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Brother in a Downward Spiral, Don't Know What to Do...

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Old 09-17-2008, 06:38 AM   #31
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Re: Brother in a Downward Spiral, Don't Know What to Do...

Originally Posted by Confused089 View Post
I think that many substance abusers believe they are only hurting themselves, and that they should be allowed to make that choice since it is their life. Understanding that they are hurting people that they love and care about *can* have a profound effect........ It's just profoundly dysfunctional and hazardous in an addict or alcoholic because the denial supports the abuse.
This is my brother in a nutshell. His initial response was to say he wasn't hurting anyone and even when we explained to him that his behavior did hurt the people who love him, he still didn't agree.

I still think your brother has shown that he will do a lot to gain the approval and keep the love of the people he cares about, and who care about him and I believe that continuously giving him feedback on how his actions are affecting the people he loves may help immensely.
He has always (almost obsessively) sought the approval of those who he loved and respected. Even as a young child, when he was scolded for something, he took it to a much higher level in his mind. Our parents were strict to some extent, but never overly harsh with their words or their punishments. He was just always the type of child (and adult) you felt you needed to take a "walking on eggshells" approach with.

Perhaps alcohol dulls some of his sensitivity and the feeling of not fitting in. You said he was a "happy drunk." I am curious if he knows how to feel happy without getting drunk.
I agree 100% that he uses alcohol to feel like he "fit's in". He has always come across as uber confident and yet those of us who truly know him, have always known that this is not the case. His therapist feels that he has abandonment issues from early childhood.... We were adopted. She thinks that even though our parents were so careful not to make us "feel" adopted or different in any way, he somehow zeroed in and focused on the fact that his "real" mother didn't want him.

Those are my thoughts for now. I truly hope you can use this vacation to relax and let go. I believe you have handled an exceptionally difficult situation beautifully. I hope you can feel good about that and let go of it for a while so that you can take care of yourself.

Thank you for the kind words and encouragement. I was pretty successful at letting go of the stress and enjoying my vacation. Unfortunately though, there comes the time when we have to return to reality. I could have stayed another week or two, if it had been possible. I'll keep trying to stay positive, but realistic. Take care, CMP/MM

Last edited by mod-anon; 09-17-2008 at 07:44 AM. Reason: edited quotes

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Old 09-17-2008, 07:15 AM   #32
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Re: Brother in a Downward Spiral, Don't Know What to Do...

Originally Posted by sammyo1 View Post
.......I have some people (family & a friend) who are alcohlics.
I have reached the point in my life, ironally enough since suffering with CP that I just cant tolerate it or overlook it. Just know I understand completely & I have lost many nights sleep over worrying.
Sadly, I think we are all touched by alcohol and/or substance abuse at some point in our lives. It is such a crazy world out there with so much stress and tragedy, that I truly believe in the old saying "there, but by the grace of God, go I".

...... He is a wonderful person when he is sober. He had to hit rock bottem & sadly enough have noone to help before he realized that he had to do this on his own, he had been given chance after chance & hurt those who tried so hard to help him.
I know what you mean. I have seen some very dear friends over the years go in both directions. Some have reached bottom and found their way back up to the light of day, and some others, that bottom was the end of their life.

I have someone very close to me with this problem & I cant handle it anymore so I avoid it as much as possable. I had to do this to protect myself. I mentally could not take it anymore. I pray & pray & Steve is right sometimes you just have to hand it to god. I dont want to be an enabler anymore, & am trying hard not to.
I had to take this approach with a very dear friend, many years ago and I am thrilled to be able to say that he is now 16 years sober. I know that my decision to not enable him anymore, was not what made him decide to get sober, but I believe that along with several of his family and his friends doing the same, it certainly gave him a bit of a reality check. He told me a few years into his sobriety, that he started out his journey into sobriety started because of the fear of losing everyone who mattered to him, but it was his fear of losing himself that ultimately kept him on that road.

Your brother is lucky to have you. Hopefully he will realize this. Dont ever risk yourself because as long as he is an addict he will never acknowledge it anyway. It is a selfish dx that leaves many victims in its path.
All we can do is pray and go on with our lives as best as we can. My hope is that someday he will see the pain that he is causing his girls, but I'm not holding my breath.

