Tuesday, March 13, 2012

As much as I want to talk about my beautiful wedding day, I'm going to wait until I actually have pictures to post. But there is something I want to talk about, and while it isn't as lovely as my wedding it surely is something I need and want to talk about.

Addiction is a really tricky subject and situation. A lot of issues arise not only just for the addicts, but for their family and friends as well. I've always been a huge Intervention fan - but I don't feel like it really displays a lot on the subject sometimes. Then again, it is just a TV show.
I feel like family members struggle just as much as the addict does. It's a hard situation to be in. Knowing that the person you love and care about are struggling with a problem, that takes years and years to fix and will never truly be fixed completely. There will be scars and tendencies to fight for the rest of their life. As a family member, its hard to struggle with how to handle things the 'right' way. You want to help your loved one, but you don't want to enable them. You want to put your foot down, but you don't want to lock them out completely.

My brother struggles with addiction, and has for quiet some time now. Originally it was just alcohol - at such a young age it was quiet sad and it was thought that he would out grow his reasons to drink. Eventually it's just grown, and spiraled out of control. Turning into adderal, and marijuana and still alcohol, and to my knowledge and thoughts pain medications as well.

It's hard, it's hard to sit back and not be able to fix anything, to be so frustrated and there is just nothing you can do regarding it. It's also hard to not blame yourself, to understand that that person made those choices that got them there, you didn't force them to do anything and although you may of exposed them to doors, you never opened them and pushed them through those doors. It was them who did that. It's hard to understand that and to come to terms with that. Especially as an older sibling and as a female, where we want to take the blame and fix things, or at least I do. I want to blame myself for not being a better role model, for not hanging around with a better group. I want to change the rebellious stage and the bad things I have done, to take it all back, and to of never done so. But that can't happen. I have to remind myself on a daily basis that it isn't my fault that my brother is where he is in life, I didn't make him drink nor did I make him smoke nor did I make him take pills. I didn't force him into that. There are paths off of paths off of paths in life and while I may have exposed him to those paths off of paths, I never pushed him down those paths. That was his choice.

Addiction is a nasty disease, it literally takes the person that they were and turns them into something they aren't. They aren't the same caring person they once were, although they may be in the same body. If that makes sense. It's like they turn into this demon, becoming mean at times - lashing out on others when they can't get that high that they are seeking, manipulating people to get something they need - food, a ride, money. There is zero motivation to better themselves.
It becomes frustrating, quickly. You see the path they are going down and no matter how hard you try to pull them in the other direction or help them or find resources. They won't change unless they come to the reality that their is a problem with how they are living and what they are doing. It's been said time and time again, you can't make someone change unless they want to and it couldn't be more true.

Addiction has a way of ripping families apart, and it isn't necessarily because of the dangers of drugs, but rather the frustration and enabling. My mother and I struggle to maintain a good relationship because of my brother. My brother has always been the one that was given more attention, at least in my book. He is the middle one, and was always more emotional. I do know that he was more favored by my mom. But back to what I was getting at. My mother - no matter how much I try to explain it to her - doesn't understand that my brother has a serious problem, maybe she does, but she won't stop trying to protect him and she won't stop enabling him. She always will take his side, and stands between him and my father, gives him money, rides, food. I think a lot of the reason why my mother continues to enable him, is because she's concerned that if she doesn't something awful might happen, but also because she has her own struggles with addiction.

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