That was what stuck.
He lived in Omaha, Nebraska for a while, and then he moved to Louisiana for over year. We didn't see him but once during that time. By that point in time, I started to despise my brother. I hated all that he put our family through. I quit trying to understand the disease. I believe it was then that I started to distance myself from my family.
That was more than 25 years ago. My brother relapsed a few times, and still, I was angry- not sympathetic.
When I had my own kids, I prayed every single night that they would never know addiction- never have to fight the disease. I didn't tell them about their uncle until they were old enough to understand what I talking about.
Well, all the hoping and praying did me no good. I raised two addicts.
Right now we are at the beginning stages of the disease. I am doing all I can to help them fight the disease. Still, I am afraid every. single. day. I wonder if they will be alive when I see them next. I worry they will get in legal trouble. I question every choice they make.
With the deadly drugs so readily available to kids today, I fear that my sons will be curious enough to try one, and it will become a fatal mistake.
This experience has taught me that nobody is immune to addiction. Sure, certain people have a predisposition to the disease based on family history, but truly, addiction affects people from all walks of life. My husband and I did everything we could to shield our boys. We kept the lines of communication open; we tried to surround them with people who didn't use drugs; we loved them. In the end, it didn't matter.
As a mom of addicts, I have learned to understand Substance Abuse Disease in a way I never could before. For other families out there who are living with addicts, please know that you NEED to reach out to others. It helps; it really does.