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Marirose
07-22-2006, 11:15 AM
Hi y'all - Hoping someone can give me some help with my brother. He is 41, been drinking since 18 or so. Over the last year or so, he has cut his drinking down immensely, from crazy type drinking to a maximum of 3 drinks a night. He never drinks during the day, but says the last issue he has about giving up drinking totally is that he is bored stiff when he doesn't drink in the evening. He and his two kids live with me & my family, and he is helping around the house, with the kids and the farm we live on in the evenings, but he says it is an "emotional" boredom. Nothing seems as lively, funny or as interesting sober as it does after a few drinks. He also says he can't sleep without the drinking.

We all know he has a problem, him included. My question is, has anyone else ever felt this way? and how long did it take you to get past it (I think it means facing life head-on and this has never been easy for my brother) and get back to regular living?

We live in the boondocks, 25 miles to the nearest town, and I can't imagine there's an AA group anywhere near by, but will look into it. Has anyone had any success with online AA groups? Any you could recommend?

Thanks for the help. God bless you all as you recover & help friends and family, Marirose

Marirose
07-22-2006, 12:18 PM
Dear B - Thanks so much for the response. I will check out smart recovery right away. My brother just told me last nite that he feels that he has hit rock bottom with the drinking and is going to try to get sober - so this is "day one" for him I guess.It's been a long ride to here - my husband and I have had custody of his kids from time to time (their mom is out of the picture due to addictions), he has wrecked his car, lost his license, lost his job, etc. So I am totally hearing you on the he has to want to quit point of view. I am looking for any support that I can get to help him keep his resolve. He has a lot of shame b/c of his past, for example his kids call my kids their "brothers" and they call my husband "Uncle Dad" b/c he has taken much more care of them than my brother up until now, so I doubt my brother will be able to open up here, or anywhere else right away, so I am going to try to help him by getting all the info. I can to support him. Thanks for your help - it means alot - Good luck with your own continued recovery - Marirose

Marirose
07-23-2006, 01:43 PM
Somebody please tell me what to do!! Yesterday was another one of my brother's "day one"s that ended with him drinking!!!! I have heard the "today's the day I am going to quit" line so many times, I think I am going to scream! I finally threw out all the alcohol in the house this morning (my husband is not going to be too thrilled when he comes in from the barn and finds his beer fridge empty, but oh well), and I haven't decided what to do next. If I kick my brother out, he may take his preschool age kids with him, which I feel would be a disaster, since he has no money, no job, no car and is still drinking, but if he leaves them here...well, then they are abandoned by their parents AGAIN. And if he stays here...honestly, I am just sick and tired of listening to him talk on and on about how alcohol is making him tired, wrecking his life, wrecking his health, and then he just keeps on drinking! I know if it was easy to stop he would...it just goes around and around and around....Tough love, esp. with the kids involved, is SO HARD. Not as hard as stopping drinking, I'm sure, and reading back over this post, I see that I sound like a whiner, so thanks for letting me vent. If anyone could possibly come up with some advice to offer after reading this rambling post, I sure would appreciate it! God bless you all, Marirose

ozzybug
07-23-2006, 01:55 PM
M-
You don't sound like a whiner at all. You are concerned and also sick and tired of watching your brother drink his life away. You are tired of the "today is the day I'm going to quit" knowing that to your brother, today is just another day to have another round of drinks.

This is YOUR house sweetie. He doesn't work, he has no money and in all actuallity, even though he hasn't physically abandoned his children, he is abandoning them emotionally. It's not a good situation. If he is an alcoholic, it's not healthy for those children. And, as stated earlier, if he doesn't want to quit, he won't. If he hasn't truly accepted that he is an alcoholic and wants to change, then he is going to continue to live under your roof and drink as much as he wants to. For an alocholic, or addict, simply cutting back doesn't cut the mustard. They have to quit totally. There is no in-between.

Is your brother disabled an not able to work? I don't mean to pry, but if he is capable of getting a job and working, then it might be a good idea to put a fire under him and tell him no free rides. I know you said he helps around the farm, but is he helping a lot, or just here and there to keep up appearances?

I know he's your brother, but it's your house, your rules sweetie. If you allow him to drink, then you are enabling him. I've had to issue that ultimatum before and it wasn't an easy thing to do, but, sometimes we have to do the "tough love" thing. Those children deserve a sober dad. You deserve to have a brother who appreciates your kindness. Also, if he has no job, no car and no money, then who is supporting his drinking?

