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Does my brother still need support?

Discussion in 'Alcohol' started by sthrngypsy, Feb 6, 2016.

  1. sthrngypsy

    sthrngypsy Member

    Hi all,

    My brother is an alcoholic. He has not had a drink in many many years. He is a doctor and goes to Caduceus meetings which is a special form of AA just for doctors. He seems very healthy. He is a vegetarian and enjoys running and tae kwon doe. I am pretty close with his wife, but have never been that close to him - we are 8 years apart. I was just wondering if there is some sort of support I should be offering or should I wait until he asks for it?

    While he was in medical school he drank a lot. He almost died of alcohol poisoning and they made him leave medical school until he could prove he had successfully completed rehab - it took him a few times.

    Kelley
  2. JonnyMacdonald

    JonnyMacdonald Community Champion

    Hi Kelley welcome to the community.
    I have been sober for quite a few years, but I still need support from family from time to time.
    The best kind of support is just being there. You say you are not close to him, perhaps working on changing that? We ALL have weak moments, which you can never predict when. So just being close you will be able to tell when those weak moments come and you can be there for him. It can be difficult to reach out to people when we need it, it's much easier to already have them there.
    kassie1234 likes this.
  3. dyanmarie25

    dyanmarie25 Community Champion

    Hello there, @sthrngypsy! Welcome on board. :)

    Well, he seems pretty okay now, but I don't think it would hurt to approach and tell him that if he ever needs you, you'll just always be there to support him. I think he would truly appreciate your concern.
  4. L_B

    L_B Community Champion

    I also suggest that you make an effort to build a closer relationship with your brother since you are alright close to his wife. Just being there is support. It sounds like he is doing well though and sometimes just being there is all the support they need. Good for him on getting his life together and found so well.
  5. kgord

    kgord Community Champion

    I would check with him and let him know you are always there for him should he need your support. Sometimes people are too proud to ask for help, but knowing you are there to offer it would mean a lot to them. I am so glad
    your brother turned it around and is doing well...you should let him know how proud you are of him!
  6. kassie1234

    kassie1234 Community Champion

    I think @JonnyMacdonald said it beautifully - just being there for him is a wonderful thing! Checking in on him, particularly when times might be stressful - letting him know that if anything is troubling him that you're there to talk - those things are incredibly helpful.
    JonnyMacdonald likes this.
  7. bleblanc10

    bleblanc10 Senior Contributor

    Support is always a good thing.
  8. JonnyMacdonald

    JonnyMacdonald Community Champion

    Another thing I learned recently from doing some reading to help some other family members deal with cancer is don't wait to be asked to help. Be active in their life and anticipate when they need help and won't ask for it. It could be as easy as noitiing they are low on a grocery item and just getting it for them, or buying extra non-perishable you know they use. Or when you show up bring some good homemade frozen meals. Or stop by to check in and help with house-work.
    If I am having a low energy day but the grass needs to be cut, it it ALOT better to have a friend or family member there to help and motivate.
    It can be tough too being mindful that people need some alone time and personnel space too.
    It's a delicate balancing act between that and being a proactive helper.
    kassie1234 likes this.
  9. kassie1234

    kassie1234 Community Champion

    Definitely makes sense with what you said about being an active part of their life. I know when I am feeling down or anxious I hate asking for help - because I always feel like I am being a burden.

    It's so much easier if someone just offers their help instead!
  10. Mara

    Mara Community Champion

    Hi Kelly!

    Welcome to the community. Think of this as your other family. And speaking of family, support is what we do for one another. So even if you think that your brother doesn't need your support because he's doing okay, a little companionship will do a lot of good. Being just there for him, making your presence known, will make him feel more at ease because he will know that he has a sibling that he can always rely on.
  11. henry

    henry Community Champion

    You will always need support if you're a recovering alcoholic. Alcoholics know that it only takes a bad day to make them pick up the bottle once again. It's always a good thing to have someone by your side just in case things go bad.
  12. doatk22

    doatk22 Community Champion

    It sounds like he's doing pretty well. It would be great to let him know you're always there for him if he ever needs to talk, but I wouldn't push anything on him. And in the meantime, try to build a closer relationship with him so he feels he can talk to you if he needs to.
  13. eveliner

    eveliner Senior Contributor

    Well, it seems that he's quite far from relapsing as far as I can understand... but most of the times, people tend to pretend they're okay in order not to make others be too concerned about them, so it wouldn't hurt at all if you approached and told him that you are there always whenever he needs something.
  14. FuZyOn

    FuZyOn Community Champion

    As long as he has his wife and family around he should be fine, it would never hurt to check on him from time to time but try to not bring it up too much, it's possible he's not thinking about it and he's trying to focus on other things. It's good that you care!
  15. xTinx

    xTinx Community Champion

    I think you should approach your brother and discuss it with him. Only then can you offer support. He may not think of rehab until he's gone through worse. Some people are like that. But as they say, prevention is better than cure. The sooner he's rehabilitated, the sooner he'll get back to med school. However, broach it to him in a subtle and convincing way. You need to think about it hard.
  16. rainbowguard

    rainbowguard Senior Contributor

    Sometimes, just by being there and checking him from time to time, you can actually support him and hopefully he can stay positive. Even without mentioning to him about his problem, you should be able to make him feel that there is one more person that he can rely on when there is a problem. So he can get closer to you and his family will be able to as well. After that, he will eventually open up and you will be able to be a positive influence on him.
  17. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    I suppose if he attends some meetings then maybe he already has a support network but that doesn't necessarily mean you should stay on the sidelines. Since you are pretty close with your brother's wife she can be the conduit through which you can reach him. You could tell her about your concern for your brother and together you could offer support whenever he needs it.
  18. Tsky45

    Tsky45 Community Champion

    I don't think extra support could be a bad thing. If he isn't showing signs of having a problem that's a good thing. Seems to me your brother has a pretty healthy life style. As long as he isn't binge drinking and staying healthy it will be all up hill from here. It's good that your willing to support him.
  19. Droz

    Droz Member

    There is an old saying amongst addicts that says, "once an addict, always an addict." This is often repeated in many recovery environments, so the person will always remember what got him or her there. You should continue to support your brother for the rest of his life. He may be doing great now, but it only takes one moment of weakness to ruin years of sobriety. The fact that you care enough to reach out to the community on a site like this shows me that you are a solid foundation for your brother.