I have spent some time reading over these stories, and they all break my heart a little bit more than it already has been. Surrounded by friends who have no idea what it is like loving an addict, I constantly forget the sheer amount of people who have been through the same things I have.
I am now 18 years old. My brother is 21. For the past 5 years, my brother has been addicted to drugs. Since I was 13, I have seen him go in and out of rehab. I have seen him in extended periods of sobriety and in the darkest corners of dependency. He has gotten arrested, almost died of overdoses, gotten into fights, run away from home, and stolen from me. He has lied to me and hurt me more times than I can remember. My parents became so caught up in trying to save their son, I was often forgotten. Each time my brother graduated from rehab (he has been through 4 times), I caught a glimpse at my older brother that I looked up to so much as a kid. And each time after, he has fallen back into his old habits and torn that brother away from me.
After all I have been through, it is difficult to not become bitter. But seeing your stories, and seeing all your incredible strength, give me hope that one day I won't resent the way my life has been changed these past five years. I can only hope to be as strong as most of the posters on this board.
Hello sometimeswefall. Your post does show you are strong and insightful. You see the whole drama and your parents are in the sleep of denial. I've been there. And how!! Keep finding your way in life. You have already gained invaluable knowledge. The moment you face the truth of your brother will be the day you start healing.I think you are out of denial already. Keep reading what you can. Keep posting here. Let us know how you are. Hugs to you, Have a good life, Deb
Hello, I agree with everyone else you sound very stong for your age. This is one of my fears. I have another son. He is younger than his brother who is addicted to opiates. He also has seen the trauma this has put us through. I am affraid of how this is affecting him. He knows what is going on but he never talks about it. Do you wish your parents talked more with you about it? I am affraid to put any pressure on him to feel he has to do something to help. I can't say they were close these past years because my older son broke away from family years ago. They don't fight they just don't really talk to much with each other. Nothing in common. My older son was always going out and when he was home he was in his room. Any input on being the younger sibling would be greatly appreciated. Stay strong.
Similar situation here only i have a younger daughter. It is so sad because fhey were close when they were little and now she is just disgusted with her older brother. While her brother was away for a year she and I got a lot closer and we have kept that going since he has been back. I try really hard to have time for her and not let her get overshadowed by his problems but it is very hard on her and i worry about the effects on her. She is also very strong for her age. She sometimes gets tired of her friends complaints about family because they fell small back to our issues. I also really like hearing the perspective of fhe younger sibling so i hope you will keep on sharing.
Your post reminds me once again that this is a "family" disease. It does not exist in a vacuum. It would be so simple if the addict's choices only affected him. Unfortunately EVERYONE in the family, and even extended family is affected. You may find Al-anon helpful. My addicted child is my youngest. He has 3 older brothers who express their feelings of helplessness, anger, frustration and even guilt. I try to remind myself every day that I am a parent to all 4 of them. They each need something different from me. I try to focus on the son I am with or talking to. I try to let them lead the conversation and refrain from bringing up the problems of the youngest. I am also the sibling of an addict and have been in your shoes. This has made me more sensitive to the problem. On the flip side it has also made me more understanding of my parents and the hard choices they have faced over the years. Stay strong and keep sharing. You are a stronger person because of this.
I'm so sorry about your situation. Addiction is so powerful it can destroy everyone in it's path. But it sounds like you have enough wisdom to resist being consumed by bitterness and resentment. You deserve many kudos for that! Although those feelings are normal and inevitable, it's just a question of degree. If possible let your parents know that you want to seek out a good therapist to help you keep your sanity and be a support. Your parents' burden is overwhelming and they are putting all of their energy into what must feel to them like a life and death struggle (often it is). Mentors, coaches, teachers and friends' parents can often fill in the void your own parents have left. Forums like this help a lot too.
sometimeswefall, your story sounds EXACTLY like mine....only a few years behind me. My big brother, who i love with all my heart has been addicted to everything under the sun, the last 15 years have been a constant rollercoaster of overdoses, rehabs, lies and broken hearts its sad that we have to see our big brothers do this to themselves. I wanted to write to you to tell you to stay strong, keep telling yourself and him that you will support him in his recovery. For me, it's a daily battle to stay strong, but i have to keep my own sanity and keep going towards my own goals, eventhough i know he is there staying stationary in life. He is 30 now, but i never give up hope that one day he will kick the habit and one day that recovery will work!
stay strong, from one little sister to another! xoxo