Alcoholic Brother

My Brother has been drinking since he was 16, he is now 38, and he is a drunk, not nasty or angry just sad, depressed, lazy and  think the world owes him a favour

he had actually given up for a few months after the doctor told him he would be dead if he didnt - so with the help of some medication he stopped - and to help him i loaned him $4000 - he turned up at my house today drunk and i am so angry,

my husband died 7 months ago and i feel that if that was not a wake up call that life is short then he will never get it

i am no close to him but i was willing to help and i feel that he used me for money at the most vunerable time of  my life

what do you do when someone who is struggling asks you for money and you have it and you want to help but then find out later it has been wasted

he was asking me what he could do to help me and i said quite harshly to get into rehab and give up the drink - i dont think this was the response he wanted

he was looking for sympathy - but i am too angry at the moment

i will ring him in a few days and be more understanding but dont come to my house smelling like a pub at lunch time

man when i read this back i sound so harsh

lucky i can write it here and not say it out loud


Erinlee Erinlee
8 Responses Jun 13, 2009

just so we are clear, you don't know for sure if he took the 4,000 and spent it on booze. if that was the case hed have already been dead. is it possible that he mite have already had the beer? or he bought it with the money he already had?

my brother died do to drinking and doing drugs. he was only 52

Hi gypsylace. My brother was 54 when he drank himself to death. Addiction is not fussy. It will have you at any age. He began to drink at age 13 encouraged by our father, also a drinker and (in my opinion) also an alcoholic who was physically a bit stronger and therefore lasted a bit longer before the disease inevitably ran its course. There is always room for one more in the cemetery, the lockup or the poorhouse.

im very sorry for your lose of your brother.

addictions run rampant in my family. going back to my grandfathers day (maybe even further) i didn't inherent the drug or drinking dna thank god!

My brother started drinking at age 13 encouraged by our father who was also a drinker. I have done my share of it as most young men do but never developed the same taste for it as he did probably because I could see the damage it had done to him. It completely ruined his health and at age 45 he looked like a 90 year old. When dad passed away he wanted me to live with him but I had to say no. Even though I loved my brother I could see he was not willing to take care and control of his body and I was not able to provide the care that he needed as a result. A year after our father died my brother's emaciated body was found in a hotel room. When someone is a slave to the bottle there really is nothing you can do to help them other than become a slave to the man who is a slave to the bottle. The only ones who ever get well are the ones who find AA.


My brother rang on the weekend asking me to do his tax return, i said yes but made a time in the morning when hopefully he has not had a drink yet or is at least coherant - i do feel unsure of him - as i am grieving for my husband and when my brother is drunk he becomes very morose and wants to know how i am and i can not share with him<br />
instead of being a support - as my friends have been my brother is a liability and causes me more stress <br />
if my husband was still alive he would be the one to tell my brother the hard truths and be the one to tell him to get his life together where i am no that sort of person and really dont want anything to do with him<br />
my parents are tired and stressed<br />
my sister lives her life and doesn't get involved<br />
i always feel responsible, that is my personality<br />
<br />
i am sick of him being one more thing i have to worry about - he is 38 years old <br />
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i have not and will not lend him any more money but it is now the emotional drain and that is hard to turn off<br />
<br />
i am so angry at him for not being there for me and expecting us to be there for him<br />
<br />
i know it is his addiction and not him but that doesnt help me <br />
<br />
good luck to you all hope you have a good day

You have hit a fine cord with me. My brother is a carbon copy of yours. My brother is 43 and 3 weeks ago was in such dire straights I had to bring him to hospital. He was incoherant. After 6 hours of testing I was told he would have died within 48 hours or so, had he not been brought in. #1 his potasium level was so low they could not believe he was awake or that his heart could sustain life. His liver, kidneys & pancrease were damaged, his belly and legs were (still are) swollen to the point where his skin was splitting. Now mind you this is after his claims of being "DRY" for the last year or so. The doctors proved to me medically he had been drinking & not eating for almost a month. He has lied to our entire family for over 25 years. We have REALLY wonderful parents who have always tried to help him, but this was the last straw for my mother, and so nearly for my father that they refuse to see or speak by phone with him. He is still in hospital, he is still so bad they do not know when they will release him.Our other brother is 2400 miles away, wishes he could help, but cannot. SO I am the one. I will tell you this, I do love him dearly. I also have given him money I did not have too many times to count over the years. In the last 5 years I have dealt with many counselors and went to so many alanon meetings, it always boils down to, THEY (our brothers) MUST WANT to help themselves, no matter what we do, WE cannot make them. It is so terrible you must know, as do I by now, it is up to them. I am so very sadly seeing that I must protect myself and my family from the future devastation my brother will bring with this addiction. It is a hard thing to say or think "tough love, let them go". It breaks my heart to know I must do it , probably quite soon. My heart reaches out to you.I feel you must do the same for your own lifes sake. I wish there was another way.

