My brother is an alcoholic. As in he was once drinking so much and so often that he hallucinated for days and had all sorts of health issues due to trying to quit cold turkey.
In the past ten years he’s been to various rehab programs. As is typical with recovery he will do really well and then relapse, sometimes short term and sometimes full blown.
He’s been doing good for 11 months. Works at the local VA hospital, lives in a home with other men in recovery, goes to meetings. But today, after a seemingly good visit with our mom, he left only to be brought by paramedics back to her house stumble down drunk.
She called me as he was sleeping it off on her couch. What to do? I suggested she get him home, don’t lecture or be all heavy about it in the current state, and then the next day let him know he won’t be meeting her at her house anymore, she will meet him somewhere near his.
She’s suspected for months he was drinking on the sly during his visits. She found empty alcohol containers in the bathroom trash. But she didn’t say, “No, no more here.”
Neither my mom or myself can fix my brother’s issue, only he can take that step, but we can resist enabling it. We can have boundaries of our own to protect ourselves from his alcoholism. We can say, “No, I am not going to go along.”
I hope he won’t lose his housing, which is tied to his being and staying sober.
If he doesn’t, he could well end up one of those guys with a sign on a freeway exit, living under the overpass. God, I hope not.
Today I prayed with my mom that the Lord would ring him with angels of healing, send Raphael himself to tend to his health. And I prayed for my mom and myself that we would be granted the wisdom and strength to know how to help him in ways that will help, not further enable, his illness.
I honestly don’t know a lot about this topic but intend to read up. Our grandfather had the same issue, but was more functional.
I also prayed my brother will eventually not only belp himself but also in turn help others recover themselves.
What do you think? Have you had similar struggles w someone in your family? Please share in the comments.