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Can I prevail on the wisdom of SR?

Old 04-24-2015, 07:10 AM
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Can I prevail on the wisdom of SR?

I have gone no contact with my alcoholic brother who is not in recovery. I know he is struggling but he is very nasty and abusive as well. I got a text from his GF last night asking for my help. She said he is really bad... not attending to his hygiene, won't cut his hair or shave. She states that he is "trying" to cut back but cannot. (we all know about that). She pulled the "if you love your brother you would help" card.

I live in Texas and he in Rhode Island. He has blocked my phone, email, etc. How can I help?

Should I get involved? I feel like it would be akin to the blond leading the blind.

Thoughts?
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Old 04-24-2015, 07:15 AM
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Well. That saying goes you are better equipped once you help yourself. Until then misery loves company. Sorry to speak metaphorically. Help those who help themselves. There is NO such thing as a person who is inflicted with "simply drinking too much" like all of us here cant help ourselves. The act of you being here is a sign of helping your self. But that is my little olé opinion and in early recovery too. YMMV.

PS. Blind leading the blind
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Old 04-24-2015, 07:15 AM
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Sorry you are facing this situation. As a recovering alcoholic I can only speak from my perspective...but it would probably have 'helped' me reach my rock bottom quicker if I had had no help whatsoever from my family i.e. if no contact had been enforced. If you feel like it, you could always reply to his GF saying that you and your brother are 'no contact' and you can only help him if he starts to help himself and reiterating that he doesn't have any of your contact details anyway i.e. a little message shows you care but also shows that you are serious in your no contact situation if that makes sense.

Massive
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Old 04-24-2015, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by itstheone View Post
PS. Blind leading the blind
That was my attempt at a joke. I am blond.
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Old 04-24-2015, 07:19 AM
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Don't enable him Art. You are doing so great taking care of yourself and this is what is most important now. Don't let his GF give you a guilt trip. By helping you would be hurting the situation more. He has to help himself.

Stay strong my friend. You are doing great!!!
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Old 04-24-2015, 07:21 AM
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I am conflicted about the no-contact thing. I have maintained it since Xmas, but there are times of doubt... like now. But you made a good point feeling-good. If this "helps" him get to the bottom sooner, then it is a good thing. He has lost almost everything in his life, except his kids.
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Old 04-24-2015, 07:23 AM
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Have you considered sending a letter?

He sounds as though he is on the road to ruin. I am sure his GF reached out in desperation. Thing is, what is there you can do that will change anything? Not much I am betting.

I am sorry. XXX
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Old 04-24-2015, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by hopeful4 View Post
Have you considered sending a letter?

He sounds as though he is on the road to ruin. I am sure his GF reached out in desperation. Thing is, what is there you can do that will change anything? Not much I am betting.

I am sorry. XXX
Thank you... yes he is on the road to ruin. It is painful to watch.
I have written letters to him, but never sent them. More of a purging act for me. I don't know how I can help him really. He wants to self-destruct per his own words. I feel badly for the GF too, but she enables him. Sad state of affairs
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Old 04-24-2015, 07:29 AM
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I have a brother that I have not talked to since I sent him an AA Big Book. He claims he is happy being an alcoholic and has isolated or pissed off everyone that cares about him.

Let the girl friend know that you will always be there all he has to do is call. We can carry the message but we can not carry the alcoholic.
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Old 04-24-2015, 07:30 AM
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It's so sad. There is such a fine line between encouraging a person and enabling a person. Maybe a final letter that you send would set your own mind at ease. Regardless, I am sorry for what you are going through.

XXX
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Old 04-24-2015, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by ArtFriend View Post
I am conflicted about the no-contact thing. I have maintained it since Xmas, but there are times of doubt... like now.
We all have times of doubt about maintaining commitments to doing the right thing -- that's why there's so much relapse But if no-contact was the right thing then, for you, for supporting your sobriety & mental health, then why wouldn't it be the right thing now? Has he made amends to you and changed his life for the better? If no, do you have years of experience making it through wrenching, alcohol-related personal turmoil in sobriety? Do you have tons of practice trying to help other people get sober?

I don't think your involvement would be good for you. And what good would it do him? Are you going to pick him up, drag him to a rehab, and pay for it yourself? So he can relapse when he gets out and resent you for years?

Text his GF the number of the local AA Intergroup and tell her he's on his own. Do not speak to her -- she'll drag you into it, because she's desperate. Desperation is good -- maybe she'll leave him. If he straightens up and eventually wants to reach you, I'm sure he can find a channel.
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Old 04-24-2015, 07:40 AM
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I'd also vote to stay out of things. You have issues of your own to deal with and there's really nothing you can do for him anyway that you haven't done. The idea of a written letter would certainly not hurt, but he would have to read it and even if he did only he can make the necessary changes.