I wish you the very best in this difficult situation. I know it's not a pleasant thing to deal with.

Lezlee

Marirose
07-24-2006, 04:57 AM
Dear Lezlee - Thank you for your kind and wise words! I never really thought of myself as an enabler because farming families, I think, tend to be a bit more communal by nature than other folk, and I grew up on a farm and married into a second, so this is all I know. I never thought of my husband and myself as "supporting" his drinking because he was sharing my husband's beer. But you know what, as soon as I read your post, I knew you were right and I got steamin' mad at my brother - and myself! I showed him this thread and let him read through the whole thing, and he went straight to bed without a word - OR A DRINK! So he did have one day sober! It's early morning out here, and my brother and my husband left at 5 am to help the neighbor with some work (neighbor's wife is fighting cancer), and this is the first time my brother has been up at the same time as my husband since he moved back in with us. I have been down this road way too many times to be convinced that this is a permanent change, but it sure is a step in the right direction for my brother, and a HUGE help to me. I want to thank you and Boiler Bob from the bottom of my heart for your responses. It's hard sometimes living in the country because you can get isolated, and I have six boys of my own, plus my brother's two children, so I don't have a lot of time to search for answers - thank you so much for helping me find some. I'll keep you posted on how things go - You will be blessed for your generosity, I'm sure - Marirose

keepsgoin
07-24-2006, 05:35 AM
I know how you feel...that's exactly how my EX is...and he thinks that as long as he only drinks 2 or 3 drinks in the evening then he doesn't have a real problem. For my entire marriage(20+ years) he drank and I couldn't fight him so I joined him falling into the lie that it's only a couple drinks. After a while you don't know how to live without those evening drinks(it's boring without!). I really don't think that he's alone by any stretch of the imagination. I believe that many people drink a few drinks every evening and see it as no biggy. But it started to become a problem for us...a couple drinks eventually became 5 drinks or more. I could not convince him that there was any problem with this behavior and as long as he was drinking, so was I and I didn't want to live with drinking every day. This eventually led to the end of our marriage and still he's drinking probably more than even. I seldom ever drink anymore and am glad to get away from that habit. Your brother is lucky though that he can stop after a only a few drinks because usually the alcoholic drinks and drinks and drinks until they just pass out. His addiction sounds like it would be just a mental addiction and not a real physical addiction since he only drinks a few drinks. At least he won't have a seizure when he stops. I wonder if his drinking led to his divorce...I mean if drinking causes a marriage to end then it IS a problem whether he wants to admit it or not!!!!!!!! If "Brother" is reading...Good Luck and remember that alcohol doesn't make any problems go away...it only makes them worse!

ozzybug
07-24-2006, 05:51 AM
M-
Thank you for taking my post in the spirit in which it was written. It's just that I've been there, and it's an awful situation. I know you want him to stop drinking, not as a punishment, but because you care about him, his children and your family. It was one of the hardest things I ever had to do when I confronted my husband about his drinking. I had to confront him about addiction to cocaine when we were dating as well.

I totally understand helping family when they need the extra help. I was raised the same way- we stick together and help each other. I wasn't brought up in a farming community, but we were/are very communal when it comes to family helping family. But, you can only do so much in giving that help. The person who needs help has to be willing to help themselves too.

I wish all of you the best of luck. I hope your brother was able to take the posts here in the spirit in which they were written as well. It's not a judgemental thing at all, it's just information from people who have been there, some struggling with an addiciton, and some dealing with a loved one who is addicted.

Take Care, be strong, and if your brother truly wants to stop drinking and puts 100% effort into it, then he deserves the support of his friends and family. He can change.

(((Hugs)))
Lezlee

Marirose
07-24-2006, 09:33 AM
Hi y'all - Just a quick note b/c this is a busy time of day for me...but THANK YOU so much for your support. I think you are right, Keepsgoin, that my brother is lucky that he was able to cut down to drinking to a few drinks a day, and it is definitely an emotional addiction, but it does make him irritable and tired and it is a terrible example for his kids. Incidently, he was never married and the mother of his children is an addict herself (drugs & alcohol), so it is even more important that he give these children a sober parent. And I agree strongly with Lezlee, that an addict needs to stop, if you can live with a few drinks a day and stay strong and healthy, no problem, I guess. But my brother can't do that, so he's got to stop.

