This could be a very long post, but I don't feel like typing that much, so I'm going to abbreviate.
I'm the oldest of 3 kids...brother will turn 30 this year, sis will turn 29. Sis and I grew up and did what mom and dad expected of us...brother rebelled. He started drinking when he was in high school and started smoking about the same time.
He met his supposed "love of his life" when he was about 18...he called and told me that he would marry her someday...he did...finally...when their son was 2 months old. 10 months after their wedding, their daughter was born...she turns 9 today.
When their daughter was about a year old, my brother took off. He took their only car and drove away while his wife was at work...he didn't tell anyone where he was going. His wife realized it when she had no ride home that day. 3 days later, we finally heard where my brother was -- somewhere across the country.
Time passes, brother keeps drinking heavily, kids grow up, divorce happens, brother seems to make some changes, finds girlfriend, they move back closer to the kids, then get homesick and move back again -- all this takes place over the course of about 5 years.
Brother and his girlfriend have many struggles as brother continues to drink and never gets help -- he's an alcoholic. At times brother admits this and attempts to stop drinking -- first on his own, then with the help of AA. He decides he hates AA and doesn't see it through.
Mom and Dad do their best to give advice when they're asked and try to help brother's girlfriend deal with this. Brother seems to make progress again, so brother and girlfriend get married. Things seem better than they used to be, but about every 3 or 4 months, brother has a relapse.
He drinks, gets angry, threatens divorce, stops going to work, and who knows what else. Somehow, my newest SIL sticks it out with him -- I would have left AGES ago...but she loves him and tries to help him.
Just after Christmas this past year, it seemed that brother had made some permanent progress -- drinking stopped, he started going back to church, he had a job, he and his wife had struggled through, but made it past a heart breaking miscarriage (of course, he shouldn't have more kids at this stage of his life)...and then 4 months passed...and he lost his job, he's drinking again, his oldest turned 10 w/o his dad close by...and we're back to square one.
He has a loving family, mom and dad are torn up but willing to do anything to help, his wife is STILL standing by his side...but we can't do anything until he admits his problem and is ready to help himself. I pray this happens before he winds up dead.
I'm tired...I'm sad...I'm angry...I'm upset...but all I can do is pray. My SIL asked for my advice...I have NO idea what to tell her. She's tried it all...or so it seems.
B's work will take him to brother's city next week, and I will be there to visit in 2 weeks. We were supposed to take brother out for dinner to celebrate his 30th birthday...but who knows now.
Pray for our family if you think about it. Brother needs it!