Regarding his GF, remember she's in a bad place too. While it's not appropriate, it's certainly normal for her to try and place some blame elsewhere for his actions ( or inactions ).
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Old 04-24-2015, 07:48 AM
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Thank you all...

Something interesting about this is the guilt I feel about it. Even though there is nothing I can do or say to fix it, the guilt remains. I feel I should "try" ... maybe it is more about assuaging my own guilt than helping him. I dunno.
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Old 04-24-2015, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by ArtFriend View Post
... maybe it is more about assuaging my own guilt than helping him. I dunno.
Remove "maybe" from the sentence above and you have your answer

You self admittedly over-think things. You are doing that now ;-)
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Old 04-24-2015, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by courage2 View Post
We all have times of doubt about maintaining commitments to doing the right thing -- that's why there's so much relapse But if no-contact was the right thing then, for you, for supporting your sobriety & mental health, then why wouldn't it be the right thing now? Has he made amends to you and changed his life for the better? If no, do you have years of experience making it through wrenching, alcohol-related personal turmoil in sobriety? Do you have tons of practice trying to help other people get sober?

I don't think your involvement would be good for you. And what good would it do him? Are you going to pick him up, drag him to a rehab, and pay for it yourself? So he can relapse when he gets out and resent you for years?

Text his GF the number of the local AA Intergroup and tell her he's on his own. Do not speak to her -- she'll drag you into it, because she's desperate. Desperation is good -- maybe she'll leave him. If he straightens up and eventually wants to reach you, I'm sure he can find a channel.
^^^^ This, 100%.

If your brother doesn't want help, isn't committed to seeking sobriety, nothing you would do would be of any help.

I am sorry you are going through this, ArtFriend.
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Old 04-24-2015, 08:12 AM
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In the guilt department I always remind myself. In the height of my addiction is there anything that someone could have said or done that would have made me see the errors of my ways?

The answer for me is no. I had to come to the conclusion on my own.
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Old 04-24-2015, 08:16 AM
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You all make great points here... it is hard to see things clearly when so many emotions are involved.
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Old 04-24-2015, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by ArtFriend View Post
Thank you all...

Something interesting about this is the guilt I feel about it. Even though there is nothing I can do or say to fix it, the guilt remains. I feel I should "try" ... maybe it is more about assuaging my own guilt than helping him. I dunno.
Probably this. I also struggle with things like this at times. But the thing is, if he is refusing to get better or do anything differently, there is most likely nothing you can do. And if you re-establish the connection, it might just overwhelm you even more. Just think about it... what could you possibly help if he is not receptive and willing? The guilt would just continue or accumulate. My suggestion is also that you steer clear. I know it's hard, but it's for your own recovery's sake.
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Old 04-24-2015, 09:16 AM
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These are the times where it's easy to start doubting your wisdom with regards to if a situation is something you need to accept (as a thing you cannot change) or have courage (as a thing that you can change).

Personally, I don't think this sounds like a situation where any amount of courage on your part would change the situation. If he still wants to drink then there is nobody anywhere who can stop him. If he was calling out for someone to help him stop, then it might be worth thinking about going along and trying to help him.

Maybe you could write him a letter and actually send it. It might help him be reminded that you still care about him, and you could fill him in on your sobriety journey to date - it may well inspire him (now or in a few years if he keeps the letter). Going to him at the moment sounds like a high-risk operation, and one with a low chance of any success. I wouldn't want to write the risk assessment for it!

However - you have to make this decision yourself, and families and family-loyalties are peculiar things. In my journal (that I carry in my bag), I have some ask-myself-in-times-where-I-don't- know- what-to-do questions. They are...

What would a successful member (of AA or SR) do?
What would a winner do? (Actually, that one's crossed out - I'm a bit too 'British' for the whole 'winner' stuff I think)
What would God have me do?
What's the loving thing to do?
Is my motive good?

(The other note I've written - for reasons I can't remember now - on the same page as those questions is "Love is the ability and willingness to allow those that you care for to be what they choose for themselves without any insistence that they satisfy you." (Wayne Dyer). It is painful to watch those we love behave in destructive ways, but if you can't actually stop him, maybe the best you can do is make sure he know that love is there, and you are there when he reaches out to you. I know you sent that message via his GF, but in a letter that he can read and reread would be more powerful and he can read it in his more lucid moments.

I hope things get better soon. Good luck making your decision. It must be tough.
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Old 04-24-2015, 09:36 AM
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Thank you Beccybean for the insightful response. Much to ponder here. I have this mental image of him sitting around in his sweats with a scraggly beard and long stringy hair just planted in front of the TV with a bottle of booze at his side. ... heartbreaking. He used to be a very handsome man.
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