Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Rant, I Must...

Okay, this post is going to be a real rant. Not some sugar-coated dialog with humor dispersed here and there. No, not at all.

My brother is an alcoholic; has been for quite some time. Not too many years ago he had a great job, a job he couldn’t hold on to once the drinking increased. There was a time when he had a decent amount of money in the bank. He owned property. He had interests, hobbies and sports that he excelled at and thoroughly enjoyed…

…now he has a bottle. An ever-emptying bottle. I’m not sure what demons are lurking in his head. I don’t know or understand how he got this way. He was always the one with the quick joke. Always the one that you could count on. Hell, he brought my daughter to the father-daughter dance when her own father was too lazy to do so. He was my "Syb," as we would call each other. Now he’s like Sybil. I don’t know who I’m dealing with. Sometimes he’s straight and he’s the brother I remember. Sometimes he’s drunk and he doesn’t make sense. His thoughts are twisted and convoluted.

It has come to the point where it’s gotten really out of control. He has been in the hospital six times in the last few months. He’s gone in for erratic heart beats…this actually scares him. “Good! I say” He’s gone in because he gets the DTs when he tries to stop. His last admission—over the past weekend—was because he basically inhaled an entire bottle of vodka.

Don’t get me wrong. I understand that alcoholism is a disease, and I will support him if he’s willing to get treatment. The problem is it has to be up to him. You can’t just drop him off at rehab, he has to initiate it.

Like I said, this has been going on for quite some time. And I’ve had enough. I see the toll his drinking is taking on our parents. Our mother is the nicest woman on this planet. Our father comes from the same mold as his mother, my Gramma Gramma. They are not just viewing this from the sidelines; they live and breath it every day because he lives with them. They, who are retired, in their seventies and on a fixed income, support him. They pay his bills. They try to make right his wrongs. They miss out on time with other family members. They are witness to their only son’s self-destruction.

Our parents…My parents should be able to enjoy the rest of their lives. They have worked hard and gone without plenty of times for us, for the sake of their children. It burns me to no end to see him taking that away.

There’s a part of me that wants to hug him and make it go away, and I feel bad that I can’t. And because I feel we’re all ready to be at his side as he battles his demons but that he has thrown down his sword without a fight, there’s a part of me that just wants him gone.

Postscript: My mother is currently in the hospital. This has a lot to do with the reason I decided to write this rant. When I went to see her yesterday, he was there, at the hospital…drunk. Some of my relatives read this blog on occasion, and I’m pretty sure they have a general idea of what has been going on. They may not realize how bad it’s gotten, but it’s time to stop sweeping it under the rug.

15 comments:

cuz'n carol said...

Why is your mom in the hospital????? I'll call you later after work. In the meantime, hug my auntie for me! HUGS!!!!!!

Glamorous Life of a House Wife said...

It is devestating the effect that alcohol has on some people. I am that one of those people happen to be your brother. I will lift up a prayer for your family, especially your parents, right now and I hope things will work themselves out soon. In the mean time, keep your head up and keep being strong - I know your parents must be very proud of who you are.

Heather said...

I have one of those brothers, so I am really sorry you are going through this, and your parents. My dad was a drunk my whole life growing up, and only stopped when he actually thought he was going to die. That stopped him for a few years, but now he is back at drinking, just not nearly as much. It's hard to just stand by and watch someone destroy themselves like that, and there's not much you can do to help.

Pleasant Drive said...

Alcoholism is such a beast and so devastating to those around. I'll pray for your brother. That's probably the only thing that will bring him healing.

Mental P Mama said...

Oh I am so sorry. Maybe he will hit bottom soon and get the help he needs. In the meantime, all the best to your mother...I am sending good thoughts your way.

Badass Geek said...

Alcoholism runs in my family, and all but killed most of them who had it before they sought help and recovered from it.

I hope your brother gets the help he needs.

countrygirl3031 said...

I am sooooo sorry you and your family are having to go through this. Alcohol is horrible...I will be saying a prayer...especially for your mother. I hope she gets better and please let us know if we can do anything. We're all friends here!!!

Hugz,
Michele

Employee No. 3699 said...

Thank you for your kind words of support and prayers.

Selma said...

Oh, Linda, I am so sorry to hear this. My sister is a recovering alcoholic but unfortunately, now that she doesn't drink she collects unsuitable men instead. I know how stressful this can be. And frustrating. Sometimes you feel like screaming. I hope your Mom is OK. I'll be praying for you all.

Michael C said...

I am very sorry that your mom is in the hospital. Is everything going to be ok?

I am also sorry that your brother is losing his battle, but hopefully that will change because of the amazing support his family is prepared to give him.

Hang in there.

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

Personally, I've never dealt with a loved one suffering from alcoholism. I've watched the TV show "Intervention" a few times and when they profile alcoholics, the families (well, any drug, really) suffer so very much. I'm so sorry you're living through this. I hope he makes the decision to get help because, you're right, rehab is useless unless they decide to initiate the treatment.

Hugs, hon. Lots of hugs.

Richard Whackman said...

For some reason my comment didn't post. I was wondering if you really have no idea why this is happening. I mean, you must have some thoughts here. Is he married? Does he have children? Is loneliness a factor?

Employee No. 3699 said...

Richard:

There is a history of alcoholism on my mother’s side of the family, though she does not drink; neither does my father. My brother has never been married and he has no children. He will be 45 in October.

He’s always had a variety of activities he liked to do and friends to do them with. He’s gone on several ski trips, including to Austria. He likes to fish. In addition to frequenting lakes in our area, he has also gone out of town with friends to fish. He was a health nut, watching what he ate and always trying to keep physically fit.

Years ago he used to race motocross. He made it to the finals for his class and was set to race in the nationals in Tennessee. About a month before the event he had a crash during a race and snapped his leg in two. He had surgery as I was giving birth to my daughter. That was on June 28th, 1982; twenty six years ago. I know he's always thought how things may have been different if that hadn't happened. That is the only reason I can think of…except he didn’t start drinking then. It’s been in the last ten or so years.

Lilsass said...

Sometimes the pain and suffering of those surrounded by the addict are so much more difficult to bear. I am so sorry to hear of this but I am SO glad you're not hiding the white elephant. Blogging is so therapeutic ... keep us posted, so long as it helps you.

meleah rebeccah said...

OMG. This is really upsetting..but youare doing the right thing by NOT sweeping this under the carpet.

And you have the right mentality, no one can save him,,,he has to have enough and hit his own rock bottom before he will ever change....

but I cant imagine how painful this must be to watch.

HUGS