Brother busted again DUI..help with anxiety

  1. 2
    Hi everyone- thanks for starting this thread-

    I hope some of you with the combined wisdom of Nursing & sobriety can help me out!

    My brother is an alcoholic (one of many both active and recovered in my family) just got his second DUI this week. Had a crash - no one hurt - Lost his license, car is totaled, will probably lose his job since he had to drive a lot.

    I've been around alcoholics all my life. My Dad got sober when I was a teenager - that was an amazing thing to experience. I have three brothers who are alcoholics (one recovered, 2 active). I do pretty well most of the time - keeping the focus on my own problems, on the things I can change. I've gone to AlAnon for years. I work my program.

    When I talk to him, I know I can't harp on his drinking, or enable him by "helping "out" in any way.

    It's just so HARD to live with the fact that : he will die of this disease, or he will hurt, maim, paralyze, kill another person or himself while driving. It is just next to impossible to accept these possibilities. And yet I have to because that is the reality.

    So, as the sister/daughter of alcoholics I just have these moments of tremendous anxiety, fear, and sadness...and it is hard to handle.

    But literally what do I say to him?

    Let him know I love him and that I hope he gets sober now.
    OK.
    And then what? Just talk about the weather? The election? The movies? It all just seems so stupid. Yet I want to maintain a warm relationship with him.
    I love him so much - we have so many terrific memories together and he is a gentle and sweet soul.

    His alcoholism is always right there - big 'ol elephant - and sometimes I am just so p.o.'d that I have to cope with alcoholism/alcoholics that I just want to isolate myself...

    I'm re-reading this - I know it sounds kinda lame and vague!
    *sigh*
    But it's good to put it out there...
    any thoughts are welcome and appreciated.
    Thanks -K
    sharona97 and islandnurse007 like this.
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  4. 18 Comments so far...

  5. 2
    Quote from Armygirl7
    Hi everyone- thanks for starting this thread-

    I hope some of you with the combined wisdom of Nursing & sobriety can help me out!

    My brother is an alcoholic (one of many both active and recovered in my family) just got his second DUI this week. Had a crash - no one hurt - Lost his license, car is totaled, will probably lose his job since he had to drive a lot.

    I've been around alcoholics all my life. My Dad got sober when I was a teenager - that was an amazing thing to experience. I have three brothers who are alcoholics (one recovered, 2 active). I do pretty well most of the time - keeping the focus on my own problems, on the things I can change. I've gone to AlAnon for years. I work my program.

    When I talk to him, I know I can't harp on his drinking, or enable him by "helping "out" in any way.

    It's just so HARD to live with the fact that : he will die of this disease, or he will hurt, maim, paralyze, kill another person or himself while driving. It is just next to impossible to accept these possibilities. And yet I have to because that is the reality.

    So, as the sister/daughter of alcoholics I just have these moments of tremendous anxiety, fear, and sadness...and it is hard to handle.

    But literally what do I say to him?

    Let him know I love him and that I hope he gets sober now.
    OK.
    And then what? Just talk about the weather? The election? The movies? It all just seems so stupid. Yet I want to maintain a warm relationship with him.
    I love him so much - we have so many terrific memories together and he is a gentle and sweet soul.

    His alcoholism is always right there - big 'ol elephant - and sometimes I am just so p.o.'d that I have to cope with alcoholism/alcoholics that I just want to isolate myself...

    I'm re-reading this - I know it sounds kinda lame and vague!
    *sigh*
    But it's good to put it out there...
    any thoughts are welcome and appreciated.
    Thanks -K
    You aren't lame or vague at all. Its a complicated thing and no easy answers here. My parents are addicts (recovering) in fact it is my stepfather and mother. My biological father died of an overdose. I am like you I come from a family of addicts and alcoholics (including all of my cousins, you name it) Some are also schizophrenics and a few bi-polars in the mix as well.

    I usually let the person involved lead the conversation but I won't co-sign or condone any nonsense or blatant lying from those who are in active addiction.