I experiance this in my life so I understand & wanted you to know. Its not something I like to discuss but you are special to me & would do so in return.
I am here if you ever need me.
God bless, Sammy
Thanks Sammers, I hope you know that I feel the same about you. I promise I will try my best to take care of me, and put the rest in God's hands. If you see me slipping in the other direction, I know you'll gently but thoroughly remind me. Much thanks and many hugs, CMP/MM

Old 09-17-2008, 07:36 AM   #33
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skych HB Userskych HB User
Re: Brother in a Downward Spiral, Don't Know What to Do...

Hey cmp,

I am so glad you and the hubby had a good trip!

As for your brother!

The disease of alcholism and drug addict is cunning baffling and powerful!

from the things that you have said in your posts it is very evident that your brother is engaged in a deep deep denial. But, at the same time he wants to make you all happy by telling you some things you want to hear. Funny because on the other had he does not even realize, (because he can not) that there are mnay other things going on that need to be addressed.

Being that I am an addict an alcoholic I can see and totally relate to your brothers action and his very deep denial and how that denial manifests in his everday life.

We all know that it is very common for an addict or alcholic to believe they are ot hurting anyone but themselves, but deep down inside of your brother there is this tiny piece of him that knows the things he does or does not do, the things he says the attitudes etc DO affect the ones around him. It is the denial the aids in his thinking these things only effect him!

Until your brother reaches deep deep down inside of himself and FULLY CONCEEDS TO HIMSELF that he is an alcoholic or an addict he will not be able to move from the active addictions into any other place. He has to also realize that being a sober person is TRULY somthing that HE WANTS to do, it will not work...he can not do it for anyone but himself.
Going into a program or treatment or meeting is just not the whole deal....There is a part that we addicts and alcoholics mucst do and it is the action part.
Enough about your brother for now.

There are some things, and I think you and your family are already learning and doig some of these things, to kep yoursleves safe in this relationship.

It is not easy, Not all families or wives hubby's friends of alcoholics find it necessary to attend an al-anon or nar-anon meeting but those are some resources that are out there for those folks who have an alcoholic or addict in their life.

Cmp, the only thing I can say is when dealing with your brother it is much the same as dealing with a very young child in that your job is to have your boundries and to be consistant in upholding them and the conseequences that you put on them when they are crossed. Keeping ourselves safe in the relationship with an addict and/or alcoholic is the main least for me. When I say safe I might mean physically, but I am more commonly referring to emoitionally mentally and spiritaully safe....if that makes any sense.
I understand that some of the things we do to uphold our boundries hurts our hearts and causes us to have emotions that are uncomfortable etc., but it is important to keep ourselves consistant and safe so that the addict and alcoholic, who by the way can sometimes be a master manipulator, does not have a chance to step all over us. We can let them know what we will deal with and what we will not as long as we do that in as loving and compasionate of a manor as possible. As long as you keep your side of the street clean in this way whatever your brother does with this information is his stuff not yours. Your not responsible for what he thinks or feel or how he perceives things or how he responds to anything. AS long AS you do it in the most appropriate of ways you possibly later you don't have to go back to your Bro and say your sorry for screamming your feelings and boundries at him.....if that makes any sense.

Cmp...I will keep your family in my thoughts and prayes because infortunatley the disease of addiction and or alcoholism does effect the family.

I hope I was not to forward and that my suggestions did not offend you in any way. These are solely my opinopns and I am in no way trying to tell you how to handle your life even though I may have written in that kind of a context with the wording. I am only saying this stuff from my heart!!

Old 09-17-2008, 08:05 AM   #34
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Re: Brother in a Downward Spiral, Don't Know What to Do...

Thanks Shay,

I have had the feeling in my gut, for the last several months, that there was a strong possibility of this being cancer. I can always tell by the degree of hoarseness, just how heavily he's been drinking. His primary doc kept telling him it was acid reflux, but in all fairness to the doc, he had no idea how much my brother drinks. Obviously, my brother hasn't been up front about it.

He still hasn't told me about the diagnosis, but according to our mutual friend, the ENT believes it has been detected early, and feels confident that there can be a successful outcome. I don't know if the ENT knows about the drinking either, but I'm sure it has to be an important factor in the success of the surgery and/or any subsequent treatment. I'll try and convince my brother of that, but again, I'm not going to hold my breath hoping that he will fess up. After all, he doesn't believe he has a drinking problem.

Thanks so much for the info and for the prayers. We can all sure use them right now. I need to meditate and pray for my anger to subside. I really am angry at him. I know I probably shouldn't be, but I am. As always, you are such a good friend to me, and I appreciate it more than you could know. Hugs and God Bless, CMP/MM

Last edited by mod-anon; 09-17-2008 at 10:11 AM. Reason: removed quote

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