helping my brother

Alcoholics and Addicts in 12 Step Programs sharing their personal recovery stories with hope to help others who alcoholics and addicts who want to recover using the 12 Steps.
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Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2009 4:46 pm

helping my brother

Postby angel143 » Fri Jul 31, 2009 11:21 am

Hi all....

How are you? I hope you are all doing wonderfully on this fabulous Friday.

I have something that is weighing on my mind and my heart, so I hope you will all bear with me as I share it.

I have 3 brothers. 1 older, and 2 younger. The older one hasnt been in my life for the last 12 or so years. My 2 younger brothers are a great deal younger, 22 and 24. I use to spend all my time and my money on them when I was in high school. As soon as I could drive I would take them up to McDonalds and buy them Happy was $2.07 each! Such great times. I went to every sporting event. When I was pregnant with my 1st son (I was 23 so they were 13 and 11)...I had to be on bed rest for part of it and I cried the first few times I had to miss something they were doing. Then I had my next son and life was on its way to crazy parenthood. I always felt bad for missing out on things. My mom use to tell me its ok....they understand.

We have always of course shared the big events in life. But as they got older, they developed their own lives and time spent with them is getting less and less...I suppose its early preparation for when my kids grow up. :lol: Anyway...I have always tried to share with them the trials and tribulations of my that they can see that things only get harder the older you get.

Well....naturally I had to reside myself to the fact that they are going to just have to learn life the hard way...they are stubborn just like me!

My 24 yr old brother called me last night to tell me that he only needs 4 more classes to get his Associates degree...then on to the next step. These are 4 classes that he has taken 3 times already. He would always get 1/2 way through and get 'bored' with it. I told him that Sunday will be 60 days for me...and that if I can go 60 days without drinking...he can do this!!!

He actually agreed. I thought I was gonna fall out of my chair.

He then went on to ask me about AA. Ask me what someone has to do to go or be a part of it. I said 'if you want to go to learn about what I am doing you can join me at an open meeting' He said 'no, I think I might have a problem, I just dont know, but I know that I cant drink anymore, its not an option, and just saying no isnt an option for me either' I was totally caught off guard. I always knew that my brothers partied but they are very young, I never saw it as a problem. And this brother in particular...he has never had a problem telling someone no or to back off he isnt interested. But I also know that he has some minor bipolar issues. Never been medicated for it. Im not entirely sure if he needs medication...but I know he needs to have the tools to cope with life...none of us really learned that growing up. I see his personality and I realized that he gets a bit OCD about things...and if he doesnt have a full blown problem yet...he just might. But then again...he blew a full ride scholarship and a chance at the Olympics because he was drinking to much. Who am I to say if he has a problem or not? No one thought I did...only I thought I did!!!

With all the weird problems my family has....we are always open and honest and, in our own way-right or wrong, supportive of each other. Im glad he felt like he could talk to me....

He is going to go to a meeting with me tonight...he is totally against the HP thing...BUT he believes in figure thats something greater than a start. Plus...he would rather consider the possibility that there is something greater than him than slide down and 80 foot cliff full of razors bare butt naked...SO...its a start!

I am going to give him a BB, and have him read.

I am nervous as all get out...this is one of my baby brothers and I dont want to screw it up. I dont want to push to much or not enough.

I am sad also...I dont want him to have to feel the things and go through the things that I have. I know that doing the steps, would be so beneficial for him. And it would give him such amazing tools for the rest of his life. And who knows...maybe he could learn to deal with things so he wouldnt have to take meds. I dont know....

I just have so many things going on in my head...but I am very happy and proud of him for at least wanting to find out if he has a problem. I guess in looking at it and thinking about it...he does...he cant control the amount he drinks, his personality changes horribly...and he would actually try to make himself sick, so he could keep drinking! I guess I was more blind to my brother than to myself. Crazy.

I sent him the 20 questions of are you an alcoholic from this site I also sent him the medical definition.

It will be a very interesting night.

Thank you all so much for letting me get all that off my chest. Im sure I rambled on and jumped around on my ideas....

I appreciate and love all of you....


garden variety
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Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 7:39 pm

Postby garden variety » Fri Jul 31, 2009 2:11 pm

Hiya Heather,

Your story brings tears to my eyes. I guess I'm just getting too mushy these days.

If you get a minute, read this discussion: ... =young+kid

Well it's a little while later.

My son, who is 22, eventually got sent to the "Big House". He did hard time with hardened criminals out on the "big farm" next to West Virginia. It was his first offense. That's what happens when you face an angry judge.

He's free on parole today. When he got parole, I saw the look on the judge's face. He wasn't convinced. That judge has seen hundreds of young men trapped in addiction, "trying" and "making promises" to change. He granted parole with a question mark look on his face. I could read him clear as day. "Am I doing the right thing with this kid?"

Friends, that was a "kodak moment" I hope none of you will ever need to face. It was the hardest thing on earth to watch him go his own way. I couldn't stop his destruction or his addiction. I was just on the sidelines waving a little banner that said "I'm here if you ever want to talk". That's all I could do.

He has changed. Will it last? I hope so.

I never really talked to him much about God. But while he was in the penetentiary, he sure enough found a Higher Power.

Today we talk about God. My son teaches me things, or reminds me about things that I've forgotton. He found God in his own way, and it is a treasure to watch him seek and follow a spiritual path - to aspire to "personal holiness". I guess it's bittwersweet. He's also got a few scars, he's a convicted felon - it's sort of like having a "Scarlet Letter".