    I let them know I love them and that's that they can talk about anything they want with me as long as they are not currently playing the blame game.

    That is just my boundary. There are a few relatives I don't go out of my way to talk too but if they call I'll accept the call. They know I will hang up if they ask for cash to feed the addiction. Again thats just my way, you'll figure out what works best depending on who you are dealing with.

    Movies is actually a better way to start then you might realize. There are some very subtle messages in certain movies, especially the older ones. I can't even begin to tell you how many times an old movie triggered someone to discuss their addictions or the issue that led to their using. Sometimes I'll send them a cd of a song that lets them know I care about them like Tori Amos has a line in one of her songs when her dad says to her "when you gonna make up your mind? when you gonna love you as much as I do." I don't cram the music down their throats I'll just say hey listen to this song.
    sharona97 and Armygirl7 like this.
  6. 3
    Avalonlake is right. I currently have a lesbian cousin who grew up drinking homemade moonshine. She came from an extremely dysfunctional family, and I understood where she was coming from. She spent a lot of time at my house when she was growing up. I havn't heard from her in a long time and I hope she is doing well.

    The last I knew she admitted she was a lesbian, and even told her parents, but her drinking continued. She eventually ended in a center for recovering abusers, and is still there.

    As I mentioned in my autobiography, I don't remember my mother ever telling me she loved me, so I tended to get very close to the female gender, but never so close that I ever had a relationship.

    That is, until I lived with what I thought was my new family, because I saw they cared enough to tell me they loved me. However they did have ulterior motives. The man wanted sex, and the woman wanted to satisfy her curiosity about me by making a pass at me one evening. How regretful that experience was.

    I never had a homosexual relationship, but I do understand the vulnerability of it. No, I learned from my therapist that I was only seeking the love of a mother who never showed me she loved me. Know I don't blame her. It was the way she was raised. She got everything she ever wanted. She knew no other way.

    There is a saying in Proverbs that says if you spoil a child, (and I also see it in my own brother because my mother spoiled him like she was spoiled.)

    Even though I raised my daughters by myself, I never spoiled them, but not one day ever went by without me showing them how much I loved them; either by embracing them and telling them so or otherwise.

    I had rules though, and they knew I meant what I said if they broke them.

    I have a heart for the downtrodden and the addicts, because they don't understand, or they are geneticly predisposed, or are victims of their environments.

    It was after I attempted suicide once, but was protected from completing the action, and me giving myself to God that saved me. For me, it was the very best decision I ever made, and I encourage others who need help to do so by whatever means may be available. My book is currently being used as a tool of empowerment for our local womens resource center.
    sharona97, AmericanRN, and towntalker like this.
  7. 1
    Armygirl7, I feel your pain and can only tell you of my experience with my sister, who swallows any kind of narcotics she can get her hands on with vodka! She has totaled 2 cars within the last yr. The last wreck she and her husband had bought a convertible Mercedes for anniversary which she totaled the next day. She was airlifted to Atlanta, on a vent for 2 days and came home with bag full of narcs and began drinking vodka the day after coming home! Makes me furious because I almost lost everything because of being addicted to narcs and went to tx in Aug 2004 and have been clean since. The disease is so powerful nothing matters except that next drink or pill! I live 6 hrs away from sister and have recently told her to call me anytime so long as she's not drinking or using. We usually would talk everyday but until yesterday it was 2 weeks since the last call! It is infuriating because she has everything materially, a husband that loves her above anything else, a life that most envy but, she doesn't have that inner piece or the desire to get sober. She says she can change things in her mind so things in our past didn't happen the way they did! (child abuse, sexual abuse, very dysfunctional family and on and on) Her dog died recently while her husband was out of town so she put the dog in his bed in garage with his toys, waited several days until husband came home and had a funeral for dog! What sane person would have a decomposing dog int he garage? Hang in there, don't get sucked into the sickness and take care of yourself first! Pray, pray, pray, and be good to yourself!