Thanks again, Lezlee, for your great post. I don't know what my brother thought of it, b/c he hasn't said much to me yet today - he may be mad that I wrote here about him, or he may be ashamed to find out how I really see him, but too bad. Whatever it was, he'll get over it sooner or later. I am praying like crazy that he can really change, and I will take your advice, and limit my "help" to things that are really helping.

I'll keep you posted and in my prayers, M

mpvt
07-24-2006, 10:21 AM
My dad is an alcoholic and was sober and a member of AA for 30 years.My mom passed away 12 years ago and since then my dad has tried to drink socially since.He's been in the hospital twice now beccause of alcohol induced depression.I brought him home here for a month and he seemed pretty good.He went back to his residence and at some point started to have a couple of drinks to help him sleep.So of course he has dropped out of the scene because he's embarrassed about it.He thinks he needs to be in a treatment centre so we've (my brother and sister) have got him on a waiting list.I told him it may take a couple of years to get in (no joke, that's a fact) and maybe he might want to try and make a few changes.No he say's "I'll just wait until I get into the treatment centre".So really what you do is throw up your hands and wait for him to either bottom out or he get's into treatment.I'm starting to think the treatment might not work because he's looking for everyone else to do everything for him like when he was in the hospital.I don't think he understands that a treatment centre is no hospital.Oh well,time will tell.As it will with your brother.Give him the tools to get sober,after that it's all up to him.He is showing some restraint which is always a good sign so don't give up all hope,I haven't....Dave:)

britneysmommie
07-24-2006, 10:06 PM
I agree w/ the other poster who said *THEY WILL QUIT, WHEN THEY ARE READY*
My DH who has been clean for 2 years, mainly because of a severe ALCOHOL related STROKE. DH always said *NO ONE WILL TELL HIM TO STOP DRINKING*, well, someone did, the BIG guy, upstairs. My dh NEVER had intentions of stopping, said he drank to FEEL NORMAL. Funny thing though, after the strokem my husband never had the desire to drink. Thanks, GOD!!

No really understands how alcohol can destroy the body. Seizures, strokes, and even cancer, yes, cancer,
Hoping your brother FINDS THE WAY.

Marirose
07-25-2006, 05:05 AM
Hi y'all -thanks so much for all the good wishes....Dave, sorry to hear that you are in the same situation with your dad that I am in with my brother, I will be HOPING that it all works out for your family....thanks for reminding me of the power of hope. Britneysmommie, it's sad that your husband and you had to go through something as life threatening as a stroke to get him to stop drinking. Is he ok now? And you said he has no desire to drink! Thank God!

Well, my brother didn't drink at all yesterday either, so that is two days in a row. He wouldn't talk about it at all - he was really miserable after dinner (the time he would ususally be drinking), so my husband took the kids outside, and I tried to talk to my brother, but he just shook his head and went to his room. ( I have to admit that I checked his room this morning after he left and there is no alcohol in it.) I hope he is just wrestling with this in his own head. Please keep us in your prayers if you are so inclined to pray, this post really seems to have at least turned a light on in his head - thanks for all the good words. God bless you, Mari

ozzybug
07-25-2006, 06:56 AM
Mari-
Sweetie- I'm so glad your brother has not had a drink for the two days. I know it wasn't a pleasant thing to have to show him these posts, and probably even less pleasant for him to have to read them.

You did the best thing. You provided an "intervention" and it sounds like it did at least get him thinking about it. The fact that he hasn't drank in two days means that maybe, after reading these posts, he is seeing "the light". I hope and pray that he will continue to stay sober and not drink.

Having to confront an addict is a heartwrenching experience, but again, even though we may be angry and hurt over their addictions,we confront them out of love and concern more than anything. As I said before, we don't do it as a punishment.

It might be a good idea to let your brother know you've noticed he hasn't had a drink for the past couple of days and that you are proud of him for doing this. Still be cautious, because it's only two days and he still has a long way to go, but when fighting an addiction, 2 days can seem like a lifetime, so it's good for them to know that you notice and respect the fact that they are making the effort. The support alone can take them far in their recovery efforts.

I will continue to keep you guys in my thoughts and prayers. You did the right thing, and it may just save your brothers life.

Lezlee

britneysmommie
07-25-2006, 08:02 AM
Mari,

Your brither just has to take to ONE DAY AT A TIME. The first is the hardest.

