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Unread 10-03-2013, 09:35 PM   #1
RIX
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Hello Friends,

Last week (Thursday I believe), some friends stopped by my brothers house. He lives alone and is currently unemployed. The 2 friends were on their lunch break at work and thought they would stop by to have lunch with my brother. They arrived to find the dog all tangled up on her rope, the house locked up and quiet. All the vehicles were home. They pounded on the door with no response. They looked in the window and saw my brother passed out on the couch... non-responsive to they yelling and pounding. Because everyone knows he has been back on the bottle the past couple months we are all kind of on edge waiting for the next "incident"... historically the next dramatic thing always comes within 2-6 months after he starts drinking again.

Well the friends called my/our parents out of concern... my parents came over to my bros house, met the friends there, unlocked the door and woke a very drunk, angry, aggressive person. My bro is under court order for zero drinking. My parents called the probation person who in turn called the cops... 3 squad cars, and ambulance and search and rescue vehicle showed up... looked like a movie!! They got him into the ambulance and off to the hospital to detox.

As of today I'm told he will be sent to a treatment facility, not sure for how long... or what they will do after that. Due to the court order he is under for a prior incident about 8 months ago it is up to the court system.

I guess at least he is sober and safe... unfortunately he did not "choose" to go to detox on his own... so what impact this all will have is questionable... but its an opportunity. Maybe he will see his "bottom" and decide to make the most of this... maybe he'll just lie and manipulate as he has in the past and come away from this whole thing just to start drinking again right away.

I have stayed completely out of this whole thing... did not visit him in the hospital, have not spoken to him at all since this happened. My parents continue to pick up the pieces and run around helping with paperwork and sorting his affairs... so frustrating. They did not "visit" him in the hospital for the first 5 days of detox... the past 2 days they were at the hospital working on the paper stuff and brining him clothes etc... I wish they could see that no matter what they do, it won't help him. It never has in the past 3 times this kind of thing has happened... I just try to love them and let go of their behavior... I know I can't change it. But it does hook me!!

Thanks for listening!

rix
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Unread 10-05-2013, 09:39 AM   #2
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Hi Rix -

This sounds all TOO familiar. In fact, when I was reading about your story, my mental image was that of my own brother. He would come home from work, his professional accounting job, and drink for two hours and then go back to work. I remember one day my mom called me in a panic, he was home, at lunch, and very drunk. I went over there at that time to "help" with my little baby boy. It was really hot that day, I'll never forget I just had the baby in his diaper and he was screaming and crying. My brother was drunk and angry, insisting that he was "fine" to go back to work, and we tried to stop him. Finally I think he walked off without his car and I don't remember if he ever made it back to work. This is one of many "rescues" I participated in over the years. As it turned out, his drinking did end up causing him his job. I think he thought (like we all do) that no one at his work knew. Well, they did. They offered to support him if he went to treatment. He chose to go in and quit instead - but he cleaned out his office/desk in the evening when no one was there and never went back. My mom drove him to the office to go do this.

His "bottom" wasn't a legal mess, or in detox. His liver started to fail, and it was only noticed by the symptom that his eyes were yellow and jaundiced one day. It was in the month prior to that he had indicated a desire to stop, and even attended a couple of meetings with me. It was too late though for his body. That yellowing of the eyes began a very very long, painful series of hospitalizations, bloated body, life threatening infections, and emergency surgery. The emergency surgery, when he was sped by ambulance to a different hospital, was the worst. The surgeons said that he had a 20% chance of making it through that surgery. He did, and kept fighting. He was given the chance of a new life with a new liver a couple of years ago. Then, last December, he started drinking alcohol again. I angrily and tearfully confronted him. It took a drunk driving arrest in January, and accident hitting a parked car and totaling his car, to get him to realize his bottom. And I'm not even sure that he did, really. After all that. However, I now know that I need to love the sinner, not the sin. I didn't talk to him for several months - separating myself from the co-dependecy because I wanted to save my own sobriety and sanity. As of now, he is not drinking (I don't think). He has just moved out of my mom's house and into his own apartment. He has lived with my mom for the past 3 years or so. He has a wonderful girlfriend and she is a huge positive impact in his life. My prayer is that he continues to move in a positive direction. The other day I went to see his new apartment and it is very nice. I asked him about looking for work and he seems right now to be fine paying for things with his disability. My response was, "But you aren't disabled anymore." And he said that he has to take medicine for the rest of his life with his new liver - not everyone has to do that. Then, I didn't say it, but I was thinking, "Well, you yourself caused this to happen with your drinking, so quit the entitlement act and find a job." I didn't say this, but I admit I was thinking it. Then I needed to realize, after some thinking, that I am no better than him and who am I to judge? This could have just as easily been me. This is way easier said than done, believe me! I have worked very hard in the past few months to try to get away from my judgmental thinking and to love the sin, not the sinner!

