Saturday, September 23, 2006

I'm a little sad right now

My brother is having trouble. He fights depression and drug addiction, and smokes at least two packs of cigarettes a day. His ex-wife lives a street away, a situation created on purpose to put him in position to see his daughter, with whom they share custody. And it works out well. But when my brother doesn't have his daughter, he fights the cocaine and ecstasy demons that pull at his idle mind.

The house is a reflection of his personality. Beautiful on the outside, lawn manicured and like the other clones that repeat on down the road, differing only in laughable attempts at individuality. But inside it is an omelet of mismatched broken furniture and clutter. Chipboard shelves are swayed like the back of a venerable nag next in line for the soap factory. One room is littered with forgotten games, bed frames, shower curtains and boxes. His computer was infected with several viruses. I spent until two in the morning cleaning them up.

And he won't talk to me. At first everything was good, but he has retracted into his shell. I've already loaned him money. Once because he had to have a pack of cigarettes. I can't stand it.

I love my brother. I want to help my brother. I want to come in here with my wife and get this house into working order. I want to hang pictures on the wall, get some plates and silverware, some new shelves, and garbage cans, a new desk for his daughters room, a coat rack maybe, a medicine cabinet, door knobs, some throw rugs, scrap the couches and get him something nice--casual but nice. Basically, make this place look like someone lives here who cares about what happens on the inside.

Someone who loves himself like he deserves to be loved.

But I'll be going home on Monday, and life will go on I fear in a predictable pattern.


Toni Anderson said...

(((Scott))) I can empathise. And hugs to your brother though I doubt they'd help.

Now you get to go home and feel like a failure because you can't control someone else's demons.

Beth said...

Scott, it's such a hard situation because you cannot help those who do not want or sincerely ask for your help. Your brother will probably have to hit his rock bottom to want to change it all and I know, that's just a terrible thing. I think the best you can do is let him know you're there.

Ultra Toast Mosha God said...


Good luck.

This sort of thing is never easy.

Jaye Wells said...

(Sigh) Scott, I'm sorry. Sometimes it feels so futile to love people. And sometimes what they need is the hardest thing for us to give them.

Bailey Stewart said...

The demons of depression make fighting everything else that much harder. Like Beth says, he has to hit the bottom and seek out help himself. He has to want to get better, not feel like he has to - "have to's" aren't strong enough. Sorry you're going through this, but know that just your willingness to help is all you can do.

Squiggle said...

I wanted to post some excellent advice or some wise words of wisdom, but honestly ... I'm all out.

I think I'll settle on ... "Best of luck"?

... Even that comes across as pretty lame for such a situation

magnetbabe said...

Sorry to hear that Scott. I really hope that he gets treatment for his depression so maybe he can turn things around. In the meantime, have you thought about helping him long distance without enabling his addictions? Once in a while you could send him gift cards to Home Depot or Target to give him a boost financially but he couldn't spend it on vices. Thinking of you and good luck.

Moni said...

Bless you Scott. I know you've heard this a thousand different times and said a thousand different ways. But the change; his change, must come from within his heart. As much as you want to, you can't make it better until he chooses to make it better for himself.

I know from whence I speak, both my cousins are addicted to crack. Maybe they'll choose to make their situations better

I'll be praying for you and your brother

Scott said...

Thank you all for the kind comments. I just need to think about all this for a while, but I appreciate your advice, and understand that there is nothing really to do about it.

I do like your suggestion Nat, and maybe we'll do just that.

Bernita said...

Oh Scott.

Kathleen said...

Good luck with your brother. Unfortunately, I think Beth is right. You, however, can help yourself. My aunt highly recommends the book Co-Dependent No More. You might check it out and see if it could help you.