Marirose
07-25-2006, 09:12 AM
Do you guys really think so? That the first day is the hardest? I want soooo bad for this to just "go away" for my brother. I know it is hard, I can see it in his face...I know he will have to work at it...but when I was watching my husband run around with the kids last night, I was thinking about how I hope for that for my brother, instead of laying around in front of the TV, drunk, and too exhausted to make an effort to be part of his own family. Thanks for all your support...I will cautiously try to compliment my brother when he comes in for dinner like you suggested Lezlee. Britneysmommie - your post made tears of happiness come to my eyes, to even think that this might be the beginning of the end of this struggle is too overwhelming to fully comprehend. Please, please keep the posts coming... you guys are my lifeline, and like Lezlee said, you may be helping to save my brother's life. THANK YOU! GOD BLESS, M

Texanne
07-25-2006, 09:48 AM
Just a quick FYI to all of you: I have researched alcoholism and alcoholism in families quite a bit recently and I found some information that I found interesting. The theory is that many alcoholics have inherent deficiencies in certain vitamins, etc... Specifically mentioned is Niacin. Also, there is a certain chemical in the brain that requires Omega 3 fatty acids (fish oil supplements) that it seems many alcoholics don't make well on their own, and the deficiency can make them more vulnerable to alcoholism. If you get a chance, Google "niacin therapy and alcoholism" and then play around with Omega 3 and alcoholism. These are really cheap supplements that can only help the recovering alcoholic's health! At least it makes me feel like I'm doing something productive instead of nagging!

Hang in there,

Tex.

Marirose
07-25-2006, 10:22 AM
Dear Tex - Interesting info. Thanks alot for sharing - gotta run now, but will check out the info. tonite - hope you'll keep comin around to lend support and info. Thanks! mari

Marirose
07-26-2006, 04:58 AM
Good morning everyone - i can't believe it- but another day gone by that my brother did not drink - three days in a row! Thank God and thank you all - will keep you posted - please keep us in your prayers...M

Marirose
07-27-2006, 05:40 AM
Another day clean for my brother! Day 4 complete - Day 5 begins today. Please everyone keep us in your prayers - please don't feel compelled to respond to every post, it just somehow makes it seem more real to me to get up in the morning and type this if it keeps happening. Thanks for everything! God bless, M

tryinghardmom
07-27-2006, 06:31 AM
Marirose...I've been following your posts but just haven't responded yet. But when you posted for the very first time, and you were relaying what your brother was saying about how he felt sober....he felt 'emotionally bored'....I internally shouted 'Yes!' because that's how I have felt in getting clean from pain pills. The boost from a pill would make everything more interesting....me, my kids, my life as a stay-at-home-mom, housework, you name it....it just all seemed better on pills. When I was faced with life w/out them, it was like my best friend had been taken away from me and I could find nothing that I looked forward to. I felt awful saying that.....felt like an awful mother and wife not to naturally look forward to the happenings in their lives, but that's how I felt. But it's all a lie because it's false....and it's damaging.....and it's a dead-end road if you're willing to be honest. It's like you have to relearn how to do life again....and yes, it is possible. Hard, but possible.....and worth it......

Just wanted to let him know that those feelings were felt by another.....and if I could give him a big hug (although he wouldn't want it from a stranger!) I would because going 4 days sober is AWESome!!!!

Marirose
07-27-2006, 09:45 AM
Dear Tryinghard - Thanks so much for your reply. Your honesty is sooo helpful, b/c I think what you described is exactly what my brother is feeling. He is a miserable person right now, but I know he is sober, and like you described, he just doesn't seem to have enthusiasm for anything. I can't wait to share your post with him, b/c he does need to relearn how to "do Life" and I will give him a big hug from you - I think he would rather a hug from a stranger right now than me - he seems to be "blaming" his sobriety on me, if that makes sense. Obviously, he wants to be sober or he wouldn't be - even though he is living with us and we don't have any alcohol in the house right now (my husband is just about over me pouring his beer out! :) ) he does have his so called "friends" who would take him to a bar or for a bottle if he chose to. I think he just needs someone to be mad at, and I am an easier target than himself, but I will gladly suffer through this with him if he can get past the lies of addiction and back to the truth of love and that he is a good person and can be a good dad if he tries....I hope you'll keep in touch....Thanks again, Mari

ozzybug
07-27-2006, 09:47 AM
Marirose-
He girl! It sounds like your brother is really trying to stop drinking and I applaud you for confrotning him, and applaud him for taking the time to care enough about himself, his children and his family to try and recover.