Anyway, thanks for listening to my long ramble! Your post just brought up a very clear memory of MY brother passed out. This all started happening within a year of my dad's death. I have, and am working on, a big resentment because my brother did not attend my father's funeral because he was hospitalized as a direct result of his drinking. My mom was my dad's full-time caretaker through his sickness and then hospice and then he died, only to turn around and be my adult brother's full-time caretaker as he drank his liver away. I admit that I felt ignored, my 3 boys and I were on the edge as the very main focus was my brother's sickness and multiple hospitalizations. But that is what "I" need to work on, that is my stuff!

Wow - that was powerful for me this morning. A good reminder to ask myself if I am in the mindframe of judgment again. I am reading a book right now called "The Prodigal God" by Tim Kellar. Super good read and a very good reminder for me. Take care, I am praying for you RIX, and thanks for listening! Jenm
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Unread 10-05-2013, 11:11 PM   #3
RIX
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Thanks for your reply Jen!

I agree it is hard to not be judgmental! I struggle with the same thing. It is hard to not get hooked by his behaviors as well as my parents responses but it is getting easier and better for me as time goes on... It's not about me... that's what I have to keep telling myself.

PS: I love Tim Kellar... I am reading his book "the meaning of marriage"... great stuff!

Thanks again Jen for your honest and transparent feed back. Helps me keep things in perspective!

rix
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Unread 11-04-2013, 10:14 PM   #4
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Rix,
I'm sorry to read that drama goes on for your family. You have done the right and best thing - look after your own sobriety and the future for you and your family. I understand the incredible pull on your mom to want to help your brother. After taking care of your father she may need to feel needed again, even if she should stand back and let your brother face his consequences. I know the feelings so well...try to understand her, she means well. It's hard to know what to do. ~OHIL
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Unread 11-05-2013, 01:50 PM   #5
R. Lee
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Rix, I missed you 10/3 post & I'm sorry I did not reply.

You did the right thing. He has to want it for himself.

Your parents are doing what they feel they need too.
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Unread 11-08-2013, 12:07 AM   #6
RIX
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No worries... thank you as always Rlee! We are all doing pretty well here. My bro is still in a facility... he did 30 days at a treatment facility and now 60-90 in a half way house with work release... we will see how it all goes.

- rix
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Unread 11-08-2013, 12:20 PM   #7
R. Lee
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Rix, I hope when he gets out he will work 100% at staying sober. He will have been given to tools for recovery.
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Unread 11-21-2013, 10:55 PM   #8
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I hope so too Rlee! Being that this is his 3rd detox/treatment I agree he certainly has all the knowledge and opportunity in the world to recover... but that don't amount to a hill of beans if he don't want it.

I spent a little time with him over this past weekend, once at a birthday dinner for our dad, and then he came over to my house to help prepare for selling the house... he has been sober about 2 months now... he was very pleasant, and really helpful with all of the work we had to do. Strangely nobody ever mentioned a word about his sobriety, or how he is doing, or what the half way house is like, or if he feels good about what is going on... we all just went along through our day as if nothing different was going on... it seems so strange now to say it... but it was natural to just go about our day. Not sure if that is helpful or if it is just avoiding what should happen? Either way he is doing pretty well, seems healthy, reasonably happy and adjusted. I guess that is pretty easy when the facility he is at requires it and does drug/alcohol tests every day upon his return.

Anyway... that's kind of what's new here.

Thanks for listening!

rix
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Unread 11-22-2013, 01:20 PM   #9
R. Lee
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Rix, Good for your brother. You handled it well.
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Unread 11-25-2013, 05:53 PM   #10
Tryntryagain
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Hello Rix, bright blessings to you.

I have been reading your journey and think Jenms post really illustrates what i would want to say.

The struggles of another so very close, whose sails seem set for the harshest storms, however your love feels for your loved one, they are "all out at sea".

Your last post is so positive. It sounds as if your brother is taking on board his program. He is very lucky to have a brother with the heart to stand by him after such hurtful times. As an alcoholic i am aware how that effects those that love me, but i am no different, and neither is your brother from any of us. You are so right to stand by him my friend, he is your brother. The reason i am sober today is because of all my brothers and sisters here, that stand by my efforts. I can not express how many lives the love and understanding of those that support those who fall foul of alcohol save, every day of the week, by seeing through to the person inside.

