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Trying to help but not sure how

Discussion in 'Share Your Story Here' started by Worried aunt, Aug 21, 2017.

  1. Worried aunt

    Worried aunt Member

    I had a brother who passed away a year ago. His life was far from perfect and I know he used drugs and alcohol to make it thru his day. My brother left behind three kids. The oldest is married and lives in Colorado. The two youngest one (Ross*ages 20 and (Ed)*18 live near me. Both boys are struggling. At first my focus was on "Ed"the 18 yrs old. His substance of choice; alcohol. I decided to help the youngest by encouraging rehab and having him move in with me. We are trying and its really difficult to stay strong, love the person and hate the addiction.....
    I recently found out that the oldest "Ross"is using crack and most recent heroin. I am so sad by this news and I can't even begin to wrap my head around this. I started looking into the symptoms of both drugs and researching but I feel powerless to these addictions.......To top this, "Ross" has lost two friends to heroin one of the friends was stating with him in his apartment. The loss of his friends do not seem to affect "Ross". His younger brother "Ed"is very worried about him and I believe he knows more of what is going on. I received news 2 days ago that "Ross', 20 yrs old OD and was revived by Narcam. "Ross" does not know I that I have the info.
    How do I help him? Do I get angry? I did ask him if he was using ands response is "Don't worry". He has treated the family badly recently refuses to talk to us but then he will send us text messages that he loves us.....This drug is so harmful and I am so afraid for him.....Any support will do....
    Worried Aunt
    *Names have been changed to keep confidentiality
  2. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    @Worried aunt... Welcome. I'm so sorry you're experiencing this difficulty with your nephews. Addiction is truly a family disease and it affects so many more than just the people who have the addiction.

    You are a wonderful aunt for caring so much about your nephews. I can tell you have a big heart. But also keep in mind what Nar-Anon and Al-Anon teach us about an addicted loved one: You didn't cause it, you can't control it, and you can't cure it. That's not to say you can't care and be supportive; it just means that you will not be able to "fix" the person who is struggling.

    There's a book I want to recommend to you. It's called Beyond Addiction: How Science and Kindness Help People Change and it's full of incredibly helpful information. It's written specifically for parents and partners of people who struggle with addiction, but I think it would be perfect for aunts, too. It helps you learn how to communicate better with your loved one (using love and compassion...not anger); how to talk to them to help motivate them to want to change; and--most importantly, I think--how to take care of yourself while you are dealing with their issues. It's an amazing book and I think it would help you immensely. Please consider buying it and reading it ASAP.

    You may also want to find an Al-Anon or Nar-Anon meeting in your area and attend it. Those meetings can be so helpful and comforting. There's something about being amongst others who know exactly what you're going through and feeling that can be very therapeutic.

    We're here to help and support you however we can, so reach out anytime you feel like it. In the meantime, I'm sending you lots of positive energy and hope. And big hugs, too. I will also keep you and your nephews in my thoughts and prayers. Addiction is definitely a beast...but it can be overcome. I hope that your nephews will eventually find their way to recovery.