I know it's not been easy for him, and I know it wasn't easy for you to confront him about it, but you did the right thing, and he is doing the right thing.

I know you said a couple days ago the he was really quiet, but has that eased up any yet? I know 5 days is still early in the game, but does he seem to be feeling any better at all? If not, I hope he does soon.

You just keep being there for him and support him through this. I am just so happy to read each day that he made it through another one without drinking. He really does deserve a pat on the back for his efforts, and continued support to help him want to keep moving forward on this journey.

He can do this, and so can you sweetie!

Lezlee

OOPS- your post came up before I finished mine. Yes, he may be angry with you, but let him be angry because if he is successful in beating his alcoholism, then one day he will be glad that you did what you did, and he will be glad he did what he did to stop drinking.

Marirose
07-28-2006, 05:20 AM
Hi guys - A little set back to report today....My brother went out with his kids last night - my husband drove them into town with three of our kids, and my brother said he was taking his kids for an ice cream, and came back with beer on this breath. My husband didn't say anything to him, but he told me, and said that while my brother was definitely not drunk, he did smell like beer. I asked my brother about it later and he admitted that he drank one beer while the kids were eating their ice cream. He said he felt bad about it, but I am a little bit scared now....so I will hold my breath and pray! I'll keep you posted....thanks for everything...I hope he will go back to not drinking today as he promised....M

ps - Lezlee - thanks for the post and all your concern!

ozzybug
07-28-2006, 08:01 AM
Marirose-
It's not uncommon for an addict to have to make more than one attempt to become clean and free of whatever their addiction is. I know this is frustrating and scary for you, but it's a good thing your husband was aware and told you so you could talk to your brother about it.

He probably does feel bad, but at this point, it might be a good idea not to let him out of your sight. He may not like this, but if he needs that support to stay clean and sober, then that's what needs to be done if you are willing to do it. Again, it's not punishment.

On the other hand, there is only so much you can do because he has to want to do it and has to be strong enough to resist the temptation.

Hopefully this is a "one" time event and will not happen again, but as stated before, this is a situation where it has to be all or nothing.

Take Care. We are all here for you!
Lezlee

jjules
07-29-2006, 02:11 PM
Hi Marirose, I usually don't come to this post and was looking through and saw this thread and thought wow that's me bored so I drink. I really hope your brother wants to quit for himself and I really commend your for sticking by him I think he really needs that. I'm sorry he had a slip and he probaly does feel mad and ashamed of himself. Might I suggest he come and get on this board and maybe he can share his feelings with people who have been there but he might now want to. Tell your brother I'm rooting for him I am still an active alcoholic and always think about being sober again and about this time a day bam I'm bored better have a beer for some cheer. What a bunch of hoooey! Anyways I hope he doesn't drink tonite. You are a great sister hope he knows that! Take care Jules;)

Marirose
07-31-2006, 07:13 AM
Hi yall - Its Monday morning, filled with rotten news. My two youngest sons got a stomach virus on Friday nite, so I was up with them all night long, and in between them throwing up on Saturday night, and my four other kids and my brother's kids needing dinner, and my girlfriend and neighbor crying to me on the phone about how horrible her chemo. is making her feel and can I please help her with her three kids,my brother started complaining (to put it mildly) about wanting a drink, and I just snapped. I told him to grow up or get out. I just couldn't listen to it anymore. Unfortunately, he decided to get out. He called some friend of his, and left the house. Haven't seen or heard from him since. God alone knows what he's doing, but I am taking care of my kids right now, and I just can't start calling around, chasing him down, begging him to reconsider. I just don't have the strength for it. But when I look at his kids, and how they are clinging to my husband the minute he comes in from the barn at night, and seeing my little neice with tears in her eyes, God, literally, I am begging Him to give me and my brother strength. Sorry this is so dramatic sounding - combo. of no sleep, sick kids, and it being somewhat of a desperate situation I guess. Anyway, please keep the prayers coming, and Jules, I appreciate your post and hope you can work towards your dream of being sober again. Thanks everyone, Marirose

ozzybug
07-31-2006, 07:23 AM
Marirose-
Oh sweetie- I understand your frustration right now. I think anyone would have snapped. It sounds like you are having to be everyones "rock" right now. Well, let us be YOUR rock while you need it!! This is why we are here.

