Addiction is rough.. Part 2

I wrote about my brother last night in Addiction is rough..part 1 

After visiting my brother last Wednesday (10/15), I know he WANTS to change, however sometimes that desire is overcome by addiction, no matter how much you want it.

I remember the thousands of times my mom, who was living in a hotel getting high, would tell me that she wanted us back. She would tell us all the dreams she had and I believed her…over and over again. Then sometimes only hours after our conversation, drugs proved to have too much control over her.

One day though, I learned that I would finally hear the last promise and her words would be put into actions.  11-12 years ago, she kept that promise. When she promised that final time, I didn’t believe her but I still had hope.  She was addicted long before I was born, but finally when I was 20 years old, my mom made the choice to become clean.. and she has never looked back.

I remember every time my mom made small gains in her recovery, and then extreme setbacks,  I’d  hope and hope that just maybe ‘this time’ was different. You hang onto hope. I felt like I had no other choice. Only the last promise didn’t end the same way as all the other promises. It was different and my hope wasn’t met with devastation.  I guess this is what allows me to hold onto hope through RPL..that maybe someday I’ll hold my child in my arms. That maybe the next time will be different for me too. 

I have the same hope for my brother.. that one of these times, it will end better for him. One day I’m praying comes soon.

My mom and I attended his hearing on Wednesday (10/22) and I sat through case after case of drug addiction. My heart sank every time I heard my mom sniffle or grab a tissue because she was crying. I wanted to reach out and hug the mom behind me that sobbed as she watched her heroin addicted daughter being sentenced. I can’t tell you how much addiction changes an entire family. I sat through 2-3 hours of sentencing before it was my brother’s turn.

Tears welled up in my eyes when my brother was police escorted into the court room in handcuffs.

It began with his PO speaking on his behalf, followed by a long lecture from the judge, and then he was sentenced. He could have gotten a maximum of 2 years for his last drug charge or a minimum of 30 days for breaking parole. I don’t even know what I was hoping for. I guess I was just hoping the judge would help him somehow, whatever that may be.

He got 30 days, which he already served waiting for his hearing. My mother and I were shocked because he was going to be released that night at 8pm.  But the judge stated that he had to immediately sign up for  an outpatient drug rehab, attend counseling at least once a week, have a job within 30 days, pass biweekly drug tests, and stay out of trouble or he’s back in for his maximum sentence.

Later that night, I arrived at the prison at 7:30pm. It was a bit dark and scary, but T came along. He refused to let me go in town by myself, at night, where inmates were being released. I assured him that I’d be fine, but he wouldn’t hear it and came along anyway.

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Only my brother didn’t know we were coming (he didn’t get a phone call) and they ended up releasing him at 7:15pm. So, we just missed him.  T and I drove around the city searching for him. We knew of a few places he might go and we literally found him 3 doors away from my mom’s ex’s house (the only father figure my brother had, although also an addict).

It was cold, dark and I couldn’t really tell if it was him. I yelled his name out the car window, he looked at me and I asked him if he wanted a ride. My mom’s house was 40 minutes away from here, the buses weren’t running and he had no money for a taxi. Needless to say, he was happy to see me.

We picked him up, took him to Applebee’s for dinner and had a long discussion about his future. T was very stern, yet supportive the entire time. My brother respects T. But rarely does T give his option about things, but he did this time. My brother just sat and listened taking it all in.

The discussion was really good and he seemed like he wanted to change this time.  He even asked me if I’d go to counseling with him. This is HUGE. First, to be willing to go back to counseling and second, for him to ask me to go. I told him I’d go, he just had to let me know when. I will make that a priority.  I’m guarded though.. I worry he will relapse, but then I think, Maybe THIS time will be different. 

Finally we dropped him off at my mom’s at 9:30pm and made it home by 10:15.

The next day (yesterday), he got accepted to an outpatient rehab center, applied for financial aid to help pay for his treatment,  attended his first counseling session (with the lady he saw last time) and even met with his parole officer because she had an opening at 4pm. My mom also took him to apply at two temp agencies for a job and another metal works place near his home. He applied for 2nd shift so he’ll be at work when my mom is at work and home when she is home.

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He broke up with his drug-addicted, enabling, awful girlfriend and he even said, “My number one priority is taking care of my son.” He didn’t say that last time. The only thing he could think about was seeing her and getting his next fix.

In order to keep him out of trouble tonight, I’m picking him up at 5:00pm for dinner. I’ll also bring him back to my house to go through all the crap he has stored in our basement. He wanted to go through it anyway, but I’m just hoping it helps keep him out of trouble tonight. I know realistically I cannot guard him from the world, but being his older sister and the one who has always looked out for him, I just want to protect him. I know though this is something I cannot do. He’s an adult now and makes his own choices.

T also made plans to go out for wings with him on Monday night. I know this has to be difficult for T too, but he’s trying to reach out as well.

