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My Heart Is Breaking

My thoughts are all over the place right now so please bear with me. 
 
I am trying to figure out how things end up the way they do…you watch people around you and see the potential they have and wait to see how big they will make it in this world.  What do you do when you start noticing a decline in motivation, and a heavy lean towards recreational behavior (drugs, alcohol, etc.)?  The person I am speaking of has been a part of my heart and life for 20, almost 21 years, he has always been so smart and loving…he is my one and only brother.  He is going through some things that have me really worried, he doesn’t want to talk about anything, and it is looking like my father has been right more and more each day.  Recently, my parents (Dad and Stepmom) have given my brother an ultimatum…either seek counseling and go for drug testing or you have to leave…what does my brother do? He leaves.  When I spoke to him a few days later he told me he left because he did not want to be forced into therapy…he didn’t care about the drug test.  So he says…he leaves the house, doesn’t say where he is going, he is just gone.  When I spoke with him all I could get out of him is that he is staying with friends…bouncing from couch to couch until he can get enough money to get his own place. 
 
My dad was an addict and it took a lot for him to get clean…mostly having me when he did saved his life, he got clean for me…and since then he hasn’t even had a beer.  So he obviously knows what signs to look for when dealing with drug and alcohol abuse.  So I get a phone call one evening (about 2 weeks ago) and its my dad…mind you he never calls me unless he wants to talk to the girls.  He is telling me his version of what is happening…in a nutshell, he left because they told him that he needed to talk to someone about what he is going through and needs to take a drug test.  As per my father, my brothers behavior has gotten worse over the last year, he failed out of a very prestigious university (one he did not want to attend but now that he is no longer attending he seems to be there a lot visiting), he got a job working crazy hours, I was told that he comes home about 2 or 3am and leaves out at about 10am and when he is home when the rest of the family (Dad, Stepmom and little sister) is home he stays in his bedroom with the door shut, doesn’t want to interact with anyone, etc.  My dad said he has lost a tremendous amount of weight (he was not ever overweight) and always looks hazy (Dad’s words).  He is working all the time, but never has any money, he doesn’t pay his own cell phone bill, no rent, no bills, why doesn’t he have money?  So he told me he knows he is using and it is not just weed. 😦
 
So, after speaking with my brother I just brushed it off as my dad was being his dramatic self, until I got a text today at 7:30am from my cousin (really my stepmoms cousin and my brothers godmother…but she is my family, my cousin) to call her, so I did at 7:30am.  She needed advice because my because my brother texted her at 6:30am telling her he needed to talk her, so she called him and he didn’t answer, so almost immediately he texted her saying he doesn’t know any other way to say what he needs to say but…I need your help, I need some money, I was robbed and I was forced to quit my job but I am okay, I just need some money to get me through until I get another job (brother speak).  She immediately text me because she didn’t know what to do, she was informing me that the last few times she has seen him he looked really bad, very drawn in…and he was mean to the kids (which is totally not a characteristic of his), after she and I spoke for about a half hour she called him.  He then told her that he quit his job over a week ago because he found out they were going to fire him, that he was going to be working fashion week this weekend, he only had $9 on him and he just needed to get by until he got his next check, that he was robbed the day he quit, he had $750 in the safe at work and on his way home someone robbed him, took the cash but left his wallet and watch.  He basically rushed her off the phone.   So she calls me back to tell me what he said.  He agreed to meet her after she got off of work so she can assess the situation, she wants to see what he looks like.
 
The problem is that none of his story is adding up, addicts lie to keep their habit going and he is lying. He told my cousin he could not meet her on Sunday because he was working, but then tells her today that he quit his job over a week ago…he doesn’t want anyone to know where he is living or who he is crashing with…he gets robbed of $750 he kept in a safe at work when he has his own bank account (I am a NY’er for life and I know if you get mugged in NYC you are gonna lose more than your cash, they will be taking your wallet, phone, and whatever jewelry you have on)…
Then after all of that I checked his FB page and lo and behold he has been visiting his old college campus and planned on going back up there this weekend…how if you are working fashion week. 
 
Basically my heart is breaking because I am 900 miles away from home and I can’t help him… 
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3 thoughts on “My Heart Is Breaking

  1. my heart breaks with your story… however… a life such as mine see a lot of people who can’t take the pressures of operating at this level and you see lives taken a dramatic downturn….some of us take the hard-line and boot them from our lives…then we wait….

    We wait for them to recognize they have lost everything….when they lose more than they are willing to lose…then they can start back on a path to redemption….it is tough love…and if you don’t take a hard line then you might just be the next enabler in his life…

    Tough love is simply one thing….love…filtered through the pain a person causes themselves…

    you have my thoughts and my hopes for your situation… and of course, my love for being an avid listener to my problems, it’s only fair I return that love…

    T.

  2. “Like” is not the correct response for a post like this. I just wanted to show my support for your courage in writing your feelings.

    This is a heart-breaking story of loss so fundamental that it defies words, and you put words to your emotions. (A very therapeutic thing to do, by the way.)

    All I can say by way of helping you is that being 900 miles away or sitting right next to him won’t make a difference if he isn’t willing to help himself. An addict will not get help until s/he admits the addiction and the need for help. There’s no reasoning with an irrational mind. Your brother is ill, but the “cure” is something that has to start with him.

    I know it’s hard to watch someone you love self-destruct and stand by doing nothing. Just let him know that you’re there for him when he’s ready to be clean and sober. That’s all you can do. Anything else is enabling his addiction.

    I know. I was an alcoholic for 10 years and have been sober for 27 years. No one could talk me out of drinking. I had to do that myself. And I sure appreciated the loving support of my family when I was recovering.

    Stay strong and keep your heart open to the possibility that all will be well.

    Lorna

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