Sometimes it's difficult for me to feel proud of him, especially when I listen to friends talk about their children, and the mountains they climb. They ask me about my son who they remember - I pause, then I reluctantly say "Convicted felon". Then the conversation changes. Or if he's with me, helping me pick up furniture or move a friend. A sudden coldness comes over the person, their head goes down. I can almost hear their thoughts "I sure hope he doesn't steal anything" or "I hope he doesn't remember the address or come back here at night." You know, people are afraid to smile and look an ex-con in the eye.

Heather, relax and don't be anything other than the kind, compassionate, and sensitive sister you're growing to become. Take your cue from his questions, and probably most important is to just listen and be empathetic. You have the chance to learn everything about your brother for the first time. If you make it a learning experience for yourself, I'll bet you'll be amazed.

Sometimes just being available is enough.

God bless,

Site Admin
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Postby Dallas » Fri Jul 31, 2009 2:48 pm

Paul wrote:Heather, relax and don't be anything other than the kind, compassionate, and sensitive sister you're growing to become. Take your cue from his questions, and probably most important is to just listen and be empathetic. You have the chance to learn everything about your brother for the first time. If you make it a learning experience for yourself, I'll bet you'll be amazed.

That's a great suggestion! :wink:

Fish take the bait that they are interested in -- for their own reasons -- and never take the bait for our reasons. Sometimes, we get skunked at fishing because we're throwing all kinds of bait at the fish -- and it runs them off.

Don't let your next meal depend on your next catch... Remember, there is always Red Lobster and Long John Silver's... and always McFish burgers when all else fails! :lol:

I've discovered that Life often works at Life's way of doing things... and not my way of doing things. So, I try to get in the middle of the stream, and flow with it... Just let your life be an example that entices them... rather than try to entice them. If they like what they see in you -- they may want it for themselves. And, if they don't... then, nothing has been lost. Stay focused on your personal results and out of focus in regards to their personal results -- and your way of life is more likely to be enticing! :wink:


Posts: 150
Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2009 4:46 pm

Postby angel143 » Fri Jul 31, 2009 3:43 pm

Thank you guys...

I appreciate your kind thoughts and the personal sharing.

I will keep you posted how tonight goes!!!

Love you guys


P.S. My bro just called...he sounds...very upbeat, very happy...i havent heard him sound like that in a long time.

tonight is going to be emotional...but im glad i am able to be there for him.

He said mom and dad can talk till they are blue in the face...but they dont understand cause they are too much older than him...I on the other hand am old enough to know better and young enough to still understand! :lol: :lol: :lol: oh boy....we are in for a wild ride!!!

Posts: 150
Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2009 4:46 pm

Postby angel143 » Sat Aug 01, 2009 4:48 pm

Well...I took him to the meeting.

When he got to my house he wanted to make it clear to me that he DIDNT have a problem. He said that I apparently misunderstood what he meant when he said 'i think i might have a problem.'

He wanted to go so that he could listen to people talk and then he would have a 'reason' not to drink. Because saying no isnt reason enough.

I said 'is saying no drugs reason enough?' he said 'of course, but thats different...' I said 'NO, its not.'

But I didnt press the issue. We went through the 20 q's of are you an alcoholic. He said yes to only 1. I told him my yes's and told him what I thought were yes's for him.

I tried to explain to him that if 1st of all, if he is with 'friends' and says no to drinking and they give him crap...he needs new friends. 2nd...if a simple no isnt enough...that he needs more of a reason...then...he might have a problem. (I also found out that he is gambling NON stop! Even doing it on his phone when not on the computer or at a tourney..thats another problem too.) I simply related my experiences to him. I didnt want to turn him off totally.

He read through the steps...he had a BIG problem with #2. Of course if he were to do it he would have to start with 1...but he said 'why do i need a power greater than me to restore my sanity, why cant i do it on my own' I said 'because doing it ourself is what got us here. we need to be able to accept that our way isnt the best way and that its ok to ask for help'

He got into his 'lets debate' mood. I told him I am not going to debate AA and what works and doesnt. That its something that he, if he ever needs it, will have to figure out on his own. I know what it does for me and how it helps me....

We got to the meeting and I bought him a book...he started to read it and promised he would read it...but only so he can have more reasons to not drink!

The discussion in the meeting last night was was about the serenity prayer. I just looked at my little brother and realized....he has decided that he would rather slide down an 80 ft cliff full of razors bare butt naked than consider as a very smart person told me...throw em back, keep fishing, when they start drowning they will reach for help. (im paraphrasing...but you get the point :wink: ) God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change (my brother), the courage to change the things that I can (myself), and the wisdom to know the difference (wouldnt that be nice! (:lol:)

He has a book, an open invite to all open meetings, and my willingness to be there if needs or wants it.

Other than that...he is on his own. This is something he has to do. Its about him. My problem is my problem and its about me and something I need to work on...DAILY....he will figure it out when its time.

I love you all and I'm glad you are all here

Thank you

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Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:05 pm

Postby Dallas » Sat Aug 01, 2009 7:28 pm

If at all possible -- when I'm taking a potential prospect for AA to a meeting... I stay away from open discussion meetings.

If I'm going to take them to an open meeting... I want it to be a good speaker meeting, where I know the speaker will be talking about recovery.

Even now, if I land in a discussion meeting... it can get me so thirsty that I sure wish I could have a drink... and I don't even drink!!! :lol:


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