old and very true saying, "Once an addict, always an addict". This will be a life-long battle for you to control yourself and the use of drugs...You have to understand that you are never totally in control until you can stay away from it completely and know that it doesn't hold any value in your life. The pure fact that you are using it, even occasionally, is leaving the door wide open for you to unwittingly slip into the same use and abuse pattern that you went through as a Junior. Just having it as a presence in your life will always create that window of opportunity for you to abuse it again, whether right now you mean to or not. It got "out of hand" once already, and there's absolutely no guarantee, no matter what you believe right now, that it won't get "out of hand" again. You've already lost the control battle once, and even though you still think you were never an addict, you sure abused like one.
2) It's illegal in our justice system and general society to use it. Your Mom realizes that no matter how innocent you think the drug is, if you are ever caught and its use in brought into court, you can face some very serious penalties. One day you'll realize that the absolute most important commodity in one's life is Time, and if you waste time behind bars, you'll regret every one of those seconds spent in jail for the rest of your life. You'll know that your view of pot as being "Not so terrible" and controllable is pretty shortsighted in the grand scheme of things. If it really isn't that important, then you really don't need it at all, right? If you are that strong to say you can use it and control it, then you are strong enough to be without it completely. If you still want and desire to use it, no matter how recreationally, then you are still addicted to it to a certain degree. Once you are actually strong enough to say (AND Live) that you have it Completely out of your life, then you can say you are on the road to recovery...Think about this: Let's say a person had a bad case of Cancer, and then took steps to rid the Cancer from his body. For the most part, he was successful, but there still is remnants of Cancer in his body...Is he cured? No, he's not. He might have won some very difficult battles, but the Cancer is still there, a constant and deadly nemesis he can't run from. He's only cured when it's completely out of his body (and life). Just like your drug use...You might have toned it down and feel that you are cured from it because of your nearsighted belief of self control, but as long as it's in your life, you're not cured. The Cancer victim will not be a survivor because it isn't completely gone...And then there's no guarantee that it won't return later on. He'll never be completely free of worry as he knows that the next time it comes back into his life, it can most certainly kill him (especially if there's still Cancer present). He can battle valiantly, but only God knows what the outcome will be each time he fights the disease. Ask a Cancer victim if they would rather fight Cancer or Addiction, and I'm thinking that they would say Drugs because they can be completely rid of it via self-control (for the most part). If you viewed drugs like a disease, you'd never let it back into your life again...There's no such thing as a person having a "little" Cancer, and there's no real thing as a purely "recreational" drug user...remember, you are using drugs to distort your own perception of reality...What makes you think that you are as in control as you think you are? Do you remember what you say you did your whole Junior year? Do you remember your Junior year at all? Actions speak louder than words...Drop the bong and get on with more important things in life. Take Real control of your life and really make the most of it...I hope this helps, and don't be a stranger... Best of luck to you!

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