    Armygirl7 likes this.
  8. 3
    It's just so HARD to live with the fact that : he will die of this disease, or he will hurt, maim, paralyze, kill another person or himself while driving. It is just next to impossible to accept these possibilities. And yet I have to because that is the reality.
    Yes, these are possibilities, but they are not the only possibilities. There are many other outcomes that could take place.

    I don't know your spiritual background, but one thing that has helped me with family members and friends whose choices frustrate or scare me is to channel all that tension and energy into prayer. I don't mean the well-behaved, folded-hands, downcast eyes, quiet voice, kind of prayer. I mean the get in your face, loud, ranting and raving kind of prayer that eventually settles down into humble, heart-broken communication where I pour out whatever is in there.

    If I do that, I don't dump all the emotion on the one who is causing me such grief, but I still am able to express it. Keeping it in doesn't work, and neither does sharing it with someone who isn't yet ready to hear.

    Work your program. Keep your eyes on your own road. Pray for wisdom. Insist on reality. And don't forget to laugh. Sometimes humor is like balm on a wound. It can restore balance when you really feel off kilter.

    Pray for your brother and for those he might harm. Pray for your own self to stay strong and available in healthy ways.

    You can do this.
  9. 1
    Quote from Armygirl7
    Hi everyone- thanks for starting this thread-

    I hope some of you with the combined wisdom of Nursing & sobriety can help me out!

    My brother is an alcoholic (one of many both active and recovered in my family) just got his second DUI this week. Had a crash - no one hurt - Lost his license, car is totaled, will probably lose his job since he had to drive a lot.
    No wisdom or insight to offer other than to let you know that you are not alone dealing with family members with chemical dependency problems. My sister is on her 8th+ DUI citation and just started another jail term this last week, and her husband just got out of prison for multiple DWIs...

    I severely limit my children's interactions with my sister, because I don't want them growing up thinking this is normal in any way.
    Armygirl7 likes this.
  10. 2
    Well, I understand your pain. My spouse has been on cocaine for 17 years on and off. I did not know about it the first 10 years and have given up my job, moved to another state, moved back home and he still uses. I test him often, but when he is positive, he says that it is just the strips. We recently was going to separate again, but his brother died of a overdose on Klonopin (bi-polar and Vet). To many drugs, not enough supervision. So here I am, willing to try again and pray that God makes him strong enough to fight the battle. I pray a hedge of protection about him and hope that he stays clean. He has kept this job for 2 1/2, he loves our 4 children and he loves me, but sometimes, love is not enough. I'm not discouraged, just hoping and praying for him to make better choices. Good luck with your family and realize that you cannot make their choices for them. Thanks for letting me share.
    Trese
    sharona97 and Armygirl7 like this.
  11. 0
    Trese, Please try Al-Anon or Narc-Anon for you, not him. This is a family disease and you are very affected regardless of whether you are the one taking the substance or you loved one is. You can get help if you want it.
  12. 1
    Armygirl7,

    I feel your pain. I hear your sorrow. Keep strong for yourself. Keep working your program. One day at a time, one hour at a time, one minute at a time. Prayers and positive thoughts to you and your family.
    Armygirl7 likes this.
  13. 1
    I'm having the same situation with my brother,it's very difficult, he's on his 6th DUI ( I think), has permanently lost his license, last DUI was also a violation of probation, took his wife's car, totaled it and for the first time hit someone else. He had been to jail for a year, was devastated, suicidal . His boss actually rehired him, he's an IT specialist, great job, good salary,great boss, has had second,third and many more chances and continues to make bad choices.

    He will be going back to jail again. It is very sad when you see someone you love with such great potential seemingly throwing it away. I try just to accept things as they are. I love him, he's a great guy when sober, but a crazed, belligerent whole different person when otherwise. I let him know that he's not fooling me (when he thinks he is), that I won't listen to junkie or alcoholic talk or thinking, that he needs to take responsibility for his actions, while at the same time trying to stay nonjudgmental. It's a hard line to tow. I fear he will kill himself and/or someone else, but it's really up to him. I don't have any answers, just trust you are not alone.....
    Armygirl7 likes this.


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