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What do you do?
Old 02-01-2020, 08:34 PM
  #1

I could write for a couple of hours about this- but Iím going to try to keep it short.

I have a younger brother who is 47. He is an alcoholic. He does not think he is. We live in different states and I havenít seen him for quite awhile. He either becomes extremely hateful or extremely depressed when he drinks. I had to move my 81 year old mother to the town I live in to get her away from him. I was scared he was going to hurt her or worse. He gets on Facebook and talks about suicide constantly. I have had the local sheriff do welfare checks twice because I was so scared. Tonight he sent a message to me, my mom and one of his friends. This was the one I received:


ĒIm sorry for what you went through growing up around me. I would never wish this on any one. Im tired of fighting for a life not worth living. We where never close and ive regrated that, i love you remeber that my body's gone that is all. Ill see you on the other side. Im sorry.Ē


The one to my mom was almost identical. When the sheriff checked on him, he said he was fine and had no plans to hurt himself.

It is such a horribly helpless feeling. He has no friends, no job and is in danger of losing his house. We have begged him to get help. Our dad died almost 3 years ago and it sent my brother into a downward spiral so quickly that it is unreal. If dad were still alive, heíd be so upset with my brother.

What do we do? I know he has to decide to help himself, but I am at a loss. It is heartbreaking.


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I am so sorry this happened.
Old 02-01-2020, 08:44 PM
  #2

I have no real advice because I have never dealt with anyone in a similar situation. I think the police welfare checks are about the only thing you can do especially since he is an adult and you don't live nearby. Moving your mother was probably the best thing for her as it seems your brother is unsafe to be around right now especially at her age and time of life. I imagine she still has grief over your father to deal with herself at times. You may want to seek a mental health professional for advice and just to have someone outside the family to listen to you at times. Perhaps your mother might want to do the same. I think I would if I were in a similar situation due to the stress.
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Old 02-01-2020, 08:49 PM
  #3

My brother is a severe alcoholic and we get texts like that frequently. Iíve learned to just be okay with whatever happens. Itís out of my hands.

I also believe that is part of the manipulative piece of alcoholics...but I could be wrong.

I get your fears and worry!
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Old 02-01-2020, 09:10 PM
  #4

I think youíre right. My husband said,Ē your brother cast three fishing lines out and manipulated you onto the hookĒ . It actually helps to know Iím not the only one in this situation.

My mom is the happiest Iíve ever seen her in my life. She is so light hearted and just filled with joy. My brother had not contacted her for 7 months until he sent this message tonight.
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Old 02-01-2020, 09:41 PM
  #5

My brother just texted me:

“I haven’t had a drink in 3 months. (I know that’s not true- he’s drunk now and has been drunk a few times this week) can’t even kill my self. Getting stitches. Gunshot leaves a destructive path”

I’m going to call the hospital in our hometown.

Update: called the hospital- only one in that area for miles. He isn’t there


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Old 02-02-2020, 03:21 AM
  #6

This sounds like a cycle of manipulation/control and a play on your emotions by someone who is addicted to drugs, and in this case it's his addiction to alcohol.

He's making you part of his addiction problem, using Facebook and text messaging to control you. I agree that he is getting some kind of positive feedback by doing this. The only way it would stop would be for you to take steps to make sure he can't contact you on Facebook or phone by blocking him on both.

Sorry you were going through this. I also agree that it might help for you to get some advice from a counselor or a group that deals with the same problem. Maybe there is some agency in your brother's town that can help him. He might listen to an outside offer of help whereas family advice is ignored.
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Old 02-02-2020, 04:42 AM
  #7

Thank you for your understanding. My brother insists he does not have alcohol dependency. He is extremely manipulative and throughout the night continued to send me horrible texts. At one point, he was sending me texts pretending to be someone from a hospital. It is just irrational s as d crazy. I should never have replied to anything he sent, because I just fed his attention seeking behavior. My baby brother is so sick, and doesnít think he is.
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Old 02-02-2020, 04:51 AM
  #8

This is so sad and so hard on you. I am sorry you are going through this.
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Old 02-02-2020, 05:15 AM
  #9

Wow, what a difficult situation.
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Old 02-02-2020, 05:27 AM
  #10

I am so sorry you are going through this. It is tough.