I wish there was another way too weetie. This situation is hardest on those family members who care the most when the drinker does not seem to care at all. One year after our father died the same way I watched as my older brother drank himself to death at age 54. At about age 17 he sprang up to a height of 6' 3". When alcoholics do not eat properly their bodies draw essential nutrients from their bones. When he died he was SHORTER than me, and I am 5' 10". I have met (sober) men who looked better and were in better health at age 90. The last time I saw my brother alive he suggested we share a house together but I refused because I could see that he just wanted someone to cook and clean and housekeep for him while he continued to drink. If I had agreed to it HE might still be alive today but I am not certain that I would be. It is so sad, but in the end it very often comes down to a decision like that. My one consolation is a saying I heard in Al-Anon known as the three C's. I did not Cause the disease. I can not Control the disease. I can not Cure the disease.

i understand complealty ! my brother was gorgoues man dark brown curly hair, with dark blue eyes. he had many god given gifts, but he choose to drank his life away !buthe had a good life long friend who enabled him! when ever my brother got into trouble he was thier to bail him out.

This is a disease it is not your real brother at the moment or all the years he has been going throught it. <br />
<br />
There is a meeting called Al-non for people who are experiencing problems with a family member with alcoholism, it might help you understand more about it and be able to talk to others that may be able to help you.<br />
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You need support and you can talk to people who understand.<br />
<br />
I also have a brother with this disease and i'm going to share it.

Your story sounds so familiar... my brother started drinking before high school graduation in 1970, joined the Army, spent 18 months in Viet Nam and it was all downhill after that. There have been times over the past 35 years that he appeared to improve but it has always been temporary at best. Now both of our parents are gone and I am left as Executor of the Estate and he will not leave the house my parents purchased 12 years ago so that he would not be homeless. If I had it to do all over again, I would have put him out on the street when my father passed in 2001. This sounds harsh and cruel, but not as cruel as watching him deteriorate by continuing to drink and do drugs for 35 years. It is a sad tragic situation for all involved - and the people that are generally overlooked are the siblings who are left with the mess that the parents of the alcoholic could not deal with.<br />
My sympathies are with you - my advise (if anyone ever asks) is to take the hard stance NOW as you are going to be forced into that position sooner or later.<br />
I am now (as I did not follow my own advise) being forced to evict my brother so that I can sell the house he is living in so that he will have money.<br />
The cycle is endless until the sober sibling stops it. No one else is going to be able to do it for you.<br />
I promised my father, on his deathbed, that I would take care of my brother. It has taken 8 years, but I now know the only way to take care of my brother is to let him go. I do not know if I will ever be able to forgive myself if something happens to him, but my hope is that I will. I know I cannot have any life with things as they are.<br />
<br />

I do not know if you are still following this story
trawlergirl but it sounds all too familiar. When I realized that my older brother would probably drink himself to the grave (which he eventually did) I began to attend AA meetings as an observer trying to learn something that I could pass on to help him. Alas, I did not. I learned that there is an enormous amount of help available to anyone (including close friends and relatives of alcoholics) willing to admit they have a problem, willing to keep an open mind and determined to do whatever is necessary and reasonable in order to receive help with that problem, as long as they are prepared to seek that help ON THEIR OWN ACCOUNT. For the alcoholic who is not prepared to admit that they have a problem and need help with it, and that their life has become unmanageable, there is always room in the graveyard, the lockup and the poorhouse. I am so sorry, this is very sad but a self evident truth.
As an afterthought you would never guess how much fun I found those meetings to be. More often than not they are joyously irreverent and hilariously amusing. There are plenty of schools that teach Mathematics, History, Art, Geography and English. Not so many schools that show you how to live in such an authentic way. Money can not buy such entertainment. My brother died almost 15 years ago but something about the memory of those meetings still makes me laugh.