Addiction seems to be taking over the country. There are always news stories on TV or online about people overdosing, being arrested with drugs, busted for selling drugs, etc. I wish I didn’t know what it felt like to be a part of this problem, but I do.
My brother is addicted to heroin and it is a constant in our relationship. I seem to be the only true voice of reason in his life – I am the only person who doesn’t enable him – and for that he resents me. He does not understand why I can’t be there for him as a sister, why we can’t have an actual relationship. He feels that I have no compassion towards him, that I don’t care about him, that my tears are fake and manufactured. He pushes my feelings to the side and clearly states they do not matter to him. I asked him yesterday what he would like me to do for him and he had no response. I see the pain and frustration he causes our mother. I am the one who tries to talk to her and calm her down when he is using. He says that isn’t his problem – she doesn’t need to worry about him.
Where do the lies end and the truth begin? Is there any truth? How would I even know! Why haven’t I asked if he goes to meetings, has a sponsor, etc? How would I know if anything has changed in the last 2 years? We need to have a personal relationship for me to be asking those questions and for me to be able to believe the answers. I am the only person that questions what he says. Everyone seems to just forget all that has happened and just trust that he is telling the truth. I can’t do that and I don’t understand how anyone else can.
All of these things also put a strain on my relationship with the rest of my family and my friends. It is hard to go out and have fun when you are worrying about your brother. I can’t be a regular daughter when I can’t agree with how my mom helps my brother. All of these things are always just under the surface, preventing life from being normal. Sure there are days or weeks when I don’t think about his addiction. He seems to be on the right path and nothing bad has happened. When it all comes crashing down it takes weeks to come back from. He might have moved on from the “mistake” but doesn’t understand that it still affects those around him. It lingers and stays with me. I’m not just over it the next day. I still have puffy eyes from crying, worry if he will get past the screaming or if it will cause him to use again, my brain is still fuzzy from all the harsh words that were said to me. I can’t just pick myself up and pretend like all is well because it isn’t. It is terrible and the worst thing anyone can go through. The unknown everyday is enough to tear someone apart.
I don’t know what the future holds. He says he has started attending meetings and is working on his 12 steps. He said he is on step 1. Coming to terms with your family and friends is step 6. Until he reaches that point our relationship cannot and will not change. I have made that clear in the past and I did it again yesterday. I honestly do not know if he will ever make it to step 6. I hope he does but there are a lot of steps in between there.