My father went through the same exact thing with my uncle - my grandmother even moved in with my parents because my uncle was draining her bank accounts.

Unfortunately, we could not do anything for him. He signed himself into rehab several times. But, he was able to say what they wanted him to say and he was released, only to go right back to drinking.

Finally, his neighbors called the police on him one night while he was trying to hold up the porch (he thought is was falling down!) and the police had him admitted.

It is a sad and scary thing. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.


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Old 02-02-2020, 05:46 AM
  #11

Iím so sorry you are going through this. Until you experience alcoholism in your family you just donít understand the horror of it all. I understand because my BIL is an alcoholic. Weíve been down some rough roads, but right now he has been sober for 8 months. So, please remember there is hope for your brother.

Have you considered counseling for yourself? We went to a counselor for awhile just to get our heads on straight. Unfortunately alcoholism effects the entire family.
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Old 02-02-2020, 05:52 AM
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Hugs.

Most likely he is mentally ill along with being an alcoholic. There really isn't much you can do. You have to decide what you can live with. If you couldn't live with yourself for not calling the sheriff for wellness checks, keep calling when the messages come. Save your documentation of suicide threats. That way the sheriff knows that you aren't the crazy relative calling them all the time. Otherwise, either stop responding or continue to tell him you love him but he needs to seek help for his depression.

Another idea is, if you not talk about the addiction and make it about the depression that started after your dad died (wink, wink - you know better than this), it may be a way to get him to seek help because he now has a moment in time he can place the initial blame. It no longer would be him being a failure in life but an incident that caused it. It may be enough to get him to seek help. Any decent therapist could see through what is really going on.

I'm sorry. It is hard to see those you love struggle with addiction and mental illness and have no ability to convince them to seek help.
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Old 02-02-2020, 06:09 AM
  #13

I agree with your husband on this one.

Iím not sure of your motherís age or how she responds when getting these messages but could you block your brother from contacting her on her phone? You could still get communications from him but your mother wouldnít also be bombarded.
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Old 02-02-2020, 06:20 AM
  #14

Quote:
Iíve learned to just be okay with whatever happens. Itís out of my hands.
I echo elizaís solution. Those of us who have dealt with alcoholism know it wonít help him, but it will help you. I hope you find peace.
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Old 02-02-2020, 06:42 AM
  #15

Prayers for you and your family! Alcoholism is a terrible disease and affects everyone.

I think you should get some counseling to help you. You can't help your brother until he wants help. Al-Anon can be a great help. Helped me!
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Old 02-02-2020, 07:15 AM
  #16

I have no advice, but I am so sorry that you are in this situation. Sending good thoughts and prayers.
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Old 02-02-2020, 07:22 AM
  #17

NCteacher, hugs to you and your mom (((NCteacher))).

I have no real advice, other than to try your best to ignore the texts and recognize that it's out of your hands.

I can empathize as I have several close family members (father, brother, son's girlfriend) that are either alcoholics or drug addicts. It is heartbreaking I know.
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Old 02-02-2020, 09:04 AM
  #18

Im so sorry youre in this situation.
I went through it with my college boyfriend. He was always suicidal, and sending me notes and making phone calls (no cell phones back then ) about the same thing. For yesrs it sent me through the emotional wringer. I finally had to come to terms with it being ok whatever happened. I know he was in pain, but he was also manipulating me on a huge scale.i had to step back and not get wrapped up in it.
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Old 02-02-2020, 10:43 AM
  #19

This is so hard for you. If it were me I would block him from communicating with you and your mother. He is manipulating both of you. If he needs to contact anyone he can call the police or another service to get help.
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Helping
Old 02-02-2020, 11:02 AM
  #20

How very difficult for you, your mom--and for your brother.

I would recommend that you find a 12-step group for family members--like Al-Anon or Families Anonymous. You will find support there for yourself and guidance on how to be caring without being sucked into the problems.

Here's a favorite reading from Families Anonymous.

