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My Pharmacist brother and Fentanyl

Discussion in 'Share Your Story Here' started by thedino89, Feb 12, 2015.

  1. thedino89

    thedino89 Member

    I have a brother; who, before a few years ago, was the golden child. College right after high school, received his PharmD, bought a house, got married, ect. He was also my best friend. We lived just a few block away from each other and used to hang out everyday. One day my mother received an E-mail from his (then) wife telling the story of all my brother's secrets; his hidden life. He was using fentanyl intravenously, he lied about having a job, he used craigslist for sex, among all kinds of behavior that was shocking to me and my family. There was a divorce, a house lost, hundreds of thousands of dollars, but most importantly, a friendship was lost. He went to in-patient recovery and has been out for some months. He is currently in South America traveling around. While I believe him to be abstaining from opiates I do believe him to be "imbibing" and harboring more skeletons in his closet.
    My feelings towards him are indescribable. Anger, sadness, distrust, these don't come anywhere near to describing how I feel. There are no words. It is a nameless emotion. I feel as if I have lost my best friend as well as a role model. It is a shattered reality.
    Some of my family members attend ALANON meetings and they tell me how much it helps them come to terms and cope, yet I can not find the interest to attend these meetings. I just want to push out the feelings and go on as usual.
    Thinking about him I can literally hear my brain telling me "Stop right there! You don't want to go off the deep end do you?"
    I am happy he is making strides towards recovery and I know I need to be doing the same thing. I am just not ready.
  2. raidermari

    raidermari Member

    @thedino89 The loss of trust that comes with finding out that someone close to you was abusing and did not or could not confide in you can be deep. I have numerous friends whom I lost this way. I know that he was your brother and losing a friend can hardly be compared to losing a brother like that. It is true what they say about how drug abuse doesn't just affect the addict it also affects their family and friends more deeply than can be imagined.

    It's alright to feel ambivalent towards him. You probably feel very angry that he didn't even give you a hint about what was really going on. When something similar happened to a friend of mine, I was not only angry at her, I was wracked with guilt that I didn't see the signs. I kept trying to recall her behavior and the things she used to say and do. I felt so bad that I didn't see the signs and I wasn't there to stop it. I was also mad at her for allowing this to happen without letting me know.

    I guess at some point I had to let go of some of this anger and realize that she wasn't really in control of her life. Drugs were in control of her life and she wasn't thinking straight about her friends and family. Drugs can drastically change your priorities and they are insidious in a way that you don't even realize all the ways that you are hurting your friends and family.

    I'm sure your brother has a lot of regrets from the past. I'm not telling you to seek help but maybe it could help you more than you think? Take it like this. No one likes to cry. But once they do cry and they finish, they feel a lot better afterwards. Therapy is kind of like that.
    upallnight83 likes this.
  3. imperivm1

    imperivm1 Community Champion

    I understand you're having mixed feelings about what your brother has done over the years but I do think that you should be there for him, nonetheless. Getting mad at what he did will only serve to alienate him even further from you. It's always sad to see a bond between siblings sever. Don't be that type of family. You need each other.
  4. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    @thedino89... My heart goes out to you. I'm the father of a 25-year-old son in recovery and a 19-year-old son who watched it all from the sidelines. I witnessed how addiction can destroy the trust and bond between siblings. It was certainly not pretty.

    Please know that all of the feelings you are feeling are justified. Your brother's actions have hurt you badly. That said, he will always be your brother and your relationship can return to what it once was in time. Once my son got clean, it took all of us a bit of time to regain trust in him. But once we did, our relationships with him were even better than they were before. My younger son grew up seeing his older brother battle addiction and make poor choices. But now he and his brother are closer than ever.

    As far as Al-Anon goes, I understand your lack of interest. It's not for everyone. My wife would tell you, though, that Al-Anon saved her life. She found so much support and comfort from her Al-Anon group during our son's darkest moments. My advice to you would be to go to a meeting just to see what it's like. It might help for you to go with one of your family members.

    @raidermari brought up the idea of therapy, and I couldn't agree with her more. I was never a believer in therapy...until I went. My therapist helped guide me through days I never thought I'd get through when my son was using heroin. I'm not sure I could've made it without her.

    If Al-Anon and/or therapy just aren't for you at this point, that's cool, too. You have come here and shared your story and feelings, and that's a huge step in and of itself. The people here can definitely offer support. And support is so important for you and your recovery. Addiction is a family disease and when one person is addicted, everyone is affected. And everyone needs to go through their own recovery.

    Remember that addiction is a disease, and that your brother didn't knowingly set out to mess up his life and your relationship. The drugs made him do that.

    It's okay to feel the way you do, @thedino89. Don't ever feel guilty or beat yourself up for having normal emotions. I hope that you will work on your recovery and that your brother can find his path to recovery, too. I also hope that, in time, the two of you will be able to repair your relationship. Know that it can happen. And don't ever give up.