I too echo the words to stay strong. I have one brother (currently in his mid 30's) who had been horribly into drugs a couple years ago, lost everything (money, belongings, house, wife and family, and promising career), went to jail, began AA and NA, came out and made a complete turn around...he has been regaining much of what he lost. Family used tough love with him. He has done good. I have another brother who has went down that same path and has lived it much of his life. He is now in prison (not his first time), will be 40 this year, and will be out in April. The problem with this brother is that he is a Hoodie (lives and speaks it) and so are a couple of his own kids...the culture prescribes to disrespect of others, drugs and alcohol, theft, and violence...a criminal mentality. It saddens me...but this is the path he chooses. It is also up to him, like my other brother, to choose new paths. I would like to see my other brother sponsor him...because he has been there. Also, both can BS or con with the best. This is another reason why I would like to see my other brother sponsor him....because as the saying goes, "you can't BS a BSer or con a con"...my brother could call him on it when needed. My current brother in prison knows that I love him, we say it in greeting or in parting...and mean it. We hug as well during those times. But, he also knows that this brother, Thunderwolf, does not put up with it, condone it, or want any part of it. When he is in jail/prison, I will not write or contact him...a consequence. Prison letters, like a thousand "I'm sorrys", mean little between us...for he knows he placed himself there, no one else. He knows better than to attempt to manipulate the Wolfie...find another person to con if he must...but not this brother. I do not believe in coddling my brother when he misbehaves like this. For the most part, my brother respects that and abides to it. We are brothers of two separate paths. We do have great love for each other, but we indeed keep our lives separate. Tis sad in a way, I know. But, I do hold out hope for him...maybe one day, maybe when he is 40, or 45, or 50, or 55, or 60...he will become a different man, a different father to his kids, and/or a different brother. He is an adult, not a child. There is nothing codependent in our relationship. A man needs to gain his self respect by his own actions...for he will never gain it if rescued ongoingly by another. I continue to have hope, but will continue to move onward until that time.
My hugs to you. I totally empathize...been there. A family member can bring you either some of the best joys or some of the worst sorrows. You are still family...but even in that, you continue to be your own person.