As long as my brother’s clean, whatever length of time that is,  we will continue to make an effort. I’m just praying that it stays this way. I just need him to get a job soon to keep him out of trouble and away from his other life. I just need his rehab to work. I just need my brother back.

 

Addiction is rough.. Part 1

I always say if there is hope, even the smallest glimmer, we must still hope against all odds. Most of the time I say it for infertility, but it holds true to most parts in my life. In this case, I’m speaking of my brother.

If you haven’t been following the story of my brother, you can start here. But to summarize, he followed right along in our mother’s and father’s footsteps. Although my mom has been clean for 11 years, my father (who we have no relationship with) isn’t clean. My brother has had the odds constantly stacked against him, he couldn’t cope with our childhood and has never really dealt with it. On top of it all, his learning disability added another layer to his problem with drugs. After being incarcerated for a double count DUI (cocaine/oxycodone) he spent about 90 days in prison. 7 short weeks later, after relapsing he was back in prison again after he failed a drug test.. So far he’s been in there for 30 days waiting for his hearing to see his time served and next steps.  Which leads me to yesterday.

Yesterday was his hearing to find out the repercussions of his behavior.

One thing I told my brother along time ago was that as long as he was clean, I would actively participate in his life. However if he’s using, I just cannot do it. I will always love him, be here if he truly wants help, but I just can’t enable his behavior. Because of my childhood, I’ve learned that I’m no match for an addiction.

But he’s clean in jail…maybe it’s a fresh start.  In no way do I feel like being locked up helps addiction, I was just hoping it was long enough for him to disconnect from his previous life.

Last week I went to go visit him (a week before his hearing). I didn’t visit him last time because I knew he wasn’t ready. He was still making excuses, angry, and he was mad at me because I disagreed with his choices (most specifically his relationship with his girlfriend and his lack of plan for the future). I wrote him though, sometimes a few times a week. This time I talked to him on the phone and he just sounded different. He wasn’t his usual arrogant, thug self. He was just different. He was the brother I remembered. But when he called, I didn’t know if I could actually visit him in prison.

That was an experience in itself, which brought back intense memories of my father being in the same exact prison when I was small. I don’t remember much about visiting my father, but what I do remember is ‘the feeling’. It was like a wave washed over me as soon as I stepped foot inside.

We arrived and checked in, waited in a cold, sterile area with rows of navy blue chairs all facing the officer and metal detector. We were given the rules, the inspections of our clothes, mouth, hair, and shoes and then we walked through the metal detector. We were in a large group and herded into a small area while we waited to get our seats. In the next room we entered, there were rows of chairs facing each other, all the visitors on one side, waiting for the inmates to come in. We were given the rules- one hug to greet and another to say goodbye, no crossing the yellow tape, and no getting out of our seats. I couldn’t help but feel like I was being punished too.

My brother entered the room with the rest of the inmates. It will never stop breaking my heart to hear my brother called an inmate. He was in a hunter green jumpsuit that matched the color of his eyes. The jumpsuit was too big and made my thin, 5’10” brother look like he was drowning in his clothes. He was wearing bright orange, rubber shoes and he had a 5 o’clock shadow. His dirty blond hair looked so different without his hair gel routine.

But it was his facial expression that made my heart sink.

He smiled and I could immediately see he was happy to see me. He surprisingly hugged me tightly and said, “I knew you’d come.” I orginally told him I just didn’t know if I could. I told him I just didn’t know if I had it in me if he wasn’t ready to get better, but the fact that he knew I’d be there just got me. I’ve always been there for him and I always will, but I just got to a point that I couldn’t enable him anymore. But he was technically clean, so I had to go. One thing I refuse to let my brother feel is…alone. I’ll let him fail, hit rock bottom, get himself into horrible situations without offering help, but I just cannot let him feel alone.

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Part 2 will include what actually happened this week and his plan for the future.

Healing…

Prayer Request: 

First, before I begin my post tonight, I had to share this blog post. She is a fellow (Twitter) friend that could use some prayers. There are so many of you that have been here, some after multiple losses like her, but yet we find hope. We hang onto it, because miracles do exist.  I thought her perspective was beautiful, I just had to share. If you could say an extra prayer for her tonight, I know how much she’d appreciate it. I would too, as I want this for her so badly.

My blog post: Healing

I know I’m healing. I can feel it. I’m eating healthy, working out,  and I’m physically stronger than I’ve been in over a year. I’ve come along way from sleeping all day after my 4th miscarriage to being at the gym by 6am and from Reese’s Pieces to grilled chicken salads.  I’m on Week 8 of C25K  and I’m running a 5k this weekend. I’m also pleased to say I’m down 12. 8lbs in 5weeks. I’m feeling stronger. In some ways, I’m also feeling proud of my body, which I couldn’t say a month ago. I know it’s not much, but I benched 85lbs this morning. The first week I could barely do the bar, which was 45lbs.

