This past week has been a difficult one for me. My brother who is younger by two years, was hospitalized for doing things that he should not have been doing.
Our lives growing up were chaotic at best, we come from a long line of alcoholics. So though there were good times there were many more chaotic times due to people, the adults in our lives making bad decisions with alcohol. My brother has done the same, and you throw in years of drug abuse , well you get the picture.
So he is in the hospital, and near death, I am praying for him as I always do but sitting there with him makes me so sad... to see what the decisions that he has made have done to not only him but his family.
Anyway as I am sitting there talking to him, when he is coherent enough to talk. We make small talk, I ask him what the doctors have told him, he tells me that one of his kidneys and his liver had started to shut down and that he was near death and that the doctor has advised him that he should go to a in house treatment program to get himself straightened out.
Now this is not the first time he has been told this by a physician, but he has never been so close to death before. After he tells me what the doctor has said, I sit quietly for a moment and then ask him.... so what are you going to do when you get out of here? I am longing to hear, "Find a
N A and or AA meeting" , but as usual that is not what I hear. I am dumb founded, but then quickly remember this is not the first time he has needed to do this, find a way to stop all this madness.
I have gone to Al Anon off and on for years for my sanity, and to learn how to deal with those around me who are out of control. And one of the lessons that has been brought home to me is that I cannot make the decision for them I must let them go, as hard as it is, let them deal with their problem and be ready to be there for them when they are ready to get the help they need.
This is the hardest lesson for me for I am the oldest, the big brother, the Peace maker, the one who always wants to make it right. I struggle with this, but know that in the end it is my brother who must make the decision, the choice, and bear the struggle to get himself clean and sober.
It is my job to continue to love him in whatever state he is in, to not enable him, but to not alienate him either, to walk that fine line that keeps our communication open so that I can offer him help when he needs it. I find this so hard at times, as I watch him slowly killing himself, and have to just stand by and love him, pray for him, for I have argued, yelled, screamed, cried, and begged him to get help and all of that has not produced the results that I wanted.
So I am now resolved to the fact that I cannot help someone who does not want help. This does not make it any easier for me in fact it makes it at times so difficult that I cannot stand it. But I must give my brother to someone bigger than both of us, I have given him to GOD because I am so weary of worrying about him. I know that my heavenly Father will in his due time help my brother find peace within himself, and give himself to him wholly and completely so that he can be healed from these addictions.
In our daily lives we have friends, family, co workers, who are struggling with addiction, and at times we are at a loss as to how to best help them. For me I have come to the conclusion that I must just love the person where they are, not giving in to their addiction or allowing them to drag me into their problems. But offer a shoulder for support, a love that is unconditional, and to pray for them always.
If you find yourself in this type of situation, know that I know exactly how you fell, know that you cannot change a person who does not want to be changed. But also know that they want , need, long for our love and support for them the person not the addiction. Pray for them, love them, and be there for them for one day I pray they will come to us and we need to be there for them. So love the unlovely, comfort those who need it, and remember that it is only our job to love them no matter where they are at In This Journey Called Life........
Blessings to you and yours Curtis and Sherrie