I understand your telling your brother what you told him. Again, there is only so much a family member or friend can do in helping their loved one get over an addiction. You can't do it for him. He is the one who has to take responsibility for his addiction, therefore he is the one who has to put the most effort into his recovery. You can give all the love and support in the world, but if they do not want to quit, all of your love and support won't do anything. It sounds like he isn't ready or willing to get clean, and I am so sorry for this. Especially because of how it has affected his children.

I know you have your own children to take care of, but sweetie, if your brother is not capable of being there for them, it seems like you will need to be their stability. They need and deserve a stable home without addiction. They didn't ask to be placed in this situation, however they are the ones paying the greatest price of all.

I've been thinking of you and keeping you in my prayers. I will continue to send thoughts of strength, patience, comfort and hope your way.

(((Hugs)))
Lezlee

tryinghardmom
07-31-2006, 10:15 AM
ugh......what a nightmare, Mari. I'm so sorry. But you know what? Even though this feels like 'worst case scenario' and what you've always feared....it might just be what it takes to open his eyes. Up to now, the worst consequence he's had to deal (completely generally speaking, since I don't know your family) has been a hangover after being on the couch drinking the previous evening. Now he's thinking of where to live if he wants to keep it up . Of course he has the constant consequences of feeling like a loser and disappointing his family.....but that's only when he's out of 'denial' mode. He probably stormed out, intending to punish you and trying to blame his homelessness on your unreasonable standards, but that won't last for long....the denial can't last forever.

His kids are so very, very blessed to have you and your husband in their lives.....and it is most likely a thankless job right now. But we, your 'board' friends, know how hard you're working....and so does our God. Do what you can to try to make sure your own 'tank' stays full enough to pour your life into these kids and your own....hopefully you'll get some normal sleep soon. And I'll be praying for you...and your brother.....that God is able to get through to him. Hang in there, Mari!
Christy

Marirose
07-31-2006, 11:31 AM
I am sooo blessed to have y'all with me....I don't know what I would be doing right now without the support of so many good folks who understand exactly where I am right now...no word from my brother...my husband is saying we should go the sheriff and see about getting my brother's parental rights terminated so we can adopt the kids (even though I think he is jumping the gun a bit, I think my husband is an absolute saint), the kids seem to be on the upswing, so a lot is looking up and I thank God for each of you and your prayers....I try to be the type of person who walks down the street and smiles at everyone she sees. I am praying that someday it will be one of you and that my smile will lift your spirits, even just a bit, and that will make a tiny dent in repaying the kindness you've all shown in sharing your support & your stories. God Bless, Mari

Podee
07-31-2006, 12:36 PM
Marirose your brother is clearly an alcoholic. He needs help - whether A.A. or rehab or both. No one other than an alcoholic would jeopardize his place to live and his family over a lousy drink.

After stopping, that void that draws us to drink or use must be filled with something, and this something for me is the spirituality and fellowship of 12-Step programs. I have been clean and sober for many years now, and no, there is no boredom. Life is beautiful. In fact, if I could turn a switch and make me like non-addicts and be able to have a drink or use every now and then I would never do it - being clean and sober means so much more to me that I do not miss the old days at all absent the rare urges that inevitably come and equally inevitably go.

By the way, I did experiment with Smart Recovery myself and while I am not saying it does not work - I went to Smart Rec when I had a few years c. and s. and after about a year went back to 12-Step still clean and sober - it seems to work only for people who have really hit bottom and are generally a bit older. Also the success rate of Smart Rec is extremely low - I was in a group for a full year and out of all the countless people who came and went over a year period only two including myself remained abstinent during that time.

Finally, 12-Step meetings are flourishing, while Smart Rec is pretty stagnant. The odds for whatever reason are better in 12-Step programs.

When your bro comes back around don't even let him back unless he commits to something - rehab, a meeting every day, something. And then as he relapses again make the conditions harsher until finally it's inpatient 28 day rehab or the street for him. Do not enable him.

Also, as you now know first hand, an alcoholic or drug addict cannot use any mind altering substance without grave consequences, the least of which is inevitable daily use. He cannot just cut back; when he drinks, he will often have a hard time stopping.

Marirose
07-31-2006, 04:29 PM
Dear Podee - You are absolutely correct. My brother is an alcoholic, and I know (and I think he does in his heart) that he has to stop drinking completely. I can never really remember a time when he could have "one or two". He always drank till he was totally drunk, even when we were teenagers. (My dad is an alcoholic also, but has been sober for many years now - he unfortunately has hep. C however, and is not really in the health or close enough to us to help - he drank our childhoods away). So, while I have been proud and happy for him on the cut down in drinking over the past year or so, I was always nagging him about cutting it out completely, hence how this post started with the "boredom" excuse.

