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I rarely spend any time with the majority of my family. I have been taking a more active role in avoiding them this past year. I’m trying to clean up my life.

And that means getting rid of people that are indifferent to me, abusive, manipulative, emotionally draining, or negative. Which includes most of my family and old friends.

There is only family member that I see fairly frequently (only because my sister is so far away). My brother. When we were kids TM and I were very close. He was one of my best friends. And he could always make me laugh.

But now, he is an alcoholic and a drug addict (and I do not use those terms lightly). I have repeatedly asked him to not do those things around me, but he refuses. Not only can he not go one day without his addictions, he can’t even go a partial day. Not even to see me.

And now he is one of the most negative people I have ever met. At least 80% of what he says is a complaint. And no matter how hard I try to steer the conversation in a positive direction, he seems determined to turn it into a complaint. It’s exhausting.

And it depresses me. Being with him makes me sad. He’s barely recognizable as the same person. When I see him, it’s like there is a man trapped inside another man. That smart and funny boy I knew growing up is somewhere inside the addict he has become.

And I can’t set that boy free. Only he can. But he doesn’t want to.

It has been making me realize that I am going to need to start limiting my contact with him. I’m not ready to totally cut him out of my life. But I just don’t want to be around it anymore.

But I also know the reason that I am so hesitant is a combination of how close we were growing up. And also with how little contact I have with the rest of my family now. I don’t want to lose one of the last people left.


12 responses »

  1. Our situations are identical. My brother is an alcoholic as well, and so much of what he says is pessimistic. I’ve reached a point, and a very necessary one (with my own family) that if I have to cut our every single person, so that I can remain healthy- then that’s what I’ll do. And so I have. I only have contact with one brother and my mother. That’s it. Everybody else is history!

    You should try to remind yourself daily, that family can be “anybody”- family is who loves you back without abusing you. That’s my definition, anyway. Biological siblings don’t always equate to “family”. Sometimes biological siblings are just biological siblings. I know it’s hard to separate yourself from your brother- I’m having to do the same thing, but remember, you’re not doing him any favours by allowing him to vent on you. It’s verbal abuse and if you continue to allow him to treat you poorly, then you’re enabling him. Be forthright with him- lay down a few consequences! Tell him that if wants a relationship with you then he needs to refrain from drinking and using during your time together. Be sure he understands the ramifications otherwise. If he continues to drink and use before seeing you (and/or during), then it is HE who is cutting you out if his life, and not vice versa.

    Do what you have to do and above all else- stand your ground. ;0) xo

    • I am sorry you are going through a similar issue with your family. My problem is that I have very few friends. And even less family that I still allow in my life. And I still have some of the best days with my brother, despite his problems. We still have so much in common. It hurts too much to cut him out completely. Which is why I am limiting my contact with him. I do agree that family is anyone that loves you. I don’t have much of that in my life, but I am working on changing it.

  2. Addiction is never easy for anyone. Especially when it is with drugs and alcohol. My brother L has the same problems but he is addicted to pills and he has tried to kill himself on four different occasions. It hurts when people are in this time of their life. I am so sorry that you are getting depressed it never is good when we feel others emotions that way. I know this may be messed up but if he is bringing you down maybe the best decision is to try and put some distance between you guys. He is family I understand that but sometimes when others wont hear us out and try to help themselves there is nothing else we can do. You need to put yourself first above all. I hope you are doing well and that you brother finds his way again and not be trapped anymore.

    • Thank you for your kind words. I guess I am just in a time of evaluation of how much I want him in my life. And it’s a hard decision.

      • It is a hard decision and one that won’t be taken lightly. Just think about it all. You tried to help and it’s not working in the end you have to take care of you as well.

  3. Unfortunately, I too relate. I have no experience with addiction counselling, but venting is a great way to alleviate bad feelings in general. I really hope things get better for the both of you and in the meantime, you have the sympathetic ear of the masses.

  4. You are strong. And as far as I see it, that friend of yours is poison at this point in time. Stay strong and surround yourself with people who will help you become even stronger. 🙂

  5. I just noticed how hectic the tags were for this post :D!


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