Friday, March 21, 2008

Full Circle

I shouldn't be surprised. It was about time. But, I was hoping that this time would be different.

Brother has fallen off the wagon AGAIN. You can read about his history here. It's been a vicious cycle for years. He had been sober since October this time, I think. They may have been the longest amount of time in a LONG time.

SIL just called me, crying, from her car in the parking lot of their complex. They're in a blizzard, she was sent home from work early, and she found my brother in the same state he's been in for the last 4 days - drunk on their living room floor. Brother got laid off his job at the beginning of the year, and we were nervous that the lack of work would cause a relapse, but he did pretty well for a while. Then he started working again. I hadn't talked to him much in the last few months, but the last time we talked he was doing great. Then he got laid off AGAIN. And now he's drinking.

He can't afford to drink, but does that stop him? NO. He claims he loves his wife (when he's sober), but does that stop him from being mean and cruel and calling her names when he's drinking? NO. Does he know he has a problem? YES - when he's sober, he admits that.

SIL is again at her wits end - who can blame her? But, her family is fed up (who wouldn't be) and are unwilling to help her unless she leaves him for good. The rest of us are far away and don't know what to do. My dad keeps giving her the same advice he's given her for years - get away, don't enable him, don't be responsible for HIS actions. But, she loves him, and she doesn't want to see him hurt someone else, let alone himself (at least more than he already is).

Brother needs to be admitted somewhere. Or he needs some kind of intervention. But how??

I hate unresolved issues, and this has been one for a very long time. I pray that God shows us what to do. I pray that my brother finds a way to help himself. But, it's out of my hands. No one can help my brother but himself - he has to want it, he has to commit to getting help and to following through. He's almost 31 years old, and I worry about how much longer he can live like this.

I've asked for prayers before, and I'm asking again. And even though I've been praying for safety and resolution for my brother for years, I don't think that God has been ignoring me. He has a plan, we just don't know what it is yet.


shell said...

oh, sally. i am so, so sorry. your dad is right, though. you sil needs to leave your brother. as much as she loves him and doesn't want to see him hurt, she is only enabling him by staying and catering to him.

i know that sounds harsh, but unles she likes going down that downward spiral with him, her staying there isn't going to help matters.

and no matter how little money he has, he will do whatever it takes to have that next drink.

treatment won't work unless he wants to be there. he has to hit rock bottom first. as harsh as that sounds, it's the truth. alcoholism is cunning and baffling and until he admits that he is powerless over alcohol, he will not stay sober.

i wish there was something magical i could say to make it all go away...

Lost In NC said...

I'm sorry to hear that he has fallen again. It always makes me sad when this happens! I have so many questions as to why alcohol can have such a hold on some people and it not affect other people. It is something that I have to deal with everyday of my life and some days I just want to crawl in a hole and not deal with the alcoholics in my life! I agree with Shell, that there is no magical words to say to make this go away! I too, wish there was some way to make it go away!

Eliza said...

I'll be praying.

Terri said...

sorry to hear about this Sally; really sucks that he's going down that road again; I feel for your SIL. I'll be praying for your family.

Love Bears All Things said...

I know how your feel. My sister is 52 and she is an alcoholic. She does other things too, Pot that I know of and some pills like valium. I don't know what else. She has hit bottom more than once. She lives in squalor. She has Hepatitis and gets a disability check every month. She lost her children. They are both adults now. Her son was raised by my parents but now he is just like her. My niece was raised by her father.
You are right. We can't help them. They can only help themselves. We don't understand them and this disease that controls their lives. All we can do is love them and pray for them.
Mama Bear

Sally said...

Thanks for all the comments, everyone.

Alcoholism is a terrible disease, and I hope one day my bro can say he's a recovering alcoholic, but we'll have to wait and see.

My parents came up with a great idea -- they're flying my bro out to help them pack and move to KS. It will give SIL a break and a safe place to stay for a while and will give bro ANOTHER chance to get out of his situation and think things through clearly (he won't drink around mom and dad) - maybe he'll even decide to enter a rehab facility...we can pray for that.

Jenni said...

I'll pray for him, Sally. God does not ignore our prayers, but He does not overstep our freedom of will either. God can show your brother things that will make him want to change too, but he has to be willing to see. You were right that your brother has to want this for himself. I hope he decides that he does soon and that this trip to see your parents is good for him and your SIL.

Chelf said...

Oh, this breaks my heart. I am praying right now.

Laura said...

Ugh...SO sorry to hear this. I will pray, pray, pray for all of you! Sounds like a good plan for your parents to move him close to them. Thanks for sharing about this. Sounds like your brother is really an awesome guy and WANTS to do the right thing... I'll pray for strength for him to DO it!

Paulette said...

I too am praying that this break will open his eyes in a revolutionary way! I'm hurting for you.

Amy said...

sally, i know this is a painful path that you've all been down with him prayer is that his eyes will be opened in a new way this time and he'll have the strength to get better. love and prayers to you and the fam.