You sound like you are in a great place with your sobriety and I am very glad for you. If it's not too personal, may I ask how you arrived where you are? You said "spirituality and 12 Steps" have helped you through. How did you get there from your addiction? Literally, did friends or family confront you? Did you hit rock bottom? How did you find the courage and strength to attend your first meeting? Did you do an inpatient rehab? Do you remember how you felt in the very beginning of your sobriety? Was there boredom back then? Sorry for all the questions, but I am sure my brother will eventually turn up (he has disappeared before and yes, sadly, unknowingly, I enabled him by letting him move back 'for the kids' sake' which I now realize was no use at all) and my husband and I need a new action plan for when that happens.

We live in the boondocks, so if my brother is to attend a meeting daily, he will have to find some place to live "in town" b/c we would not have the time to drive him the 25 miles or so back and forth, even if there is an AA group. ( i plan on checking with my pastor tonight). He has no car, no money, no job....there is alot he will have to get in place if we are not going to allow him back at our home, so I appreciate all your input and if you have time to give me some more advice, I would sure appreciate it.

Take care! marirose

Podee
07-31-2006, 11:28 PM
Well, I can only relate my own experience, but my experience is not all that uncommon.

I did not hit the lowest of bottoms because my parents were quite wealthy so they always enabled me in terms of not kicking me out and buying my way out of my problem situations.

My bottom consisted more of a realization, which I had had for a while, that I could not go on like this. Also, my girlfriend at the time threatened to leave me if I did not clean up 100%. I had already tried just drinking or just doing this drug, or just doing that drug, or drinking/using only once per month, and inevitably went back to almost daily use of my drugs of choice.

There is an expression in one of the 12-Step programs that starts with "finally, in desperation we turned to N.A." There has to be some level of desperation to want to clean up. No one has a desire to stop using before there are some serious repercussions. However, while the bottom for one person, like me, might not be excessively low (I graduated from college, I was about to start my career, I still had my family, my home and girlfriend), for another person the lowest of bottoms, homelessness, disease, even death, are not enough.

I went to a short in patient detox and then a seven week outpatient program. This introduced me to 12-Step based recovery, and I have never stopped going to meetings. I have gotten many of my friends into recovery too over the years. Some of them went to inpatient 28 day, some just went to meetings and no treatment centers.

I am certain that at times your brother wants to stop. But at other times he probably thinks he can still drink or use and avoid a horrible fate. I know that my disease told me at some point that I could get away with what I was doing and still live a normal life. Little did I realize (then) that I was a slave to drugs and was just going through the motions in other parts of my life. In other words, despite what I might have thought, the most important thing to me was getting loaded, and everything else came second.

Today, many different things are important in my life and no one thing dominates it. Staying clean and the life balance provided by 12-Step recovery, along with the natural processes of maturing and learning that all humans experience IF they stay sober, have made me into a very different person from what I was even at my best before. Also, no telling where I would be now if I had used for the past 14 years instead of stayed clean.

The 12 Steps helped me with other issues too - for example at some point during my Recovery I realized I had issues with gambling, and I stopped that BEFORE there were serious consequences.

I got clean very young, but some get clean very old. No one can get clean before his or her time is up, so to speak.

Your brother will get there, if he wants it badly enough. What they tell us in 12-Step programs is that it is not so much for those who need it, but those who want it. All alcoholics need it. Not all want it.

Marirose
08-01-2006, 09:44 AM
HI yall - Podee, thanks for all the great info., but right now, my brother does not want sobriety. Last night the sheriff called at 3 in the morning. My dear brother was drunk/disorderly and resisting arrest. My husband took the call, told the sheriff he could keep my brother, and told me to go back to sleep. This morning my sister-in-law came in and took care of our kids so I could work the farm, my husband went to see my brother, who was still being held by the sheriff . The bottom line is my DH, Toby, told my brother to clean up his act and not come back until he does. Toby told my brother that we are taking custody of the kids, either the easy way (my brother signs papers prepared by a lawyer to that effect) or the hard way (Toby calls Child Protective Services) and he has 12 hours to decide which way he wants it to go. I am devastated. I am so glad Toby took care of things, b/c I am always dithering about what's right, I am not sure if this is, but, it's done, and I know at least the kids will be safe with us until my bro. gets clean. I don't know what will happen to my brother yet. He has a record, so he may go to jail and be forced into temporary sobriety, which could be a blessing. I don't know what to think, but wanted to say thanks again for all your kindness. Will let you know what happens, Marirose