The one thing i would offer is that your brother does not have an illness that can not be approached. He is just like me and you.

R Lee, Saint, Jenm, Frankie, Nan, have all kicked me up the backside at times. I needed it. It helps. But it is not their responsibility. It is mine, it sounds like your brother is getting it, he is lucky for sure, although love is a pasture so big, it accomadates us all.

R Lee is so straight to the point, perhaps a "pup" can expand. I really hope that combined with the support structure he now has, and your love, advice sought, not given, he finds his way. He has all he needs. Up to him now.

It is the love those that give to drinking alcoholics, that only sobriety recognises.

Keep us updated Rix.

Loveness to you.

Tryn
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Unread 11-28-2013, 09:07 AM   #11
RIX
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Thank You So much for your posts Tryn and Lee! It is so helpful to have your perspective.

Wishing you guys a great day... and a great Thanksgiving here in the states!

rix
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Unread 11-28-2013, 08:40 PM   #12
R. Lee
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You to Rix.
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Unread 11-30-2013, 12:58 AM   #13
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Rix,
I truly hope things go well for you and your brother. Perhaps this will be the time it works for him. I admire your ability to move forward. I dream of the day we can find a new normal in our lives. Blessings.
OHIL
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Unread 11-30-2013, 08:13 AM   #14
RIX
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Thank You OHIL! I agree and hope "this time" truly makes an impact on him long term... and that he can find peace and joy in sobriety that so many find each day.

I do feel some tension/anxiety about the fact that he did not "choose" this path to sobriety through a treatment center and half way house... it was/is court mandated. As so many of us (including myself) have preached here over the months and years gone by... it is up to him, he has to want it! It is hard to evaluate weather he wants it when it was not his choice to begin with. However we are all hopeful that this major shake up in his life that is expected to span 6 months before its all said and done will be a turning point for long term sobriety... just praying!

Thank you all again for your support and input. I continue to pray for all who are still stuck in the battle!!

Blessings-

rix
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Unread 11-30-2013, 08:33 PM   #15
R. Lee
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You have a great attitude Rix & I agree with you.
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Unread 12-06-2013, 12:47 AM   #16
OHIL
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Rix,
Wondering how things are going for you...post a note when you get a chance.

OHIL
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Unread 12-06-2013, 11:21 PM   #17
RIX
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Hello OHIL and all~

Things are going pretty well. I had my brother over to our house last night... just a simple time of hanging out, eating dinner and chatting... nothing amazing. It was great to have him around, and sober. All in all it was very uneventful which is just fine with me.

I hope if nothing else, staying in this "half way house" is giving him an opportunity to figure out how to ease back into "normal" life... meaning how to live sober while not in a full blown treatment facility.

From what I gather about how this place operates, he basically just lives there and goes to 3 or 4 meetings a week. Other than that they have a very regimented schedule for wake up a bed time as well as limited time that he can be away from the place. For example when he joined us for dinner last night he had to sign out, and could only be gone for 4 hours before signing back in. If he is late they report that to the court system and extend his total stay... if he were to not show at all or show up intoxicated he would go to jail. To my bro this is enough incentive to "play by the rules" however he wishes for more freedom.

All in all I think its the best thing for him... he has never under his own choosing attended AA meetings, or treatment options or support of any kind... each of the 3 times he has been in a facility it was "forced" upon him in some way. So I still feel this sense of rebellion and feeling like he got a bad deal somehow. He does not say that but I sense it in his comments around the whole topic of where he is at in life.

Those sorts of comments although seemingly harmless, say to me that he does not want help, does not think he needs help, and feels he will be fine once he is "free" and can go get a job and return to normal life... that's my take on what little he says about all of this... but I don't really know what he is thinking or feeling. I have just seen him reject these programs 2 other times now and nearly throw his entire life down the drain in the process so every little negative thing makes me jump straight to " he still does not get it"... I know that's not fair... and I don't respond or say anything about it to him either way. I just try to support him, include him and encourage him. Praying it truly is a path toward a really healthy sober life long term...

Thanks for listening!!

rix
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Unread 12-06-2013, 11:37 PM   #18
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Rix,
It seems like a little progress is being demonstrated. Happy for you that you were able to spend some time together that was just visiting and no drama.
I understand your skepticism on whether or not he truly accepts his part in where he is but I hope your brother grasps the opportunity and finally moves forward. Best wishes for a happy and peaceful Christmas holiday!

~OHIL
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Unread 12-08-2013, 06:52 AM   #19
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Thanks OHIL! I hope so too! A very Merry Christmas to you!! - rix
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