I even talked about my losses today without crying to my trainer and another person on my weight loss challenge team. Physically, I feel stronger and I have more energy, but I can also feel little glimpses of healing. T is even noticing too.

The other night when T came in from the garage at 8pm, he heard Eric Church blaring in the kitchen, me singing at the top of my lungs, all while I was baking gluten-free oatmeal muffins. Cheesecake and I were dancing in the kitchen while Bailey barked at us. T opened the door and stood there watching us for a bit before I even noticed he was there.

I saw him and stopped and laughed. He decided to join us. I must say though, that we have no rhythm, we cannot dance. Did you ever see Hitch with Will Smith and Kevin James? Yeah T dances like Kevin James in that movie. :) We stopped dancing at the change of the song of the next song, I pulled the muffins out of the oven, and he kissed me.. I said, “What was that for?” And he said, “I just love you..”

I knew, in that moment though that it was really because he hasn’t seen me dancing in the kitchen in ages. He hasn’t seen me laughing or baking or singing at the top of my lungs.

I still have my setbacks, like today when we went to dinner for a ‘semi-cheat’ meal and I was served by a teenager with the cutest bump. Yes, I know there will always be triggers, always… but it’s nice to know that I’m not only feeling stronger physically, but I’m also feeling a bit stronger emotionally. It’s one step at a time and handling the emotions as they come. But I’m going to recognize my moments of healing and be grateful for them.

49 and Counting

A Calm Persistence:

If you’re not following Dawn, you should. Chances are if you follow my blog, you’ll also enjoy hers :)

Originally posted on OurGreatestDesire:

I can’t believe it!  I am at 49 followers…that’s awesome!!!  This blog started as a way to vent about this journey but instead, I have met (well, cyberly) some of the most fantastic, supportive ladies ever!  As soon as I hit 50 followers, I will do some sort of giveaway.  :)  Hope you all had a great weekend…my Packers are kicking butt (had to DVR the game so still watching) so I’m in a super good mood right now!!!!

Hugs~Dawn

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Catching up- October Photo Challenge

I know, I know.. I’m so far behind. I thought about quitting, but I hate quitting at things. So, here are the pictures.

Day 12: Reflection- This was taken on my morning walk. I get to see the sunrise every morning I walk and I just love it. You can see the reflection of the sky on the water.

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Day 13: Hands- Well just one hand.. T and I went to Texas Roadhouse for dinner. I know, I know, not on the diet plan,  but it was my birthday dinner. So I thought a cheat night was in order, however I went to the gym after dinner so I wasn’t over on my calories. :)

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Day 14: Writing- This is the card T gave me yesterday.  He always writes such kind words in his cards.

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Day 15: Laughter – Okay, just a warning about the next picture, Cheesecake is pooping (but I censored it). I was walking him across a field trying to keep him away from the “No Trespassing” area. He sprinted away from me (it takes a lot for him to even sprint, but I didn’t have his leash on him so it was my fault) and pooped right next to the sign. I laughed and said to him, “Is that what you think about that sign?” Don’t worry I did clean it up, but it was slightly humorous.

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Day 16: Furry- this is another little guy we have. We got him the first year we were married. Although he still looks like a puppy, he’s 11 years old. He has to hide from Cheesecake constantly. Poor little guy.

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Day 11: Love

Love.. I had a million pictures to post today, from what I love to eat, pictures of T, or the Renaissance faire we visited today that I love going to. I could have posted a million pictures of my dogs too.  But the thing I want to share is something I created that was Pinterest inspired about a year ago. It has been such a positive thing in our marriage and we use it pretty regularly. I made an “I love you because..” board and we keep it in our room with a few wedding pictures and the word ‘love’ above one of our dressers.

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I still remember the first thing I wrote on the board. It was “I love you because… you don’t get mad when I get speeding tickets.” This was my way of telling him I had another speeding ticket. Since I stopped commuting over an hour each way, I no longer get those, but T was always so annoyed every time I got one. He walked out of the room after seeing the message on the new board I created, smiled and just said, “Clever..”

Anyway, I would highly recommend doing this. We kind of take turns, sometimes he writes on it and sometimes I do. Sometimes we don’t write on it for weeks and sometimes we write on it multiple times a week. I love having it and getting messages from T.

Day 10: Busy

Busy: This completely describes my day. After an early breakfast with T at 5:45am, I haven’t stopped all day. I took the bulldog for the longest walk, I met my mom for a birthday lunch (my birthday is on Monday) and we went to the prison to put money in my brother’s account so he can call us. I made it home just in time to get my nieces at 3pm. We started the night by drawing and I taught them to play Uno. Then we went to Panera for dinner.

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We have finally settled down and they are watching Alvin and the Chipmunks, so I have a free moment. It was a busy day, but it was a good day.