Podee
08-01-2006, 10:42 AM
Good luck. He may come to a realization, what alcoholics call "a moment of clarity," in jail.

ozzybug
08-01-2006, 11:10 AM
Mari-
At this point, I would think jail is the safest place for him. It sounds like that "one beer" during the trip to town earlier really did cause a landslide for your brother. I'm so sorry that you and your husband have been forced to take this hard nosed approach, but again, you are doing this out of love and concern, not just for him, but for his children. Especially for his children.

Your brother is a grown man and can make his own decisions, true enough, BUT those kids have no control and no say over his choice to drink and they are the ones being hurt the most. If he can't see that for what it is, then someone needs to. You and your husband are doing the right thing. I know it's not easy, but please know that you are doing right by the children and they will benefit from being kept in a stable, loving home. This is what they need most if they can't have it from their dad.

Please stay strong girl. I'm glad you continue to keep us updated and come here for support. We aren't going anywhere- we're all in this for the long haul!

Lezlee

Marirose
08-02-2006, 02:23 PM
Hey y'all - It's been a long day, but quickly, thank you all, esp. Lezlee, for all the support, you can't imagine how much it means. My brother is going to be in county jail for two weeks (actually now 11 days and counting, I'm sure), then is planning to go to a bigger city where there are AA meetings, look for a job & a place to live. That's the sober plan. We'll see what happens when he is free to drink again. However, he did sign his parental rights over to me and my DH this morning, so we have full custody of my neice & nephew for at least two years. I am so happy to be able to tell them that they are safe with us and here to stay, but so sad to see them missing their daddy and knowing how much my brother is missing in terms of their love. I am the only mother they have ever known, so that is not new to them, but as much as they love and rely on my DH, they love their daddy too. I am filled with mixed emotion right now. If there is anything to report, I will. Otherwise, thank you all so much for your support and kindness and stories. This has been an awful time, and it means alot to be able to pour it all out here. God bless, Marirose

ozzybug
08-02-2006, 03:01 PM
Mari-
Thank you, but really, I don't do any more than everyone else here. I've been blessed to meet some wonderful, kind people here, and I just enjoy giving back...

I know you are a mixture of happy and sad, and worried and confused right now and that's normal. You and your husband did the right thing. Like you said, you are the only mother they know, and they will need your love, support and strength to help get them through this. Yes, your brother will miss his children, and they him, BUT if he is away working on getting sober, then this can still have a wonderful ending for all of you.

I hope that the two weeks in jail will give him a good start on his sobriety. Hopefully after being without alcohol for two weeks, he will see that it's not impossible and that he can do it. Time will tell. Once he's out of jail, he will have to decide what he's going to do. He will either do right by himself, his children and you guys, or he will chose the other path. You have done all you can do to help him for now. It's going to be up to him.

Sometimes it takes something like being put in jail to make an addict realize that changes need to be made. As always, I am keeping all of you in my thoughts and prayers!

(((Hugs)))
Lezlee

mrmike
08-27-2006, 03:51 PM
i think you will do him a favor by kicking him out to give him one more reason to stop. i drank for 20 yrs. and i no one could stop me!! once that 1st drink hit my lips, i was home free! but i grew spiritualy and now have a higher power in my life which i choose to call god. (he can call it whatever he wants) i now rely on a group of (sober)drunks to keep me sober. and it works FOR ME. He will stop i promise, he will either die, get locked up, or stop on his own. this has been repeated for thousands of years. it's not easy, but i had to have my brother die from this dis-ease, and thats what it took me, and if i kept on, i know for a fact, i would eventually stop, maby not on my own, but i would stop!

Marirose
08-28-2006, 10:20 AM
Dear MRMike - Thanks for the post. You are 100% correct. My brother is missing right now- he went to jail, then supposedly was going out west to "start over" and live near another sibling of ours. He left his kids with us - the adoption will be permanent on Sept.11 - and no one has seen or heard from him since. So, like you said - he will stop, but it might be the hardest way possible. I don't like to even consider it,but I know it's true.

I am so happy for you that you have found God and good friends to help you stay sober. I am sorrier than I can say for the loss of your brother.

Thanks for taking the time to post - Best of luck to continue your beautiful new life of sobriety - Marirose