Helping

My role as helper is not to do things for the person I am trying to help, but to be things; not to try to control and change his actions, but through understanding and awareness, to change my reactions. I will change my negatives to positives; fear to faith; contempt for what he does to respect for the potential within him; hostility to understanding; and manipulation or over-protectiveness to release with love, not trying to make him fit a standard or image, but giving him an opportunity to pursue his own destiny, regardless of what his choice may be.

I will change my dominance to encouragement; panic to serenity; the inertia of despair to the energy of my own personal growth; and self-justification to self-understanding.

Self-pity blocks effective action. The more I indulge in it, the more I feel that the answer to my problem is a change in others and in society, not in myself. Thus I become a hopeless case.

Exhaustion is the result when I use my energy in mulling over the past with regret, or in trying to figure ways to escape a future that has yet to arrive. Projecting an image of the future and anxiously hovering over it, for fear that it will or it wonít come true uses all of my energy and leaves me unable to live today. Yet living today is the only way to have a life.

I will have no thought for the future actions of others, neither expecting them to be better or worse as time goes on, for in such expectations I am really trying to create. I will love and let be.

All people are always changing. If I try to judge them, I do so only on what I think I know of them, failing to realize that there is much I do not know. I will give others credit for attempts at progress and for having had many victories which are unknown.

I, too, am always changing, and I can make that change a constructive one, if I am willing. I CAN CHANGE MYSELF. Others, I can only love.
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Old 02-02-2020, 11:11 AM
  #21

NC Teacher, I have been through this with my own brother. As a family, we got someone who is trained in interventions to help us confront my brother and ask him to seek treatment. We did get him to agree to go to a very good facility for 28 days. He did get sober, but did not follow up with proper treatment afterwards. He began drinking again and we finally realized we had done everything we could. He tried to take his life several times, but was not successful. I think it was just his way of asking for help that he knew he needed. When I had just about given up all hope that he would ever get his life together, he finally did. He was in his 50's. I think he just hit rock bottom and had no where else to go. He now has a good job and is remarried and has been sober for the last 5 years. As hard as it is, there really isn't anything you can do until your brother makes up his mind that he is going to turn his life around. It is a helpless feeling watching someone you love self-destruct. I just always let my brother know that I would be there for him when he was ready for help. I am sorry you are dealing with such a sad situation.
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Old 02-02-2020, 04:57 PM
  #22

Quote:
You can't help your brother until he wants help. Al-Anon can be a great help.
I agree with checking out Al-Anon
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I am so sorry
Old 02-02-2020, 05:32 PM
  #23

I hope you have a support system. You sound like you need a professional counselor to help you through this. Hugs to you and your mom.
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Old 02-02-2020, 06:08 PM
  #24

Thank you so much for your understanding. I sent my brother a message this afternoon and told him I hoped he was feeling better and that I loved him. I found an al anon meeting on Tuesday Iím going to try to go to. There is a tiny ray of hope- a friend went to visit my brother today after church and said sheíd like to introduce my brother to her minister. He is 18 years sober and I think could possibly reach my brother. I also found out that my brother has an appointment next week at a mental health services place. Prayers and fingers crossed that maybe he will fight his way back and learn to love himself.
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Old 02-02-2020, 07:14 PM
  #25

Sending prayers for your DB and family. I hope the steps he has taken help him toward recovery.
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Old 02-02-2020, 07:31 PM
  #26

I am so sorry! I know how worrisome it is to have a loved one who has had suicidal thoughts and attempts, as well as a substance abuse problem. You are doing everything you can do in encouraging him to get help. It sounds like you are dealing with more than just alcoholism, but mental illness as well. Alcoholics alone are not nearly as likely to consider suicide as are alcoholics or other substance abusers who also have mental illness. I would consider counseling for myself. It really helped DH and I to deal with everything and continue to be concerned and helpful, but taking care of ourselves and our own mental health.

((((HUGS))))

Nancy
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Old 02-03-2020, 04:32 PM
  #27

I agree 100% agree with the mental illness. He is definitely depressed and is self-medicating. I keep talking to him about grief counseling, thinking that might be more acceptable to me. He thinks he is fine- everyone else has the problem.
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